New Erick Erickson-Backed Group Ousts Hardline Anti-Choice Org In Georgia

Last week, we wrote about the infighting among anti-choice groups – between those that will settle for nothing short of banning abortion with no exceptions and those that are willing to take a more incremental approach to the same goal – that’s bubbling to the surface in contentious GOP Senate primaries in Kentucky and Georgia.

Georgia’s feud is particularly dramatic: Georgia Right to Life, the state affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee, broke with the national group last year when it opposed a federal 20-week abortion ban that the national group supported, refusing to endorse the legislation because it included exceptions for rape and incest.

Republican congressman and Senate candidate Paul Broun sided with the state group and voted against the ban because of the rape and incest exceptions; his fellow representatives Jack Kingston and Phil Gingrey, who are also running for the Senate seat, sided with the national group and voted for the ban. Former Susan G. Komen executive Karen Handel, another leading Senate contender, also supports rape exceptions to abortion bans.

Georgia Right to Life’s open split with National Right to Life over the 20-week abortion ban drew the ire of Macon-based conservative pundit Erick Erickson, who called the hardline Georgia group “the Westboro Baptist Church of the pro-life movement” and declared, “we need a new pro-life group in Georgia.”

Enter Georgia Life Alliance, a brand new anti-choice group that mysteriously sprung up a few weeks ago with the goal of taking Georgia Right to Life’s spot as the state affiliate of National Right to Life. Erickson quickly acknowledged that he was involved in the new organization and would be on its board.

And this weekend, Erickson completed his coup, as National Right to Life announced that it was ending its relationship with Georgia Right to Life and taking on Georgia Life Alliance as its new affiliate. In a press release, the national organization blamed the split on Georgia Right to Life's insubordination and defended its legislative strategy, claiming it “has helped save millions of lives.”

In short, by its own actions, Georgia Right to Life ruptured its relationship with National Right to Life.

National Right to Life and its affiliates seek to restore legal protection for all unborn children from the moment of their conception. Until the Supreme Court allows broad protections for unborn children, we work to protect as many children as possible by passing the strongest possible laws at the state and federal level. That legislative strategy has helped save millions of lives – and continues to save lives today.

Georgia Right to Life then lashed out in return, calling the national group’s decision a “tragedy”:

“It’s a tragedy that a pioneering, highly successful pro-life organization is considered unworthy to remain affiliated with National Right to Life (NRLC),” Becker said. “It’s especially hard to understand, since GRTL has accomplished so much.”

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Daniel Malloy caught up with Broun, who chided National Right to Life and said he wished everyone in the anti-choice movement would just get along:

“I’m saddened that those of us that believe in life are fighting amongst ourselves. We ought to be fighting to protect the lives of unborn children instead of quibbling about differences of opinion of strategy. I’m honored that Georgia Right to Life has endorsed my candidacy for U.S. Senate. …

“I know that Georgia Right to Life has been at the forefront in the state of Georgia fighting for life. What National Right to Life did is I think unfortunate for the people who have been involved with Georgia Right to Life for a long period of time.”

Mike Huckabee's Hypocritical 'Hobby Lobby Day'

On Saturday, Mike Huckabee led a Hobby Lobby ‘buycott’ modeled on his campaign to support Chick-fil-A. Huckabee worked with the Family Research Council to promote the event, which coincided with Supreme Court arguments in Hobby Lobby’s suit to avoid the contraception coverage mandate, a case that Huckabee declared last week will determine “whether religious liberty still exists in America.”

“If religious liberty and freedom of conscience doesn’t exist for Hobby Lobby, how long will it be before it’s taken from you?” Huckabee asked on his Fox News program. “Enough of government thinking its God and trying to act like it.”

In that case, Huckabee must think that he himself is God: When he was governor of Arkansas, he signed an even broader contraception coverage mandate into law.

Bill Scher reports that “in 2005, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee signed a law mandating Arkansas insurance plans provide contraception coverage, including church-affiliated organizations such as hospitals and universities.”

Corporations like Hobby Lobby and other secular for-profits were not exempt under the Huckabee-approved law [PDF], which only exempted entities “organized and operated for religious purposes 16 and has received a § 501(c)(3) designation from the Internal Revenue Service.”

As Laura Bassett of the Huffington Post notes, the Affordable Care Act actually goes farther in “carv[ing] out an exemption for religious schools, hospitals and nonprofits in addition to churches.”

Huckabee also falsely claimed that the federal mandate compels “business owners to pay for employees’ abortions”; the forms birth control covered by the mandate are neither abortions or abortifacients.

