FRC Distorts Harvard Study To Claim Gay Marriage Harms Children

Surprising no one, the Family Research Council is attempting to spin a new Harvard study which found that “children raised in communities with high percentages of single mothers are significantly less likely to experience absolute and relative mobility” as a reason to oppose marriage equality. FRC president Tony Perkins and senior fellow Peter Sprigg addressed the Harvard findings on Monday’s edition of Washington Watch during a discussion of a proposed anti-gay amendment in Indiana.

After Sprigg noted that “if a child grows up in a community with married households, that child will do better than a child raised in a community where there are many single parent households,” he said that the study affirmed his opposition to marriage equality: “This is exactly what I’ve been saying about the marriage issue, if you redefine marriage it’s not going to affect just those couples, it’s going to affect the whole community by setting an example.”

“That study then answers that question: how does my same-sex marriage affect yours?” Perkins added. “Well, it may not affect my marriage but it affects my children because it has an impact upon marriage across the board.”

Essentially, Perkins and Sprigg are arguing that by banning gay couples from getting married, they will somehow reduce the number of single parent households.

Don’t worry if that argument makes no sense to you, because it shouldn’t: it relies on an oft-repeated but discredited claim that the legalization of same-sex marriage makes it less likely for opposite-sex couples to get married.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby found [PDF] that Utah couldn’t provide any evidence to support its claim that banning same-sex marriage was necessary to curb a negative impact on opposite-sex marriage:

The State has presented no evidence that the number of opposite-sex couples choosing to marry each other is likely to be affected in any way by the ability of same-sex couples to marry. Indeed, it defies reason to conclude that allowing same-sex couples to marry will diminish the example that married opposite-sex couples set for their unmarried counterparts. Both opposite-sex and same-sex couples model the formation of committed, exclusive relationships, and both establish families based on mutual love and support. If there is any connection between same-sex marriage and responsible procreation, the relationship is likely to be the opposite of what the State suggests. Because Amendment 3 does not currently permit same-sex couples to engage in sexual activity within a marriage, the State reinforces a norm that sexual activity may take place outside the marriage relationship.

Klingenschmitt: 'It Should Be Illegal To Recruit Minors Into Homosexual Sin'

We can now add "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt to the ever-growing list of anti-gay Religious Right activists defending Russia's anti-gay law, declaring on his "Pray In Jesus Name" show today that "it should be illegal to recruit minors into homosexual sin."

In defending Russia's law, Klingenschmitt explained that recruiting children into homosexuality is "totally illegal in the economy and law of God" and, citing Luke 17, declared that "if you're recruiting children into sin, Jesus says you should have the death penalty."

"It's always going to be against God's law," he said, "not only to be gay but especially to recruit children and cause them to stumble":

Potential Iowa Senate Candidate Vander Plaats Explains Christian Nationalist View Of Government

Bob Vander Plaats, the head of the social conservative group The Family Leader, will reportedly be deciding in the next few weeks whether to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Tom Harkin this year. While he hasn’t made a final decision yet, Vander Plaats is widely considered to be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination if he enters the race, and already seems to be selling himself as a candidate.

Progress Iowa shares a video of Vander Plaats speaking at The Family Leader’s annual “Life, Marriage & Family” rally yesterday, in which Vander Plaats lays out his Christian nationalist view of government. Speaking about recent court decisions in favor of marriage equality, Vander Plaats – who led the effort to oust three Iowa Supreme Court Justices who ruled for marriage equality in 2009 – claimed that “rogue justices” and President Obama (“who is in over his head”) have “forgotten” that the American government is actually an instrument of God.

“God institution (sic) government,” he said. “He has three institutions: He has the Church, he has the family, and he has government.” He went on to explain that “the purpose of government: to promote righteousness,” which he counts as following “God’s principles and precepts” on everything from economics to family policy to foreign affairs.

Vander Plaats frequently portrays the Constitution as an extension of the Bible, claiming that marriage equality is unconstitutional because it “goes against the law of nature’s God” and that the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision provoked a “constitutional crisis” by “going against the document that predates the Constitution.”

The remarks start about three minutes into the video.

