Fighting the Right

Fischer: Obama is Turning America into Sodom and Gomorrah

After spending most of a segment talking about how President Obama is a Muslim on his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer decided to take some calls from his listening audience.  The first caller Fischer talked to was "Michael from Texas" who asserted that President Obama was "determined to make ours a nation of homosexuals, so I can only say welcome to the United States of Sodom and Gomorrah."

Not surprisingly, Fischer readily agreed and warned that when males entered Sodom and Gomorrah, "they were in danger of being attacked, assaulted, and gang raped." Fischer then said it was especially dangerous when a leader like the President supports homosexuality, which Fischer called "immoral, unnatural, [and] unhealthy" and vowed to oppose "'til I draw my last breath":

Parshall Blames Satan for Legislation Limiting Ex-Gay Reparative Therapy

‘Ex-gay’ activist Joe Dallas yesterday appeared on Janet Parshall’s talk show In The Market where he spoke out against a bill making its way through the California state legislature curtailing the discredited and harmful practice of reparative therapy, specifically towards children. While responding to a question from a caller, Dallas predicted that a “revival” will occur within the gay community when they realize they are on a “quenchless quest for a very elusive peace” as they will always be unhappy because they are gay, not because of anti-gay stigma and bias, which he called a “scapegoat for unhappiness.”

Parshall said that Satan, or the Father of Lies, is responsible for the legislation, and Dallas warned that “the silencing and the restricting of any group or individual who opposes the normalization of homosexuality” is the “last item” of business for gay rights advocates:

Parshall: It reminds us that this really is spiritual warfare, it may look like a bit of legislation but in the end it’s really the old Deceiver rattling his tail saying, ‘Has God said.’ If you tell somebody they can’t change then we are being reminded by the Father of all Lies that God is not telling us the truth. So it passes out of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week on a vote of 3-1 and it now goes to the Senate floor, and as I understand the legislation it would restrict therapists from providing sexual orientation change counseling, even if a patient seeking such help requests it, it would be illegal to counsel that way. Aside from the obvious, that there seems to be a war on truth, was there a catalyst that spurned the introduction of this legislation?

Dallas: To my knowledge there hasn’t been a specific recent event that served as a catalyst for this but this has been brewing for at least twenty years or longer.



Dallas: I have often said and I’ll say it again, same-sex marriage is not the last item on the agenda here. The last item I fully believe is the silencing and the restricting of any group or individual who opposes the normalization of homosexuality.

Religious Right Filmmaker Urges Parents to Take Children out of 'Godless and Pagan' Public Schools

Yesterday, Phyllis Schlafly hosted E. Ray Moore on Eagle Forum Live to discuss the Christian Reconstructionist film, “IndoctriNation,” about the supposedly destructive nature of the public school system. Moore called public schools the “main culprit” on why young adults leave the church, likening it to “playing Russian Roulette with your children’s souls.” Throughout the show he said parents are mandated by the Bible to homeschool their children to place them in Christian schools, saying that while public schools are “godless and pagan by precept and design,” there should be “God in the math class and in the science class as much as in the Bible class.”

Moore: We have so much research showing that Christian children who stay in these government schools through their career, 80% of them of what we would call evangelical Christians are adopting a secular humanist or Marxist/Socialist worldview. We also know that we’re having terrible attrition in the Christian family when children get to be college age, 70-80% of them are dropping out of the church and just abandoning the Christian faith, and we believe that the main culprit for that also is the fact that so many Christians have left their children in these public schools.

Schlafly: Well we’re told that the public schools are trying to be religiously neutral, do you think that’s true?

Moore: No they’re not religiously neutral, they’re godless and pagan by precept and design. That’s another myth that we have to deal with that somehow math and science are religiously neutral, no, we want God in the math class and in the science class as much as in the Bible class.



Moore: Our own research shows 17-20% of Christian children seemed to have survived the experience.

Schlafly: Those aren’t very good odds.

Moore: It’s playing Russian Roulette with your children’s souls is what you’re doing.

Barton Presents Legend as Fact at Capitol Prayer Event

As we noted in our earlier post about the prayer event recently held in Statuary Hall at the US Capitol, the event was called "Washington: A Man of Prayer" and was organized around honoring the 223rd anniversary of George Washington's inauguration.

