Fighting the Right

Barton: 'I Don't Care What the Supreme Court Says,' Homosexuality Should be Illegal

Earlier this year, we stumbled upon a few episodes of David Barton's "Building on the American Heritage Series" that had been posted on the TBN website. Today, while searching form something else, we noticed that several other episodes from that same series had also been posted and so we are working our way through them.

Near the end of the episode entitled "Politics In The Pulpit," Barton made a point that the purpose of the church is not to create harmony or unity among the congregants but to preach the word of God's and support God's laws.  As such, Barton cited 1 Timothy 1:8-10 in order to declare that the purpose of the law is to punish ungodly and sinful (like gays) regardless of what the Supreme Court rules:

Tom McClusky Suggests Obama's Understanding of 'Golden Rule' is like Helping a Depressed Neighbor Commit Suicide

Following a very, very passionate appeal to those “struggling with homosexuality,” Family Research Council vice president Tom McClusky told the audience at the Watchmen on the Wall conference today that people should not in good conscience support the right of same-sex couples to wed just as they should not help a depressed neighbor commit suicide. McCluskly was upset that President Obama cited the Golden Rule in his interview where he endorsed marriage equality, a remark that touched a nerve in the Religious Right with activists like Patrick Wooden railed against Obama for “quoting Scripture to debunk Scripture.” McClusky explained that if the Golden Rule is a reason to support the freedom to marry for gays and lesbians, then it would be just like using the Golden Rule to condone suicide.

Watch:

McClusky: The President’s come out for same-sex marriage and in an interview in which he updates the nation on the latest evolution of his views, on this question the President notes that his mind was made up in part by his Christian faith, specifically by the Golden Rule, ‘treat others the way you want to be treated.’ It should be pointed out though that contrary to what the President thinks the Golden Rule alone tells us nothing one way or the other about whether to support same-sex marriage, it isn’t about merely protecting our neighbor’s preferences but advancing our neighbor’s good. In the absence of any moral standard then it would mean then that I would have to give my depressed neighbor—I would have to assist him to commit suicide if it was just a matter of doing what he thinks is best.

Brian Camenker Compares Homosexuality to Racism Gay Rights Efforts to Jim Crow Laws

While taking to Americans For Truth About Homosexuality president Peter LaBarbera, Brian Camenker of MassResistance said that like racism, “homosexuality is unnatural,” and now “just like you had to have the Jim Crow laws to keep the races apart, you have to have these laws and diversity trainings and constant propaganda to keep it going.” Camenker explained that gay rights advocates are passing laws and disseminating “propaganda” with the aim of ending the freedom of speech, which he says they need to do since homosexuality “is generally repulsive to large numbers of people if not everybody”:

LaBarbera: Brian Camenker’s website MassResistance, that is hate, because they don’t like that Brian Camenker opposes homosexuality. This is the world we are living in and I think it’s tempting to laugh at it but if they keep going our First Amendment rights will be gone.

Camenker: There’s no question about it and that’s what they want. They want that to happen.

LaBarbera: They can’t handle a free and fair debate, where we can just talk about ideas, they have to censor everybody who opposes them?

Camenker: The problem that they have is that homosexual behavior in it of itself, to put it bluntly, is generally repulsive to large numbers of people if not everybody. In order to normalize this in any way there has to be this constant stream of propaganda.



Camenker: Homosexuality is unnatural and you have to have, just like you had to have the Jim Crow laws to keep the races apart, you have to have these laws and diversity trainings and constant propaganda to keep it going.

'God Is Working' Through New Evangelism Tool to Help Gays get to Heaven

The Family Research Council is currently hosting its annual Watchmen on the Wall Pastors Briefing in Washington DC, featuring a variety of Religious Right leaders and members of Congress working to mobilize pastors from across the nation. 

Today, in between speakers, FRC handed the floor over to Jesse Connors so that he could promote his web-based evangelism tool called TrueLife.org which claims to offer "reliable answers from a biblical worldview via the Web that are non-threatening and easy to understand and directs people to church."

Connors' service seems to revolve around producing, for a fee, personalized business cards that pastors can hand out, encouraging people to visit the True Life website where they can learn more about Jesus and the Bible and find local churches.  At least, that was the best we could discern, as it was hard to know just what Connors was talking about as he grew increasingly emotional while discussing the success of the effort and demonstrating a video about struggling with homosexuality: 

Ironically-Named 'Military Religious Freedom Protection Act' Opens the Door for Conservative Scare-Tactics

After the American Center for Law and Justice hosted Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) to promote his bill that he claims would help stop Obama from “using the military as a guinea pig” for the “radical homosexual agenda,” Jay Sekulow of the ACLJ sent an email alert to members claiming that if Huelskamp’s Military Religious Freedom Protection Act fails to pass Congress, then “military chaplains could be required to perform same-sex marriages”:

Soon military chaplains could be required to perform same-sex marriages.

