Fighting the Right

GOP Platform Committee Member David Barton Falsely Claims His Anti-Gay Comments Were Taken Out Of Context

It seems that just about every time a Religious Right activist is asked by the press to comment on some outrageous thing that Right Wing Watch has caught them saying, they respond by simply asserting that those comments were "taken out of context" without ever explaining how our reporting supposedly misrepresented their statements or bothering to explain how understanding the real context would have in any way changed the meaning of what they said.

And this is exactly what David Barton, a member of the Republican National Convention's platform committee and a longtime Religious Right activist, did when the the Daily Beast asked him to comment on two of the many offensive statements he has made about LGBT people, both of which were first reported by Right Wing Watch:

And David Barton, a committee member from Texas, believes that God is preventing the medical profession from finding a cure for HIV/AIDS, and claimed that gay people die “decades earlier” than others and have more than 500 partners apiece in their lifetimes.

Barton told The Daily Beast that these statements did not represent his views, and this was “an example of something taken out of context and mischaracterized. I’m an advocate for faith-based conservative values, which include love, grace, and truth, focusing on traditional family values.”

Since Barton doesn't bother to clarify the "context" in which these comments were made, allow us to do so.

In the case of his claim that gay people die "decades earlier" and have hundreds of sexual partners, Barton said that on his radio program back in 2010, when he was somewhat facetiously making the case that the government should regulate gay people's sex lives.

Barton argued that since the government seeks to regulate all sorts of things that are unhealthy, it should also regulate consensual sex between members of the same gender because it is not only dangerous for those who practice it but bad for society as well:

Homosexual/bi-sexual individuals are seven times more likely to contemplate or commit suicide. Oooh, that doesn’t sound very healthy.

Homosexuals die decades earlier than heterosexuals. That doesn’t sound healthy.

Nearly one-half of practicing homosexuals admit to five hundred or more sex partners and nearly one-third admit to a thousand or more sex partners in a lifetime.

There is no mischaracterization involved in quoting his statement that "homosexuals die decades earlier" and that some gay people "admit to five hundred of more sexual partners," as that is exactly what he said.

The same goes for his comments about God preventing us from ever finding a cure for AIDS because doing so would eliminate the penalty for sin.

Barton has been saying this since 2012 and we have heard him make this claim on several occasions, asserting just last year:

I don't think they will ever find a vaccine for HIV/AIDS. And I say that based on a particular Bible verse ... Notice this, homosexuals receive in their bodies the penalty due them. The Bible says if you engage in homosexuality, your body will do things that will penalize you. So if you can have a vaccine for AIDS, then you're keeping your body from penalizing you. I don't think they'll ever find a vaccine for AIDS.

Again, there is nothing "out of context" about this remark, which he has made multiple times. 

Barton continuously makes unfounded and offensive remarks about LGBT people and has repeatedly suggested that God is punishing gay people with a deadly disease, yet the Republican Party continues to invite him to help shape their national platform — which just so happens to be extraordinarily hostile to LGBT people. Barton’s unconvincing attempts at denying his past comments shouldn't let them get away with it.

Jeffress Says He Backs Trump Because It's 'Biblical' To Support A 'Strongman'

In a recent New York Times column, conservative writer Peter Wehner called out Robert Jeffress, a prominent Southern Baptist pastor, for his vocal support of Donald Trump.

Yesterday, conservative talk radio host Mike Gallagher invited Jeffress and Wehner to debate Trump’s candidacy on his program, where Jeffress defended his support for the presumptive GOP nominee by saying that it’s “biblical” to support a “strongman” in government.

Jeffress said that he supported Trump in the primary “because I believed that he was the only one who was electable and could beat Hillary Clinton,” adding that “our country has moved so far to the left” that “I just didn’t think that Ted Cruz was electable.”

“But as far as his worldview, Trump’s worldview,” he continued, “you know, I was debating an evangelical professor on NPR and this professor said, ‘Pastor, don’t you want a candidate who embodies the teaching of Jesus and would govern this country according to the principles found in the Sermon on the Mount?’ I said, ‘Heck no.’ I would run from that candidate as far as possible, because the Sermon on the Mount was not given as a governing principle for this nation.

“Nowhere is government told to forgive those who wrong it, nowhere is government told to turn the other cheek. Government is to be a strongman to protect its citizens against evildoers. When I’m looking for somebody who’s going to deal with ISIS and exterminate ISIS, I don’t care about that candidate’s tone or vocabulary, I want the meanest, toughest, son of a you-know-what I can find, and I believe that’s biblical.”

Larry Klayman Suing Obama For Endangering His Life As A White Man

Right-wing lawyer Larry Klayman announced in WorldNetDaily over the weekend that he was filing a lawsuit against President Obama, Black Lives Matter, Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton "for endangering not just my life, as a white law enforcement person of Jewish origin, but also for all Americans, white, black, yellow or brown, no matter what their race or religion.”

