Fighting the Right

Gun Lobbyist: Gun Restrictions Are Like Banning The Bible

Last week, Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan Gottlieb joined Colorado state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt on his “Pray in Jesus Name” program, where he argued that banning specific types of firearms is akin to banning specific books, for instance the Bible.  

Speaking about his group’s contention that the attorney general of Massachusetts is improperly restricting the sale of some semiautomatic handguns, Gottlieb asked viewers to compare the “bureaucracy that is allowed to decide what guns you can own and you can’t own” with a scenario in which “the government was deciding what books you can read or books you couldn’t read.”

“You could have a book about Satan,” he continued, “but you couldn’t have the Bible.”

“A lot of First Amendment, Second Amendment issues are really kind of tied together,” he said, in that “you really can’t unravel the Bill of Rights or shred one part of it without shredding the whole document.”

Ted Cruz To Drop By The American Family Association For A Chat While Campaigning In Tupelo

Tomorrow morning, Sen. Ted Cruz will be in Tupelo, Mississippi, for a presidential campaign rally, which just so happens to be where the headquarters of the American Family Association, a viciously anti-gay hate group and the home of some of the most bigoted voices on Religious Right radio today, is located.

Naturally, Cruz will be stopping by the AFA while he is in town for an in-person radio interview with AFA president Tim Wildmon, who is the sort of reasonable person who reacted to the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling by calling it "a spiritual 9/11."

As Bryan Fischer explained on his American Family Radio program today, Cruz will be sitting down with Wildmon in-studio for an interview at approximately 10:30 a.m. local time tomorrow morning ... an offer that Fischer made clear was likewise open to any GOP presidential candidate who is willing to stop by the AFA headquarters:

Fischer: Donald Trump's Attacks On Megyn Kelly Show His 'Ultimate Respect' For Women

On his program today, Bryan Fischer defended Donald Trump 's sexist attacks on Megyn Kelly after the Fox News host dared to question Trump about his past sexist remarks during last week's Republican primary debate.

As Fischer sees it, Trump's philosophy is that "I'm not going to attack anybody, but if you attack me, then I am going to counter punch" and so his attacks on Kelly have actually been a sign of "ultimate respect" for women.

"I think you could make an argument that he has shown women more respect than anybody else because he is showing them the ultimate respect of treating them as full equals," Fischer said. "He is saying to these women like Megyn Kelly, if you want to punch me, I'm going to treat you the same way that I treat the guys. You're going to get equal treatment from me, I'm not going to cut you a break. If you're going to step into the ring with the big boys, then I am going to treat you like one of the big boys."

Fischer, of course, unleashed his own sexist attack on Kelly back in 2013, calling her an angry, bitter, and hostile "dragon lady."

Glenn Beck's 8/28 Event Will Fulfill Prophecy And Bring About The Third Great Awakening

At the end of the month, Glenn Beck will be hosting an event in Birmingham, Alabama, called "Never Again Is Now," which is being organized for ... well, we're not exactly sure. Initially created in response to the brutal persecution by ISIS of Christians in the Middle East, it has since morphed into some vague "Restoring Unity" gathering and march that will feature a variety of Religious Right activists mobilizing to save this country, especially in the wake of the Supreme Court's recent gay marriage ruling.

On his radio program this morning, Beck revealed that this gathering is actually the fulfillment of a prophecy given to Christian leaders in Birmingham during the Civil Right Movement of the 1960s and will unleash this nation's Third Great Awakening.

"I want to talk to you a little bit [about] the prophecy given to the people of Birmingham during the 1960s," Beck said, "that Birmingham would heal and then, in time, it would be the city that began the Third Great Awakening."

"There is a prophecy, I guess, given to the churches in Birmingham, Alabama, back in the 1960s or early 1970s, as that city is burning itself down, that it would come together and it would heal and then, later, it would be the starting place of the Third Great Awakening," he continued, later in the program. "I think that's what is happening."