I happen to believe the reason you will see a leader who is in over his head, why you will see a Congress with a nine percent approval rating, and why you see rogue justices taking authority that isn’t theirs to take, is that they have forgotten, many of them have forgotten who is the Lawgiver. That God institution (sic) government. He has three institutions: He has the Church, he has the family, and he has government. Where those three intersect, that is the focus of The Family Leader. That is where we focus our attention, we focus our crosshairs.

God instituted government. That’s why we have the founders who referenced in the Declaration of Independence, ‘the law of nature and the law of nature’s God.’ Because they knew when you start walking away from the law of nature and the law of nature’s God and you start implementing your own laws about what’s best for Bob, what’s best for Greg, what’s best for Tamara, what’s best for Nancy, you will have a train wreck. there has to be a higher standard. And that’s the standard that we try to achieve here at the Family Leader, we try to promote at the Family Leader. The purpose of government: to promote righteousness.

All you have to do is look at God’s principles and precepts. They are for our good and our benefit, not our harm and our destruction. You apply his principles and precepts to economics, then your economic house is in order. You apply his principles and precepts to marriage and the family, well marriage and family is in order. You apply his principles and precepts to foreign policy, and foreign policy is in order. So, when you’re looking for the solutions, where should we look? We should look up, and not to the sides, and definitely not to the poll of the day.

Ted Cruz vs. The Religious Right: Is Putin Tyrant Or Savior?

Is it possible to talk about human rights abuses in Russia in the context of the Olympics and not once mention Russia’s anti-gay laws, the rising tide of anti-gay violence, or the controversy over the impact that Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda” law might have on athletes and visitors? Sure, if you’re Sen. Ted Cruz speaking at an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation. 

Cruz, darling of the Religious Right and Tea Party, slammed Russia’s “increasingly autocratic” president at the January 28 Heritage event.  He portrayed Vladimir Putin as a tyrant systematically working to crush Ukrainian independence and reassemble the old Soviet Union. And of course he took the opportunity to slam the Obama administration, which he said was not standing up forcefully for human rights.

Following Cruz to the microphone was Katrina Lantos Swett, Vice Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Swett, a “proud Democrat,” detailed a litany of anti-democratic laws adopted in Putin’s Russia, including “religious freedom” and “extremism” laws that give the government wide latitude to discriminate against minority religions, including Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Pentecostal Christians.  She said the Russian government is undermining civil society with severe restrictions on protests and the return of Soviet-era tactics like sentencing dissidents to psychiatric treatment. Swett did mention the anti-gay “propaganda” law in her list of Putin’s anti-democratic actions.

There are a couple remarkable things about this panel, other than finding myself in agreement with Cruz about something (Putin is an anti-democratic strongman).

First, in his 26-minute speech and during the Q&A, at an event about human rights and the Olympics, Cruz did not breathe a word about the raging controversy over Russia’s attacks on the rights and lives of LGBT people. The closest Cruz came was mentioning, as an example of Putin’s efforts to crush dissent, his moves against “a punk rock band.” Cruz joked about his unwillingness to say the band’s name (Pussy Riot).

Second, Cruz is clearly at odds with anti-gay and anti-abortion leaders in the U.S. who have been busily praising Putin as the defender of traditional values and savior of Christianity. Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber, for example, has said Putin is being allowed to “out-Christian our once-Christian nation.” The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer has called Putin “the lion of Christianity, the defender of Christian values, the president that’s calling his nation back to embracing its identity as a nation founded on Christian values.”

In fact there is a whole gaggle of Religious Right leaders who have, as Miranda has reported, fallen all over themselves to praise Putin and his anti-free-speech, anti-gay crackdown. And some of them have done more than just praise Putin. Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage traveled to Russia to build support for anti-gay legislation. The Illinois-based Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society is excited about heading to Moscow for its 2014 “World Congress of Families” summit.

Cruz was eager to criticize the Obama administration for not advocating more strongly for human rights in Russia, but what does he have to say about his Religious Right pals who are actively praising and enabling Putin’s anti-democratic moves? And who have attacked the Obama administration’s efforts to promote the human rights of LGBT people abroad? We’re listening.

Prove You're Not Homophobic By Complimenting Your Lesbian Store Clerk's Haircut

Tea Party activist Selena Owens, whose Conservative Campaign Committee is trying to air a Super Bowl ad thanking Ted Cruz for shutting down the government over Obamacare, writes in WorldNetDaily today that she was offended by the “blasphemous” Grammy Awards.

