Anti-Choice Groups Give Lifetime Achievement Award To Head Of Radical Operation Rescue

Well, maybe the anti-choice movement isn’t trying to moderate its message that much after all. At an event this week organized by Ave Maria Law School, along with prominent anti-choice groups including Americans United for Life and the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, Troy Newman, head of the radical anti-choice group Operation Rescue, was presented with a “lifetime achievement award.”

Back in 2010, Newman rejoiced at the death of an abortion provider from leukemia, declaring, “God always gets the last word.” Newman has warned that President Obama might ban Easter, compared the passage of the Affordable Care Act to Pearl Harbor and 9/11 and created a video of Scarlett Johannson in a Klan robe to criticize her defense of Planned Parenthood.

Newman also has troubling, if murky, links to the murder of Wichita abortion provider George Tiller.

Newman’s Operation Rescue is separate from but related to – in a murky, confusing way –the infamous group of the same name formerly led by Randall Terry, who after protesting George Tiller’s Kansas abortion clinic, did not try to hide his delight at Tiller’s murder. Newman founded his own group called “Operation Rescue” around the time that Terry’s group was dissolving…Newman claims his was the “only organization remaining true to the original work of Operation Rescue,” while Terry claims Newman stole his trademark. But in any case, in the years preceding Tiller’s murder, it was Newman’s group that was the abortion providersgreatest adversary. In fact, as Ms. reported, Newman moved his headquarters to Witchita in 2002 “for the sole purpose of tormenting Dr. Tiller into shuttering his clinic.” Although Newman condemned Tiller’s murderer, Scott Roeder, as a "loon and idiot,” Roeder claimed that he was a donor and supporter of Newman’s group and that he had met with Newman – claims that Newman denies.

But as Sarah Posner has written, Newman wrote a book that seems to advocate for capital punishment for abortion providers:

Newman denied knowing Roeder, or ever meeting him. Yet his book, as Robb points out, is premised on the notion of "bloodguilt," that those who allow abortion are guilty and deserving of God's punishment. In one section, he cites Deuteronomy 21 for the statement that "God's order of law requires that the person directly responsible for murder should pay with his life, lest the land and its inhabitants be brought under the heavy hand of the Lord." He cites this passage to show why Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh deserved the death penalty, but he then segues to a lamentation that "there is nothing being done today to expunge the bloodguilt for the babies being murdered in abortion mills." Elsewhere, in an appendix titled "Bible Study," in a section claiming that the "shedding of innocent blood is murder," Newman writes, "the death penalty for murder is not to be repealed," (citing Numbers 35:29-30) and "all killing is not murder." Capital punishment, self-defense, and just warfare, he maintains, are not murder.

All in all, Troy Newman seems an odd choice to receive an award from a movement that’s trying to soften its hardline image.

Lifesite News reports that in accepting the award, Newman played up the anti-choice movement's new incremental strategy in order to undermine Roe v. Wade and "end abortion."

peration Rescue President Troy Newman received the lifetime achievement award, after being selected by Dana Cody, executive director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation.

“He's what I'd call a street fighter, and I say that in the most complimentary sense possible,” Cody said in an emotional speech. “He's done a lot of research in the last few years that has closed a lot of the abortion clinics” that have shut their doors around the country. “He gets results.”

...

“We can objectively say we are winning this fight,” Newman said. “We can say we're winning, because 73 percent of all the nations' abortion mills have closed – closed and not reopened.”

“When abortion clinics close, that translates into saved babies,” he said.

He noted the change in the way Operation Rescue works stemmed from his own metamorphasis. “I'm sitting in jail” after a protest, he said, “and I thought, 'We don't need to be going to jail. We make the other guys go to jail.' From that day in 1999, we took Operation Rescue from a protest organization to an organization that seeks justice.”

Citing the closure of abortion facilities in Ohio and Indiana, he said victory has come because of “the whole mosaic of the pro-life movement working together toward a common goal. Our goal is to end abortion and save babies. That's it.”