The First Great Awakening "led to American Revolution," Beck explained, while the Second Great Awakening brought an end to slavery in America. Now is the time for a Third Great Awakening that will "proclaim liberty throughout the land," and Beck's 8/28 event is the catalyst that will bring it about.

Michele Bachmann Predicts 'World War III'; Jan Markell Foresees 'Nuclear Apocalypse'

Michele Bachmann took to “Understanding the Times with Jan Markell” this weekend to warn that President Obama has taken the world into the End Times with the Iranian nuclear agreement.

The former Minnesota congresswoman also recounted how she personally urged President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to bomb Iran as “one of the greatest acts of peace” rather than pursue negotiations. The nuclear deal, Bachmann said, “ensures World War III,” adding that Obama is “doing everything in his power to put weapons of mass destruction — the most lethal known to man — in the hands of Israel’s greatest enemy, Iran.”

Markell then proceeded to read the words of Christian Zionist activist Jim Hutchens: “What has not been noted is the fact that our narcissistic, self-absorbed president has prematurely achieved his demonic obsession for a legacy. He will be known throughout eternity as the one who jump-started the process that produced the largest and most destructive nuclear holocaust of humanity, the slaughter of a third of mankind, over two and a third billion people. Read Revelations 6:13-19.”

After agreeing with Bachmann’s assessment that the Iranian deal fulfills biblical prophecy, the radio host added that the UN Security Council’s approval of the Iranian nuclear agreement represented a “huge leap” to “a nuclear apocalypse, the days of the Antichrist and the time of Jacob’s trouble.”

Marco Rubio's Fetal Personhood Argument In Disguise

In last week’s GOP presidential debate, Mike Huckabee made an explicit argument in favor of radical fetal personhood laws, claiming that Congress could pass a law granting rights to fertilized eggs and fetuses under the 14th and Fifth Amendments, thus criminalizing all abortion and possibly common forms of birth control in one fell swoop.

But one of Huckabee’s fellow candidates made a very similar comment, which has received less attention because he did not explicitly acknowledge the personhood movement. Here’s what Marco Rubio said when Fox News’ Megyn Kelly asked about his support for abortion bans that have contained exceptions for survivors of rape and incest, a deal-breaker for personhood proponents:

Kelly: You don’t favor a rape and incest exception?

Rubio: I have never said that. And I have never advocated that. What I have advocated is that we pass law in this country that says all human life at every stage of its development is worthy of protection. In fact, I think that law already exists. It is called the Constitution of the United States.

And let me go further. I believe that every single human being is entitled to the protection of our laws, whether they can vote or not. Whether they can speak or not. Whether they can hire a lawyer or not. Whether they have a birth certificate or not. And I think future generations will look back at this history of our country and call us barbarians for murdering millions of babies who we never gave them a chance to live.

As Katie McDonough at Fusion pointed out, Rubio’s answer was a “roundabout” personhood argument.

By saying that the Constitution already entitles fertilized eggs and fetuses to “the protection of our laws” and that Congress merely needs to “pass a law” stating that “says all human life at every stage of its development is worthy of protection,” Rubio seems to be arguing for a personhood bill such as that proposed by fellow GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul in the Senate. (Personhood proponents believe that there is a loophole in Roe v. Wade that allows a ban on all abortions and some common forms of birth control to be accomplished legislatively, rather than through a constitutional amendment.)

However, Rubio did not sign on as a cosponsor of Paul’s bill. And the Florida senator has supported abortion bans containing rape and incest exceptions, although he clarified after the debate he did so out of political necessity, not because he supports such exceptions.

Even anti-choice activists are unclear about what Rubio meant in his answer to Kelly. The Christian Post thinks that Rubio was taking the same position on Personhood as Huckabee. Personhood USA, the group behind state-level personhood ballot measures, was more skeptical, writing that while Rubio expressed a “noble sentiment,” he must “repent” for supporting laws containing rape and incest exceptions and “will have to clarify” his position.

