Fighting the Right

Lance Wallnau: God May Have Led Trump To Hire Steve Bannon

Seven Mountains dominionist Lance Wallnau has been one of the most shameless advocates of Donald Trump's presidential candidacy in the Religious Right, repeatedly explaining that God sometimes anoints secular figures like Trump to carry out His will.

As Peter mentioned earlier today, Wallnau penned a defense of Trump for the cover of the most recent issue of the Pentecostal magazine Charisma. In an interview with Charisma’s Steve Strang that Strang posted on his website on Wednesday, Wallnau said that in the interest of getting Trump elected president, God might have contributed to Trump’s decision to hire Steve Bannon to chair his campaign and might even send an “incident” to trip up Hillary Clinton during a debate.

After Trump’s disastrous feud with the Khan family sent his campaign reeling, Trump fired his top campaign staff and brought on pollster Kellyanne Conway and Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon, a promoter of the racist alt-right movement , to run his campaign. According to Wallnau, this was likely because Trump had received a message to pray to God for help turning his campaign around.

After the Khan debacle, Wallnau said, Trump “brought a woman on as his chief of staff and brought a guy on from Breitbart” and then “he came back, and he started coming back and coming back” in the polls.

Wallnau told Strang that “most people don’t know” the backstory behind this transformation, which is that one of Trump’s faith advisers “received a prophetic word” for Trump that “basically said, ‘If you will humble yourself and pray and call upon the name of the Lord, you’ll be the next president of the United States.’” The pastor conveyed this message to Trump via one of his sons, who “personally handed it to his father and told him to read it on the plane.”

“Now, we do not know what Donald Trump did on that plane,” Wallnau said, “but I can almost prophesy, in his state of mind by himself on the plane looking at the problem he had, I believe he closed his eyes, read that, and in his own way humbled himself and asked God for help. Boom! Within 24 hours the campaign pivoted, he made two critical decisions and it’s been competitive ever since.”

As Peter noted, Wallnau also discussed the presidential debates (the first debate had evidently not happened yet when the interview took place), saying that there was “speculation” as to whether Clinton has the “stamina or ability” to handle a 90-minute face-off with Trump and that God might step in to cause Clinton to stumble.

“So if there is something that’s going on that the public doesn’t know about in terms of stamina or ability,” he said, “it’s quite possible in the course of these debates that something will surface that wasn’t expected. So that’s what a lot of people are wondering, is there going to be an unveiling of an incident that’s going to happen that was unanticipated? Because God is really involved with what’s happening right now, and I think if there was ever a time where the chariot wheels of Pharaoh come off, I think now we ought to be praying that God speeds his path for His purposes because America cannot afford another 48 months of the destructive spiral that it’s in right now.”

Roy Moore Suspended For Defying Federal Courts On Marriage Equality

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, famous for having lost his seat on the court in 2003 when he defied a federal order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building, has been sanctioned yet again by the state’s Court of the Judiciary, which ordered today that Moore be suspended without pay for the remainder of his term in office, this time for defying federal court decisions on marriage equality.

Moore was already under temporary suspension until the court heard his case. The court ruled unanimously that the suspension be continued until Moore’s term in office runs out in 2018.

The Court of the Judiciary’s ruling is a brutal smackdown of the attempts by Moore and his attorney, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, to justify the chief justice’s efforts to stop marriage equality from taking effect in his state.

The court’s judges make clear in the ruling that their decision on Moore’s case has nothing to do with their opinions about the Obergefell ruling, which they note “some members of this court did not personally agree with or think was well reasoned.”

However, they reject Moore’s recent attempt to claim that his January order requiring state probate judges to defy Obergefell and refrain from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples was nothing more than a “status update” on the law. In fact, they note that a press release from Staver himself the day the order was issued completely contradicts that claim:

Chief Justice Moore’s arguments that his actions and words mean something other than what they clearly express is not a new strategy. In 2003, this court’s order removing Chief Justice Moore quoted the following testimony from him before the [Judicial Inquiry Commission]:

“I did what I did because I upheld my oath. And that’s what I did, so I have no apologies for it. I would do it again. I didn’t say I would defy the court order. I said I wouldn’t move the monument. And I didn’t move the monument, which you can take as you will.”

Just as Chief Justice Moore’s decision that he “wouldn’t move the monument” was, in fact, defiance of the federal court order binding him, a disinterested reasonable observer, fully informed of all the relevant facts, would conclude that the undeniable consequence of the January 6, 2016, order was to order and direct the probate judges to deny marriage licenses in direct defiance of the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell and the Strawser injunction.

Indeed, to see that the January 6, 2016, order can be reasonably read as requiring defiance of the United States Supreme Court and the district court in Strawser, we need to look no further than a press release issued by Mat Staver—Chief Justice Moore’s own counsel in these proceedings and one of the counsel of record in API—that was issued the same day as the January 6, 2016, order. In that press release, which solely addressed the January 6, 2016 order, Staver asserted:

“In Alabama…state judiciaries…are standing up against the federal judiciary or any one [sic] else who wants to come up with some cockeyed view that somehow the Constitution now births some newfound notion of same-sex marriage.”

