Fighting the Right

Will 'Michigan Become the First Islamic State in America'?

Today the United States Reformation Prayer Network, an organization of “prophetic voices” using “strategic targeting coordinates for reformation prayer” founded by Cindy Jacobs, sent out a prayer alert for Michigan’s Tuesday primary which warned about the state’s Muslim community. Rick Joyner of the Oak Initiative previously warned that “there is actually an attempt to make Michigan our first Muslim state,” and in the prayer alert from Anita Christopher of the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network and the West Michigan Prayer Center made the same claim today: “There seems to be an underlying agenda by Islam to have Michigan become the first Islamic state in America.” She went on to call for Michigan to ‘come into its Kingdom destiny” and for the government to “make covenant decrees over the people.” While such a claim is absurd on its face, it appears even more ridiculous after learning that Michigan’s Muslim community represents approximately 3 percent of the state’s population:

Michigan has suffered great economic hardship for many years due to foreign competition and costs of doing business. We have historically historically [sic] been an anti-Semitic state, and hold one of the largest population of Muslims outside of the Middle East. There seems to be an underlying agenda by Islam to have Michigan become the first Islamic state in America.


• Declare that Godly men and women will be elected who carry a Biblical worldview and have moral integrity.

• Declare that our elected leaders will stand with Israel.

• Declare that our elected leaders will uphold traditional marriage and the sanctity of life.

• Declare our elected leaders will preserve our God-given Constitution.

• Cry out for the wind of awakening to come into this region.

• Cry out for revelation for the Church to see Michigan’s issues with Kingdom mindsets.

• Decree that Michigan will come into its Kingdom destiny.

• Decree the government of Michigan will shift and begin to make covenant decrees over the people.

Santorum Says He Doesn’t Want to Impose His Values on the Rest of Us

On Meet the Press yesterday, David Gregory questioned GOP presidential frontrunner Rick Santorum about the social issues – opposition to reproductive choice and gay rights – on which he has built his career. Stunningly, Santorum denied that he has focused on social issues and claimed, “There’s no evidence at all that I, that I want to impose those values on anybody else.”

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FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: It's so funny. I get the question all the time. Why are you talking so much about these social issues, as they, as, as people ask about me about the social issues.
MR. GREGORY: Senator, no, wait a minute.
FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: Look, the...
MR. GREGORY: You talk about this stuff every week. And by the way, it's not just in this campaign.
FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: No, I talk about, I talk...
MR. GREGORY: Sir, in this campaign you talk about it. And I've gone back years when you've been in public life and you have made this a centerpiece of your public life. So the notion that these are not deeply held views worthy of question and scrutiny, it's not just about the press.
FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: Yeah, they, they are deeply held views, but they're not what I dominantly talk about, David. You're taking things that over a course of a 20-year career and pulling out quotes from difference speeches on, on issues that are fairly tangential, not what people care about mostly in America, and saying, "Oh, he wants to impose those values." Look at my record. I've never wanted to impose any of the things that you've just talked about. These are, these are my personal held religious beliefs, and in many forums that I, that, that are, in fact, religious, because I do speak in front of church groups and I do speak in these areas, I do talk about them. But there's no evidence at all that I, that I want to impose those values on anybody else.


This is, of course, a bunch of baloney. While Santorum has spent a lot of time in his presidential campaign talking up regressive tax policies, irresponsible deregulation and anti-environmentalism, the core of his brand has always been social conservatism. His campaign has consistently and explicitly distinguished his anti-choice, anti-gay record with Mitt Romney’s in order to successfully appeal to culture-warring voters.

Santorum has also never shied away from wanting to “impose” his far-right values on the rest of the country. In a 2005 interview with NPR, for instance, he railed against the libertarian wing of the Republican party, saying, “They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do. Government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulation low and that we shouldn't get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn't get involved in cultural issues, you know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world.”

And here he is at a Republican debate in November discussing how our civil laws must “comport with God’s law”:

The former senator has said that states should be allowed to outlaw birth control and gay relationships, but supports the federal law banning recognition of legal same-sex marriages. He supports so-called “personhood” laws, which would not only outlaw all abortions regardless of circumstances, but would jeopardize legal access to contraception. He says that as president, he would reinstate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, putting the careers of openly gay members of the military at risk. Yet he says he doesn’t want to “impose” his far-right values on the rest of us.