What is clear is that Rubio’s answer was calculated to appeal to radical anti-choice activists without being immediately off-putting to viewers who are terrified of fetal personhood laws. Beyond that, he should be asked to clarify what his position on personhood really is.

Michele Bachmann: Obama Fulfilled End Times Prophecy With Iran Deal, So Celebrate!

In an interview with Religious Right radio host Jan Markell this weekend, former Rep. Michele Bachmann once again claimed that President Obama is ushering in the End Times, this time citing the nuclear agreement with Iran as proof of the arrival of the Last Days.

Bachmann claimed that the unanimous UN Security Council vote to approve the agreement was “the most important national security event of my lifetime” because it fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah 12:3 that all the nations of the world will unite against Israel, “with the United States leading that charge.” She added that God and “heaven’s armies” will use groups like AIPAC to defeat the deal in Congress and in doing so “prove to the world His power and His strength.”

“There are consequences to doing things like this against God’s covenant land, there are horrible consequences,” Markell said. “Then you throw in some other things such as the Supreme Court decision back in late June and a lot of other things. Judgment isn’t just coming; judgment is already here.”

Bachmann told listeners that they should feel “encouraged” by the fact that they are living in the End Times, explaining that these dark times are actually the best time to be alive since that means the world will soon come to an end.

“The prophets longed to live in this day that you and I are privileged to live in,” Bachmann said.

Predicting the arrival of nuclear war, Bachmann said that Iran will position its future cache of nuclear weapons in Cuba in order to aim them at the U.S.

Pat Robertson: Gay Marriage Part Of 'Flood Of Evil' Destroying America

In an online video congratulating the Religious Right magazine Charisma on its 40th anniversary last week, televangelist Pat Robertson delivered a rather dire warning for America, claiming that “we are confronting right now a tide of evil that is like nothing that any of us have seen before.”

“We have a government that is set about bringing upon iniquity, we have courts that have distorted the Constitution and have turned our moral values on their ear,” he said. “Who would’ve thought, 30 or 40 years ago when we began, that the Supreme Court would’ve said that homosexuality is a constitutional right? Who would’ve thought that the Supreme Court would’ve said marriage between homosexuals was a constitutional right? Who would’ve thought that the slaughter of babies, over 55 million of them, would’ve been declared a constitutional right by the Supreme Court?”

Robertson urged conservatives to raise their voices against the “tiny group of left-wing judges [who] have distorted our culture,” saying that publications like Charisma give him hope that America will not become “overwhelmed by the flood of evil.”

David Barton: The Declaration Of Independence And Bill Of Rights Came Directly Out Of The Bible

Glenn Beck brought right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton onto his television program last week so that he could deliver another one of his "history" lessons to Beck's audience about how the Founding Fathers took all of the rights guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights straight out of the Bible, specifically Genesis 1-8.

As Barton explained, the purpose of the Declaration was to declare that there was a God, that God created inalienable rights, and that government exists to protect these rights. As such, there were some two dozen rights listed in the Declaration, which eventually were codified into the Bill of Rights, and all of which were taken directly from the Bible.

"They held that all of those came out of Genesis 1-8," Barton said. "That's what they looked to. Genesis 1-8, they went through and said, 'Here's the two dozen rights we see and that's why governments exist.' So this is the God factor and that's what made of different from the beginning."

Barton went on to declare that there is no such thing as separation of church and state or government neutrality toward religion because the Declaration declares unanimously, on behalf of every level of government, that God exists.

"We're told by the courts today that, well, we've got people among us that don't believe in God and to make it fair for everybody, government will take no position for or against God, we're going to be neutral between religion and non-religion," Barton said. "Look at the title of the Declaration of Independence. The title says this is 'the unanimous declaration of the thirteen states of the United States of America.' Every political entity in America said, hey, this is what we in the political world hold true: There is a God, He gives rights to man, and government exists to protect God-given rights. You can't be neutral in America on the God factor because none of our documents are. It's just real clear."