Chief Justice Moore’s contention that the only purpose and plausible reading of the January 6, 2016, order is that of a “status update” is entirely unconvincing.

In fact, in a public press release this morning after the ruling came down, Staver claimed again that Moore’s order was “merely a status report"and, ironically, accused the court of throwing “the rule of law out the window.” However, in an email to Liberty Counsel supporters, he declared, “Liberty Counsel upholds 'just' laws—and the moral law of God. In Alabama and across America, in state judiciaries and legislatures, Liberty Counsel's legal team is standing against the federal judiciary, resisting tyrannical rule, and upholding the moral law of God.”

UPDATE: Moore released a statement saying “This was a politically motivated effort by radical homosexual and transgender groups to remove me as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court because of outspoken opposition to their immoral agenda.”

Pentecostal Leaders Pray God Will Knock Clinton’s Chariot Wheels Off To Help ‘Anointed’ Trump

Charisma magazine and its affiliated online Charisma News are part of Steve Strang’s publishing empire, aimed at Pentecostal Christians who see American politics enveloped in constant spiritual warfare between believers and demons. (See, for example, senior editor Jennifer Claire’s “Is Hillary Clinton the Antichrist or an Illuminati Witch?”) Charisma has endorsed Trump and has energetically promoted his candidacy, playing a major role in the  Religious Right push to convince conservative Christians that Trump’s candidacy has a divine anointing.

On Sunday evening, Charisma posted an article calling for “urgent prayer” for Donald Trump for Monday night’s debate. The article said that former Trump adviser Frank Amedia had received a revelation from God and “began making phone calls to drum up support for the Kingdom Wide Prayer Watch.” Among those who got involved were Cindy Jacobs, Rick Joyner, Mario Bramnick, Lance Wallnau and Paula White.

Trump is on the focus of the October issue of Charisma magazine, whose cover story is Lance Wallnau’s tale about how God told him that He is raising up Donald Trump like the biblical King Cyrus. This week Strang posted a two-part podcast interviewing Wallnau about Trump’s “anointing” as a “prophetic” instrument of God’s purposes.

Wallnau said people should pray that God will intervene, perhaps during one of the debates, to unveil a Clinton medical problem or otherwise derail her candidacy:

God is really involved with what’s happening right now. And I think if there was ever a time when the chariot wheels of Pharaoh come off, I think now, we ought to be praying that God speeds his path for His purposes because America cannot afford another 48 months of the destructive spiral that it’s in right now.

Of course, most people would hardly describe Trump’s debate performance as an answer to prayer.

Which brings us to the extent to which Charisma is promoting far-right conspiracy theories. This week Bob Eschliman wrote that Clinton’s much celebrated shimmy after Trump said he had a better temperament to be president was in fact evidence of “medical episode”—Eschliman laughably mischaracterized Clinton’s mocking “whew, OK” as a “Howard Dean yell” and described her shimmy as troubling a “shudder” and “tremors.”

Eschliman is also flacking right-wing conspiracy theories that Clinton “cheated” during the early national security forum and Monday night’s debate by wearing a hidden ear piece that she could have used to get instructions from her campaign team. Eschliman said it could have been a hearing aid, a receiver, or an “anti-seizure device,” adding, “None of these paint a particularly good picture for the Democratic presidential nominee. Either she has an as-yet undisclosed health condition, ranging from mild to severe, or she's been cheating during the televised debates.”

In his podcast interview with Wallnau, Strang said he was worried that there isn’t enough “clear solidarity” from preachers and prophets to get enough believers to the polls. Wallnau blamed that possibility on “the left” and some Christian leaders who are trying to mute enthusiasm for Trump by portraying him as a flawed candidate, “morally or whatever.” Wallnau insisted that isn’t true, saying that Trump “has been on a metamorphosis…a total transformation track.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert: Democrats Rely On Votes Of 'Them Who Have No Regard For The Law,' 'People That Can’t Speak English'

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins interviewed Rep. Louie Gohmert yesterday about reports, which turned out to be erroneous, that the man who shot five people in a Washington state mall last weekend had voted three times despite not being a citizen. Gohmert was positively jubilant about the false report, saying that it was “the perfect evidence” to contradict “liberal judges” who say that there is no widespread voting by noncitizens.

Gohmert, a Texas Republican, then linked the story to efforts to pass criminal justice reform legislation, claiming that Democrats are relying on the votes of “felons,” “people that can't speak English”—who he claimed are unable to follow the news—and undocumented immigrants in order to win elections.

“But, you know, what does it say about your party if you want felons to vote and you want people who don’t speak English to vote and you want people that are here illegally to vote?” he asked. “If your platform will only get voted into office by those people—felons, people that can’t speak English and haven’t been able to follow personally what’s actually going on in politics without getting an interpretation, and those who are illegally here, show no regard for the law—I would think you’d need to think about changing your platform.”

The congressman added that the Washington shooter “seems to be a big fan of Hillary Clinton,” which shows who “the Democrat drones” are.