Klayman blamed Obama for the shooting of five police officers who were protecting a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, attempting to tie the president to Farrakhan:

Not only does Obama have blood on his hands as having encouraged if not furthered this hate crime against whites and white cops, but so too does his “soul brothers,” the virulent anti-white, anti-Semitic and anti-Christian so-called Rev. Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, and his co-enablers like another so-called reverend, Al Sharpton, a charlatan and white hater. Indeed, Obama has, as usual, chosen to associate himself with these lowlifes in his quest to ram his latent hatred of whites, Jews and Christians down everyone’s throats. When the leader of the United States and supposedly the Western world, who was born to a Muslim father, schooled in Muslim schools, and has close ties to black-Muslim leaders like Farrakhan seeks to incite violence by virtue of his running interference for Muslims and blacks who are not even representative of African-Americans generally, it’s no wonder Obama-inspired massacres like Dallas happen. In two words, “Obama Happens!”

“For the past seven years, Obama and company have been whipping up reverse racism against non-blacks and non-Muslims as payback for years of discrimination,” he wrote, adding that the president has finally succeeded in “his quest to ignite a race war.”

Klayman managed to blame Obama not only for the shooting of police officers in Dallas, but also for the police shootings of two African Americans in Louisiana and Minnesota that sparked last week’s Black Lives Matter protests. “It is no wonder some cops, fearing for their lives in this anti-white, anti-Semitic and anti-Christian environment, sometimes are prone to literally pull the trigger too quickly,” he wrote. “With the hateful mood created by Obama and company, they understandably think that armed blacks who refuse to recognize their law enforcement powers may be out to off them.”

In the class action lawsuit that Klayman filed in Dallas on Saturday, he alleges that he is personally in danger thanks to Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Sharpton, Farrakhan and Black Lives Matter (Klayman refers to himself as a member of law enforcement since he used to be a prosecutor):

As a high profile Caucasian of Jewish origin, Plaintiff Larry Klayman imminently fears, including in this District where is organization does business and solicits support, great bodily and death and thus harm as a result of Defendants’ promotion and incitement of riots and violent acts, including death and great bodily harm, against law enforcement and police officers of all races and ethnicities, Jews, and Caucasians.

Anti-Immigration Activist Kris Kobach Gets Trump's Wall Into Republican Platform

CNN noted this morning that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a prominent anti-immigrant activist, had successfully lobbied a Republican platform committee to include in the draft platform language explicitly endorsing Donald Trump’s call for a wall on the southern border. “The border wall must cover the entirety of the southern border and must be sufficient to stop both vehicular and pedestrian traffic," Kobach's language states.

The language does not say who will pay for the wall, but the Washington Examiner quoted Kobach saying that he has consulted with Trump on how a border wall would be financed. That’s putting it mildly. As Miranda reported in April, Kobach said that hehelped write Trump’s plan to force Mexico to pay for the wall by threatening to seize money that people in the U.S. send to family and friends in Mexico. Kobach was also involved in the legal challenge to President Obama’s executive action to grant Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA); previously he helped write Arizona’s infamous “show me your papers law,” SB 1070.

Kobach was also on the 2012 platform committee. Here’s what we wrote about him then:

Kris Kobach wants to be your president one day; until now, he has gotten as far as Kansas Secretary of State.  He may be best known as the brains behind Arizona’s “show me your papers” law, and he successfully pushed for anti-immigrant language in the platform, including a call for the federal government to deny funds to universities that allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition – a plank that puts Kobach and the platform at odds with Kansas law.  Immigration is not Kobach’s only issue. He is an energizing force behind the Republican Party’s massive push for voter suppression laws around the country, and he led the effort to get language inserted into the platform calling on states to pass laws requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration.  He also pushed language aimed at the supposed threat to the Constitution and laws of the US from “Sharia law”; getting this language into the platform puts the GOP in position of endorsing a ludicrous far-right conspiracy theory.  Kobach hopes that will give activists a tool for pressuring more states to pass their own anti-Sharia laws.  In the platform committee, he backed Perkins’ efforts to maintain the strongest language against marriage equality.  Even an amendment to the marriage section saying that everyone should be treated “equally under the law” as long as they are not hurting anyone else, was shot down by Kobach.  Kobach also claims he won support for a provision to oppose any effort to limit how many bullets can go into a gun’s magazine.

For what it's worth, no less than Dan Stein, the head of the anti-immigrant Federation for American Immigration Reform, whose legal arm Kobach is affiliated with, has said that Trump doesn't intend to build a physical wall at all, saying that the wall is merely a rhetorical "surrogate" for other border control measures.

 

Michele Bachmann: 'God May Have Lifted Up Trump' To Save America

After insisting that God guided her witch hunt against Muslim-American government employees like Huma Abedin, former Rep. Michele Bachmann expressed hope on Saturday that God has “lifted up” Donald Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton and save the country from Marxism and radical Islamism.

Bachmann, who is a member of Trump’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board, said in an interview with End Times radio host Jan Markell that Clinton will complete President Obama’s “fundamental transformation of America,” which she said is turning the U.S. into a Marxist and Islamist society.