Santorum’s interview on Meet the Press is far from the first time he’s claimed that he’s not overly interested in social issues. PFAW’s Right Wing Watch found a speech he gave in 2008 in which he claimed that it’s liberals who have made sex an issue on the campaign trail. For liberals, he said, politics “comes down to sex” and that the Democratic Party has become “the party of Woodstock.”:

And it’s just insidious. And it’s most of the time focused on the sexual issues. If you’re a hard-core free-market guy, they’re not going to call you “zealous”. They’re not going to call you “ultra-conservative”. They’re not going to do that to you.
It comes down to sex. That’s what it’s all about. It comes down to freedom, and it comes down to sex. If you have anything to with any of the sexual issues, and if you are on the wrong side of being able to do all of the sexual freedoms you want, you are a bad guy. And you’re dangerous because you are going to limit my freedom in an area that’s the most central to me. And that’s the way it’s looked at.
...
Woodstock is the great American orgy. This is who the Democratic Party has become. They have become the party of Woodstock. The prey upon our most basic primal lusts, and that’s sex. And the whole abortion culture, it’s not about life. It’s about sexual freedom. That’s what it’s about. Homosexuality. It’s about sexual freedom.
All of the things are about sexual freedom, and they hate to be called on them. They try to somehow or other tie this to the Founding Father’s vision of liberty, which is bizarre. It’s ridiculous.
 

 

PFAW

Religious Right Activists Blame Idolatry for Labor Protests in Wisconsin

Today on Truth that Transforms, John Rabe of Truth in Action Ministries and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission agreed that idolatry and the worship of government is to blame for the recent protests and recall movement in Wisconsin over Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s push to eliminate the collective bargaining rights of public workers, calling it a “theological issue.” Rabe said that the Wisconsinites who have rallied against Walker’s move are people who have made government “a replacement for God” and even went on to claim that government employees shouldn’t look to government to provide for them.

Rabe: It does seem that there is a theological issue at stake here as well. When we are trained to look to government to supply our every need, it is very tempting for that government to become a replacement for God in our lives. You know, we tend to worship our idols and I think we’ve seen from the uprisings in places like Greece and frankly even in the United States in the Wisconsin state capitol last year, what happens when that god stops providing.

Land: That’s right, that’s exactly right.

Another Day, Another David Barton Falsehood

Every Friday, David Barton and Rick Green host "Good News Friday" on their "Wallbuilders Live" radio program during which they discuss "good news from around the nation the media doesn't report."

As we have noted in dozens and dozens of blog posts and even full-blown reports, Barton has something of a tendency to completely misrepresent things in order to bolster his ultra-right-wing agenda ... and he did it once again during today's radio program.

Barton and Green were discussing a recent decision 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in a case involving an Eastern Michigan University graduate student who was expelled from a counseling program after she refused to "affirm a client’s homosexual behavior" during counseling, citing religious objections.

The student, Julea Ward, sued the school, seeking summary judgment and lost.  So she appealed to the 6th Circuit, which ruled, not in her favor, but merely that she could have her case heard in court and the merits of her claim decided by a jury.

But, of course, that is not how Barton portrayed it at all, instead claiming that Ward had won her lawsuit outright and that the ruling was a huge victory that would protect other students from suffering the same fate as Ward:

What we had was a graduate student at Eastern Michigan University who, because of her religious beliefs, said 'look, I can't counsel people to be homosexual. You got to send them to some other counselor to do that.' And all the kids who had been doing that before had been dismissed from the program, [with the school] saying 'if you can't counsel pro-homosexuality, you can't be a counselor.'

And so this particular time, the graduate student sued and said 'look, you can't tell me because of my religious beliefs what I have to counsel." And the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled in the favor of this graduate student, saying you're right, you cannot dismiss this student from the program simply because they refuse to promote homosexuality.

Here's a good reversal and this is a great piece of good news. And it's not just a lower district court, this is the Court of Appeals in the 6th Circuit and this is a huge, huge victory and it's going to be cited across the nation for all sorts of other kids that are facing the same kind of discrimination.

The 6th Circuit ruled nothing of the sort.  As the decision [PDF] made clear, the Court merely ruled that both sides could make a compelling case and thus it should be decided by a jury:

Construing the evidence in the university’s favor, a jury might credit the university’s claim that such a policy existed and conclude that practicum students were subject to a general ban on referrals, making it difficult for Ward to demonstrate that she was expelled on pretextual grounds as opposed to the ground that she refused to adhere to a general and reasonable curricular requirement. Just as the inferences favor Ward in the one setting, they favor the university defendants in the other. At this stage of the case and on this record, neither side deserves to win as a matter of law.

...

For these reasons, we reverse and remand to the district court for further proceedings.

As we have said before, one of the main keys to Barton's success as a right-wing "expert" is that nobody on the Right ever bothers to check anything that he says ... or hold him accountable for all of the things that he gets wrong.

Kuhner: Obama Has Embraced 'A Form of Neo-Paganism,' Is Not a 'Real Christian'

Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner, who has already dubbed President Obama an anti-Christian Leninist and called for civil disobedience to fight his administration, today writes that Obama’s support for environmental protection shows that he has “embraced radical environmentalism – a form of neo-paganism,” and is “behaving like a quasi-religious zealot.” Kuhner was responding to the claims of Rick Santorum, along with other Religious Right leaders, who contend that support for defending the environment somehow hurts humans and is its own religion. “The green movement - exemplified by the hoax of man-made global warming - has degenerated into a pseudo-religion,” Kuhner maintains, “Environmentalists worship Gaia, Mother Earth, turning it into a secular goddess.”