Perkins responded that the Obama administration is “trying to basically flood the zone” with “Syrian refugees and others” in order to help Democrats.

“Exactly,” Gohmert replied. “And they know which party will be most helpful to them who have no regard for the law.”

People who have served time for felonies are in fact allowed to vote in many states, thanks to bipartisan efforts to restore their voting rights. While most naturalized citizens are required to pass an English test, in many cases election materials are translated for those with less English proficiency. However, Democrats are not allowing undocumented immigrants to vote without obtaining citizenship, as Gohmert asserts.

Religious Right Activist Convicted In Ex-Gay International Kidnapping Saga

Back in 2009, we started covering the story of Lisa Miller, a self-declared former lesbian who had become a hero to the Religious Right for defying legal orders to allow her former partner, Janet Jenkins, to see their daughter. After the couple had separated, Miller had moved from Vermont to Virginia, where she joined Jerry Falwell's church, renounced her homosexuality and then refused to allow Jenkins to see the daughter they had had together. During the legal battle, Miller was represented by Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and lawyers affiliated with Liberty University, both of which are connected to Falwell's church.

Eventually, due to her intransigence and refusal to follow visitation orders, a judge in Vermont ordered Miller to transfer custody to Jenkins, but Miller refused and disappeared with her daughter.

Anti-gay activists heaped praise upon Miller for defying the court order and absconding with her daughter, while Liberty Counsel immediately went silent and began to try and wash its hands of the case,insisting that it had no idea where Miller had gone and that it had nothing to do with her disappearance.

Eventually, it was discovered that Miller had fled the country and, according to an FBI affidavit, wound up at a home in Nicaragua owned by Philip Zodhiates, a Religious Right activist whose daughter just so happened to be an administrative assistant at Liberty University Law School, where Miller's Liberty Counsel attorneys, Mat Staver and Rena Lindevaldsen, both worked. Even more amazingly, Miller's attorneys reportedly just so happened to be teaching law students at Liberty University that Christian lawyers handling a case like Miller's have a religious duty to counsel their client that they have an obligation to ignore the law and engage in "civil disobedience" in order to uphold God's law.

In 2012, Liberty Law School was hit with a RICO lawsuit by Jenkins for allegedly playing a role in Miller's kidnapping of their daughter, while Zodhiates was charged with conspiracy and international parental kidnapping in federal court. 

Zodhiates' case concluded yesterday with a guilty verdict:

A Waynesboro businessman has been found guilty of international parental kidnapping after getting involved in a Vermont same-sex couple's child custody fight.

A federal jury in Buffalo returned the verdict against Philip Zodhiates (zoh-dee-YAH'-taze) on Thursday following a trial that began last week. Zodhiates was also found guilty of conspiracy.

He faces up to eight years in prison.

The verdict, which followed a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, is the latest development in a case that has captured the nation’s interest and cast a spotlight on issues such as same sex marriage and parental rights.

Prosecutors say the Waynesboro, Virginia, resident helped a woman - Lisa A. Miller - and her 7-year-old daughter leave the country in 2009 when it was clear the woman — who had renounced her homosexuality — was losing a custody battle to her former partner.

Prosecutors say that Zodhiates drove Lisa Miller and the child from Virginia to the Rainbow Bridge, in western New York, where they crossed into Canada on their way to Nicaragua.

Prosecutors say the kidnapping was Miller’s attempt at keeping Isabella away from Janet Jenkins, her former partner, and what Miller now calls “the homosexual lifestyle.

True The Vote's Latest Fail: Discovering That A Citizen Voted

True the Vote, the Texas-based Tea Party group that is on a mission to uncover widespread voter fraud in order to promote suppressive voting measures, thought it had a winning story earlier this week when it announced that it had discovered that Arcan Cetin, the man accused of shooting five people at a mall in Washington state last weekend, had illegally voted as a noncitizen in three elections.

The story was quickly picked up by conservative media hoping to fan the flames of the story that noncitizens—and even murderous noncitizens—are out in great numbers stealing our elections.

The only problem was that Cetin is in fact a naturalized U.S. citizen and therefore was legally eligible to vote.

Seattle’s King 5 yesterday updated a story in which it had questioned Cetin’s citizenship, confirming that he was indeed a citizen when he voted:

UPDATE: KING 5 learned Thursday that Arcan Cetin, the 20-year-old who killed five people at Cascade Mall on Sept. 23, is in fact a U.S. citizen.

For days after the shooting, Cetin was described by local and federal law enforcement as being a permanent U.S. resident. He immigrated to the U.S. from Turkey when he was a child, after his mother married an American citizen.

On Thursday, a federal official told KING that further investigation revealed that Cetin is a naturalized U.S. citizen. That means he was legally registered to vote.

KING's initial story on Sept. 28 questioned state officials about how Cetin could register and vote without being a citizen.

Flip Benham Blames Unrest In Charlotte Following Police Shooting on Passage of LGBT Rights Bill

Radical right-wing activist Flip Benham showed up at another Charlotte, North Carolina, city council meeting this week, this time to blame the unrest in the city that followed the recent shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by police on the passage of a measure aimed at protecting LGBT rights earlier this year.