As such, it was totally expected that David Barton would be there to present his patented brand of pseudo-history, which he did when he trotted out his favorite myth about Washington as captured in this famous painting that Barton used for the cover of one of his books:

As Barton relates the tale, a British loyalist named Issac Potts owned a home near where Washington was camped at Valley Forge and one day stumbled upon Washington alone in the woods making supplication to God on behalf of his army and the American cause, causing Potts to rush home and declare to his wife that the British cause was lost since God would most assuredly answer the prayers of any man who prayed with such conviction:

You will surely be shocked to learn that, contrary to Barton's assertion, this apocryphal incident never actually happened, as History Professor John Fea explained in his book "Was America Founded As a Christian Nation?:

There is one major problem with Potts's story of Washington praying at Valley Forge - it probably did not happen. While it is likely that Washington prayed while he was with the army at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-1778, it is unlikely that the story reported by Potts, memorialized in paintings and read to millions of schoolchildren, is anything more than legend. It was first told in the seventeenth edition (1816) of Mason Lock Weem's Life of Washington. Weems claimed to have heard it directly from Potts, his "good old FRIEND." Potts may have owned the house where Washington stayed at Valley Forge, but his aunt Deborah Potts Hewes was living there alone at the time. Indeed, Potts was probably not even residing in Valley Forge during the encampment. And he was definitely not married.  It would be another twenty-five years before he wed Sarah, making a conversation with her in the wake of the supposed Washington prayer impossible. Another version of the story, which appeared in the diary of Reverend Nathaniel Randolph Snowden, claims that it was John Potts, Issac's brother, who heard Washington praying. These discrepancies, coupled with the fact that Weems was known for writing stories about Washington based upon scanty evidence, have led historians to discredit it.

As we have said before, just because something might be demonstrably untrue, that is not going to stop Barton from repeating it.

Mitt Romney in 2006 Blasted Same-Sex Marriage as a 'Blow to the Foundation of Civilization'

Prior to launching his first run for president, Mitt Romney in 2006 addressed an event called “Liberty Sunday” at Boston’s Tremont Temple Baptist Church where he spoke alongside anti-gay activists and attacked marriage equality as harmful to children and civilization itself.

Watch:

Warning against the “homosexual agenda,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins introduced Mitt and Ann Romney and lauded the former Massachusetts governor for understanding “the threat that this imposes to our nation.”

Romney condemned people, especially activist judges, whom he accused of “trying to establish one religion, the religion of secularism” and “reject traditional values” and “reject the values of our Founders.”

“Here in Massachusetts, activist judges struck a blow to the foundation of civilization—the family—they ruled that our constitution requires people of the same gender to marry,” Romney said. “The principal burden of this court’s ruling doesn’t fall on adults, it falls on children.” He continued, “The price of same-sex marriage is paid by the children, our fight for marriage then should focus then on the needs of children, not the rights of adults.”

Romney called for the adoption of a Federal Marriage Amendment to block the “spreading secular religion and its substitute values” that he said “weaken the foundation of the family” and dishonor the Founders.

Other speakers included Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, American Family Association president Don Wildmon, and preacher Wellington Boone, who reminisced about the time when sodomy was a capital offense in America, joked about “sodomite island,” and said the push for LGBT rights represents the “rape of the civil rights movement.”

Prayer in the Capitol: 'The American Economy, Politics, and Culture are Dying Because of Sin'

Earlier this month, Brian noted that Rep. Louie Gohmert would be hosting a prayer event in Statuary Hall at the US Capitol called "Washington: A Man of Prayer."  The event, which took place on May 8, was dedicated to honoring the 223rd anniversary of George Washington's inauguration and it was filmed by Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, which posted the entire thing on YouTube.

The two hour event featured lots of singing as well as remarks delivered by the likes of Gohmert, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, David Barton of WallBuilders, and Bishop Harry Jackson. 

One of the main speaker was Dan Cummins of a group called Come Pray With Me, who delivered an address declaring that "Democracy's plow" must by always guided by two hands: those of the politicians and those of the preachers.  Cummins warned that when preachers remove their hands from that plow, they are "giving opportunity for the fallows of socialism" to corrupt the nation.  Preachers and politicians are to work together, Cummins preached, to maintain "the balance between church and state, not the separation of church and state" as he warned that "sin is separating America from the blessings of God" and that  "the American economy, politics, and culture are dying because of sin."  The solution, of course, is to get "Christ in the economy, Christ in Congress, [and] Christ in the culture":

Cummins was supposed to have been followed by Alveda King, but she was unable to attend and so her remarks were read by Vivian Berryhill.  King's remarks, not surprisingly, focused entirely on "the national sin of abortion," comparing abortion providers and activsts to Judas and accusing them of "leading sheep to the slaughter," and calling upon God to end abortion in America just as He ended slavery:

Finally, Jim Garlow echoed the remarks delivered by Cummins, calling on pastors to stop talking about Right vs Left and start talking about right vs wrong, saying that if hundreds of thousands of preachers were willing to stand up and speak out, there would be no national debt, abortion, or gay marriage:

Virginia Rejects Openly Gay Judicial Nominee After Campaign By Far-Right Activists

Virginia’s House of Delegates yesterday rejected the nomination of a state prosecutor to serve as a judge – just because he is openly gay.