Beck, of course, was blown away by this revelation, as Barton declared that it is "nonsensical" for courts to protect the separation of church and state.

Pat Robertson: Gay And Gay-Accepting Christians Going To Hell

Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson railed against a church with a gay pastor, saying that gay Christians and Christians who support gay rights are defying the Bible.

“To have a church saying [homosexuality] is not a sin, it’s okay, they’re leading people down the road to perdition,” he told a viewer who had recently attended an inclusive church. “If I were you, I would stay far away from them.”

Robertson told viewers in an earlier edition of the show that gay Christians are a threat to the faith.

Michael Savage: Megyn Kelly Looked Like A Pig While Questioning Donald Trump

Following last week’s GOP presidential debate on Fox News, conservative talk show hosts including Rush Limbaugh and Mike Levin have been accusing the conservative news channel of trying to undercut Donald Trump’s presidential bid on behalf of the GOP establishment.

Michael Savage, a right-wing radio host who once wished that Trump would rule America as a dictator, also lashed out at debate moderator Megyn Kelly last week, deriding her as “Mayhem Kelly” and “Martha Washington.” He said that Kelly and the Fox News crew have “gone over to the dark side” and are now “working for Hillary Clinton.”

“The more she sells out, the wider her nostrils have become,” Savage said. “Have you seen them flair? This woman was once pretty and the more she has sold out the wider her nostrils have become. They’re almost porcine. She snorts her insults at America.”

Savage then went on to compare Kelly to Beavis from “Beavis and Butt-head,” saying her nose “was reminiscent of Beavis’ nose.”

“She really stepped in it,” Savage added, “she used the same damned Dem tactic, she attacked ‘the war on women,’ poor little women, poor little defenseless women.”

Huckabee Goes All In On 'Equal Protection' And 'Due Process' For Zygotes

In a field of GOP presidential candidates who spent a good part of their first presidential debate trying to out-extreme each other on the issue of abortion restrictions, Mike Huckabee is trying to stand out by going all in on the idea of fetal personhood, which would criminalize abortion under all circumstances and could even ban common forms of birth control. 

As we noted last week, Huckabee seems to have gotten behind the idea that fertilized eggs and fetuses can be granted equal protection and due process rights under the 14th and Fifth Amendments through simple legislation, rather than a constitutional amendment, a legal theory that is disputed by even some major anti-choice groups.

Although Huckabee remains vague on how he would go about granting constitutional rights to zygotes, he seems to have decided that talking about fetal personhood — an idea so unpopular that it has been repeatedly rejected by voters, even in the deep-red states of Mississippi and North Dakota — is his ticket to the GOP nomination.

In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, Huckabee said that the personhood issue is what “separates” him from the other GOP candidates (despite the fact that Rand Paul sponsored a personhood bill in the Senate). He also explicitly rejects the anti-choice movement’s strategy of chipping away at abortion access, saying that although he does want to "eradicate Planned Parenthood," the GOP also needs “to ratchet up this discussion.”

I think it’s time for us to realize that this is not just about us creating a few little restrictions here and there, stopping funding for various organizations. That’s all good, and I’ve been a part of those efforts, signed every piece of legislation imaginable as a governor when I was in Arkansas, helped pass a human life amendment in Arkansas to our state constitution before I even got involved in politics. But I think now that we really need to focus on that this is about personhood, this is about, is that baby a human being? Because if it is, then, David, we have a constitutional responsibility under the Fifth Amendment for due process, we have a responsibility under the 14th Amendment for equal protection, to provide a protection and due process for that person.

So I think we need to ratchet up this discussion and make it not so much about whether we’re going to fund a particular Planned Parenthood organization — which certainly doesn’t need to be funded, they’re butchers, they should have not tax dollars whatsoever. But even if we eradicate Planned Parenthood, you still have 4,000 babies a day that are dying, so why don’t we take the issue where it really belongs, and that’s personhood.