After reading a passage from Isaiah 1, Benham thundered that "the Lord Almighty has spoken to you on July 25th these very words, that if you continue this rebellion against Almighty God, blood is going to course down the corridors of our schools, our workplaces and our streets!"

"You need to turn back to Him," Benham bellowed. "It is you who unleashed hell in our city when you tried to say that boy and girls are not that ... You did it! Now repent [Charlotte mayor] Jennifer Roberts, in the name of Jesus Christ!"

The Trump Campaign's Latest Tactic Is Straight From The Conservative Echo Chamber

NBC News is reporting that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, in an effort to regain momentum following the candidate’s poor performance in Monday night’s debate, has begun distributing talking points to surrogates encouraging them to talk about ‘90s era sex scandals.

Putting aside Donald Trump’s own philandering history, these new attacks demonstrate the GOP’s inability to pull themselves out of the right-wing echo chamber and have a broader conversation with voters.

In 2012, Mitt Romney fell victim to conservative insistence that the polls were skewed and that he was therefore all but certain to win the presidency. This belief was ultimately contradicted by voters, who it turned out did not need to be unskewed.  Now, Trump and his allies in the conservative media are doing something similar, pretending that unscientific online polls are the real authoritative sources on public opinion.

Trump’s campaign was born in the far-right media. His ascent to the top of the Republican Party was driven by birtherism and seeded in the deepest, dankest of fever swamps. Then in 2014, while he was preparing to run for president, it has been widely reported that Trump received daily memos outlining the issues and views raised by callers to conservative radio shows. Thus, harsh and often racist anti-immigrant rhetoric became a central tenet of his campaign.

From Rush Limbaugh to Ann Coulter to Michael Savage, many of the leading conservatives now supporting the Trump campaign built their careers on the impeachment of Bill Clinton and spent years attempting to use sex to toxify the president’s public image.

What seems to be forgotten by many in the media and the conservative movement is what a miserable failure their efforts were. Clinton was reelected in 1996 and Democrats gained seats in Congress that year and again in 1998. Republicans lost two House speakers, Newt Gingrich and Bob Livingston, and completely extinguished the flame of their 1994 “revolution” in pursuit of prurient details that would take down the president. And the cumulative effect of this entire period was the elevation of Bill Clinton’s approval ratings.

Despite this failure, two decades later conservatives are once against returning to this same old playbook, but with a new twist. Now they would like to blame Hillary Clinton for the alleged foibles of her husband and use them to convince the American people that she is not suited to hold public office.

Along with the obvious strategic shortcomings of this plan, there is an even more obvious dose of sexism behind these latest attacks—blaming a wife for the actions of her husband. Yet the Trump campaign presses forward, beginning the week with the too-cute-by-half notion that their candidate was courageous for not raising these issues during the debate.

The right-wing echo chamber has been demanding for months that these issues be discussed and Trump is happy to once again oblige, now through his surrogates in the media.

While the symbiotic relationship between Trump and the right-wing media is perhaps greater than with any other Republican candidate in history, it is not wholly unique. That’s why it’s no surprise that in the seven presidential elections since Rush Limbaugh’s radio program was syndicated nationally, the Republican candidate has only been able to win a plurality of the popular vote twice.

Religious Right Backs Bill to Implement Trump’s Pledge to Make Churches More Politically Powerful

Donald Trump has repeatedly pledged to make conservative Christians more politically powerful by eliminating legal restrictions on churches’ and other tax-exempt nonprofits’ ability to do electoral work. On Wednesday two Republican congressmen, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Georgia’s Jody Hice, introduced H.R. 6195, what they call the “Free Speech Fairness Act,” which would lay the groundwork for a President Trump to do just that.

Scalise and Hice were joined at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Christiana Holcomb, and anti-gay activist and pastor Harry Jackson. According to a handout, the bill or the policies represented in it are also supported by Focus on the Family, the Heritage Foundation, the Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability, March for Life Action, Liberty Counsel and Liberty Counsel Action, the American Center for Law and Justice, and the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Trump has said he decided to call for repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which dates to 1954, when he heard from pastors that it restricted their ability to help him get elected. He has made it clear that he sees its repeal as a way to build Christian conservatives’ political muscle. So it was a bit unconvincing to have Scalise and Hice portray their legislation not as a vehicle for turning churches into more effective political machines, but merely an effort to protect the trampled-upon free speech rights of pastors and nonprofits.

Scalise and Hice say their bill would allow churches and nonprofits to make political statements if those statements are in the ordinary course of their regular work and any expenses related to them are de minimis. In their example, a preacher could endorse a candidate as part of a sermon, and a church could do the same in its normal newsletter. Under their rules, they say, the church couldn’t launch a new political direct mail campaign that is outside the normal scope of its work. But given the massive communications networks that many megachurches and nonprofit religious broadcasters have, this seems like more of a fig leaf than an actual limitation.