Tracy Thorne-Begland, a Navy veteran who has been a prosecutor in Richmond for 12 years, enjoyed bipartisan support in the House of Delegates until, at the last minute, he came under attack from far-right Delegate Bob Marshall and the right-wing Family Foundation. The Richmond Times Dispatch reports:

A late-hour lobbying offensive by social conservatives prevailed in the House of Delegates early Tuesday to torpedo bipartisan support for the judicial nomination of an openly gay Richmond prosecutor.

After a lengthy discussion, the GOP-controlled House of Delegates defeated the nomination of Tracy Thorne-Begland, Richmond's chief deputy commonwealth's attorney. He would have been the first openly gay judge elected in Virginia.

Thorne-Begland received 33 votes, and 31 delegates voted against him. He needed a majority of the 100-member House -- 51 votes -- to secure the judgeship.

….

In an email blast to supporters late last week, the Christian conservative Family Foundation questioned Thorne-Begland's fitness for the bench given his support for gay marriage, which is not legal in Virginia. Thorne-Begland and his partner, Michael, live together and are raising twins.

Marshall, too had charged that Thorne-Begland pursued an "aggressive activist homosexual agenda.

Opponents of gay rights, in their effort to keep LGBT people out of the public square, have in the past few years gone after several openly gay judges and judicial nominees. Supporters of California’s discriminatory Prop 8 tried to get a federal judge’s ruling against them thrown out because the judge is openly gay. Another judge issued an epic takedown of their argument.

A number of Republican delegates in Virginia, as well as the state’s socially conservative governor Bob McDonnell backed Thorne-Begland’s nomination until Del. Marshall began his onslaught.

Del. Marshall is the one who claimed in 2010 that disabled children are God's punishment for abortion. On Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – a policy that Thorne-Begland worked to end after his distinguished career in the Navy – Marshall said openly gay troops would distract their fellow servicemembers: "It's a distraction when I'm on the battlefield and have to concentrate on the enemy 600 yards away and I'm worried about this guy whose got eyes on me." Once Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed, Del Marshall tried to get gay Virginians banned from the state’s National Guard.

Marshall later told the Washington Post that he objected to Thorne-Begland’s brave coming out in protest of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:

I would guess — law of averages — we’ve probably nominated people who have homosexual inclinations,” Marshall said. Marshall faulted Thorne-Begland for coming out as a gay Naval officer on “Nightline” two decades ago to challenge the military’s now-repealed ban on gays openly serving in the military. He said that amounted not just to insubordination, but to a waste of taxpayer dollars, since it resulted in his dismissal from the Navy. “The Navy spent $1 million training him,” Marshall said. “That’s cheating the country out of the investment in him.”

In the end, it was Del. Marshall’s arguments that won out in the effort to halt the career of a dedicated Virginia public servant.

PFAW

Robertson: Gay Relationships Lead to 'Disease and Suffering'

Following a segment about President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality, Pat Robertson on the 700 Club today said “the union of two men doesn’t bring forth anything except disease and suffering, and the same thing with the union of two women.” Robertson attacked Obama for allegedly making the marriage issue a “political football” and acting as a “shameless panderer to special interests,” lamenting that the presidential campaign “is enough to make you sick at your stomach.”

Watch:

AFA Host Warns Obama's Marriage Equality Endorsement 'Will Contribute to the Damnation of So Many Souls'

American Family Association radio host Alex McFarland said that President Obama’s support for marriage equality has put America under “the judgment of God” and “will contribute to the damnation of so many souls,” especially “impressionable young people” and “his own daughters.” McFarland went on to doubt Obama’s Christian faith and called for leaders to “bow before the scriptures of God rather than the icons of Hollywood like George Clooney.”

Watch:

McFarland: In further legitimizing in the minds of millions of people, especially impressionable young people, especially his own daughters, our president’s position this week will contribute to the damnation of so many souls. Mr. President if you could hear this, you need to repent and for one thing let Jesus Christ become the Lord of your life because quite obviously right now he isn’t. Let God’s word guide your positions and you thought because right now it’s quite obvious it isn’t. Repent of leading the people of America astray and may the good Lord help you to lead in a more righteous way going forward. I love our president, I pray for our president, I wish him God’s blessings but I can tell you individually and nationally the judgment of God will be on us if we continue to thumb our nose at his truth and to wonder from it, may God give us leaders who are humble enough to bow before the scriptures of God rather than the icons of Hollywood like George Clooney.