To continue ministering to the men and women who are putting their lives on the line for our country, military chaplains would have to violate their faith.

The Senate is considering legislation to protect religious liberty in our military, and we must act now for these strong men of faith.

The House of Representatives has already passed legislation that protects the religious liberty of everyone serving in the military – especially chaplains. The Senate is days away from taking up similar legislation, and we must act quickly.

Religious liberty is a foundational right, and we should expect our elected officials on both sides of the aisle to support it. President Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage may be driving his policy, but it should not affect the religious freedom of our men and women who risk their lives to protect our rights and freedom.

Despite Sekulow’s ominous message, the Washington Post reported following the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell that while chaplains will be able to perform same-sex marriages in states where they are legal; they will not be required to do so:

The Pentagon will permit military chaplains to perform same-sex marriage as long as such ceremonies are not prohibited in the states where they reside, it said Friday.

Defense Department guidance issued to military chaplains said they may participate in ceremonies on or off military bases in states that recognize gay unions. Chaplains are not required to officiate at same-sex weddings if doing so is counter to their religious or personal beliefs, the guidance said.

In fact, the only way the Military Religious Freedom Protection Act significantly changes the law is by imposing a ban on the use of military installations in same-sex marriage ceremonies, prohibiting houses of worship on military property from exercising their freedom to marry same-sex couples in states where it is legal.

Rep. Walter Jones Likens Church Tax Rule to Communism

Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) appeared today on Truth that Transforms, the flagship radio program of Truth in Action Ministries, to push his Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act, which the Interfaith Alliance notes would allow houses of worship to engage “in partisan politicking,” such as endorsing candidates from the pulpit, “without losing their tax-exempt status.” Truth in Action Ministries recently produced a film likening the rule to Nazism, and Jones told host John Rabe that the tax provision is like “communism” and “socialism.”

The congressman also conflated the risk of forfeiting tax-exempt status with losing civil rights, saying that the IRS has eroded the “freedom of speech” in the U.S.  Jones also said that unlike liberals, “those on the conservative side believe in freedom of speech and therefore they’re not reporting anyone.”

The last church to have lost its tax-exempt status was Randall Terry’s church which took out an advertisement opposing the election of Bill Clinton in 1992.

Rabe: In reality it also seems that in some ways the threats have outstripped the actual actions, no one should be threatened with the loss of their tax exemption for speaking freely but it seems like this is something that the ACLU and Barry Lynn and groups like that use to get churches to self-censor as well, it might be helpful for pastors to understand that if they stand up and are bold and speak the truth anyway, they may find that the IRS has their hands full trying to do anything about it.

Jones: I think you are right on that, John, I think it’s a law that is very difficult to enforce and in fact the Internal Revenue Service will tell you and they testified to this that they are dependent on a third party to report. Is that communism? Is that socialism? What is that?

Rabe: Yeah, it’s spying on each other.



Rabe: It does seem that this provision has been somewhat selectively enforced is it just my perception or is it reality that those on the conservative side of the spectrum seem to face more sanctions on this sort of thing than those on the liberal side of the spectrum.

Jones: Well if I can answer you this way I think those on the conservative side believe in freedom of speech and therefore they’re not reporting anyone. But I will say that to me, left or right, this should not be part of America, this should not be the intimidation of some law that was never debated that a group or an element can use this law to intimidate. John, that’s not America, you know that, I know that, you’ve been saying that, I’m just telling you this is one of those issues that ought to be repealed, let’s get it off the books and let’s return this country to freedom of speech.

People For the American Way Launches Spanish Language Recall Radio Ad in WI

MADISON, WI. – People For the American Way today began airing a hard-hitting radio ad in Wisconsin supporting the recall of Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four sitting state senators. The ad, running on Spanish language radio stations in Milwaukee and Racine, is the first PFAW political ad of the 2012 election cycle. It features Voces De La Frontera Action Executive Director Christine Neumann-Ortiz calling on voters to support Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett for governor.