None of this, of course, is surprising coming from the politician who suggested that birth control is for women who “can’t control their libido.”

Culture Warriors Danny Carroll & Gopal Krishna Picked To Head Iowa GOP

Last month, we wrote that the Iowa Republican Party had picked a new co-chair , Danny Carroll, a social conservative culture warrior who serves as a lobbyist for The Family Leader.

Shortly after Carroll became co-chair, the state party chairman, libertarian-leaning A.J. Spiker, announced that he was resigning from his position. And this weekend, Carroll was elected to replace him as the chairman of the Iowa GOP.

It’s unclear how long Carroll’s reign over the state party will last and if he will still be at its helm in 2016, when he would be in charge of running the Iowa caucuses. New state central committee members will be seated in June, and could possibly then oust him as chairman.

But in the meantime, Carroll’s election seems to show that the Iowa GOP has no intention of softening on social issues.

Here is Carroll opining last year that banning gay marriage will help fix “just about every problem facing society today”:

And here he is in 2010 blaming teen suicides on the end of school-sponsored prayer:

And let’s not forget the new co-chair of the Iowa GOP, elected this weekend. Gopal Krishna of the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition (the state branch of Ralph Reed’s group) will succeed Carroll as the state party’s number two. Krishna, who boasts that "the first three letters of my name are G-O-P,"  looks to be just as much of a culture warrior as Carroll.

For instance, here’s Krishna in 2011 warning that the United States has become “a multicultural haven for every weird and kinky lifestyle”:

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/28/14

Right Wing Leftovers - 3/28/14

  • Cindy Jacobs has issued an "Urgent Prophetic Warning" that is conveniently vague enough so that if anything does happen, she can claim to have prophesied it. Of course, if nothing happens, she can then just claim that her prayers prevented it.
  • FRC prays against Obamacare once again: "Heavenly Father, we appeal to you, Judge of the Universe. We know that your Eternal Law commands, "Thou shalt not kill." Please guide the thinking of our Supreme Court Justices. Move them to do right and to reaffirm the religious liberty guaranteed by our Constitution. Stir Churches across America to join this appeal! May your will be done!"
  • Lots of Religious Right infighting today, as Bryan Fischer goes after Russell Moore while both Alan Keyes and Michael Brown attack Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery.
  • The military has turned against Christians because "people in the White House [have] taken an anti-religious but particularly an anti- Christian viewpoint."
  • Finally, Jennifer LeClaire has a warning for Jon Stewart: "Propagating lies in the name of humor or an antichrist agenda is a sad way to be remembered in eternity."

Eagle Forum: Marriage Equality Cases Put America 'In The Danger Zone'

Eagle Forum’s Virginia Armstrong, who leads the group’s Court Watch Project, writes in a “Court Watch briefing” today that the Supreme Court’s recent decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 have displaced the “Judeo-Christian/Constitutionalist worldview” in favor of “Humanism/Reconstructionism,” which she warns “wreaks havoc with the concepts of absolute truth and inherent logic of the Law.”

Armstrong writes that the gay rights cases have pushed America to the “breaking point” and into the “danger zone” that will undermine the rule of law.

Has America has bent over backwards too far in its spiritual, moral, and constitutional life so that we are in danger of “breaking”? This question is central to our current series of Court Watch Briefings. The question has been precipitated by America’s Culture War and echoes the anguished cry of the Father in the famous musical production, “Fiddler on the Roof,” who felt that revolutionary changes in his world were pushing him to the “breaking point.”

We are proving that America is indeed in the “danger zone” and is in dire need of a massive “straightening up process.” Nothing more clearly demonstrates this fact than the recent same-sex marriage decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court — Perry v. Hollingsworth and Windsor v. U.S.



The Humanist/Reconstructionist position on epistemology is fatally flawed at every turn, as revealed in the pro-homosexual court decisions in Hollingsworth v. Perry and Windsor v. U.S. We must remember that Perry/Windsor reflect far more than the specific issues and positions of the immediate parties to the cases. Rather, they afford us a panoramic view of the entire homosexual rights battle and should be viewed in that light.