Republican Congressional Candidate Warns of Sharia in Texas and the 'Islamization of America'

Itamar Gelbman is a Republican congressional candidate who has attracted attention for his mailing where he pledged to “Stop Islamization of America,” which won him wild praise from anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller and scorn from one local Republican precinct chair Jamal Qaddura, who said, “I would like to ask him, how do you plan to stop the ‘Islamization of America’ and show me where the ‘Islamization of America’ is?”

Gelbman hasn’t provided a clarification, but he did post a video of his long form birth certificate, and he told Janet Mefferd last week that he sees the “Islamization of America” in the fact that Muslims live in the state and are building mosques! He even claimed that Texas was the “first state ever to have a Sharia law approved court,” although didn’t say what this court is called or who approved it. George Bush? Rick Perry? Maybe Gelbman is referring to Frankford, Texas, the town Sharron Angle claimed was run by Sharia law even though the town is actually just a church and a cemetery and was annexed by Dallas in 1975.

Gelbman: In Texas it’s very, very unique because Texas has the biggest Islamic community and people feel it. You feel the influation [sic] of the Islamic community here in the state and people are worried about it. If you look and you see mosques are standing up, are building up on a weekly basis or a monthly basis, you have Sharia law approved court right now in Texas, it’s the first state ever to have a Sharia law approved court, so people here are very, very concerned about it.

Paul Cameron Suggests Obama is Gay and Demands Gays be Imprisoned before they Rape Kids

Paul Cameron of the Family Research Institute is an “expert” cited by groups like the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and the American Family Association, among others in the Religious Right. While his claims have been consistently discredited, Cameron is still a favorite of opponents of gay rights and appeared last week on Crosstalk with Jim Schneider of VCY America (Voice of Christian Youth).

Cameron suggested that President Obama, who recently announced his support for marriage equality, might be gay. He later maintained that “the long term goal of the homosexual movement is to get every little boy to grab his ankles and every little girl to give it a try,” warning that children might be “forced to at least once experience homosexual acts.”

Listen:

Well, the timing is I think miserable for his reelection. I would have expected him, as you did, to wait until he was the new president and say, “Guess what? I’ve changed my mind,” or, “I’ve evolved.” But homosexuality is the one sin, or the one habit, that is 24/7. It is homosexuality all the time. And actually, while I’m not sure about the claims by the various people who have reported that Obama has at least participated at times with them in homosexual acts, this certainly lends some credence.



Mark my words clearly; the long term goal of the homosexual movement is to get every little boy to grab his ankles and every little girl to give it a try. They will not rest until every one of our children at least gets to try, has the opportunity and maybe is forced to at least once experience homosexual acts. There is no retreating from that, they made it very clear earlier on—now they don’t take about it—but that’s what they want, they will not be happy until they get it, marriage is just a step along the way.

Cameron later said he “partially agreed” with a caller who said, “they gave blacks equal rights and that was a bad path and now look where we are, if I don’t feel like I want to hire a black man for my business I’m in all sorts of trouble and now it’s going to be some homo who is gonna have to get a job because I can’t do nothing about it.” Cameron claimed the push for LGBT equality “brings into question the civil rights mentality” because it created “special rights on the basis of certain characteristics,” calling gays and lesbians “mentally deranged” and transgender people “people that are really strange.” He went on to compare gays and lesbians to people who have a sexual attraction to “dirty socks” and said “we’re headed to a place where the weirder the people, the more rights they will obtain and the more normal the fewer rights you will have”:

Cameron told Schneider that “we almost need a second American Revolution” to defeat legislation like a bill in California that would limit ex-gay “reparative therapy,” which he warned would make the state take kids away from their parents:

But he went on to say that such “reparative therapy” does not work and instead advocated that homosexuality be made “illegal” in order “to protect our children”:

Cameron: Part of the problem with the Christian Church in the United States today is that’s it’s be psychiatricized or psychologilized [sic], we seem to think that it’s our job to be counselors or do something to help people change. The fact is that the Christian Church for 2000 years tried to and eventually got homosexuality to be made illegal, when you make it illegal a lot of people don’t get into it because it’s illegal, when you make it illegal a lot of people get out of it because it’s illegal, when you say ‘we don’t want to be unkind’—Hey, we have to protect our children! We have to have a future!

The Christian Church until just recently, just the last few years of time, said we must prevent homosexuality from corrupting our society, corrupting our kids, and so that’s the area where I think we ought to go. If you stake your efforts on trying to convert people who are into drinking heavily or drugging heavily or homosexuality you are going to fail by far most of the time. Some of them will come over but there is no known technique to take someone who is in a besetting sin like this and free them.