The ad urges Wisconsinites to stand up against the extremism of Governor Walker and his like-minded colleagues in the Senate. “Our community is under attack,” says Neumann-Ortiz in the ad. “Governor Scott Walker has declared war on Wisconsin’s working class families in favor of the rich,” and “takes away education rights from immigrant youth, opposes driver licenses for immigrants and has promised to sign an Arizona-style immigration law.” The ad calls on Wisconsinites to “do their civic duty and vote Tom Barrett for Governor” on June 5th.

PFAW, a national group protecting civil rights and civil liberties, and Voces De La Frontera Action, Wisconsin’s leading immigrant rights group, are members of the We Are Wisconsin coalition, which is working on efforts to get out the vote and defeat Scott Walker and the extreme right-wing members of the Wisconsin legislature. “Gov. Walker and his allies in the legislature have enacted the anti-worker, anti-immigrant, anti-student, anti-middle-class policies peddled by corporate front groups and the Koch Brothers,” said Randy Borntrager of People For the American Way. “Gov. Walker, Lt. Gov. Kleefisch and the four state senators facing recall have proven that they don’t have the people’s interests at heart. It’s time to send a message for all working people and show Walker and his allies the door.”

The ad will continue to run through the June 5 recall elections.

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Ed Klein Says Michelle Obama 'Wears the Pants in the Family,' Controls President Obama

Conservative author and conspiracy theorist Ed Klein joined Sandy Rios of the American Family Association today to promote his book, “The Amateur,” where he revealed that Michelle Obama is the real power broker in the White House. Klein said that he learned from friends of the Obama’s that the First Lady “wears the pants in the family” and “is even further to the left than her husband.” He said she grew up “with a real chip on her shoulder” over anti-black discrimination and claims she has “never really gotten over that”:

Klein: They give me a portrait of a very, very strong-minded, powerful woman who wears the pants in the family. That her husband, Barack Obama, has I’ve been told again and again is actually afraid of Michelle, afraid of her temper, afraid of her shunning him, turning a cold shoulder to him, things like that, he is very susceptible to her moods. She comes from a very political family, her father was a precinct family, getting out the vote on the local neighborhood level for the old Mayor Daly, so she grew up steeped in politics and with a real chip on her shoulder because of her feeling that African Americans were second class citizens in Chicago, which they were back then, not any longer, but they were back then, and she’s never really gotten over that. In my view she is even further to the left than her husband, Barack Obama.

Rios: That’s the take you get on Valerie Jarrett as well, they are pushing him to this ideology which I think he does embrace too.

Klein: I do too; I think it’s in his system.

Rios: In his DNA.

Rios was also interested in the role of President Obama’s adviser Valerie Jarrett, telling Klein: “she was born in Iran—that for the life of me makes no sense—she is the daughter of Vernon Jarrett. Vernon Jarrett, how strange, was a very close friend of Frank Marshall Davis who was one of the editors of the Communist newspaper in Chicago who became later Barack Obama’s mentor.” Rios complained that “you can find out all kinds of alarming things” about Jarrett “without working too hard…they thought I was crazy.”

However, Vernon Jarrett is not Valerie Jarrett’s father. Her father is Dr. James Bowman, and Jarrett was born in Iran as her parents moved to there after her father found a job there at a hospital. Vernon Jarrett is the father of Jarrett’s late ex-husband Dr. William Robert Jarrett. The couple divorced in 1988 and he died in 1993.

Despite bragging about writing two chapters about Jarrett in his book, Klein doesn’t correct Rios and it is unclear if he even knew she was wrong in the first place.

Rios ended her show warning that Obama “has done tremendous harm to the black community by being who he is” and “is out for [the] destruction” of America:

Rios: There was a dark cloud, there was like a delusion, a strong delusion, that settled over America—it wasn’t about color—I think the sad thing is, I am grateful America has come to the place where they will elect an African American president, I think that has tremendous value and it should have, but not this one. I know too many fine men of color who love this country and I think he has done tremendous harm to the black community by being who he is, and who he is is he’s not a lover of this country. Most black Americans even in spite of the things that have happened in this past, the things that we’re ashamed of, still, this is their home, this is their country, this is their children who fight in wars and they don’t want someone leading who is out for destruction.

Joyner: Satan is Using Gays and Other 'Useful Idiots' To Destroy America

One of the central components of the work we do here at Right Wing Watch is listening to various radio programs and watching videos produced by an ever-growing army of Religious Right activists.  And among the most unpleasant chores in this process is the regularly viewing of Rick Joyner's daily "Prophetic Perspective on Current Events" broadcast, since Joyner generally spends the entire program mostly talking in circles without ever actually saying anything while simultaneously insisting that what he is talking about is vitally important.