When Markell wondered if there was a way to “hold back the kind of maximum evil” that Obama wants to “unleash” in the closing months of his presidency, Bachmann responded that the president “will do everything he can to undermine our Second Amendment rights and our First Amendment rights for freedom of speech and expression by punishing us for our religious expression.”

Obama, according to Bachmann, is “an economic Marxist” who is working hand-in-hand with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to impose Marxism and advance radical Islamism throughout the continent…unless God uses Donald Trump to defeat Clinton in November:

Remember when we were in elementary school? You would never think of America, much less the whole North America, as economic Marxism. That’s what our part of the world is now. Economic Marxism. Then you’ve got Barack Obama and you’ve got Justin Trudeau, the head of Canada, who are extremely pro-Islam. Now, you want to talk about a complete pivot and shift? At one time we had enough brains and enough sense to realize that to be in bed with the radical Islamic movement is probably not a good day.

Today, the Obama administration, as I look at the last seven and a half years, every action they have taken has lifted up and advanced the cause of Islamic jihad, while at the same time they’ve cut out the legs under Israel, our best ally. Take a look at Iran. Iran, the number one state sponsor of terror in the world, couldn’t have asked for more from the United States than what they’ve gotten. Barack Obama has advanced Iran’s jihadist dreams to annihilate Israel, the United States and Western Christendom. How about that for fundamental transformation?

That’s why I’m just saying the church can’t sit this one out. We may not have a perfect candidate but he may be the one, like the Book of Daniel — the most high God may have lifted up Trump, because very possibly he’s the only one that could defeat Hillary Clinton this fall. And if that’s the case, it’s good enough for me.

Michele Bachmann: God Guided Me To Smear Huma Abedin

On Saturday, ex-Rep. Michele Bachmann defended her smear campaign against Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and other Muslim-Americans working in the Obama administration, whom Bachmann and a handful of other GOP members of Congress suggested were secret agents of the Muslim Brotherhood, by insisting that she was simply listening to God, who, according to Bachmann, told her to expose Abedin.

Bachmann told End Times radio host Jan Markell that she had no regrets about her time in Congress, including how she handled her attacks on what she viewed as “the Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of our government,” “because I knew the information was right and, for me, I was a believer in Jesus Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit. That doesn’t mean that I’m better than anybody else, but the blessing that I had is that I was guided by the still small voice of the Holy Spirit and that’s what I tried to actively listen to. So that’s what I tried to do, is listen to his voice, and it was absolutely, stunningly remarkable how the Holy Spirit literally guided me, almost moment by moment, for each of those years.”

She went on to say that God “called me out of Congress” when she retired in the face of several ethics investigations. “You know how it is when you hear the voice of the Lord and it’s pressing in on your heart, it’s important to obey it and I did.”

Bachmann depicted herself as the real victim of her anti-Muslim witch hunt, noting that leading Republicans criticized her attacks on Abedin and other Muslim public officials.

Glenn Beck: 'Pack Your Crap And Move To Texas ... Before We Close The Northern Border'

On his radio program today, Glenn Beck declared that America is now out of options and speeding toward inevitable destruction and advised his audience to "pack your crap and move to Texas ... before we close the northern border."

Beck raised alarms about the fact that retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has been mentioned as possible vice presidential running mate for Donald Trump, saying that it's a sign that Trump thinks that "real civil unrest is coming and he needs to have somebody who has the experience of law and order" advising him.

"I told you these things were coming," Beck said, adding that turning to God is the nation's only option at this point but that nobody wants to hear that. 

Citing an incident in which Black Lives Matters protesters and counter-protesters in Dallas embraced one another over the weekend, Beck said it was proof that "there's still a God culture here" and so people should hurry up and move to Texas.

"I told you to move to Texas for a reason," he said, "you're seeing that. I told you when things go to hell in a hand basket, you want to be around like-minded people. You're seeing that. Look at the difference between the shooting of six cops in Dallas and what happened in Dallas and what's happening today in Dallas compared to what happened in Ferguson and Baltimore. You're losing time. Pack your crap and move to Texas ... before we close the northern border."

About That Black Law Prof Who Hates Black Lives Matter

Vanderbilt Law School Professor Carol Swain made a media splash — especially in right-wing media —  with a weekend appearance on CNN in which she called Black Lives Matter “a very destructive force” that is “misleading black people” and “needs to go.” Swain said she hopes that the killing of Dallas police officers will spell the end of the movement, which she dismissed as “pure Marxism” because its website uses “buzzwords” like “state violence.”

That was bad enough, but Swain went even further, downplaying the value of video evidence in investigations of the recent shootings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. She challenged the credibility of Castile’s girlfriend, who streamed video of him dying just after having been shot by police, because her phone also included video of the couple smoking marijuana.

Not surprisingly, her remarks generated criticism, to which Swain responded on Facebook that the Black community is “being exploited and manipulated by the liberal left” and asserting, “Truth and a return to God will help liberate blacks.”