Schneider: But for the power of God.

Cameron: Yes but the Christian Church for almost 2000 years said we will protect the rest of society from these miscreants and we will be kind to those who come to us individually and say ‘help me blah blah blah’ and that’s fine. I hear Christian spokespersons saying things like ‘we must be kind to the homosexuals because we must get them to come to church and listen to us and maybe they’ll convert,’ good luck! Sometimes that happens but you’re really running a very bad bet and you’re going way outside of mainstream Christian history.

Garlow: Opposing Gay Marriage May Cost Us Our Lives

Last week, Jim Garlow was on Daystar TV's "Celebration" program to promote his recent book "Miracles Are For Real," but before the discussion about his book began, Garlow and hosts Marcus and Joni Lamb spent several minutes talking about President Obama's statement last week in support of marriage equality.

Garlow weighed in, declaring that religious liberty and "the radical homosexual agenda" were on course for a head-on collision in America because "they cannot both exist in the same nation at the same time." As such, Garlow warned that advances in marriage equality will eventually force the Christian church underground because the gay agenda is all about "coercion, and crushing, and taking away our liberties and freedoms." But nonetheless, Garlow said, Christians must be willing to stand up and speak out in opposition even though "we are coming into an era where it could cost us everything, including our lives": 

Anti-Gay Activists Slam Obama for 'Doing the Devil's Work' on Marriage Equality

The outcry from the Religious Right over President Obama’s endorsement of legalizing same-sex marriage continues, with the American Civil Rights Union’s Robert Knight attackig Obama for trying “to invoke Christ when doing the devil’s work” and creating “the sinews of tyranny”:

After having done everything in his power to undermine marriage, President Obama has come out of the closet, so to speak, with his announcement that he’s now for brideless or groomless “marriage.” But he didn’t come out alone. He brought Jesus with him, citing Christ as his inspiration for directly attacking God’s moral order. It’s one thing to be a hypocrite, which Mr. Obama has been for years. Since he began pretending to oppose the redefinition of marriage but refusing to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act while homosexualizing the military. It’s quite another thing, however, to invoke Christ when doing the devil’s work.

Forget the voters. Mr. Obama’s going to have to answer to God for this one. Wednesday’s announcement even might sober up the people who voted for Mr. Obama simply to show that America has overcome racial division. Someone should survey pastors who support Mr. Obama and ask: Which is more important - electing a man on the basis of race or upholding the integrity of the faith and what the Scriptures say about marriage? Citing Genesis 2:24, Jesus said in Matthew 19:5: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

This actually is about much more than marriage. It’s about truth. Mr. Obama is asking us to put into law a requirement for us to recognize as a marriage something that is not a marriage. When you do that, you create the sinews of tyranny, which stretch out to strangle freedom of speech, freedom of association and, eventually, freedom of religion. The virtue of tolerance is strangled, too, morphing into the vice of mandatory celebration.

With this wicked move, Mr. Obama is insisting that we bow down and worship the false idol of sexual anarchy. That’s what his wealthy supporters in Hollywood demand. On Thursday, they ponied up a reported $15 million to his campaign at George Clooney’s pool party. When you accord more respect to liberal film stars and gay billionaires than you do to the Creator of the universe, you’re not leaving much doubt about what you really worship.

Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries said that Obama’s announcement is “another nail in the coffin of the American Family”:

With this statement, America’s self-proclaimed Christian leader has professed a clearly non-biblical belief that further weakens the moral fiber of our nation. “This could be another nail in the coffin of the American Family, if we don’t stand up now” says Jerry Newcombe, spokesman for Truth in Action Ministries. “Same sex marriage is wrong on many fronts—especially by codifying immorality into law. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the president’s position is to put the government’s sanction on something God has clearly revealed to be sin. Thankfully thousands of homosexuals have been freed from their sin through the power of Christ and continue to be freed every day.”

Christians in America must speak the truth on this issue— before it’s too late. Please help us make a difference. We, as God’s people, must speak out against anything that contradicts His Word — including the radical homosexual agenda. We must oppose it now — or apologize, in the years to come, to the children and grandchildren whom we have left to be its victims.

Ken Hutcherson reaffirmed his pledge to the Christian Post to “take back” the word “gay”:

"The most important thing is that there is no way in the world that I would vote for, regardless who it is, regardless how white they are, regardless how black they are, there is just no way I am ever going to vote for someone who believes in same-sex marriage and abortion," Hutcherson said in an interview with The Christian Post on Thursday.



"God hates the killing of innocent life, and God hates divorce, and God hates the whole effeminate aspect of man going after man or woman going after woman. You can't get around that – it's in the Bible. And what we need to understand as Christians, is that this is America. We stand on our biblical views regardless," he noted.