Joyner fancies himself to be something of an expert on history, despite the fact that he doesn't really know what he is talking about, and he is convinced, based on a two-day long vision he had several decades ago, that the demonic forces responsible for Nazism in Germany are now trying to take over America.  Thus, we end up with clips like this from yesterday's program where he declares that liberals and gays are "useful idiots" being used by the Devil to bring America down and who, once they succeed, will immediately be wiped out by the very forces they helped to bring to power:

We should probably point out that it was not Marx, but rather Lenin to whom the phrase "useful idiot" is generally attributed.

FRC Mobilizes Against DOMA Repeal, Warns of 'Grave Threat' to the 'Well-being of the Family'

In advance of a court case on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and amid calls to repeal the discriminatory law, the Family Research Council today sent an appeal to members urging them to tell Congress that a repeal of DOMA would present a “grave threat” to the family and religious liberty. In an email to members, FRC president Tony Perkins lamented that the Obama administration has already “forced open homosexuality upon the military” and provided “taxpayer-funded marriage benefits to same-sex couples.”

Few were shocked by the recent announcement of President Obama's "evolved" support for redefining marriage. His words have finally followed his actions - or his inaction when it comes to marriage policy. In less than four years, the Obama Administration has forced open homosexuality upon the Armed Forces, opposed state marriage amendments, refused to do its constitutional duty to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA), and awarded taxpayer-funded marriage benefits to same-sex couples.

Now some in Congress are seeking to repeal DoMA - an act that would endanger the marriage laws in 44 states that currently define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

There are those who hope you will step aside and allow this God-given institution to be redefined. We cannot allow the DoMA law to be repealed. Please sign our Stand for Marriage petition, and join us in showing Congress and President Obama that marriage is worth standing for.



Given that the family consisting of marriage between one man and one woman is the foundation of civil society, I urge Congress and President Obama to uphold and defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA), which defines marriage for the federal government and affirms the rights of states to protect the institution of marriage. President Obama's cynical endorsement of same-sex "marriage," along with his failure to do his constitutional duty to enforce and defend federal law in relation to marriage, combined with the plans of some in Congress seeking to overturn DoMA - is a grave threat not only to the well-being of the family, but to the religious liberty of countless Americans who do not wish to be forced to embrace a counterfeit version of marriage.

The Ultimate Obama-Islam-Sharia-Agenda 21-Immigration-Debt Conspiracy

The number of right-wing conspiracy theories relating to President Obama, Islam, Sharia Law, immigration, Agenda 21 and the debt seems to be growing exponentially…but finally now there is one conspiracy theory that brings them all together.

Avi Lipkin, who on speaking tours in churches and synagogues across America says he learned secret information from his wife, whom he claims is an Israel intelligence officer. On Crosstalk with Vic Eliason of VCY America, Lipkin maintained that Obama is a Saudi plant who is out to destroy Israel and the United States:

Lipkin: Obama was made a Muslim man in Indonesia by age 11. He said, ‘I’ve got health care problems, I got economic problems in America, Muslims in Egypt and Muslims in the Muslim world, be patient, I will show you when the time comes what I am going to do to Israel.’ My wife picked up other broadcasts, for example the Saudis were saying, ‘we will have a Muslim in the White House in 2008.’ The Saudis also said, ‘Obama has three tasks: task number 1 is to destroy the Shiite threat in Iran, task number 2 is to destroy the Jewish threat Israel, task number 3 is to destroy the great Christian Satan America and turn America into a Muslim country.’

Surely you’ve heard that one before. But, you may not have known that Obama will destroy America by supporting the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in order to collapse the region’s economy after the group persecutes the country’s Christians, leading to a wave of Muslim immigration to the United States. Obama will then settle the “50-100 million” Muslim immigrants on “lands confiscated by Agenda 21,” the sustainable development initiative, and bring about Sharia law in the U.S.

Obama also built up the national debt to a point where the U.S. will need a bailout from Saudi Arabia, who will grant it with the condition that “America will surrender its Christianity.” Lipkin explains that God sent the Muslim immigrants to the U.S. to be “hunters” of Jews and Christians, forcing them to leave the U.S. and move to Israel:

Lipkin: The Muslim Brotherhood is going to end up either killing, converting to Islam or expelling the remaining Christians of Egypt. When the Christians of Egypt are gone, the economy of Egypt is gone. When the economy of Egypt is gone, the 76 Muslims who remain are going to starve to death. What do people do when they starve? They leave. Where do they go to? America. Who’s going to bring them in? Obama. Where is he going to settle them? In the lands confiscated by Agenda 21.