He goes on to argue that Obama is not a “real Christian” who “has nothing but contempt for traditional Christianity and the family,” as seen in his support for gay and reproductive rights. “Mr. Obama has declared war on our Judeo-Christian culture,” Kuhner concludes, “The path is laid for a soft authoritarian nanny state.”

Mr. Santorum’s larger point is that Mr. Obama and his liberal allies have embraced radical environmentalism - a form of neo-paganism. The green movement - exemplified by the hoax of man-made global warming - has degenerated into a pseudo-religion. Environmentalists worship Gaia, Mother Earth, turning it into a secular goddess. Hence, they believe industrial civilization must be subordinated to a green socialist agenda. This is why Mr. Obama has dramatically strengthened the Environmental Protection Agency, favors cap-and-trade legislation, prevents most oil drilling along the Gulf Coast and in Alaska, and nixed the Keystone XL pipeline project. Mr. Santorum rightly argues that Mr. Obama’s green “theology” trumps the economic interests of Americans; the president is behaving like a quasi-religious zealot. True.

Yet Mr. Santorum should have done more than just attack Mr. Obama’s extreme environmentalism. Instead, when confronted by liberal hostility, the Republican social conservative retreated. The record is clear and obvious: The president is more a radical secular progressive than a real Christian. He has more in common with Vladimir Lenin than Jesus Christ.



Mr. Obama is a radical leftist. Like all such extremists, he has nothing but contempt for traditional Christianity and the family. During the 2008 campaign, he decried Americans who “cling to guns or religion.” He supported partial-birth abortion - infanticide. As a state senator, he voted for legislation allowing doctors to kill viable babies born during botched abortions. He has embedded federal funding of abortion in Obamacare. In other words, devout Christians - as well as Orthodox Jews and Muslims - must subsidize with their taxpayer dollars a practice they find morally abhorrent. He refuses to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act. He has enabled homosexuals to openly serve in the military - significantly advancing the “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender” agenda. He is now mandating that health insurers for nearly all religious organizations provide their employees with free contraception and sterilization procedures - including the morning-after pill. This is a direct assault upon the Catholic Church, conscience rights and religious freedom.

Mr. Obama has declared war on our Judeo-Christian culture. He understands the economic transformation of America cannot take place without a government-imposed social revolution: Smash religion and the family - the key institutions of civil society - and the restraints upon the federal leviathan are removed. The path is laid for a soft authoritarian nanny state. The president acts as if he is hell-bent on eradicating Christianity from the public square.

Reed: There is Nothing Obama Won't do to Win Re-Election

There are few political operatives active today that are as ruthless and cynical as Ralph Reed.

Reed is, after all, the man who infamously declared that he specializes in "guerrilla warfare," and bragged "I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag." 

Reed also knowingly took hundreds of thousands of dollars from corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff to manipulate and mobilize his Religious Right allies to fight gambling expansions in order to protect Abramoff's client's gambling interests.  Reed even had some of the money laundered through third-parties in order to try and conceal its origins, yet continues to insist to this day that he is "proud" of the "outstanding" work he did on behalf of Abramoff and his clients.

So it is a little ironic to see him speaking to the Palms West Republican Club in Florida recently, in a video recorded and posted by Conservative New Media, as he warns that there is no candidate who is as tough, mean, and cynical as President Obama and that his campaign will be "coming with a knife in an alley" to launch an all-out scorched earth campaign against the Republican nominee:

Franklin Graham Cautions Christians that Voting for Obama would be 'Compromising' their Faith

Fresh after questioning President Obama’s Christian faith, Franklin Graham spoke to Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on American Family Radio’s Today’s Issues, where he said that Christians would be “compromising” their faith if they voted for Obama. He attacked Obama over his support for legal abortion and said that Obama also favors legalizing same-sex marriage, a position which the President has actually not taken, warning that “same-sex marriage is unraveling the institution of marriage that God gave, it is against the Bible, it is against Holy Scripture, it is against God’s instruction, and so I cannot support any candidate” who supports it. He went on to argue that the Obama administration’s policies “are undermining the churches,” “undermining our faith,” and are “going to undermine the United States of America.”

Perkins may not have been the best person to talk to if Graham is trying to distance himself from his previous comments, as the Family Research Council president accused the Obama administration of having a “disdain for Christianity” and said any Christian who voted for Obama must “repent.”