"We have given up so much territory; we are confused about how to take things back. Just like the word 'gay.' I am not homosexual, but I am gay – I am happy. And we've lost that word – we've given it up. We need to take back the rainbow, and we need to take back the word of God," the pastor concluded.

The Fischer Defense: 'I am not Anti-Mormon, I am Anti-Mormonism'

Bryan Fischer has a long history of criticizing Mormonism, saying that it is not protected by the First Amendment and warning that electing a "spiritually-compromised candidate" like Mitt Romney will weaken the nation and threatens its spiritual health.

But on his radio program on Friday, Fischer took a moment to make clear that he doesn't hate Mormons ... he just hates Mormonism:

Now I want to say this again, I am not anti-Mormon. I am anti-Mormonism because I think it's error, but I am pro-Mormon. I am for Mormons, I want to see them come to a full understanding of the truth. I bear them no ill will, I bear them no malice, I love them, I want them to come into the full light of the truth.

We should probably point out that this is the exact same defense that Fischer uses to justify his attacks on gays and Muslims:

Obviously Mormons must be greatly relieved to learn that Fischer is not anti-Mormon but merely anti-Mormonism ... just like he is not anti-gay but merely anti-homosexuality and not anti-Muslim but rather anti-Islam. 

Especially since Fischer "loves" gays so much that holds the responsible for the Holocaust, likened them to domestic terrorists and Nazis who are intent on committing “ virtual genocide” against the military, asserts that "homosexuals should be disqualified from public office" and called for the re-criminalization of homosexuality

And he "loves" Muslims so much that he has stated they have no First Amendment rights, that they should be banned from serving in the military as well as from building mosques in the U.S., and that they are inherently stupid as a result of inbreeding.

People For the American Way Launches Effort to Recall the Right in Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin – People For the American Way will kick off its effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four state senators tomorrow at the We Are Wisconsin Solidarity and General Election Kick-off Event, Saturday, May 12, Noon to 1PM, at the South Central Wisconsin Labor Temple,1602 S Park St. Madison, and at We Are Wisconsin field offices statewide.

Last year, People For the American Way (PFAW) mobilized supporters in Wisconsin and across the nation in the successful effort to recall two state senators who had supported Gov. Walker’s radical anti-worker agenda. This year, leading up to June’s recall elections, PFAW will continue to mobilize its broad base of activists in Wisconsin and educate voters about the attacks on working families by the governor, the lieutenant governor and several state senators.

“Gov. Walker and his allies have gone all-in for their corporate supporters, while leaving the middle class out to dry,” said Scott Foval, People For the American Way’s Wisconsin Coordinator. “They have attacked reproductive freedom; obliterated equal pay protections for women, veterans, seniors and disabled workers; waged an assault on workers and middle class families; and have even tried to prevent same-sex couples from visiting their partners in the hospital. A victory against Gov. Walker’s dangerous agenda will send a strong message to the Tea Party that its upside-down values aren’t working for the American people.”

“The Koch brothers and other corporate special interests are greasing the wheels in support of Walker with enormous sums of cash,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “We are proud to be part of a progressive community that is pushing back aggressively against these forces and fighting for the working people of Wisconsin.”

 

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Welcome to Liberty University, Now Gives Us Your Blood and Urine Sample

[This is part of a series of posts on Liberty University's student handbook, “The Liberty Way,” which governs what students can say, do, read, and watch – both on and off campus – and sets out a regimen of reprimands and fines for violators

Tests are a big part of college life. That much is true. But at Liberty University, all students since 1988 have been subject to “mandatory random drug testing.”
 
Attendance at Liberty is a “privilege,” as the administration likes to say, and all students must consent to “the clinically supervised furnishing of urine or blood samples at a time and place determined by the University for the purpose of laboratory analysis.” Students are also required to waive all claims, legal or otherwise, arising from the drug testing program.
 
Liberty reserves the right to test any student using any means for any reason and punish students as it sees fit. To be sure, drug abuse is a problem on American campuses, but leave it to Liberty to impose a draconian and incredibly intrusive drug policy that hands administrators the power to arbitrarily test students.
 
Here’s the relevant section of the Liberty Way:
Mandatory Drug Testing Program
In the Fall semester of 1988, the University instituted an on-going program of mandatory random drug testing for students. The purpose of this program is to detect the use of illegal drugs and administer disciplinary action against those students and employees whose way of life is incompatible with the University community and whose example and conduct may be a detriment to the lives of other students and employees. To that extent, Liberty University is committed to using every lawful means at its disposal to preserve the purposes upon which it was founded and continues to exist.
 