That progressive undermining of the culture of death gradually, but definitively overturns Roe v. Wade, he said. “I don't care what the Supreme Court says. We're doing it right now.”

Beck: The New York Times Ripped Me Off

Last year, Glenn Beck promised to put on a show that was going to save the 4th of July and change the way it was celebrated forever. What we ended up getting was some maudlin stage show in which Beck talked to himself made up as the Man In The Moon:

Months later, The New York Times Magazine wrote an entirely unrelated article about Hillary Clinton's probable run for the presidency entitled "Planet Hillary" and featuring this cover:

So now, of course, Beck is accusing the Times of having ripped him off.

"I'm telling you," he said, "it is a direct rip-off of the Man In The Moon. I mean, it's incredible":

Do you know who else ripped Beck off? Georges Méliès ... a hundred and eleven years before Beck's own extravaganza.

The Solution To Uganda's Anti-Gay Crackdown Is More Right Wing Christianity?

Alex Seitz-Wald has a lengthy article in the current issue of National Journal Magazine all about the role that anti-gay American Religious Right activists have played in influencing and promoting anti-gay laws in various nations around the world, especially in places like Africa:

For years, evangelical missionaries have been deeply invested in Uganda—even more so since President Yoweri Museveni declared the country to be in the service of God and the first lady started worshiping at the evangelical church run by Robert Kayanja, who compares homosexuality to murder. "Whatever you see here is the fruit of American labor," Kayanja tells Roger Ross Williams in the filmmaker's new documentary, God Loves Uganda, as they sit in a well-appointed church built with American money. (Kayanja is one of the richest men in Uganda.)

Kapya Kaoma is an Anglican priest from Zambia, and when he started attending evangelical conferences and visiting Christian bookstores across Africa as part of his Ph.D. dissertation research, he found something surprising. "Their language sounded more like they were American, not like African Christianity," Kaoma says. "You go to Zambia, you go to Zimbabwe, you go to Uganda, Nigeria.… Wherever you go, where conservatives are winning, they're using the same talking points that are used in America."

David Bahati, the parliamentarian who authored Uganda's infamous anti-homosexuality law, told The New York Times he got the idea for the bill from conversations with members of the Fellowship—a powerful Arlington, Va.-based group that puts on the National Prayer Breakfast and owns the C Street house where several members of Congress live (the organization has since distanced itself from Bahati).

[Scott] Lively has been deeply involved in Uganda as well, and an LGBT-rights group there is suing him under the U.S. Alien Tort Statute, which allows foreign victims of human-rights abuses to seek compensation in U.S. courts. During the debate over the bill, a Ugandan tabloid outed 100 gay Ugandans, with a banner that read "HANG THEM." A few weeks after David Kato, known as "Uganda's first openly gay man," won a defamation lawsuit against the paper, he was killed in his home. Kayanja's rival, pastor Martin Ssempa, once gave the editor of a local magazine a copy of Lively's book about gay Nazis, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks.

That seems to be in contradiction to Marvin Olasky's assessment, as he writes in World Magazine that he does not support the Uganda law but does understand the inspiration behind it, saying that the solution is more access to Western Christian conservatives who can set them straight:

Chris Howles, a missionary in Uganda who in his blog, Namugongo Life, called the national opposition to homosexuality historical rather than religious. Howles wrote online (“Homophobia in Uganda: Is Christianity the problem or the solution?”), “The vast majority of Christians in this country have never met or spoken with a Western missionary. Nor have their leaders. Many of these attitudes about homosexuality come direct from traditional Ugandan culture.”  

...

Howles has a better idea: Promote Christianity, not tradition. He argues that if Ugandans temper their desire to put homosexuals in prison, “it will most likely be because of Christianity, as churches preach a message of godly love and kindness towards active homosexuals.” Homosexuality is wrong and laws can be useful educators, but our hope is in “the gospel that shows us that all people are created in God’s image … the gospel that welcomes all people to confess that Jesus is Lord and unite together in a broken but re-built community of Christ,” as Ephesians 2:17-22 explains.