Before coming to Congress, Hice was a pastor in Georgia. He said he was one of 33 pastors who challenged the Johnson Amendment back in 2008 with the help of ADF, a challenge that grew into “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an annual project that encourages pastors to violate legal restrictions by endorsing candidates from the pulpit and daring the IRS to come after them. Not coincidentally, this year’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday is this weekend, October 2.

Speakers at this week’s press conference portrayed the Johnson Amendment as a dire restriction on free speech and religious liberty. ADF’s Holcomb said it has had “devastating impacts on religious freedom and the freedom of speech.” Hice said it is “unconscionable that our government would force individuals to choose between their constitutionally protected rights or their faith.”

Perkins quoted Martin Luther King Jr. at the press conference, and his commentary on the new bill at the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal features a large photograph of King. []Jackson also cited the civil rights movement. But the example of King actually undermines their hyperbolic claims about Johnson Amendment, which was in effect in the late 1950s and 1960s when African American pastors and churches served as moral and logistical focal points for the civil rights movement. They were not “muzzled” any more than conservative megachurches have been “muzzled” in speaking out about abortion for the past 40 years or rallying their members to vote against equality for LGBT people.

Under the existing IRS rules, the Family Research Council has no problem communicating on the issues of the day with the 11,000 pastors in its network. Indeed, there are currently multiple voter registration and GOTV operations being carried out by Religious Right networks through conservative evangelical churches. Trump and other Republican presidential candidates have appeared before gatherings of pastors brought together by Christian nationalist David Lane, who has recruited hundreds of pastors to run for office.

Their First Amendment freedoms are quite intact. But they’re looking for more—the ability of churches, religious broadcasters and other nonprofits to engage in direct electoral advocacy with tax-exempt funds. Speakers at Religious Right conferences routinely blame what they see as America’s moral decline on timid preaching, and they blame that on pastors who are intimidated by the IRS or hide behind the supposed threat of the IRS to avoid taking strong political stands. Charisma’s Bob Eschliman even said in praising the new bill that the Third Great Awakening—a national spiritual revival longed for by Religious Right leaders—cannot come about until the nation’s pulpits are “unshackled from the Johnson Amendment.”

Perkins, who is honorary chairman for Pulpit Freedom Sunday, bragged about the fact that he worked with the Trump campaign to get language calling for repeal of the Johnson Amendment into the Republican Party platform. He praised Trump for making it a campaign issue, adding, “I hope the next time that I’m talking about this could possibly be as he’s signing it behind his desk as president.”

Jonathan Cahn Knows We're In The End Times Because 'We're Seeing Things That Even Sodom And Gomorrah Didn't See'

When End Times Messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn appeared on Glenn Beck's radio program last year, it was to warn that America was going to suffer a massive calamity—possibly an economic meltdown, possibly a terrorist attack, possibly a natural disaster—on September 13, 2015.

Obviously, that didn't happen, but that hasn't rattled Beck's faith in Cahn's prophetic gifts, so he brought him back on his radio program today to promote his latest book, "The Book of Mysteries," and to warn that the world is now living in the End Times.

In the last days, Cahn said, the Bible warns that "before the end comes, there will be a great falling away from the faith, now we see that ... It's a civilization falling away from the ways of God. Well, we're watching it, we're talking about it."

"In the same days when you see culture falling away from the ways of God," he said, "you're going to see ... man departing from the state of manhood, women departing from womanhood, marriage departing from the state marriage, family from the state of family, all of these things we are watching. You want to know the reason why we're hearing all these things, why the news, the blending of gender, all of these things? It goes right to the word that was hidden 2,000 years ago."

When Beck pointed out that just about every generation of Christians throughout history has been convinced that it was living in the End Times, Cahn insisted that this time is different because "we've never seen a falling away to this degree. I mean, we're seeing things that even Sodom and Gomorrah didn't see. So we're seeing things that are unprecedented."

Another Trump Adviser Appears On Radio Network That Features White Nationalists

Earlier this year, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign landed in hot water when the candidate’s son, Donald Trump Jr., agreed to be interviewed by notorious white nationalist radio host James Edwards. Edwards hosts a show called “The Political Cesspool,” which is syndicated by Liberty News Radio; his interview with Trump Jr. was aired on another Liberty News Radio program called “Liberty Roundtable,” which is hosted by the network’s owner and Edwards friend Sam Bushman.

The Trump campaign received widespread criticism for the interview, especially given Trump’s reluctance to disavow support from white nationalists, but apparently didn’t learn its lesson, because yesterday another Trump aide, economic adviser Stephen Moore, appeared on “Liberty Roundtable” to spin Trump’s abysmal performance in the first presidential debate.

Edwards wasn’t on the program this time, but Moore spoke with Bushman, who grilled him on the false rumor that Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe whom Trump has repeatedly insulted, used to be a “porn star,” which Bushman recommended that Trump focus on in the next debate.

The allegation caused Moore to erupt in laughter as he claimed that Machado was “lying through her teeth.”

A commercial break during Moore’s appearance on the program included an advertisement from Edwards touting his book “Racism Schmacism” and his show on Bushman's network.