Who is this Carol Swain?

Swain is an academic and author who won awards for her 1993 book “Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress,” and generated some respectful controversy with her 2002 “The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration.” But her more recent writings, like 2011’s “Be the People,” have been more along the lines of right-wing agitprop.

Earlier this year she was named to the Ted Cruz campaign’s “Religious Liberty Advisory Council” and appeared on Christian-nation activist David Barton’s “Foundations of Freedom” series. She told Barton that problems in the judiciary result from judges being “educated at institutions where they come out as secular humanists, and so there’s no fear of God.”

In 2013, Swain appeared at the right-wing Heritage Foundation on a panel featuring conservative evangelicals who were opposed to their fellow evangelicals promoting comprehensive immigration reform. “We’re welcoming people who totally reject who we are as a people,” and said, adding that we create problems for ourselves “if we bring in people who are not easily assimilated.” She declared, “There is no place in America for Sharia law in the U.S. Constitution.”

In advance of that Heritage Foundation event, we published a bit more about Swain and her writings:

Swain is a professor at Vanderbilt Law School who has edited books on immigration and white nationalism.  She has created a non-profit group to help her promote her conservative views. When she showered praise on a “documentary” film called “A Conversation About Race,” the Southern Poverty Law Center called her “an apologist for white supremacists.” She and her supporters at the anti-immigration Center for Immigration Studies lambasted SPLC – she calls it a hate group that “harasses conservatives” – but even her fans at the Wall Street Journal, which came to her defense, found parts of the film “inflammatory and invidious.”  And they noted that on immigration, Swain’s views “are closer to Lou Dobbs’s than to ours.”

Swain’s most recent book, 2011’s Be the People, places her firmly in the right-wing activist camp. She says the book is “a call to action for We the People to reclaim our nation’s faith and promise.”  The blurbs at the front of Be the People let you know what you’re in for. Among the right-wing stars praising the book are Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Tony Perkins, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Robert George, Harry Jackson, and Jesse Lee Peterson. 

No wonder they love Swain: she writes respectfully of those who question President Obama’s faith and about birthers – she calls the term itself “pejorative” and an “epithet. Part of the book is a Christian-nation screed that would make David Barton proud. “We are engaged in a battle for the soul of our nation,” she writes. She slams the Supreme Court’s rulings on separation of church and state, saying, “The expulsion of God from public schools was a blow to civil religion and a clear repudiation of what Jesus proclaimed to be the greatest commandment.”

She cites Stephen Keillor, who says the 9/11 attacks might have been God’s judgment against the United States, which we well deserve. “We are being confronted with numerous national disasters and freak weather patterns. Could some of these occurrences be related to our decision to reject biblical injunctions against abortion, greed, homosexuality, fornication, and adultery?” While Swain calls her book a “rallying cry” for people to get involved, she also says it may be too late for America to escape God’s wrath for having violated the covenant its founders made with God.  “Accept the fact that no matter what Christians and other believers do, it may be too late to save the United States of America….As it stands, we do not know if judgment has been determined for our nation.”

In the chapter on immigration reform, Swain mentions testifying on immigration before a congressional committee. She was outnumbered on the panel, she says, but was encouraged by friendly faces like those of Reps. Steve King and Lamar Smith. She writes, “In light of the high unemployment in the US, no sensible argument can be made for legalizing millions of undocumented persons currently holding jobs to which they are not entitled.”

Swain also takes on the interpretation of scripture by pro-reform evangelicals, saying that the “stranger” in Old Testament injunctions does not apply to people in the U.S. illegally. She even impugns Catholic leaders for supporting immigration reform efforts, suggesting they are motivated by a desire to boost church membership. Among the specific proposals in her definition of reform are that Congress should “flex its muscles” and legislatively close the “loophole” of birthright citizenship under the 14thamendment.

In May, Swain wrote that the publisher Charisma House had abruptly cancelled the publication of her most recent book, “Who’s Stealing Our Kids? Revealing the Hidden Agenda to Secularize Our Children,” written with Steve Feazel, saying that she suspected “politics was involved.” In a comment on her post announcing the cancellation, she suggested that some people might be upset because even though she had voted for Cruz, she had been defending Donald Trump. From the product description at CBN:

We are living in a post-Christian America, where morality has been supplanted by a cultural relativism that threatens the future of our children and grandchildren. Increasingly we appear to be on the losing side of a cultural war. The resulting moral erosion is growing in our schools, our colleges, our entertainment media, our news media, our halls of justice, and rapidly reshaping our culture by altering the values of our children.

Pat Buchanan: 'Obama Should Tell Black Lives Matter To Stop The Hate'

Pat Buchanan, a notorious purveyor of bigoted rhetoric and friend of hate groups, dedicated a column today to calling Black Lives Matter a hateful undertaking and criticizing President Obama and Hillary Clinton for not opposing the movement.