She calls the awards show “a forthright assault on conservatives” that aided the “homosexual advancement” in American culture.

Owens claims that conservatives shouldn’t “be so defensive” about their anti-gay views or “surrender” to gay rights advocates. Instead, she advises conservatives to just show how totally-not-homophobic they are: “Sometimes I deliberately go through the checkout line of the lesbian clerk to drop a few words of Jesus’ love in her ear and then compliment her haircut.”

The Grammy Awards is proof positive that the culture war has unabashedly come front and center against conservatives – let alone Christians.

I don’t watch the Grammys, but in light of all the frenzy via social media over the gay-marriage ceremony that aired live during the show, I decided to watch this segment on YouTube to understand exactly what went down.

What I witnessed was a forthright assault on conservatives.



Are we shocked or appalled that straight couples happily exchanged marriage vows alongside homosexuals and lesbians on national television? Haven’t we seen the signs all along? For decades, homosexual advancement has encroached upon Christians and conservatives. Everything from rainbows to school curriculum to parades have been hijacked by progressives, tossed to politicians and handed down to liberal activists working alongside comrades in the entertainment industry. Macklemore was not ONE voice with a few stage props who sang for ONE night. He adequately represents a culmination of years of erosion of Christian and conservative values through liberal ideology and implementation.

So what should Christians and conservatives do? Complain to CBS? Sign petitions? Blog about how awful this behavior is for society? Those are sound starting places.

I propose this: Be yourself and don’t be so defensive. I’m myself no matter the situation or people. Sometimes I deliberately go through the checkout line of the lesbian clerk to drop a few words of Jesus’ love in her ear and then compliment her haircut. Or I encourage the star-struck 17-year-old to become informed on political issues that will affect her life, then discuss those big hoop earrings she’s sporting. No defense, no arguments, no worries. I remain offensive. I’m me.

Remind yourself that conservative values are still a major element in society, and Christianity is the only answer for cultural depravity. The Grammy folks want us to believe otherwise. They took a blatant shot at us through deplorable lyrics and godless imagery and tried to frame the narrative to say that homosexuality is widely accepted as the norm. They’re wrong. Society at large does not accept that narrative. They hope we’ll throw our hands up and surrender. Don’t do it. Order my book for a “how to” approach to dealing with godless liberalism within society.

WND: Save Democracy By Prohibiting Anyone Who Receives Public Benefits From Voting

WorldNetDaily columnist Christopher Monckton thinks that democracy is in danger, and the only way to save it is by banning anyone who receives any government benefits — “everything from food stamps to Medicaid and Medicare” — from voting.

This proposal would strip voting rights from most elderly and low-income Americans; in fact, nearly half of Americans live in a household where someone receives some form of government benefit. But Monckton says that this massive voting prohibition would prevent the “death of democracy.”

The Union is now in a state of disunion. On one side of the Great Divide, those who work for a living and pay their taxes. Most taxpayers vote Republican. On the other side, those who do not work for a living and pay little or no tax. Nearly all non-contributors vote “Democrat.”



Nearly everyone who is unemployed votes “Democrat.” Nearly every immigrant, at least in the first generation, votes “Democrat.” Nearly every non-white American votes “Democrat.” The GOP know that so intellectually and financially bankrupt an administration should never have been re-elected – indeed, given the scale of electoral fraud practiced by the “Democrats,” he may not actually have been re-elected (always supposing that he had the constitutional right to hold the office of president in the first place).

Houston, we have a problem. America as we knew her and admired her is going down, sinking financially and politically under the tide of takers. For takers are also voters, and that is the problem. The taxpayees can vote themselves more and more and more of the taxpayers’ money.

Yet so little attention has been given to the death of democracy via the growing cost and reach of federal welfare programs that the word “taxpayees” has not existed until this moment. Google it and the search engine will assume you have made a spelling mistake. It will give you thousands of references to “taxpayers.”



First, the federal authorities need to know who is getting welfare benefits – everything from food stamps to Medicaid and Medicare. In the future, if you want a handout from Uncle Sam, you will need to prove to him who you are. If you are an illegal immigrant, sorry, but no more handouts. If you are a lawful immigrant, sorry, but no handouts in your first five years in the United States. Period. If you don’t like that, don’t come.