Trump Names 'Pro-Life Advisory Council' In Attempt To Reassure Anti-Choice Movement

Donald Trump’s campaign has given the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody a sneak peek at the members of a “pro-life advisory council” that the candidate is set to introduce today. Earlier this month, Trump sent a letter to “pro-life leaders” laying out a number of promises that he would make to their movement and announcing that Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the anti-choice electoral group Susan B. Anthony List, would spearhead the new anti-abortion coalition for his campaign.

Trump has given the anti-abortion movement some serious heartburn during his campaign as he’s continually reshaped his position on the issue and bungled their talking points, including at one point saying that women should face “some form of punishment” for abortion if the procedure is recriminalized. But since earning the Republican nomination, he’s started to win over many skeptical anti-abortion leaders with promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who share their views and to help them dismantle Planned Parenthood.

Brody writes that the full list released today “may indeed give comfort to those remaining evangelicals who are having a tough time making their way to the voting booth this Election Cycle.” Indeed, while Trump has attempted to say different things about abortion rights to different audiences, this new coalition shows that he is ready to go all-in with a movement that ultimately wants to ban the procedure without exception.

On the new list of Trump’s anti-choice allies are a number of legislators who have taken the lead on fighting abortion rights in Congress, including Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who led the House select committee investigating Planned Parenthood, Rep. Diane Black, Rep. Trent Franks and Rep. Chris Smith. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is on the list, as is Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.

Also joining the new coalition are Religious Right activists including Tony Perkins and Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council; Gary BauerRalph Reed; the American Principles Project’s Frank Cannon; Bill Dallas of United in Purpose; Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance; C-FAM’s Austin Ruse; and Ed Martin, head of the late Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, who is apparently sympathetic to many of Trump’s views.

The list also includes anti-abortion activists Day Gardner of the National Black Pro-Life Union, Kristan Hawkins of Students for LifeAlveda King and Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, and former Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest, who now works for Bauer’s American Values.

Dannenfelser has made no secret of the fact that she eventually wants to ban abortion without exception (except for a narrow exemption for saving a woman’s life) and her group opposes some common forms of birth control, claiming that they cause abortions. Many of the activists in Trump’s new coalition have similarly extreme views and are confident that Trump will let them have their way.

Ruse, who works at the United Nations to attempt to stop the adoption of language friendly to LGBT equality and reproductive rights, has declared, for instance, that “comprehensive sexuality education” is “a phrase created in the pits of hell by wicked individuals who wanted to undermine the family and ultimately destroy any institution that stands between the family and the state.” After meeting with Trump earlier this year, Ruse said that the GOP candidate “doesn’t care about” reproductive rights and therefore will “let our side do exactly what we want to do.”

Others have presented different reasons for supporting Trump. Priests for Life’s Pavone, who has said that legal abortion is worse than terrorism, has been somewhat lukewarm about Trump but has argued that Trump’s promises on abortion overcome any other faults he might have.

In response to a caller to a Catholic radio program who said that Trump’s stances on things like nuclear warfare and going after the families of suspected terrorists aren’t exactly pro-life, Pavone said that the potential of Trump dropping an atomic bomb is less dangerous than the certainty of Hillary Clinton continuing the “raging holocaust” of legal abortion. On another radio program, Pavone argued that it is more important that a candidate be “right on abortion” than on “poverty, immigration, war and peace, homelessness [and] health care.”

Pavone, after Trump said he supported punishing women who have abortions, floated the possibility of legal punishments for abortion “accomplices,” such as the person who brings a woman to a clinic.

Pavone’s Priests for Life colleague, Alveda King, also has some extreme views on reproductive rights, including alleging that “chemicals and things” in birth control make women infertile and that Planned Parenthood gives women contraception in order to give them breast cancer.

Other activists in Trump’s coalition have been leaders of the effort to chip away at abortion access by attempting to regulate abortion providers out of existence. When Yoest was at Americans United for Life, she was at the forefront of what she called this “stealth strategy” of “trench warfare and gaining ground under the radar.”

David Barton Claims The Founding Fathers Used 'The Exact Language Of The Bible' To Write The Constitution

A few years ago, right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton developed a new talking point in which he claimed that the Constitution is filled with direct, verbatim quotes straight out of the Bible.

We pointed out repeatedly that the clauses in the Constitution that Barton insisted were direct quotes from the Bible were nothing of the sort and Barton eventually stopped making this obviously false claim.

But when he appeared on the Messianic Jewish program "Jewish Voice" recently, Barton dusted it off when he once again insisted that the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution by using the "exact language" of the Bible.

Barton was making the case that the Bible tells voters all they need to know about how to choose their elected leaders, repeating his false claim that 34 percent of the political documents from the founding era cited the Bible, which he claimed is why the Constitution is filled with direct quotations from the Bible.

"I can show you clause after clause in the Constitution where they used the exact language of the Bible in the Constitution," he said. "It's just that we're so biblicaly illiterate today that we don't recognize that in the Constitution."