Listen:

I’m asked if the President is a Christian, I don’t know I mean he says he is so I guess he is and that’s what he says, but at the same time Tony there are the policies of the President and the administration that go against God’s teaching. Of course, that’s abortion. The Bible is very clear on this, I cannot support the President or vote for him because of his support for abortion and same-sex marriage. To me, same-sex marriage is unraveling the institution of marriage that God gave, it is against the Bible, it is against Holy Scripture, it is against God’s instruction, and so I cannot support any candidate and it has nothing to do with being a Republican or a Democrat, if a Republican takes these positions I’m not going to vote for them.



The moral issues to me are so important as a Christian, for a candidate to actually oppose God’s standard and then to vote for that person, you are compromising, you are joining in with them. So for me, I just have to draw the line in the sand, I’m not going to support a candidate that supports abortion and same-sex marriage, I will not do it. Unfortunately, you know the President is a nice guy, but I cannot vote for him because of these issues that go against God’s law and against His standard.



Tony, I’m a grandfather, I’ve got grandchildren, and I’m looking now at the world that they are going to inherit, the world they are going to live in. I shudder when I think of the changes that are taking place right now, churches and pastors are not speaking out, and I just hope that pastors will speak the truth, God’s word, and how these policies that are being administered right now how they are undermining the churches, how they are undermining our faith, and how it’s going to undermine the United States of America.

ALEC Gives Cash to Congressmen?

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) strategy of corporations enact favorable legislation at the state level across the country by wining and dining state legislators at fancy conferences and then presenting them with model bills to shepherd into law is well documented. Apparently, ALEC also sees value in currying favor at the federal level as well.

Common Cause’s Nick Surgey reports that ALEC gave a cash award of $1,350 to Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) in 2009 as part of their Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award, according to an investigation of ALEC’s tax filings. This presents a potential breach of ethics because House members are prohibited by law from receiving any cash gift.

While ALEC’s main focus is on pro-corporate state legislation, common cause notes that ALEC’s influence extends far into the realm of the federal government:

Although ALEC’s primary focus is in promoting corporate-friendly state legislation, the group also has a clear federal agenda. A 2005 ALEC document obtained by Common Cause outlines 42 distinct ALEC model bills that attempt to influence federal policy. Those bills include resolutions calling for lower corporate taxes and supporting construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. In effect, corporations working through ALEC are using state legislators to lobby Congress on their behalf. ALEC boasts of the 91 “ALEC alumni” currently serving in the US House, including both Eric Cantor (R-VA) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

As Rep. Cantor graciously accepts his award in this 2009 video, it’s not difficult to imagine how flattery and cash gifts can go a long way in winning the favor of powerful people.

 

Rep. Cantor’s office subsequently released a statement denying that he took the cash and that the engraved bust he received was legal. This still doesn’t explain, as Common Cause notes, why ALEC considered the bust to be a cash gift on their tax filings, unless the value of the bust was high enough that disclosure was required.

Regardless, it smells fishy.

PFAW Foundation

Off the Deep End

Michael

A message to People For the American Way supporters from PFAW president Michael Keegan:

Fighting contraception. Stopping domestic violence protections. Extending tax cuts for the wealthy, while hiking taxes on the middle class. Welcoming white supremacists to a conference, but banning gay conservatives. The GOP has followed its extremist fringe off the deep end, leaving the rest of us back in the reality-based world befuddled. Their strategists warned them not to do this, but it appears that to the GOP, radical fringe issue positions are like catnip. In last night's Republican presidential debate in Arizona, the candidates even spent several minutes discussing which of them is least in favor of allowing rape victims to have access to emergency contraception.

Perhaps Bruce Bartlett, who was an economic policy official under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, said it best on last night's Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Discussing the obstacles to getting smart policies agreed upon and passed in government, he said, "the problem is purely political ... frankly, one of our political parties is insane, and we all know which one it is." (Hint: he was not talking about the Democrats.)

Standing Up for Women's Health -- We all heard about the War on Women's Health last year, when Tea Party-empowered state legislatures passed a record slew of anti-choice laws -- like Arizona's ban on "race-based abortions" and Virginia's attempt to shut down most abortion clinics in the state. These state legislatures were joined by an enthusiastic right-wing Congress that attempted to defund the entire $317 million federal family program, tried to redefine "rape" and eagerly promoted lies about their favorite bogeyman, Planned Parenthood. Well, the War on Women's Health is back, and it looks to be more an all-out War on Women. PFAW members spoke out when Susan G. Komen for the Cure threatened to cut off funds for Planned Parenthood because of internal influences from right-wing staff and board members. We're currently fighting an amendment in the U.S. Senate that would give employers the power to deny any health care to their employees that they take "moral" issue with personally. And we continue to track closely dangerous and extreme state legislation like the recent bill passed by Virginia’s right-wing Assembly that would force women considering abortions -- even rape victims -- to undergo invasive transvaginal ultrasounds.