Very important: If you are claiming any handout, you are not entitled to vote. Taxpayers will have the right to vote, but taxpayees will not. That way, no one can vote himself a handout.

Another Religious Right Tale Of Anti-Christian Victimization Gets Thoroughly Debunked

We have seen it happen time and again: some right-wing group issues a one-sided press release about a student supposedly being unfairly discriminated against in school simply for exercising their Christian faith and the entire Religious Right movement immediately flies into an outrage, spreading the story far and wide as undisputed truth. Then days or weeks later, the real story emerges once school officials are given an opportunity to investigate and explain what really happened and it inevitably reveals that the Religious Right version was completely false, by which point it is already too late because the fake version has already been accepted as gospel and just continues to spread forever.

The most recent example is the story of six-year old Brynn Williams, who was supposedly told that she was not allowed to deliver a presentation on her family's Christmas tradition because she brought the star that her family places atop its Christmas tree, which represents the Star of Bethlehem.

Serial fabricator Todd Starnes was among the first to blindly promote the story:

Brynn Williams decided to bring the Star of Bethlehem that adorned the top of her family’s Christmas tree. She also worked on a one minute presentation to explain that her family’s tradition is to remember the birth of Jesus at Christmas time.

“Our Christmas tradition is to put a star on top of our tree,” the little girl said. “The star is named the Star of Bethlehem. The three kings followed the star to find baby Jesus, the Savior of the world.”

Before the child could utter another word, the teacher intervened, according to Robert Tyler, the general counsel for Advocates for Faith & Freedom – the law firm representing the Williams family.

“Brynn’s teacher said, ‘Stop right there! Go take your seat,’” Tyler said. “Bryn was not allowed to finish her presentation by reciting the Bible verse, John 3:16.”

Tyler said the little girl was the only student in the class not allowed to finish her presentation.

“After Brynn took her seat, the teacher explained to Brynn in front of all the other students that she was not allowed to talk about the Bible or share its verses,” Tyler said.

The story was quickly picked up by just about every Religious Right news outlet and reported as truth, but now the school involved, which "withheld comment until district officials could finish an investigation into the matter," has released a statement from the teacher and school officials which completely debunks the Religious Right's version of the story.

The teacher, Tammy Williams, explained what really happened:

On Thursday, December 19th my class was getting our classroom ready for our holiday party that was to occur the next morning. We took longer than normal putting things away to ensure that the desks were clean and book boxes were put away so that tables could be used for our centers. This was normally something we did on Fridays. Because of this, we were running behind and I still had six students who needed to do their sharing. I had a very limited amount of time and needed to make sure all students had time to share. Now remember, this is sharing. They were not oral reports. Students were asked to share a family tradition. It could be anything, not just a Christmas tradition. During sharing, I work with students on looking at the audience and using clear voices. We also work on listening skills and asking questions.

This student was not the last student to present as had been reported. I still had a couple of students after her (which was the Student of the Day and the Student of the Week). When she started her share, she pulled out her golden star that I held for her as she pulled out her prepared speech
written by one of her parents. This was unusual because rarely does a student have a prepared statement to read. As I held the star, the student began to read her statement. I helped her with a few words that she was having trouble with. I decided that I would have the student stop after sharing about Mary and Joseph. I felt that it would take too long and I still needed her to take her question and I had a few clarifying questions for her as well. At this point, I simply said the following, “Ok, stop here and you get one question.” She simply put her paper down and picked a student who asked her a question. I also asked her, “Who puts the star on the tree? Do you take turns?” I even suggested that her dad could lift her up to let her put it on the tree. After that, she put her star away and sat with the class while we finished with the other students. I monitor all students this way. She at no time complained or acted sad. She was as happy as always.

I want to be very clear about the following.

At no time did I ever tell the student that she could not read the bottom section because it was a Bible verse nor did she ask if she could finish. I never told her to “Stop right there!” or “Go take your seat!” or reprimand her in front of the class for sharing from the Bible. It just did not happen. This subject matter was never discussed. I decided to stop her at that point so the other students would get their share in before the bell rang. My students have always been free to share their ideas.