Katrina Pierson Insists That Unscientific Online Polls Are Accurate, Media Polls Are 'Skewed'

On Tuesday, Donald Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson took a page from her boss and touted Trump’s performance in post-debate online polls that have no scientific accuracy whatsoever.

After conservative talk show host Joe Pags told Pierson that “news organization polling” is tilted against Trump because media outlets “have some sort of vested interested in getting Hillary Clinton elected,” Pierson said that the scientific polls conducted by media firms are “skewed.”

As proof, she cited the fact that the CNN sampled more Democrats in its poll of debate viewers. Three other scientific polls also found that most people thought that Clinton won the debate.

Pierson vigorously defended the accuracy of voluntary, unscientific online polls: “When you look at the online polls, these are people who are, like I said, not engaged in the day-to-day, 24-hour news cycle, watching cable news all day every day, these are just people. If you’re looking at Time magazine, if you’re on another website and they’re doing a poll and you vote in that poll, by the way, to the tune of over a million votes in some of these polls, that’s important, because those aren’t the people who are in it one way or another, a lot of those people are just engaging.”

However, just the opposite typically occurs, as many online surveys are swarmed by one candidate’s supporters, such as this online poll of around 300,000 votes that found Green Party nominee Jill Stein leading the presidential field with close to 65 percent of the vote.

Fox News’ vice president of public opinion research, Dana Blanton, had to release a memo reaffirming the uselessness of online polls after several Fox News anchors hyped online polls after the debate. (Sean Hannity and Brian Kilmeade, however, continued to cite Trump’s strong performance in such polls after the memo was released). Business Insider reports:

A Fox News executive sent a memo to television producers and the politics team on Tuesday afternoon reminding employees that unscientific online polls "do not meet our editorial standards."

Dana Blanton, the vice president of public-opinion research at Fox News, explained in the memo obtained by Business Insider that "online 'polls' like the one on Drudge, Time, etc. where people can opt-in or self-select … are really just for fun."

"As most of the publications themselves clearly state, the sample obviously can't be representative of the electorate because they only reflect the views of those Internet users who have chosen to participate," Blanton wrote.

As the Fox News executive pointed out, users who participate in such polls must have internet access, be online at the time of the poll, be fans of the website in question, and self-select to participate.

"Another problem — we know some campaigns/groups of supporters encourage people to vote in online polls and flood the results," she wrote. "These quickie click items do not meet our editorial standards."

"News networks and other organizations go to great effort and rigor to conduct scientific polls — for good reason," Blanton wrote in the memo. "They know quick vote items posted on the web are nonsense, not true measures of public opinion."

However, we won’t hold our breath for Trump and his campaign to stop promoting the results of unscientific polls as long as they turn out favorable to them.

Michael Savage's Latest Conspiracy Theory Debunked

On Monday afternoon, conservative talk radio host Michael Savage learned that his program was not running as usual on a major New York radio station that day, prompting him to claim that he was being thrown off the air because of his outspoken support for Donald Trump.

An incensed Savage alleged that he had been “sabotaged” to “destroy support for Trump”:

What actually happened, as Snopes notes today, is that the New York-based radio station WABC “opted to preempt his show—apparently without notifying Savage in advance—in favor of 'wall to wall' coverage of that day's first presidential debate.”

“Adding to the confusion was the fact that some kind of technical glitch resulted in a portion of the third hour of Savage's program being replaced by a repeat of a previous show on the day in question,” the myth-busting group adds.

Savage, however, declared on his program on Monday that this was just “a taste of what’s coming” if Hillary Clinton becomes president.

“I told you that if Hillary wins, there will be censorship of talk radio and other aspects of the media,” he said. “Everyone knows that. We know that she’s a monster. She does not believe in freedom of speech. She has an enemy’s list—I’m on it. The people behind her are some of the worst people in American history—maybe human history—who will not stop at anything to destroy their enemies.”

Savage’s fellow conspiracy theorist and Donald Trump fan Alex Jones, meanwhile, claimed that Matt Drudge’s prediction of imminent censorship of conservatives was coming true.

“This is 21st century book burning that’s taking place,” Jones said.

Jim Bakker: Hillary Clinton's Election Could Usher In God's Wrath

Televangelist Jim Bakker warned yesterday that Hillary Clinton’s election could lead to God’s wrath on American and the country “could reap horrendous times” if voters make the wrong choice in November.

Bakker has spent the week discussing the presidential election with fellow televangelist Rick Joyner; both are Donald Trump supporters and have warned of various dire consequences if Clinton wins the White House.

Bakker said yesterday that “it will probably be the most important election ever in the history of the United States of America,” in part due to the vacancy on the Supreme Court, and could lead to divine wrath if voters pick the wrong candidate.

“If we continue to turn our back” on God, Bakker said, “America could reap horrendous times; perilous times will come.”

In a previous program, Bakker said that Clinton’s election would be God’s judgment on America.

Ken Ham: Christians Who Believe In Evolution Follow A 'Pagan Religion' & Invite God's Judgment

Ken Ham, the head of the Creationist group Answers In Genesis and founder of the Creation Museum, joined conservative radio host Janet Mefferd last week to discuss a new book about evangelicals who have embraced the theory of evolution. These Christians, Ham said, are following a “pagan religion” and are therefore inviting the judgment of God.