Buchanan said that lawlessness inspired by Black Lives Matter will propel voters to support his preferred candidate, Donald Trump: “If Black Lives Matter does not clean up its act, Obama and Clinton will have to throw this crowd over the side, or the BLM will take her down.”

“Obama should tell Black Lives Matter to stop the hate,” he said. “But though he has shown no reluctance to lecture white America, he has rarely shown the same stern judgment with black America.”

Obama should tell Black Lives Matter to stop the hate. But though he has shown no reluctance to lecture white America, he has rarely shown the same stern judgment with black America.



Mistakes are going to be made, and tragedies occur, as with the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, killed in Cleveland while waving a toy pistol.

But if there is to be a social explosion every time an incident occurs, like the deaths of Trayvon Martin, shot while beating a neighborhood watch coordinator, and Michael Brown, shot in Ferguson after trying to grab a cop’s gun, America is going to be permanently polarized.

And there is no doubt where the majority will come down, and who will be the near-term beneficiary.

Monday, Donald Trump declared himself “the law and order candidate,” and added: “America’s police … are what separates civilization from total chaos and destruction of our country as we know it.”

And Clinton? On Friday, she said, “I’m going to be talking to white people. I think we’re the ones who have to start listening.”

Prediction: If Black Lives Matter does not clean up its act, Obama and Clinton will have to throw this crowd over the side, or the BLM will take her down.

Donald Trump: 'We're Going Up, Up, Up' With Hispanic Voters

Donald Trump made another appearance on televangelist Pat Robertson’s program today, where he boasted about nonexistent polls showing him leading Hillary Clinton in the presidential race.

Trump told Robertson that he leads Clinton in Pennsylvania and that he “hears” he is tied with her in Connecticut, adding that he even has “a good chance of winning New York” in the general election. In reality, polls consistently show Trump trailing Clinton in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, and the presumptive GOP nominee is down by more than 20 points in New York.

The conversation then turned to his standing among Hispanic voters, with Trump insisting that the “purely dishonest” media has misrepresented him and deliberately twisted his otherwise “perfect” statements to make them appear disparaging to Latinos.

“You really love Mexicans, Hispanics,” Robertson said. “Talk to us about that, because you’re portrayed as a guy who hates Mexicans, but you don’t hate them.”

Trump concurred: “I have great relationships with Hispanics, with Mexicans. I have thousands of people working for me and have worked for me. Thousands and thousands.”

“We’re going up, up, up,” he said. “We’re going up, up, up because they realize I don’t want people coming in illegally and those people that are coming in illegally are going to take the jobs of the people that are already here and are here legally and went through a process.”

Joseph Farah Blames Obama's Gun Stance For Castile And Sterling Shootings

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah dedicated his column yesterday to arguing that the Justice Department shouldn’t get involved in investigating the recent police shootings of two African American men, Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana, in part because the DOJ “and its boss, Barack Obama, have only served to fan the flames of racial division for the last eight years, thus becoming part of the problem rather than part of the solution.”

Farah not only blamed Obama for fanning “the flames of racial division,” but he managed to connect the president to the shootings themselves, noting that both men were carrying weapons when they were shot and it is Obama who “has helped perpetuate this notion that armed civilians automatically represent danger to the public and the police.”

There’s one more critical facet of these two recent police killings that are worth noting.

In both cases, the men killed had guns in their possession – and that fact led directly to their executions. For victim Castile, it was particularly heartbreaking. He had a concealed carry permit and offered to the police officers who had stopped his vehicle with his girlfriend and child aboard that he had in his possession a firearm and a permit for it. He was trying to be forthright, candid, helpful.

It cost him his life.

As he reportedly reached for his wallet at the instruction of an officer who demanded his license and registration, he was repeatedly shot and left to bleed to death without any medical attention from officers. They never even checked his pulse.

What attracted cops in Baton Rouge to the other victim, Sterling, was a call placed by a homeless man to police about a man with a gun. Sterling never drew his gun on officers. He can’t be seen reaching for it as two cops tackle him to the ground. Then he is shot point black in the chest at least five times while he is subdued.

There is no excuse for this.

Cops like this are unfit to wear a uniform and carry guns themselves. Again, who has helped perpetuate this notion that armed civilians automatically represent danger to the public and the police?

I can think of no one more responsible for creating that climate of hysteria than Barack Obama.

The Absurd Hypocrisy At The Heart Of David Barton's 'School Of Practical Government'

Right-wing pseudo-historian and GOP platform committee member David Barton closed out a presentation last week at Charis Bible College in Colorado, where he is in the process of launching a "School of Practical Government," by sharing a couple of historical quotes that perfectly expose the utterly absurd hypocrisy that lies at the heart of his latest endeavor.

After spending nearly an hour explaining how his "School of Practical Government" will prepare students to seek public office for the purpose of implementing public policy based explicitly on the Bible, Barton read quotes from the likes of Samuel Adams and Benjamin Rush, who have said that those who seek office are not to be trusted and that those who refuse to serve in office when asked are selfish.