Exposing the GOP Candidates' Extremism -- PFAW's Right Wing Watch last week uncovered the audio recording of a speech Rick Santorum gave to students at Ave Maria University in 2008 in which he said Satan, the "Father of Lies" was focusing all his attention on the United States of America. He said that academia had long ago fallen to this Satanic attack, derided mainline Protestant churches as no longer Christian and said that we are involved in a "spiritual war," as opposed to a political or cultural war -- a war in which we could only assume people with opposing views to Santorum's are on the side of Satan. The story took off like wildfire in both the blogosphere and the mainstream news media. It became the dominant storyline of the GOP debate for the two days leading up to the last debate and even had right-wing pundits like Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh, and politicians like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, asserting that Santorum's religious extremism is too much for a majority of Americans.

Fighting Judicial Obstruction -- A new PFAW fact sheet shows the extremity and unprecedented nature of Senate Republicans obstruction of judicial nominees, as well as its impact on Americans' access to justice. While a vacancy crisis persists on many of the nation's federal courts, our persistence is paying off and we're finally making headway in getting some of the president's qualified nominees confirmed. This month, the Senate confirmed Cathy Ann Bencivengo and Jesse Furman to U.S. District Courts in California and New York respectively, and Adalberto Jose Jordan to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, all of whom had been waiting months on the Senate calendar for a vote despite the fact that they came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee without any opposition. But dozens of other qualified nominees, most of whom had little or no opposition in Committee, still await confirmation. We'll continue to hold Republicans accountable for their obstruction and keep the pressure on to confirm these judges as swiftly as possible, and one at a time if necessary.

Youth Spotlight: Young Elected Officials take on Citizens United v. FEC -- In state, city and municipal governing bodies in at least seven states, members of our affiliate PFAW Foundation's Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network have put forward resolutions that call for the end of corporate personhood and unlimited special interest money in politics. One of the first big victories in this coordinated national effort was that of Missoula, Montana Councilwoman Cynthia Wolken. After attending a session on Citizens United at the 2011 YEO National Convening, Councilwoman Wolken took a sample resolution and introduced a city-wide referendum calling for Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that made it clear that corporations are not people. The referendum passed overwhelmingly, with over 75% of the vote, bringing an abundance of media attention to the issue and forcing leaders in Montana's state government to weigh-in as well.

As always, thank you for your support, without which none of our work would be possible.

Best,

Michael B. Keegan signature

Michael Keegan

 

PFAW

Barton: 'We've Never Been a Colonialist Nation'

Today on WallBuildersLive, right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton proved once again why no one should trust what he says about American history, as he argued that the United States has “never been a colonialist nation” and “never gone out to conquer others and make ourselves bigger.” Surely, this must come as a surprise to the Native Americans and Mexicans, along with the people of the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico and Hawaii. While he is correct to note that George Washington spoke out against an interventionist foreign policy, Barton appears to gloss over America’s wars of aggression and acquisition.

Barton: One of the things we often see with other militaries is they rule by intimidation, by threats, by terrorism really, they want to scare the dickens out of the enemy and America didn’t do that. From the very beginning when George Washington set this thing up he said, ‘ok we’re having chaplains with everybody and here’s the only kind of war you can fight is you can fight defensive wars not offensive wars, you have to respect the rights of property, you can fight back when attacked,’ so we have a whole different mentality, we’ve never been a colonialist nation, we’ve never gone out to conquer others and make ourselves bigger, we’ve just never had that mentality.



That’s exactly what made America so different, we don’t have that colonial aspect of let’s go conquer somebody else and make our nation bigger and that’s because of the faith element.

Religious Right Groups to 'Encircle' Supreme Court, 'Praying that Obamacare is Declared Unconstitutional'

The Christian Defense Coalition, Faith and Action and Pro-Life Nation, which is a division of Operation Rescue and led by Troy Newman, is planning to “encircle” the Supreme Court in order to pray that the justices rule the health care reform law unconstitutional. The prayer rally, dubbed “Justice at the Court,” is set to be held on March 25, the day before oral arguments in the health care case begin.

Supreme Court officials expect the Obamacare case to be the biggest one at the Court since Bush v. Gore in 2000.

If the President's health care legislation is declared unconstitutional, it would end taxpayer subsidized abortions and unjust and immoral mandates forcing religious institutions to cover abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization in their health coverage for employees.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition and one of the organizers of "Justice at the Court", states;

"We are calling people from all America to come to Supreme Court and 'encircle it with prayer' from March 25-28 as we cry out to God for justice, human rights and religious freedom.

"Sadly, the President's Health Care legislation crushes religious freedom and liberty with unjust mandates on faith institutions and forces taxpayers to pay for abortions.

"We will be praying that Obamacare is declared unconstitutional so Congress can put forward health care legislation that will respect religious freedom, protect human life and honor the principles of our Constitution.