The real conflict in Perry/Windsor and similar cases is that of the whole Culture War conflict — the War of Worldviews between Humanism/Reconstructionism and the Judeo-Christian/Constitutionalist worldview. What is at stake, as Harold Berman demonstrates in his analysis (to which we have been referring), is the “very collapse of our entire Western legal tradition.” The Perry/Windsor epistemology wreaks havoc with the concepts of absolute truth and inherent logic of the Law — key components of the Western legal tradition outlined by Professor Berman. And as Nancy Pearcey of Houston Baptist University’s Schaeffer Center so cogently states, “The clash between these two understandings of morality [the Judeo-Christian v. the Humanistic] will determine whether liberty is gained or lost in the 21st century. It is imperative to reassert the transcendent moral truths that undergird freedom in every society.”

Fischer Wants Victim's Family To 'Pull The Lever' During Executions Because That Is What The Bible Says

Bryan Fischer continues his campaign to turn the United States of America into a fundamentalist Christian theocracy, declaring on his radio broadcast today that the oldest male relative of a murder victim ought to be allowed to "pull the lever" when the killer is executed because that is what the Bible dictates.

Reading from Joshua 20, which allowed those who inadvertently kill someone to flee to a city of refuge where they would be protected from "the avenger of blood," Fischer asserted that the  phrase was understood to mean that the oldest male relative of the victim had the legal right to avenge the blood of their relative.

To Fischer, this demonstrates that God wants the immediate family of victims to be involved in meting out justice and so our legal system should be changed so that if, for instance, someone were to be executed by firing squad, the oldest male relative of the victim would give the order to fire.

"Or if it is the electric chair," Fischer continued, "the law would give to the oldest male in the family the right pull the lever ... so that the family participates, they have the sense of satisfaction that the death of their loved one has been avenged."

"I know that will sound radical to some of you," he admitted, "but it makes perfectly good sense to me":

Jay Sekulow Touts Phony Internet Scandal, Claims It Will 'Censor The Church'

As we have noted several times, right-wing groups are falsely claiming that the Obama administration has relinquished control of the Internet to a United Nations-controlled group. In fact, quite the opposite is true: Politico reports that the administration rebuffed calls from Russia and China to give authority to the United Nations-led International Telecommunication Union, and instead completed a sixteen year transition of Internet oversight to a US-backed nonprofit.

Naturally, Obama critics are now alleging that the president did the opposite of what actually occurred and handed over authority to the UN body.

Religious Right leader Jay Sekulow today emailed members of the American Center for Law and Justice to warn that “the President wants to hand over control of the Internet to a multinational group, including corrupt dictatorships in China, Russia, and Iran,” warning that the move could “mean censoring the Church if it reaches out to Islamic lands” and “exposing our own computers to greater risk of fraud and other cybercrimes.”

So there you have it: the Obama administration rejects efforts to relinquish Internet oversight to the UN, and conservative activists decide to attack him anyway by falsely claiming that he did the exact opposite of what he did.

There is simply no excuse for the Obama Administration’s latest move.

The President wants to hand over control of the Internet to a multinational group, including corrupt dictatorships in China, Russia, and Iran.

Why?

China, Russia, and Iran have all signaled they want greater control over the Internet, including control over what we see and write.

Does this mean censoring the Church if it reaches out to Islamic lands?

Does this mean exposing our own computers to greater risk of fraud and other cybercrimes?

America has kept the Internet free for a generation; let’s keep it free. Stand with the ACLJ and stand against the Obama Administration’s latest attack on your liberty.

Richard Land Warns God Will Punish Gay Christians, Says Obama Presidency Is God's Judgment On America

After arguing that gay people are pawns of Satan, Southern Baptist Convention leader Richard Land told a Washington Watch listener yesterday that God will punish gay Christians until they repent.

Responding to a caller who said that he recently debated with a gay Christian over the church’s stance on homosexuality, Land recounted the story of a woman who left his church to become a Satanist. He explained that God consequently had her killed, and said the story should serve as a warning for gay Christians.

Land: If this person has had a genuine experience with the Lord and they have trusted the Lord as their Savior, I believe that this person will be in Heaven. Having said that, is this person in an active homosexual relationship?

Caller: He is at this point, yes.

Land: Well I believe that the Lord also says that those who are his children he will chastise and he will spank. If a Christian is in a homosexual relationship or if a Christian is in an adulterous relationship for instance, outside of marriage, a heterosexual relationship, God will seek to convict that person and God will chastise that person and God will judge that person. Let me just give you an answer that’s analogous: When I was in my first church, I was pastor of a church in New Orleans when I was a seminary student, I had a woman in the church who had become a Christian and she got involved through a personal relationship with a man, she got involved in Satanic worship and she went around the French Quarter saying that she used to think that Jesus was the messiah but that now she believed the Devil was the angel of light.