Lipkin: America will be Muslim by 2016. 2016 is the eighth year of President Obama, meaning he is going to bring in 50-100 million Muslims because it is inevitable that all these Islamic countries cannot rule, they don’t know how to rule themselves, they are completely inept, and after they kill all the Christians that remain there will not be any economy left so you’re going to have overnight 50-100 million Muslims coming in. You cannot put them in American cities, you have got to create entire new areas populated in the United States and Canada with these Muslims.

Eliason: Where Sharia law holds forth?

Lipkin: Yes! So you have Agenda 21, you have Sharia law, by the way I’m going to throw out a real wildcard now. You have all those people who talk about the American debt being insolvable, where are you going to get $14 trillion from? The answer is very simple, you don’t think the Saudis have $14 trillion in cash? They’ll give you the cash and they will say ‘we own you now, we’re going to take over America.’ And Americans will say, ‘if we don’t do this we’re going to lose our economy and we’re going to lose our dollar and everything.’ The American economic problem is not a problem if the Saudis come in and bring in their cash. The problem here is America will surrender its Christianity.



Lipkin: If and when a war breaks out in the Middle East between Israel and its neighbors then you will see 10, 20, 30 million, maybe more, 40, 50 million Muslims, some of them are going to rise up in a 9/11 type terrorist attacks and they are not afraid to die, they cherish death, and American law enforcement with all the best of intentions will not be capable of dealing with this. They are not going to kill 10 million, they are going to kill some and a lot of Jews and Christians are going to go into hiding and eventually a lot of them will eventually leave the United States and coming to Israel so I see this as a spatula, they leave by God, you have the hunters and these hunters are going to be the Muslims. I believe America will come out of this mess but it’s going to be a very rough time, weeks, months, before the situation is brought under control. The more Muslims you have in America the more capable they will be to wreak havoc on Jews and Christians.

Big Business: We'll Spend Big Money on Elections

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce plans to take full advantage of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision to push its right-wing agenda, according to its president, Tom Donohue. As reported by USA Today, Donohue told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor earlier this week that under that decision, the Chamber can and will run “an aggressive program” and will not disclose its donors.

Donohue also suggested that estimates that the business group would spend $50 million on the 2012 elect were too low. Thanks to Citizens United, individuals, corporations and organizations like the Chamber of Commerce can make unlimited, often anonymous expenditures on ads supporting or attacking candidates. Until that decision is overturned, disclosure rules would at least shed light on the process and give Americans insight into who is using their wealth to disproportionately influence elections.

But that’s not how Donohue sees it: “The disclosure thing…is all about intimidation.” While requiring disclosure might makes sense on the surface, he said, “in this instance you become a target.”

Americans deserve to know who’s trying to buy their elections. Even far-right Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia knows that "Democracy requires a certain amount of civic courage." Donohue’s demand that corporate entities be allowed to pour money into elections without having to show their faces makes his agenda perfectly clear: it’s not about democracy or free speech, it’s about maximizing corporate profits by any means necessary.

PFAW Foundation

Patrick Wooden on Gay Marriage, The Golden Rule, and Strangers at a Family Reunion

Peter LaBarbera today posted yet another interview with his new best friend, Patrick Wooden along with John Kirkwood, pastor of Grace Gospel Fellowship in Bensenville, Illinois, discussing the recent passage of the marriage amendment in North Carolina.

During the discussion, the three men tackled a wide array of related topics, including President Obama's statement of support for marriage equality.  It was Obama's citation of the Golden Rule in explaining his views that seemed particularly offensive to them, prompting Wooden to offer up a truly incoherent statement that "most people don't invite strangers to their family reunions" while Kirkwood simply compared Obama's citation of Scripture to Satan: 

LaBarbera: Talk about this use of the Golden Rule that Obama cited to justify his new support of the so-called homosexual marriage.

Wooden: It's funny, he's quoting Scripture to debunk Scripture. Amazing. But I agree with the President on the Golden Rule, I think we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us ... I don't that that I should aid anyone in entering into anything that does apply to them or does not appertain to them. Words still have meaning and the word "marriage" means something, it means the union between a man and a woman. So I don't know how he's applying the Golden Rule but I think we should treat people the way we want to be treated. But if a person wants to do something that doesn't apply to them, then I don't think we should help them do it.