First he cited this quote from Adams:

It bodes very ill to Government when Men are exalted to places of high trust through their own Sollicitations.  He only fills a place with Dignity, who is invited to it by his Fellow Citizens, from the Experience they have had of his adequate Abilities, & who does the Duties of it with Zeal & Fidelity ... Whoever interposes in their Elections, with his own Sollicitations for himself, it is to be feard, if he is of any Consequence, will in time become a dangerous Party Man.  He ought therefore to be despised as an obtruder.

Barton then cited a similar quote from Noah Webster:

As a general rule, it may be affirmed that the man who never intrigues for office may be most safely entrusted with office...Such a man cannot desire promotion unless he received it from the respectable part of the community, for he considers no other promotion to be honorable.

It seems rather odd that Barton would cite quotes warning voters not to trust people who seek public office while promoting a school that is designed to teach people how to run for office and even includes a class entitled "How to Run For Office."

To make matters worse, Barton then cited a quote from Rush to argue that if people approach you to ask you to run for office, "you are not allowed to say 'no' because that was being selfish ... Didn't God put you here to serve others? "

Back in 2013, Barton himself was asked by his friends like Glenn Beck to run for the U.S. Senate and refused to do so, though that has somehow not stopped him from regularly lecturing other people that they have no right to be selfish by doing exactly what he did.

Right-Wing Republican Platform Committee Affirms Opposition to LGBT Equality

We noted yesterday that Religious Right leaders had spent months making sure that the Republican platform committee would be stacked with “strong conservative voices” in order to resist an organized effort by pro-equality Republicans to replace anti-gay language in 2012’s far-right platform with something more inclusive. Yesterday’s platform committee session made it clear that the Right Wing was successful, as efforts to amend the draft platform language were repeatedly batted down.

Instead the committee affirmed the party’s support for marriage only for one man and one woman. The platform specifically rejects the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling and calls for its reversal “whether through judicial reconsideration or a constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to the states.”

A delegate from D.C., Rachel Hoff, identified herself as the first openly gay member of the platform committee and joked that as she hadn’t been raised in a Republican family, she wasn’t “born this way” and chose to be a Republican. But her colleagues were unmoved by her heartfelt plea for a more inclusive platform and rejected language that would have encouraged a “thoughtful conversation” and  recognized the growing support among Republicans for marriage equality (a 2014 Pew poll found more than 60-percent support for marriage equality among Republicans under 30).

There were a few libertarian-leaning voices on the committee, and they tended to appear younger than the average member, but they were out-gunned on LGBT issues as well as challenges to drug war orthodoxy and support for medicinal marijuana. Perhaps in deference to the twice-divorced and thrice-married Donald Trump, platform committee members did vote down an amendment condemning no-fault divorce. The committee voted to keep in language calling on government officials to encourage schools to teach the Bible as literature.

Some of the debate was spirited even if the results were ultimately one-sided. When a conservative delegate proposed inserting “traditional” before “two-parent families” in a section about what is best for children, a couple of delegates called it an extra slap in the face to LGBT people and an insult to single parents, but the amendment passed. When a New York delegate challenged language supporting the First Amendment Defense Act — a federal bill to give legal protection to anti-LGBT discrimination — a Virginia delegate accused her of calling the bill’s supporters bigots, language she had not used.

Among the members of the committee who have worked to make sure the platform keeps the party’s social conservatives happy: the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins; discredited Christian-nation “historian” David Barton; former Texas Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar; Eagle Forum political chair Sandy McDade; right-wing attorney James Bopp; and Center for Arizona Policy founder Len Munsil.

Munsil, who now heads Arizona Christian University, gave the prayer to open today’s platform committee session, which began a little after 8 a.m. with a discussion of the platform’s economic policy section. Munsil’s prayer had echoes of the Christian-nation rhetoric of activists like Barton and David Lane; he referenced the Mayflower Compact, said God has blessed America because “we have honored You and Your word,” and prayed, “in the mighty name of Jesus,” for “an awakening among our leaders.”

Bryan Fischer: 'It's Not Okay For Christians To Have Diverse Opinions'

On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer recounted a debate he had last week on Twitter with Christian Today writer Andrew Walton over Walton's piece criticizing the newly opened Ark Encounter theme park in Kentucky, which was built by the Creationist group Answers in Genesis for the purpose of promoting the organization's fundamentalist view of the Bible.

During his discussion, Fischer took exception to Walton's assertion in his article that Christians "may have diverse opinions on sexual ethics, on life issues, on evolution, on hell, on what role government should play in society, on healthcare, and indeed on science," insisting that, in fact, Christians cannot have opinions on those issues if they differ from Fischer's interpretation of the Bible.

"No, it is not okay for Christians to be all over the map, to have diverse opinions," Fischer insisted. "No, it's not okay. The Bible is abundantly clear about sexual ethics, sex is reserved for marriage, marriage is a union of one man and one woman, homosexuality is a sin, sexual immorality is a sin, et cetera. These things are not ambiguous in the scripture so, no, it's not okay to have diverse opinions on those issues."