I went to her and I talked to her about 1 Corinthians 5 where Paul says to give over someone for the destruction of the body for the salvation of the soul. I talked to her about 1 Corinthians 11 and I said, ‘If you are really a believer, then God’s not going to let you be a stumbling block and God’s not going to let you continue in this kind of sin, and God will chastise you and God will ultimately remove you if necessary. Now if you go along and nothing happens to you, then I have to believe that you were never part of us and 1 John 2:19 applies, you’ve gone out from us because you were never part of us and you went out from us that it might be made manifest you were not part of us.’

She rejected my counsel and six weeks later at the age of around 25 she dropped dead of a cerebral hemorrhage. I believe that God removed her because she was his child and she was a stumbling block to others. So if this person goes on and is perfectly happy in this homosexual relationship and nothing happens to him, then I would have to believe that he has never had a conversion experience. If he has had a conversion experience, the Lord is not going to let him go, the Lord is going to continue to convict him and to chastise him, to bring him back, as he did David.

Later in the broadcast, Land talked to a caller who said that Obama is a “Communist Muslim terrorist” who “might as well be Satan personified.”

Land didn’t contest the caller’s claims but said that in his opinion, “President Barack Obama is a judgment of God on the United States” because of Roe v. Wade and the legalization of abortion.

“I believe that Barack Obama, his presidency, is a judgment of God on the United States,” Land said.

Caller: Satan couldn’t wait for a gentleman like this to be in power. This Communist Muslim terrorist president we got in there, this tyrant, bald-faced lying person in there, he couldn’t wait for somebody like that to get in there because this person might as well be Satan personified, a bunch of Satanists up there running our country. They’re there because the church has not been enforcing the victory like we should and they’ve just been — God has been put responsibility on that’s not his, he’s been blamed and accused for things, we wonder why we don’t have revival, that’s partly it.

Land: I certainly think that elections have consequences and frankly I think that President Barack Obama is a judgment of God on the United States because we have allowed 54 million of our unborn citizens to be aborted legally in the United States since 1973. We have had a situation where we have allowed thirty percent of our unborn children every year since 1973 to be killed before they had a chance to live outside their mother’s womb. God is not going to allow that kind of slaughter to go unjudged, if God would send his chosen people, the Israelites, into Babylonian captivity, he will judge the United States and I believe he is judging the United States. I believe that Barack Obama, his presidency, is a judgment of God on the United States.

Even More Proof That Religious Right Myths Never Die

A few weeks ago, we published a post debunking a story that had been widely promoted by the Religious Right about a young girl who was supposedly told by her teacher 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.

As we pointed out in the post, this supposed tale of anti-Christian bigotry turned out to be totally false but that wasn't going to stop Religious Right activists from continuing to repeat it because myths like this never, ever die once they have made their way into the right-wing echo chamber.

And so, once again, this same tale continues to spread, this time courtesy of the Eagle Forum in Phyllis Schlafly's latest commentary:

A first grader in California has been told she’s not permitted to talk about the Bible at school. A teacher at Temecula Valley School told her first grade class to bring an object to school that represented a family Christmas tradition and then give a one-minute presentation. Brynn Williams brought the star that tops her family’s Christmas tree and shared how her family remembers Jesus’ birth at Christmas. “The star is named the Star of Bethlehem,” Brynn said. “The three kings followed the star to find the baby Jesus, the Savior of the world.” Brynn had planned to end her presentation by reciting the famous Bible verse John 3:16, but her teacher stopped her before she could say more.

Brynn’s teacher told her to “stop right there” and sit back down. The teacher then explained to Brynn – in front of the entire class – that she was not allowed to talk about the bible or quote its verses in school. Brynn’s mother met with the principal about this issue, and the principal backed up the teacher. She said the school’s policy is to protect students from being offended.

This was a clear violation of the student’s rights. Courts have consistently ruled that public school students have the right to speak about their religious beliefs at school, and no court has ever ruled that a schoolchild cannot talk about his religious beliefs. The teacher’s behavior was bullying and humiliating, and a serious breach of what the Constitution guarantees. Brynn’s family’s lawyer has demanded that the school apologize and change its policies, or else the family will file a lawsuit. Any reasonable judge should rule against the district, but it’s ridiculous and troubling that a first grader’s family may have to go to court to force a public school to recognize a student’s basic First Amendment right of free speech.

This story wasn't true back when it was first reported.

It wasn't true when it was endlessly repeated.

And it won't be true when it is cited in the future ... but none of that will stop this story from being continuously spread by the Religious Right for years to come.

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