And the one thing that I think separates me from the other candidates, all of whom are pro-life, or they say they are, is that I think it’s time to invoke the Fifth and 14th Amendment and make this an issue of personhood and start protecting innocent life, that’s how we should be approaching this.

Barber: Iran Deal Is 'Treason,' Akin To Giving Nukes To Nazi Germany

On Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program today, Matt Barber attacked the nuclear deal worked out between Iran and United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany, blasting President Obama for engaging in "treason" and stating that the deal is akin to the United States giving Adolf Hitler nuclear weapons in the middle of World War II.

"There was a time, before we entered this age of lawlessness," Barber said, "where what Obama and John Kerry are doing here and have done here would have been called what it is, would have properly been called treason. This is a president who is aiding and abetting the enemies of the western world, America, Israel, and elsewhere, aiding and abetting them, literally giving them the nuke. This is like Neville Chamberlain on steroids, the difference being that Neville Chamberlain didn't give Hitler nuclear weapons. Obama is doing that to the modern-day Hitler."

"Imagine," he continued, "the United States is negotiating with Hitler, it's 1941, we're at war with Germany and imagine the president goes to Hitler and they get together and he says, 'You know what? I know we're at war with you but here's $700 billion for you to develop more weapons and to allocate in ways that will help you win the war and destroy America and have Naziism become a global phenomenon.' That is the parallel we're seeing here."

"It makes you wonder what possibly can be motivating this president to do this," Barber said. "Does he really hate America that much?"

The Activists And Ideology Behind The Latest Attacks On Planned Parenthood

The right-wing extremist group behind the recent Planned Parenthood smear has failed to prove any wrongdoing -- but has succeeded at reinforcing long-held myths within the anti-choice movement.

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/7/15

  • Joe Jervis: Ben Carson: America As We Know It Will Be Destroyed By Independent Trump Run.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/7/15

Bryan Fischer: Going To A Gay Friend's Wedding Is Like Attending The 'Grand Opening' Of Their 'New Crack House'

One of the most memorable moments of last night’s GOP presidential debate was when Ohio Gov. John Kasich said that despite his “traditional” view on marriage he had recently attended the wedding of gay friends. This earned Kasich applause from the debate’s audience, just four years after a similar audience had booed a gay service member.

But some people did not appreciate Kasich’s answer, including American Family Radio’s Bryan Fischer, who explained on his radio program today that attending a gay friend’s wedding is like attending the “grand opening celebration” of a friend’s “new crack house” because you are simply “enabling” that friend’s behavior.

“Really, the issue comes down to what do you think of this kind of behavior,” Fischer said. “Is this good behavior, is this healthy behavior, is this moral behavior, is this the kind of behavior that we ought to celebrate, that we ought to promote?”

“If you have somebody you love and they were dealing crack and they were opening up a new crack house and they were having a grand opening celebration and they invited you to come and be a part of the grand opening celebration of this crack house, would you go?” he asked. “Of course not!”

Fischer made a similar comparison in a column earlier this year.

Ben Carson's Bible-Based Tax System and Other GOP Adventures In 'Biblical Economics'

In last night’s Republican presidential debate, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said he would base a new tax system on the biblical system of tithing. “I think God is a pretty fair guy,” he said.

And he said, you know, if you give me a tithe, it doesn’t matter how much you make. If you’ve had a bumper crop, you don’t owe me triple tithes. And if you’ve had no crops at all, you don’t owe me no tithes. So there must be something inherently fair about that.

And that’s why I’ve advocated a proportional tax system. You make $10 billion, you pay a billion. You make $10, you pay one. And everybody gets treated the same way. And you get rid of the deductions, you get rid of all the loopholes, and…

Carson has plenty of company on the far right. The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer has declared, “God believes in a flat tax.” On his radio show last year, Fischer said, “That’s what a tithe is, it’s a tax.”