"When Roe v. Wade was decided, the Christian community was detached and uninvolved. We want to make sure that is not the case this time as we challenge people of faith to publicly pray and speak out with boldness and passion."

Republicans Debate Who is Least in Favor of Emergency Care for Rape Victims

In case we needed any more evidence that the former mainstream of the GOP has gone completely off the deep end, Republican presidential candidates spent several minutes at last night’s CNN debate discussing which of them is least in favor of allowing rape victims to have access to emergency contraception. Watch:

The exchange came at the heels of a week that was chock-full of shockingly regressive Republican attacks on women. PFAW’s Marge Baker summed last week up in the Huffington Post:

Just this week, we have seen not just the stunning spectacle of major presidential candidates coming out against birth control coverage, but Republicans in the Senate holding up domestic violence protections because they protect too many people; a potential vice presidential candidate pick poised to sign a law requiring women to receive medically unnecessary vaginal probes without their consent; a leading presidential candidate claiming that "emotions" will get in the way of women serving in combat; and a House committee holding a hearing on birth control access -- with a panel consisting entirely of men.

And that’s not to mention billionaire Santorum supporter Foster Friess’s saying he didn’t see why birth control was expensive because, “Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly."

The GOP candidates’ exchange over emergency contraception for rape victims took this tone-deafness to a new level of insensitivity. Does Mitt Romney really think he’ll appeal to female voters by attacking not just contraception but emergency care for rape victims?

It looks like not. TPM reports that since Romney started attacking birth control, he’s “suffered a precipitous drop in support among women voters.”

You don’t say.
 

PFAW

Jesse Lee Peterson Claims Obama is Not a Christian, Aided by Satan

Conservative columnist and frequent Fox News guest Jesse Lee Peterson today asserted that he is “certain without a doubt that Barack Hussein Obama is NOT a Christian.” Peterson, head of Brotherhood Organization Of A New Destiny, agreed with Rick Santorum’s remarks on how Satan is attacking the United States and even went on to link Satan to Obama’s election in 2008: “I do agree with Santorum that this is a 'spiritual war' and that 'Satan is targeting the U.S.' which is precisely why I believe Barack Obama was selected and elected.” He said that Obama is “an American hating Socialist” who is “more in harmony with Muhammad than he is with Christ”:

"I am certain without a doubt that Barack Hussein Obama is NOT a Christian. It's unfortunate that Rev. Graham and Rick Santorum won't be completely honest about Barack Obama even though his deeds are contrary to Christian values.

"Both these men oppose Obama's recent contraceptive mandate and assault on the Christian conscience. They know that for 20 years Obama worshipped in Rev. Jeremiah Wright's racist Black Liberation Theology-based church. They fully grasp the spiritual connection America has with Israel and see that Obama is no friend of the Jewish State. Rev. Graham has said that Obama is more concerned with the plight of Muslims than the Christians that are being murdered in the Muslim countries. Still these Christian leaders cannot tell the truth about Obama. Why?

"I do agree with Santorum that this is a 'spiritual war' and that 'Satan is targeting the U.S.' which is precisely why I believe Barack Obama was selected and elected. I'm convinced that the weak-kneed timidity that's preventing many white conservative Christians from pointing out Obama's wickedness is a result of their fear of being labeled 'racist.'

"Evil understands that most white Christians have been intimidated and are too afraid to stand up to it. Especially when it is operating in the form of an American hating Socialist black president who appears to be more in harmony with Muhammad than he is with Christ."

Barton: Life Begins Before Conception

Earlier this week, Miranda wrote a post about the Religious Right's anti-environmentalism and its relationship to Rick Santorum's recent attack on President Obama's "phony theology."

In the post, she noted that David Barton, of all people, is considered to be an expert on the topic of global warming by Republicans and the Religious Right and that, back in 2007, he even testified before the US Senate on the topic.

A few weeks after delivering that testimony, Barton gave a presentation on the subject of global warming which Wallbuilders recorded and now sells as a CD entitled "Science, The Bible, & Global Warming."

We listened to the presentation yesterday and it was chock-full of the sort of pseudo-science that one would expect from a pseudo-historian like David Barton, as his entire presentation was rooted in the idea that there is science and then there is "false science" ... and "false science" is anything that undermines the Bible:

There is science and there is science that is falsely so-called. See, the Bible doesn't have trouble with science, but it's talking about beware of the stuff that's falsely called science. There's a lot that masquerades in the name of science.

How do you know false science? False science leads you to a certain end. What is that end? That it undermines your faith. So a good definition of false science, at least based on the Bible verse, science that undermines faith is false science and science that's wrongly used it false science.

God's into science. He created everything. He's the great botanist, He's the great zoologist, He's the great every one of those things. He knows better than anyone else because he made it all. But when science takes you to a position that causes you to doubt your relationship with God, causes you to doubt the Bible ... that's called false science.