Ham said he wasn’t questioning the salvation of people like pastor Tim Keller who are open to a coexistence between the science of evolution and the Christian faith, but that it’s an “authority issue.”

“It really is an authority issue,” he said. “And once you start questioning the first part of the Bible, and I’ll guarantee that people like Tim Keller and others, when it comes down to it, the bottom line is they believe in millions of years.”

“I’m going to say it out very bluntly,” he said. “Look, millions of years in evolution is the pagan religion of this age to explain, to attempt to explain life without God. And when you compromise God’s word with millions of years and evolutionary ideas, you’re no different to the Israelites, who took the pagan religion of the age—or the Canaanites, or whatever—incorporated into their thinking. And look what happened. It destroyed them, and God judged them before it. We are no different, there’s nothing new under the sun.”

Savage: Hillary 'Was Like A Sumo Wrestler Who Won The Debate Right From The Beginning'

Conservative radio host and Donald Trump ally Michael Savage said on his program yesterday that he couldn’t finish watching Monday’s presidential debate because he knew early in the evening that Hillary Clinton had won the contest.

“Hillary knew how to trigger Trump and drag him off balance,” he said, pointing to Clinton’s accurate claim that Trump received $14 million from his father and lamenting that the GOP candidate “fell right into her trap.”

“When she said to him that he inherited $14 million from his father, she fundamentally was like a sumo wrestler who won the debate right from the beginning with that remark because he took the bait and she threw him off the mat,” Savage said. “He was unbalanced from the point on. She knew that he would take the debate and defend his father. Why? Because he has character and she doesn’t. She’s a lowlife with no character, she has no character whatsoever.”

Trump did not in fact “defend his father,” who wasn’t even the subject of the remark, but instead falsely claimed that he had only received a “very small loan.”

'Catastrophist' Glenn Beck Now Says It's His Job To Merely Warn About What 'Could' Happen, Not What Will Happen

Glenn Beck fancies himself something of a prophet tasked with the responsibility to constantly warn of impending chaos and collapse, claiming that he is right nearly 80 percent of the time and that he never gets the "big things" wrong because he has an amazing ability to see two years into the future.

The actual record, of course, shows otherwise, as Beck is generally wrong time and time and time again, which might explain why he is now insisting that he is merely called by God to warn about what could happen, not what will happen.

"I'm a catastrophist. You know that if you've ever listened to this program," Beck said on his radio show today. "I look at the worst possible scenario and I do it through the lens of history. I can make great points and I could beat you in a debate, if it's an honest debate based on the facts of history, that it could happen, not that it is."

"My job is to warn and ring warning bells based on what I believe and what I see and what I know from history and what I know from doing my own research on today's events," he said. "That's my job. That's my job."

Obviously, literally everyone is capable of issuing dire warnings about what could happen in the future, so that is not a particularly unique or useful skill. Frankly, we expect a little more from someone like Beck, who claims to have been called by God to serve as a watchman for this nation.

John Guandolo: Muslims Working In Hotels, Buying Gas Stations To Prepare 'For A Jihad'

Disgraced FBI agent turned anti-Muslim activist John Guandolo joined VCY America’s “Crosstalk” program last week, where he warned that Muslim Americans are taking jobs in hotels and buying convenience stores and gas stations in order to lay the groundwork for “a jihad here in the United States.”

“At least a manager or assistant manager in the largest hotels in the biggest cities in America are in fact Muslim,” Guandolo told the program’s host, Jim Schneider. “And I just ask the question, what do we think that’s about? Because the statistical probability of that being true is zero, so that means it must be an intentional thing.”

“We look up in cities and states from Mississippi to California to Texas to New York and North Carolina and Kansas and places like that, including Oklahoma,” he added, “we’ve got Muslims buying up Quik Marts and fuel stations like 7-Elevens that have an adjacent gas station to it. What’s that about? Is that just random? Is that just all of a sudden the Muslim community decided to buy those places up? Or are they actually doing what they know that they say they’re going to do based on internal documents that have already been entered by the Department of Justice in the largest terrorism trial in American history, which is that they’re preparing for a jihad here in the United States?

“And when you look at it from a military standpoint, from an intelligence collection, intelligence preparation of a battlefield, from a logistical standpoint, preparation of a battlefield, and from a physical weapons training and all of that preparation,” he said, “they’re doing all of it, and we have evidence they’re doing all of it.”

Guandolo went into more detail on this theory in a recent column.

Later in the program, Guandolo argued that the fact that a majority of Syrian refugees resettling in the United States are Muslim shows that President Obama “is intentionally helping our enemies prepare for war here” and “we’re going to deserve what we get.”

“From the Islamic perspective,” he said, “these folks are not refugees, they’re Mujahirun, they’re people coming with a specific purpose of settling here in the United States until it’s time. And part of their settlement, just the process of settlement is a civilization jihadist process.”

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