Attendance is a privilege. As a private educational institution, Liberty University is free to control the admission and attendance of students. In consideration for the benefit of attending a University where a diligent effort shall be made to detect and remove those involved with illegal drugs, a student hereby agrees to the following:
  • To cooperate fully with Liberty University's drug testing program, including the clinically supervised furnishing of urine or blood samples at a time and place determined by the University for the purpose of laboratory analysis.
  • To participate in this drug-testing program, which permits the University to test any student, irrespective of the method by which, that student was selected. Student selection will be accomplished both on a random basis and on the basis of suspected use and/or drug possession as defined in the drug testing procedure manual.
  • That failure to cooperate with the University's drug testing program will result in disciplinary action against a student, including the possibility of administrative withdrawal from the University.
  • That failure to achieve a negative drug test (i.e., the absence of illegal drugs) will result in disciplinary action against a student, including the possibility of administrative withdrawal from the University. In assessing disciplinary action, the University shall have discretion to impose a wide range of sanctions other than administrative withdrawal, including but not limited to, drug counseling and periodic drug testing. […]
  • To waive all claims one might have against Liberty University or its employees as to any threatened or actual damage to reputation, privacy, mental/emotional condition resulting from the administration of the drug tests, the processing of the drug tests or the enforcement of the University's disciplinary or academic penalties.
  • To waive all legal claims of any nature, such as those claims one might have against Liberty University or its employees, arising out of drug testing.
  • To consent to the drug-testing program of Liberty University is a part of the overall contract between the student and Liberty University. Any attempt to alter, amend or avoid this agreement may result in disciplinary action, including the possibility of administrative withdrawal from the University.
  • To agree that any disciplinary action against a student could also involve academic penalties, including the possibility of loss of credit from work completed during the semester in which the disciplinary action is taken. […]

 

The Religious Right Nanny State, on View at Liberty University

[This is part of a series of posts on Liberty University's student handbook, “The Liberty Way,” which governs what students can say, do, read, and watch – both on and off campus – and sets out a regimen of reprimands and fines for violators

The Right Wing loves to talk about how liberals supposedly want government to interfere with every aspect of Americans’ lives. That’s why it’s amusing, but not surprising, that Jerry Falwell has seemingly created a university that interferes with literally every aspects of its students’ lives.
 
Students from Arizona – the “show me your ID” state – will feel right at home. Liberty requires that all students carry their ID cards at all times and produce them upon request:
Identification Cards
When new students/faculty/staff arrive at Liberty University, they are photographed and sent a LibertyOne Card. […]
 
The LibertyOne Card must be carried at all times and produced when requested by University personnel. This should be done in a timely and courteous manner. LibertyOne Card holders are subject to disciplinary action for the misuse of any identification card.
A typical college doesn’t track your whereabouts or punish you for not making your bed. Liberty is different:
Students desiring to leave earlier than the scheduled breaks must obtain written permission.
 
Out of the Residence Hall Overnight
Any time a resident student plans to be out of the residence hall overnight, it is imperative that he/she sign out on the overnight sign-out sheet.
 
Room Checks
Residence hall rooms are to be kept neat and clean at all times. The following will be checked on a regular basis:
  • Bed must be made
  • Carpet must be vacuumed
  • Trash must be emptied
  • Sink and mirror must be clean
  • Dresser tops and other stands dusted and in order
  • All personal belongings organized and in place
Students living off campus are not only expected to follow the same rigid guidelines, but they could also be subject to spot checks from Liberty personnel:
Liberty University expects its commuters to live above reproach in their private residences, as well as in the local community. In matters such as prompt payment of debt and relations with the community as a whole, the University exhorts that commuters, single and married, maintain exemplary conduct. […] (University personnel may periodically visit the private residence of off campus students to assist in resolving off campus problems and to ensure compliance to University regulations.)
The Liberty Way is always in effect. You can’t get away from it – not even on summer break:
Liberty University regulations and policies are in effect at all times, including semester breaks and summer.
 
Vacation/Breaks
All students are expected to uphold the standards set by the University whether on or off campus. This includes weekends, all fall, spring, summer, and Christmas breaks. Any behavior considered a dismissal offense, as stated in The Liberty Way handbook, which occurs during these times, may jeopardize a person's status as a student.
Liberty also wants to be involved in your personal life and work life. They will prevent you from working for any entity that violates the policies and principles of the school and really think you should get your parents’ permission before you get married. And if you do get married, you can forget about living on campus:
Marriage
Students under the age of 21 are encouraged to obtain permission from parents before getting married. Premarital counseling is available and may be arranged by contacting any Student Development office or the Spiritual Life Office. Married students are not permitted to live in the residence halls.
 