What saddens me is that this story was twisted into lies and brought to the media. I have never sat down and discussed this directly with the family or the student. I am instead being used to push an agenda for the Advocates for Faith and Freedom.

The school's principal, Ami Paradise, likewise released a statement declaring that the claims of anti-Christian bigotry made by Advocates of Faith and Freedom were entirely bogus:

Over the past week, I have received countless phone calls and 126 mean-spirited emails from across the country as a result of the claims that the Advocates of Faith and Freedom have made against one of my teachers, the school district, and myself.  These claims are simply not true.

When I met with the parent on December 20, 2013, she shared that she and her husband were upset that their child was unable to finish her presentation and that they thought it was because it contained a Bible verse. There were absolutely no claims of humiliation or bullying by the classroom teacher. No claims that their child was told to take her seat or that she could not talk about the Bible. These claims have been made in the midst of a media spotlight in order to sensationalize a story. The truth is, there were other students left to present before the end of the day, and there was just not enough time. 

Furthermore, when I met with this parent I never told her that her child may not share her beliefs aloud to other students nor did I try to stifle her freedom of speech in any way. I told the parent that I would follow up with the classroom teacher, and I sent her the results of my findings along with the copy of the board policy regarding religion on December 24th, 2013. I have not heard from her since. Not once to tell me that she did not agree with my findings, not once to ask for a classroom change for her child. In fact, with the exception of today, this student has attended school every day since this incident, in the same exact classroom where this alleged incident occurred.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not address the classroom teacher in the center of this controversy-- Mrs. Tammy Williams.  Mrs. Tammy Williams is one of the finest educators I have ever worked with. She is an AMAZING first grade teacher, taught my own son last year, and I would not hesitate to put my younger son in her class. She does not deserve the harassment or bullying that she has received, the questioning of her professional skills or judgment, or the claims that she harmed this child in any way. 

I stand behind Mrs. Tammy Williams 110% and find it extremely unfortunate that the Advocates for Faith and Freedom have irrevocably caused damage to her good name. The days will pass and this story will not be at the top of the news for long, but the damage that it has done to the good names of Helen Hunt Jackson Elementary School, Mrs. Tammy Williams, and myself will be difficult to repair.

We literally cannot even count the number of times we have seen this exact scenario play out over the years as Religious Right groups gin up an entirely fake controversy in order to play the victim, which then spreads far and wide before officials have even had an opportunity to comment. And we will undoubtedly continue to see it happen again and again so long as people like Starnes and others in the Religious Right grievance machine feel justified in pushing blatantly false stories because doing so helps them advance their agenda.

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/28/14

Right Wing Leftovers - 1/28/14

  • Robert Knight says the message of President Obama State of the Union Address tonight will be "I am now in charge of everything."
  • We haven't heard much about the "North American Union" in recent years, but rest assured that WND is still covering it.
  • We are not sure what this has to do with Dinesh D'Souza, but apparently Gary Bauer thinks they are related: "How is it that the Obama Administration did not act when Major Nidal Hasan was engaged in activities that should have set off alarm bells, but somehow it is routinely uncovering the officer who drank too much in Moscow, who used fake poker chips in Iowa or the top general who had an affair?"
  • Gary Cass attacks Greg Abbot for failing to prevent Marlise Munoz from being taken off of life support: "Contact Attorney General Abbot, who is both pro-life and disabled, and running for governor. Demand to know why did he not defend Texas law and the life of another Texan who was potentially disabled?"
  • The Pacific Justice Institute really hates gender neutral bathrooms.
  • Finally, Bryan Fischer scientifically proves that the earth is less than ten thousand years old.

Fischer: Beyoncé's 'Sasha Fierce' Persona Is A Demonic Spirit

Like Glenn Beck, Bryan Fischer was disturbed by Katy Perry's Grammy performance and wondered on his radio program today if she and Beyoncé had sold their souls to the Devil.

Fischer was particularly alarmed by Beyoncé's performance at last year's Super Bowl because it was so Satanic that Beyoncé herself was physically transformed right in the middle of the show, becoming indwelt by the demonic spirit that Beyoncé had named "Sasha Fierce":

The good news for Fischer is that Beyoncé "killed off" the Sasha Fierce persona back in 2010, so he has no more need to worry.

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