Most people don't invite strangers to their family reunions. Most people don't allow perfect strangers to come into their house and sit at the dinner table and dine with them. And we shouldn't, under the Golden Rule, allow people who are not to participate in marriage to be invited into the union in the name of treating people the way we want to be treated. It makes no sense.

LaBarbera: And John, also, four years ago or long, dismissed Romans 1 to justify his support for homosexuality. So talk about this.

Kirkwood: Yeah, I don't think he holds The Word with a great deal of esteem. There was another guy in Matthew 4 who quoted The Word to rebuke The Word. It's not going to work out so well for him.

Matthew 4, for those who may not know, is when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan.

Bain's Not Just Fair Game, It's the Only Game

Romney's experience at Bain is beyond fair game: if this election is truly about jobs and the economy, then Bain is one of the only games in town.
PFAW

ALEC Fails Scantron's Test

Two more educational organizations, the for-profit Scantron Corporation and the nonprofit Lumina Foundation, have ended their association with the American Legislative Exchange Council, according to the Center for Media and Democracy.

Scantron, the educational testing company that produces standardized test forms (those ubiquitous bubble sheets), is the 15th corporation to sever ties with ALEC. The company was a member of ALEC’s Education Task Force, having first joined ALEC in late 2010. Lumina Foundation, a nonprofit foundation claiming to have invested assets in excess of $1 billion, makes grants to think tanks and other organizations with the goal of enrolling more Americans in college.

Scantron and Lumina join the growing list of educational organizations distancing themselves from ALEC’s education policies – an agenda that consistently prioritizes corporate profits over the needs of kids and communities. Other educational organizations to cut ties with ALEC include the for-profit Kaplan and the non-profit National Association of Charter School Organizers and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

PFAW Foundation

Paul Crouch's Ominous Warning to Anyone Who Would Stand in the Way of TBN

TBN co-founder Paul Crouch had an unscripted, and rather telling, moment during a live appearance on TBN’s “Behind the Scenes” program. Crouch was speaking with his son Matt on February 9th, just one week after TBN was rocked by a lawsuit filed against it by Paul's granddaughter Brittany Koper. Koper was a senior executive at TBN until she was fired, allegedly for blowing the whistle on "illegal financial schemes."

Without naming names, Paul and Matt said "Gold help" anyone who gets in the way of TBN, and Paul claimed to have attended the funerals of two people who had tried. Here's how their conversation went:

Matt: You know what’s funny dad? There have been a few attempts in the TBN history to upset TBN, to stop TBN. There have been a few fools in the 38, 39 year history, coming up on 40 years. And you what? Any attempt at stopping TBN, they have no idea who they’re actually pushing into the corner. You and mom get pushed in a corner, God help you. That’s a lesson I’ve learned from you. Seriously.

Paul: God help anyone who would try to get in the way of TBN, which was God’s…

Matt: plan and his purpose.

Paul: I have attended the funeral of at least two people who tried.

Matt: Hello.

Paul: Um…

Matt: Hello.

Paul: That’s another whole story.

The Orange County Register's Teri Sforza first reported on the comments and linked to the video on the TBN website. It's since been removed, but most of Paul and Matt's conversation is available thanks to a quick-thinking YouTube user:


Koper is currently involved in multiple lawsuits against TBN, which discuss alleged financial misconduct and criminal activities by the Crouches and senior TBN executives. She specifically accused Matt Crouch of threatening her with "physical and lethal violence." The Crouches don't appear to be helping their case by making statements like the ones above, but they probably don't know any better. Stay tuned.

 

Talk Show Host: Karl Marx Created Climate Change to Destroy Capitalism

Earlier we reported that James Dobson warned that the environmental movement is a “Satanic” effort to help radical Islamists and Cal Beisner claimed that the movement is modeling itself after Satan. Conservative talk show host and Eco-Tyranny author Brian Sussman appeared yesterday on Eagle Forum Live with Phyllis Schlafly and identified yet another sinister force behind the environmental movement. Sussman claims that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels not only created the environmental movement but also the nefarious, anti-capitalist and anti-Christian notion of man-influenced climate change. And now, Sussman says, they have a powerful disciple in the White House:

1883, you had two well-known left-wing thinkers who had a pretty big audience, these were people who hated capitalism and hated Christianity as well, they wanted to liquidate Christianity, they came up with a scenario, they said, ‘capitalism produces pollution and that pollution could change the climate and bring us into an ice age that would destroy all species.’