And since all "real" science has to correspond to the Bible, Barton explains that life does not begin at conception, but rather before conception ... because that is what the Bible says:

If you consider that life begins at conception ... and I have to consider that Biblically, life begins before conception because it says "before you were in your mother's womb I knew you." So I gotta say, well it at least begins at conception. How you handle that Jeremiah verse that says before that I knew you, you know that's an interesting question.

Kuhner Claims Obama is 'Our Lenin'; Mefferd Afraid He’s More Like Stalin

Right-wing columnist Jeffrey Kuhner visited the Janet Mefferd show earlier this week to discuss a recent column he wrote for the Washington Times, positing that “Obama is America’s Lenin.” In the column, Kuhner attacks the Obama administration’s recent birth control regulations, claiming that "like many secular leftists, [Obama] seeks to destroy Judeo-Christian civilization,” that he is “in the pocket of the pro-abortion feminist lobby,” and that “Mr. Obama is our first non-Christian president.”

Kuhner went into more detail in his interview with Mefferd, saying “I never thought I would see the day in America, that I would see the ugly specter of Leninism, the ugly specter of Marxism” and claiming that while the president is not a practicing Muslim he is “clearly a cultural Muslim.”

Mefferd not only agreed with Kuhner’s analysis, she was willing to go even farther, warning, “We know what Stalin ended up doing to millions and millions of people who would not bow the knee to him.”


Kuhner: This is a violation of the First Amendment. This is a violation of separation of church and state. This is a blatant war on Christianity. It is a war on our conscience rights. It is a war on our basic human freedoms. And I never thought I would see the day in America, that I would see the ugly specter of Leninism, the ugly specter of Marxism, where you now have state coercion of religion, where you have a blatant, flagrant attempt to purge Christianity from the public square, being so openly and blatantly embraced by the president of the United States.

Janet, if this mandate goes through, if Obamacare is not repealed, I believe it will break the back of our constitutional republic, I believe it will be the end of the First Amendment as we’ve known it, and I believe we are on a path towards radical, secular liberalism, which in many ways is just a form of cultural Marxism.

Obama is our Lenin. He is embarking on a cultural, social, political transformation of this nation, and that is why Christians of all denominations, of all faiths, must stand up and vote this man out of office in November.

 Kuhner: So I believe he is somebody who’s the product of the multicultural, neo-Marxist left. He despises Christianity. He despises our biblical principles. He despises the civilizational roots of American society. And he’s also, I believe –and there’s no getting around this – not that he’s a practicing Muslim or a believing Muslim, but he’s clearly a cultural Muslim.

...

And Janet, I have to say this, many people don’t understand this aspect of communism. Communism never sought to completely eradicate religion. Even they knew that was impossible. What they said was this: ‘We don’t want it in public. If you want to worship, that’s fine, do it in your own home, do it in your own head, do it in your own bedroom. But don’t take your faith outside the home, it doesn’t belong here.’

Mefferd: Well, I tell you, that sounds awfully familiar, and we know what Stalin ended up doing to millions and millions of people who would not bow the knee to him.
 

Ann Coulter to Fundraise for Randall Terry

As we've noted before, anti-abortion zealot Randall Terry is currently running a Potemkin presidential campaign for the sole purpose of exploiting a loophole that allows him to air graphic anti-abortion ads on television under the guise that they are campaign ads.

Terry's quixotic campaign has been relegated to the fringes as he's constantly struggled to even raise the money needed to run many ads.  But perhaps his effort will be getting a boost, as he is reporting that none other than Mitt Romney supporter Ann Coulter will be headlining a fundraising rally for him:

Best Selling author and political pundit Ann Coulter will be the keynote speaker at a fundraising rally for Randall Terry for President in the Tulsa Oklahoma area on March 3rd.

Date: Saturday, March 3, 2012.

Time: 6:00 P.M. private fundraising reception; 7:00 P.M. Rally.

Location: Arrow Heights Baptist Church, 3201 South Elm Place, Broken Arrow (just outside Tulsa), Oklahoma.

...

"We are thrilled to have Miss Coulter's formidable talents and skills give us a boost in our efforts in Oklahoma. I'm certain the evening will be inspirational and motivational.

"If I -- the 'extremist candidate' -- receive 5% or 6% of the vote in the Oklahoma primary, it sends a serious rebuke to the Obama campaign. Moreover, it shows that a sizable percentage of voters are willing to defect from a sitting President in their own party, because of his attacks on human life and religious liberty. That would spell big trouble for the Obama camp in the swing states in the general election."

We wonder if Coulter realizes that Terry also had hopes for running similar ads targeting Romney.  Maybe if Coulter helps to raise enough money for him, Terry will finally be able to do so! 