Of course, that kind of flat tax would amount to a massive tax cut for the richest Americans and a tax hike on the poorest. So it’s not terribly surprising the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity has teamed up with the Religious Right to promote the idea that progressive taxation is an un-Christian idea. AFP joined Religious Right groups to create the Freedom Federation, one of the right-wing coalitions that sprung up in opposition to Barack Obama’s election as president. The coalition’s founding “Declaration of American Values” declares its allegiance to a system of taxes that is “not progressive in nature.”

David Barton, the pseudo-historian, GOP activist, and Glenn Beck ally, is a major promoter of the idea that the Bible opposes progressive taxes, capital gains taxes, and minimum wage. Barton’s views are grounded in the philosophy of Christian Reconstructionism, a movement whose thinking has infused both the Religious Right and Tea Party movements with its notion that God gave the family, not the government, responsibility for education — and the church, not the government, responsibility for taking care of the poor. 

That’s how we have Republican members of Congress supporting cuts in food stamps by appealing to the Bible. And how we get Samuel Rodriguez, the most prominent conservative Hispanic evangelical leader, saying that a desire to “punish success” — i.e. progressive taxes — “is anti-Christian and anti-American.”

This notion that laissez-faire economics, small government, and flat taxes are divine mandates, and that taxation is theft, is also how we end up with the Heritage Foundation promoting the idea that “[t]hose who esteem the Bible should also applaud St. Milton Friedman and other Church of Chicago prelates, because their insights amplify what the Bible suggests about economics.” And the idea that unions and collective bargaining are unbiblical is how we get Religious Right groups celebrating Scott Walker’s war on unions.

Gohmert: Obama Using Immigrants To 'Dilute' Votes Of People Who Know How To Keep 'Republic Going'

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, speculated in a radio interview yesterday that President Obama wants to increase the number of skilled-worker visas in order to “dilute” the American voting pool with people who haven’t “been educated about the responsibilities of keeping a republic going.”

Discussing H-1B visas with Virginia talk radio host John Fredericks, Gohmert said, “Wow, John, it’s like the president has some idea that he wants to just dilute people that have been educated about the responsibilities of keeping a republic going out there voting, Isn’t that a crazy idea.”

Gohmert and Fredericks also expressed frustration that the House GOP leadership has yet to move to defund Planned Parenthood after the release of a series of videos smearing the organization, which both said was just bringing America closer to a “day of reckoning.”

“People are starting to feel that there’s going to be a day of reckoning for all this stuff,” Fredericks said, “whether it’s $20 trillion in debt, $123 trillion of unfunded mandates, or 60 million abortions since Roe v. Wade, and now dismembering babies. I mean, there’s going to be a day of reckoning, it always happens throughout history.”

“Yes, and there will be a day of reckoning and we know it’s coming,” Gohmert said, “so it’s really outrageous for us not to be out there dealing with these critical issues.”

Sandy Rios: Obama An 'Atheist' With 'Muslim Sympathies'

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios devoted her radio program this morning to taking calls from listeners about last night’s Republican presidential debates on Fox News. One listener, who identified himself as “Dave” called in to say that he would “love to see a Ted Cruz–Ben Carson ticket” and “then in eight years, I’d love to see Ben Carson be the first black president” in contrast to the current “Muslim president.”

Rios responded with her own theories about President Obama’s religious affiliation: “We know that he loves the Muslim community and he’s certainly sympathetic and he loves the call to prayer and we’ll say no more, we don’t know — I kind of think he’s an atheist, Dave, to be honest with you, with Muslim sympathies, I always need to clarify that.”

Rios  then got back to Dave’s Cruz-Carson dream ticket, and said she would love to form a “team” of all the GOP nominees, each of whom would take over one governmental department and form “a phalanx of cleaning house.”

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