That was 1883, they put together this wild theory to destroy capitalism by scaring people of the coming ice age. Those two thinkers were Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, this was 1883. Might I just add Phyllis, the left hasn’t left this, first it was global cooling, then it was global warming, then it was global cooling, then it was global warming, and now it’s just a catchall phrase known as climate change and the fact of the matter is there isn’t substantial science to back any of these claims up.



Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and their ilk, they don’t care about capitalism, they don’t care about free market opportunities, they want a planned and controlled economy because they believe that most of us our incapable of running our own lives and the scary thing is now, Phyllis, we have these people in all levels of government of the United States, including in the White House and the West Wing of the White House.

NYT Profiles Private Schools' Public Money Grab

Transferring public resources to private hands is a major component of the conservative agenda. An extensive profile of the push to weaken public schools and transfer wealth to private academies through tax credit programs is the subject of an extensive profile in today’s New York Times, which highlights how conservative legislators, school privatization advocates and organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council are helping secure tax dollars to bolster private school systems. Disguised as programs to help needy children gain access quality education, in reality these programs simply channel money to individuals who don’t need the assistance and boost profits for private schools, often at great cost to students and communities.

Across the country, state legislatures are adopting tax credit programs, which allow individuals and corporations to receive a dollar-for-dollar tax refund for donations to private school “scholarship funds.” In Georgia, for example, a couple can donate up to $2,500 to a nonprofit scholarship fund to be used to send a needy child to a private school. In turn, the donors can subtract their donation from their Georgia tax bill. But according to school administrators, needy children hardly benefit from the practice, with the majority of the funding benefitting children that already attend private schools:

“A very small percentage of that money will be set aside for a needs-based scholarship fund,” Wyatt Bozeman, an administrator at the school near Atlanta, said during an informational session. “The rest of the money will be channeled to the family that raised it.”

The result is a system in which gives selected students a taxpayer-funded education at a private school. Around the country, the Times notes, similar programs have redirected nearly $350 million from public budgets. This “tuition” money may go to the payrolls of the nonprofit scholarship groups or even to recruit star athletes – only a small portion goes to needy kids. Politics pervades the entire process, and it is glaringly evident that tax credit programs are more about making money than educating children:

Some of the programs have also become enmeshed in politics, including in Pennsylvania, where more than 200 organizations distribute more than $40 million a year donated by corporations. Two of the state’s largest scholarship organizations are controlled by lobbyists, and they frequently ask lawmakers to help decide which schools get the money, according to interviews. The arrangement provides a potential opportunity for corporate donors seeking to influence legislators and also gives the lobbying firms access to both lawmakers and potential new clients.

Organizations such as ALEC have been instrumental in spreading such programs around the country:

“ALEC is a huge player in pushing forward a conservative agenda based on the premise that the free market and private sectors address social problems better than the government,” said Julie Underwood, dean of the school of education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who has been critical of ALEC’s education agenda.

ALEC promotes a “Family Education Tax Credit Program” similar to the program adopted in Georgia. The organization promotes a number of other methods of transferring public education dollars to private hands. In addition to numerous voucher and scholarship programs, ALEC promotes its “Education Accountability Act,” which allows a state to override the elected school board and declare schools to be “educationally bankrupt” and divert funds to private schools. Perhaps the boldest plan is the “Virtual Public Schools Act,” which permits online education companies to receive the same per-pupil funding as a brick-and mortar school providing classrooms, athletic facilities, lunch and transportation services.

Politics also makes its way into the classroom. Because the tax credit system allows the money to stay in private accounts – from donors to scholarship funds to schools – the effect is a loophole that creates a legal fiction that they are not being supported with government funds. So state governments are funneling taxpayer money to religious education and political indoctrination of children, insulated from court review. Republican Arizona Representative Trent Franks, who is credited with the idea to insulate private schools from court challenges for constitutional violations this way, bragged that the teachers’ union called the scheme “fiendishly clever.” As a result, the public is forced to foot the bill for a curriculum that would be unacceptable for a public school:

Frances Paterson, a professor at Valdosta State University in Georgia who has studied the books, said they “frequently resemble partisan, political literature more than they do the traditional textbooks used in public schools.”

Mr. Arnold, the headmaster of the Covenant Christian Academy in Cumming, Ga., confirmed that his school used those texts but said they were part of a larger curriculum.