Student Employment
In maintaining a reputation in the marketplace consistent with the philosophy of Liberty University, employment will not be permitted where a student (as a major, active part of his/her job) is required to violate the policies and principles of the University. Any questions regarding employment at Liberty University or within the community may be directed to any Student Affairs Dean.
The school also administers “Alco-Sensor” tests and mandatory, random drug tests. Failure to consent to testing is a major violation of the Liberty Way. More on that shortly.
 

 

Staver: 'Personhood' Efforts Just Like MLK's 'Letter from Birmingham Jail'

On today's episode of Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Mat Staver reacted to a recent Oklahoma Supreme Court decision striking down a proposed "personhood" amendment to the state constitution by comparing the effort to pass such laws to Martin Luther King, Jr's famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail."

Liberty Counsel recently formed a partnership with Personhood USA to essentially serve as the legal arm of the effort to pass laws all over the nation that "declare that human life begins at conception."  The effort to pass such laws has caused rifts in the anti-abortion movement between those pushing the radical measures and other groups that prefer to take a more incremental approach to outlawing abortion, prompting Staver to directly compare the "personhood" movement to King's crusade for civil rights:

But it goes back, somewhat, to Martin Luther King, Jr's. "Letter from the Birmingham Jail." When he was there in the Birmingham Jail and he was protesting certain injustices there in Alabama, some of the ministers said "Dr. King, it's too early to do this, why don't you allow the newly elected mayor and some of those newly elected individuals to have a chance to do what you want them to do?" And he says "you know, that's easy for you to say but we've lived under injustice for 400 years. The time has come to act now."

We've lived under absolute killing of unborn children since 1973. The time to act, I think, as long passed. It's now.

This is yet another example of the trend that Peter pointed out last month of Religious Right leaders "claiming Dr. King’s moral authority as their own, positioning themselves as inheritors of his righteous struggle, and claiming against all evidence and history that he would support their war on Planned Parenthood, their opposition to legal protections for LGBT Americans and their families, their crusades against separation of church and state, and their free market fundamentalism."

Liberty University’s Guide to Female Modesty

[This is part of a series of posts on Liberty University's student handbook, “The Liberty Way,” which governs what students can say, do, read, and watch – both on and off campus – and sets out a regimen of reprimands and fines for violators]
 
Liberty students are “expected to dress modestly at all times,” and the Liberty Way sets out guidelines for both men and women. However, in the long tradition of religious conservatives the world over, most of the focus is on women – and covering up their sinful bodies.
 
This screenshot from the Liberty website circa 2005 shows an example of how female students should dress:
 
The Liberty Way explains that the university “has established a standard of dress for the University community, which is conducive to a Christ-like environment. Cleanliness, neatness, appropriateness and modesty are important as guiding factors.” The women’s dress code includes, among others, the following restrictions and stipulations:
  • “Hair and clothing styles related to counterculture (as determined by the Deans' Review Committee) are not acceptable.”
  • “Swimwear is only appropriate at the swimming pool. Students are to wear appropriate casual or sport attire (as stated in ‘The Liberty Way’) going to and from the pool. Women are required to wear a one-piece suit that is in good taste. Swimsuits that are see-through/mesh, expose the midriff and/or are low in the front or back or cut high on the legs are not acceptable.”
  • “Dresses and skirts should be no shorter than the top of the knee (sitting or standing). Skirt slits should be modest; open slits should be no higher than the top of the knee, closed slits should be no higher than two inches from the top of the knee. Shoulder straps should be no less than two inches wide. Anything tight, scant, backless, see-through, low in the neckline or revealing the midriff (in any position) is immodest and unacceptable.”
  • “Body piercing is not permitted. Earrings and plugs are permitted in ears only.”
  • “Students are expected to dress modestly for the Junior/Senior Banquet & the Minority Student Achievement Awards Banquet, as well as all formal events. Anything tight, scant, backless, see-through, low in the neckline or revealing the midriff is immodest and unacceptable. Slits should be no higher than the top of the knee. Strapless or spaghetti straps are acceptable for this event as long as the above standard is followed”
  • Class Dress: “Dresses, skirts, dress pants, shirts and/or sweaters (no jeans of any color, no overalls, no Capri/cropped pants, no shorts, no sweatshirts, no writing or graphics on shirts except for discreet embroidered logos), dress, casual or tennis shoes (no flip-flops of any style)”

Students are warded that “RA’s, RD’s, Deans and others will enforce dress code and educate all students regarding what is acceptable and what is not.” Back in 2004, and perhaps more recently, the administration made a helpful presentation on female modesty. Here are some highlights:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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