"It's not okay to have diverse opinions on life issues," Fischer continued. "It's not okay for Christians to have diverse opinions about evolution."

Savage: 'Straight, Heterosexual, White, Male, Christian' Is The 'Most Oppressed Member Of Society'

Last week, talk radio host Michael Savage continued his attacks on former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson for filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes, the network’s CEO.

He compared defendants in sexual harassment lawsuits to the dissidents who have been persecuted in communist countries like North Korea and mocked “the myth” of “the poor, downtrodden woman” in America.

“What’s this nonsense about ‘oppressed this, oppressed that’?” Savage said on his program on Wednesday. “The most oppressed member of society, as I’ve said before and I’m willing to stand by this again: The most ridiculed, the most oppressed member of society today is the straight, heterosexual, white, male Christian. Period.”

The Anti-Choice Movement Is Going All-In For Trump

At last weekend’s National Right to Life Convention outside of Washington, D.C., there was one name that was on everyone’s minds, even if it was rarely uttered aloud: Donald Trump.

Speaker after speaker discussed the 2016 election while sidestepping what one conference-goer called the “elephant in the room,” Trump’s place at the top of the Republican ticket. But attendees were not about to let the topic go, and several speakers were pressed about the organization’s stance on the presidential election during question-and-answer sessions.

While a handful of National Right to Life state affiliates have endorsed Trump, the national group has yet to take an official position in the general election. The group endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz in the waning days of the Republican primary, citing Trump’s many flip-flops on abortion rights.

James Bopp, the legendary conservative attorney who serves as the National Right to Life Committee’s general counsel, was one of the few speakers to bring up the presumptive GOP nominee without prompting, never mentioning the candidate by name but saying that “there’s only one conclusion you can come to” in the race since the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, is “100 percent evil” and “will never make a correct decision on anything.”

Fr. Frank Pavone, the head of Priests for Life, made a similar argument after being pressed about his position on Trump at the conference, attempting to downplay the power that Trump would have and play up the influence that he would give to those around him, presumably people more in line with the anti-choice movement’s goals and messaging.

“When you think about it,” Pavone said, “the situation we have now is just a heightened version of what we face in any electoral choice, namely you’re choosing between two people, you know, you can have problems with both of them. A vote doesn’t mean that you agree with the person, a vote doesn’t mean that you think the person’s right. A vote is a transfer of power.”

“Remember that the presidency is more than the man or woman who occupies the Oval Office,” he added. “You’re putting a whole party into power. You’re putting a whole team into power. Every one of these candidates is surrounded by a large number of smart and influential people who are going to set boundaries and advise them and point them in the right direction. And not only that, but you have, we still do have checks and balances in our system. So if we were voting for a dictator it would be a very different scenario.”

Pavone mentioned that he had recently spoken with John Mashburn, a Trump aide whose hiring was meant in part as a bridge to abortion rights opponents.

Karen Cross, National Right to Life’s political director, was also confronted about Trump during a breakout session by an attendee who called the Republican candidate “the elephant in the room at this whole convention.”

Cross, whose presentation had been about the damage she said was caused by anti-choice activists who demand purity in their candidates and thus let pro-choice candidates win, also offered the Clinton-is-worse argument.

“We have to work against Hillary,” she said. “Hillary is 100 percent pro-abortion, she is the Emily's List, Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, voted and worked against — I mean, she's against the partial-birth abortion ban, she's spoken against the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, she has committed to appointing pro-abortion justices to the court. She is horrible.”

Yet she acknowledged that “this is the most different, most difficult election I've ever seen, ever.”

Mainstream anti-abortion groups have largely fallen in line behind Trump, despite their initial doubts. The Susan B. Anthony List, for instance, has said it will back Trump despite the fact that its president once signed a letter urging primary voters to “support anyone but Donald Trump,” calling into question his commitment to the anti-abortion cause and saying she was “disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women, in particular.” Americans United for Life has not taken an official position on Trump, but its acting president told The Washington Times in May that it would be impossible to support Clinton.

At the National Right to Life Convention, speakers focused on the goal of keeping a Republican majority in the Senate, while not dwelling on the risk that having Trump at the top of the ticket may pose to some of their favored candidates.

In one moment of dissonance, Raimundo Rojas, the National Right to Life Committee’s director of Latino outreach, who was giving a workshop on reaching Latino audiences, showed a slide detailing the performance of past Republican presidential candidates among Latino voters. He noted that ignoring or alienating the Hispanic media can spell doom for a candidate. He never mentioned Trump.

Richard Land: Trump Can Get Evangelical Votes By Promising To Put Ted Cruz On Supreme Court

Evangelical seminary president Richard Land told the American Family Association’s One News Now today that Donald Trump could help himself “enormously” with social conservatives “if he were to hold a press conference and say that if he is indeed elected president, that he will nominate Ted Cruz to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.”