“You have to keep in mind that the curriculum goes beyond the textbook,” Mr. Arnold said. “Not only do we teach the students that creation is the way the world was created and that God is in control and he made all things, we also teach them what the false theories of the world are, such as the Big Bang theory and Darwinism. We teach those as fallacies.”

ALEC, corporate lobbyists and conservative activists are pulling the rug out from beneath American kids and communities. Tax credit programs, vouchers and other “scholarships” are being used to promote profits and politics above education. All children deserve access to a quality education – instead of taking money out of public schools, we should make sure they work for everyone.

PFAW Foundation

PFAW Calls on WI Legislators, Governor to Return Funds Tied to ALEC

Today, People For the American Way called on Governor Scott Walker, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and ALEC-member state legislators to return campaign contributions from ALEC-member corporations and renounce the organization’s extreme agenda.

“The ALEC agenda ignores the needs of everyday people,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “Policies that hurt working families, weaken public education and suppress citizens’ right to vote are not priorities for Wisconsinites. The fact that so many ALEC model bills are becoming law shows just how much influence corporations and special interests have over our legislators. It’s no wonder the public feels that their government has been hijacked.”

In Wisconsin, elected officials have taken more than a half million dollars in campaign contributions from corporations and individuals affiliated with ALEC. Records indicate that Governor Scott Walker, an ALEC alum, received $406,000 from 2008-2012. State legislators have also received a collective $276,000, as well the opportunity to attend corporate-funded conferences with their spouses and children in exotic locations. All four of the state legislators currently facing recall elections have received significant ALEC-connected funding: Senate President Scott Fitzgerald, Sen. Van Wangaard, Sen. Terry Moulton and Assembly Leader Jeff Fitzgerald have taken $14,870, $12,925, $9,475 and $21,424 respectively over the past three election cycles.

“Governor Walker and his allies have taken serious money from ALEC corporations. If they want to do right by their constituents, they should give it back,” continued Keegan. “Wisconsinites recognize that corporations shouldn’t be calling the shots in Madison. Elected officials should stop bankrolling their campaigns with funds tied to an organization that puts corporate profits above the people’s needs. The people deserve a government that isn’t beholden to special interests.”

An investigation by the Center for Media and Democracy released last week has revealed the pervasive extent of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s influence over Wisconsin Lawmakers.

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ALEC Tries to Hamstring Attorneys General

A major component of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s agenda is shielding corporations from liability by removing consumer protections and limiting the people’s ability to seek justice in a court of law. At their meeting last week in Charlotte, N.C., ALEC’s Civil Justice Task Force considered legislation that would hamstring some of the mosteffective consumer advocates: state attorneys general.

Common Cause recently released some 4,000 of ALEC’s internal documents, including task force agendas, participants and model legislation. The documents revealed ALEC’s “Attorney General Authority Act” under consideration at the task force meeting, which seeks to limit state AGs from bringing suits against corporations. ALEC’s explanation of the bill reads in part:

Just as a private attorney cannot bring a suit on behalf of a client without the client agreeing and authorizing such action, and then only within the guidelines allowed by the client, so it should be with the attorney general. Rather than an attorney general deciding on his or her own what authority the office may have to bring a lawsuit, the authority should be defined by the state as reflected by the specific decisions of the legislature via statute. The legislature, not the attorney general, is best positioned to balance the competing concerns that go into the decision of whether to allow a cause of action and under what circumstances.

Put simply: this act would prohibit the attorney general from bringing a suit in the public’s interest unless the state legislature specifically authorizes it.

As the Minnesota Post astutely points out, a legislature that enacts such a provision to protect corporations is unlikely to subsequently grant the attorney general the authority to prosecute them. The consequences are significant: "This legislation would have prevented [an attorney general] from suing tobacco manufacturers in the ‘90s for tobacco-related health costs associated with the Medicaid program,” said Mike Dean, head of Common Cause of Minnesota. “It is easy to see why corporations would want to stop these types of lawsuits because tobacco manufacturer were forced to pay $6.1 billion in a settlement to the state of Minnesota."

This law doesn't just help ALEC-member corporations, it helps ALEC. After recently filing a whistleblower complaint with the IRS alleging that ALEC abused its tax-exempt status by failing to report lobbying activities, Common Cause is calling on state attorney generals to investigate ALEC for tax fraud in all 50 states. What better way to derail investigations into ALEC than by advocating for legislation that removes the attorney general’s ability to investigate ALEC?

PFAW Foundation
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