Robison Declares War Against 'Secular Theocracy'

James Robison (aka "God's Hit Man") and Jay Richards, a climate change-denying, Intelligent Design-promoting Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, have teamed up to write a new book entitled "Indivisible: Restoring Faith, Family, and Freedom Before It's Too Late" on how Christians can rise up and save America.

For the last few days, Robison and Richards have been promoting it on Robison's "Life Today" television program where, yesterday, Robison threw down the gauntlet, telling secularists that he was trying to save America so that they would be able to "keep preaching your nonsense," because in a world that doesn't believe in God, "you won't have the freedom." 

But even though Robison may be willing to let them preach their nonsense, he most certainly will not grant them "the liberty and the license to continually assault the word of God, to assault marriage, to assault family, and to literally take your secular theocracy and cram it down our throats":

McDonnell Does a 180 on Mandatory Transvaginal Ultrasounds

Virginia governor Bob McDonnell announced this afternoon that he has, in fact, changed his mind on a newly-passed state bill that would require women seeking abortions to first undergo a vaginal probe without their consent. McDonnell had spoken in support of the bill before it sparked a national outcry. He then remained conspicuously silent for several days before coming out with recommended amendments to the bill to make it slightly less repulsive.

The governor said in a statement this afternoon:

For this reason, I have recommended to the General Assembly a series of amendments to this bill. I am requesting that the General Assembly amend this bill to explicitly state that no woman in Virginia will have to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound involuntarily. I am asking the General Assembly to state in this legislation that only a transabdominal, or external, ultrasound will be required to satisfy the requirements to determine gestational age. Should a doctor determine that another form of ultrasound may be necessary to provide the necessary images and information that will be an issue for the doctor and the patient. The government will have no role in that medical decision.

McDonnell’s backtracking on this component of the mandatory ultrasound bill is a partial but important victory for reproductive rights advocates who explained clearly in Virginia and around the nation what an atrocity the bill would have been.

But it’s also important to remember how far anti-choice politicians will go if they aren’t called out on their activities. Just last week, Virginia's House passed not only the invasive ultrasound bill, but also an extreme “personhood” bill that could endanger legal birth control. Last year, Gov. McDonnell signed unnecessary regulations meant to shut down most of the state’s abortion clinics.

At the same time as Virginia was considering its new assaults on choice, the House held a hearing on President Obama’s requirement that insurance cover contraception, and invited only men. Both major GOP presidential candidates came out for an anti-contraception policy that’s to the right of most Catholics.

McDonnell claims he didn’t know the details of the atrocious ultrasound bill when he previously supported it. But the truth is probably a lot more cynical – he wants to be the GOP vice presidential nominee, and he knew he couldn’t get away with something this extreme. When it came to mandatory invasive ultrasounds, McDonnell got caught between the anti-choice base and everybody else. Every anti-choice politician with national ambitions should face the same pressure.
 

PFAW

Robertson Warns of Looming 'Secular Atheist Dictatorship'

Pat Robertson on the 700 Club today defended Rick Santorum from criticism about his attacks on President Obama’s Christian faith and claims that Satan is attacking the United States of America, including the country’s universities and mainline Protestant churches. The televangelist claimed that denouncing Santorum’s remarks are part of a plan to “take God out of our society,” warning that freedom doesn’t exist in a “secular society.” Robertson, who last week maintained that Obama is intent on becoming a dictator, said that America may soon have a “secular atheist dictatorship.”

Watch:

Is McDonnell Backing Off Invasive Ultrasound Bill?

Last week, we wondered if Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a possible GOP vice presidential contender, would reconsider his position on a shocking anti-choice bill passed by the state’s legislature after it provoked a national outcry. The bill would require women seeking abortions to first undergo a medically unnecessary, highly invasive trans-vaginal ultrasound without their consent – a process which, under any other circumstances, would be considered rape under state law.

Gov. McDonnell had spoken in support of the bill before it was passed, but once the outcry against it began, fell oddly silent. Now, the Washington Post reports, he may be backing away from his support for the bill and looking for a compromise that will allow him to keep his anti-choice cred, while disassociating himself from one of the most egregious instances of the War on Women to come out of last week:

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is backing off his unconditional support for a bill requiring women to have an ultrasound before an abortion, focusing new attention on one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in Virginia’s General Assembly this year.

Until this weekend, McDonnell (R) and his aides had said the governor would sign the measure if it made it to his desk. McDonnell, who strongly opposes abortion, will no longer make that commitment.

But delegates and governor’s staff were scheduled to meet Tuesday night to strike a compromise after learning that some ultrasounds could be more invasive than first thought, according to two officials who were aware of the meeting but not authorized to speak about it publicly. Many of the bill’s supporters were apparently unaware of how invasive the procedure could be, one of the officials added.

I doubt that McDonnell didn’t know the details of the bill before he spoke in favor of it. But after last week, he knows that signing it will hurt him among all but the most extreme anti-choice voters.
 

PFAW
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