Land has previously promoted some pretty extreme ideas about the federal courts. Just after the November 2014 elections in which Republicans took control of the Senate, Land called on Republicans not to confirm a single federal judge for the final two years of Obama’s term.

Land, who was president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission for 25 years, is serving on a religious advisory panel for Trump even though last October he said he was “dismayed” by Trump’s “mystifying and somewhat depressing” popularity among evangelicals. At the time, he called support for Trump “a failure on our part to adequately disciple our people.”

His earlier lack of enthusiasm for Trump was in spite of sharing some similar personal history. In 2012, Land announced his retirement from the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission in the midst of a controversy over inflammatory comments he made saying that President Obama was using the Trayvon Martin killing “to try to gin up the black vote” for his re-election. Although Land eventually apologized, his initial response to criticism was defiant, saying that he had been “speaking the truth in love” and would not “bow to the false god of political correctness.”

Jesse Lee Peterson: Dems Orchestrated Black Lives Matter Protests To Distract From Hillary's Emails

Conservative activist Jesse Lee Peterson said in an interview on “Breitbart News Saturday” this weekend that Democrats, including the “evil” President Obama, orchestrated recent protests of police killings of black men in order to distract from the controversy over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while at the State Department.

Matt Boyle, the program’s host, first floated the theory, saying that “professional agitators” including the president, Rev. Al Sharpton and “some of these local organizers” are “whipping up fear and hatred, all designed to then corral that anger into a political force that they can use to win elections.”

Boyle said that it seemed to him that “this was their response to Hillary Clinton coming under serious scrutiny and losing control of the narrative, right, is that they go right back to doing this, which is designed to try to propel her into the White House over Donald Trump.”

“That’s right,” Peterson said, “Hillary Clinton lying about her emails is now out of the news. We’re not talking about that anymore, because if they knew that that could stay in the news, if Americans were reminded that Hillary was a liar and that she cannot be trusted, there’s a big chance that she would not win come November.”

He said that “a lot of black folks” he’d talked to around the country “like Donald Trump.”

“The Democrats know that,” he said, “Barack Obama understands that for the first time they could lose this election with a Clinton, toward a Clinton, and so they don’t want that to happen and that’s why they have to keep her lies out of the media. And, unfortunately, between now and November, it’s going to get worse. We think what happened in Dallas the other day was bad … but it’s going to get worse between now and November, because Barack Obama is an evil man. He has no love in his heart at all. He’s been taught how to manipulate, connive, and how to organize a people in a way where he can control them.”

Sarah Palin: Black Lives Matter Is Racist And 'The Antithesis Of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Message'

Yesterday on “Breitbart News Sunday,” Sarah Palin blamed the murder of five police officers in Dallas on the “intolerant” Black Lives Matter movement, which she said preaches that “one race matters more than another” and “is excluding anyone but someone who happens to be a black America in terms of wanting to protect and respect that person’s life.”

“It’s the antithesis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s message, it’s the antithesis of our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, our charters of liberty which says, ‘All men are created equal,’” she said.

“They’re not protesters,” she said of Black Lives Matter supporters, claiming that these “thugs” and “rioters” are “shouting ‘death to cops’ and celebrating violence.”

Palin then, incomprehensibly, said that listeners must “consider this atrocity that is going on right now which is the quashing of or thwarting of America’s law and order as exemplified, as worked out, as manifested by that thin blue line, by our law enforcement and men and women in uniform who are protecting law and order in America, the not peaceful protesters who are up in arms against just, you know, the whole kit and caboodle of all law enforcement right now, as we see in Black Lives Matter, is turning our country into such a volatile and scary place, it is part of that fundamental transformation of America that Barack Obama had promised to do to America, that’s what I came at with my perspective is.”

David Barton Will Train Right-Wing Christians To 'Regain' Control Of Government And Implement Biblical Public Policy

Last week, David Barton spoke at Charis Bible College's "Summer Family Bible Conference" to promote the Seven Mountains based "School of Practical Government" that he is establishing at Andrew Wommack's Charis Bible College in Colorado for the purpose of training right-wing Christians how to take control of all levels of government. 

Barton, who is currently in Cleveland helping to shape the GOP platform ahead of the Republican National Convention, said that Christians must "regain this arena that God has originally given to us." To this end, the main purpose of Barton's school will be to instill in students the proper "biblical worldview" because having the correct biblical worldview is key to implementing biblical public policy. 

People who haven't read the Bible "won't have a clue about marriage, they won't have a clue about abortion, they won't have a clue about God made them male and female, end of story," Barton said, which is why these are "not the kind of people that we want to put in office."

Graduates of Barton's school, on the other hand, will know the Bible verses that set out the proper public policy for everything from the minimum wage to estate taxes.

"You'll know what God says about the capital gains tax," Barton promised, "you'll know what God says about the progressive income tax, you will know what God says about due process rights ... All of these are public policy issues and if you know the position that God has taken on public policy issues, then you get much better policy coming out."

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