Anti-Christians shudder at that notion and desperately need to pretend that Ugandans would be positive about homosexuality if not brainwashed by missionaries—because if that’s not true, two liberal axioms crumble. One is that Africans are natural allies of the left in a war against “religious reactionaries.” The other is that “multiculturalism” is an ideological ally in the war against Christ. When Africans line up with Christian conservatives, the religious left can choose to change its thinking or fall into conspiracy theorizing. The latter is popular, even though the idea that African Christians are puppets demeans them as much as past racists ever did.  

Seeing as American conservative Christian Religious Right activists have been loudly voicing support for these very sorts of laws and calling for the criminalization of homosexuality here, we're not quite sure how giving anti-gay activists around the world more access to these sorts of voices is supposed to help "temper their desire to put homosexuals in prison."

Another Anti-Choicer Admits Real Purpose Of TRAP Laws

The latest issue of Rolling Stone has a great article by Janet Reitman about the anti-choice movement’s new embrace of incremental measures to “chip away at reproductive rights in a way that will render Roe's protections virtually irrelevant.” We also covered this strategy in depth last year in our report, “ Chipping Away at Choice.”

Reitman discusses how anti-choice groups, most prominently Americans United For Life, are pushing incremental state-level measures that are billed as “health and safety” protections for women, but are really meant to carve away at the legal foundations of Roe in the long term and close abortion clinics and reduce access in the short term. Just this week, AUL released its annual handbook for lawmakers, which is full of legislative proposals for “TRAP” -- targeted regulation of abortion providers -- laws that limit access to abortion without directly challenging Roe.

One flaw in this strategy is that it relies on the anti-choice movement to radically change its talking points on abortion. AUL, for instance, rarely talks about outright criminalizing abortion. Instead, they talk about “ protecting women” from the “abortion industry” by over-regulating abortion clinics and forcing women to jump through hoops before terminating a pregnancy.

But not everyone in the movement has such message discipline. Troy Newman of Operation Rescue, a radical anti-choice group, told Reitman that he had changed his tactics to embrace TRAP laws because “ I want to win.” Last year, Phil Burress, a main proponent of an Ohio bill that required abortion providers to have “admitting privileges” to a local hospital, admitted that the goal of the bill was to put abortion clinics “out of business.” Last month, a pastor who said he was behind a similar admitting privileges bill in South Carolina, said the purpose was to regulate clinics so much that it makes abortion unaffordable to the average woman.

Now we can count Phyllis Schlafly among the anti-choice activists who haven't fully digested AUL’s new talking points. Last week Schlafly discussed the anniversary of Roe v. Wade with AUL’s Clark Forsythe, who deftly deployed his group’s messaging about “helping women to understand the short-term and long-term risks of abortion.” But Schlafly was having none of it. Instead, she announced that she recommends states pass “admitting privileges” bills because such laws  had closed clinics in Missouri and Texas and are “one of the most effective means of reducing abortion."

Forsythe: I think the way forward is, it has to be multi-faceted. We have to continue to press in politics and elect the right Senate, elect the right president. We have to continue to work through public policy in the states. We have to continue to educate about the impact on the unborn child from abortion, but as well the impact on women. And I think moving forward, getting the public to understand, helping women to understand the short-term and long-term risks of abortion based upon a growing body of international data, international medical data, is key toward turning around public opinion and influencing the Supreme Court.

Schlafly: And we do recommend the state law that says nobody can do an abortion unless he has hospital privileges within 30 miles – that’s about an hour’s drive. And that’s closed the biggest abortion clinic in Missouri and it’s closed about 30 in Texas, and it’s one of the most effective means of reducing abortion.

The Glenn Beck Hypocrisy Hour Rolls On

With every passing day, it seems that Glenn Beck's radio and television programs are becoming nothing more than displays of Beck's own hypocrisy, as he mocks, attacks, and criticizes others for doing the exact things he does on a regular basis.

On last night's program, Beck played a clip Fox's Bob Beckel furiously ranting about Beck's statement comparing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to Alabama Governor George Wallace and, when the clip was over, Beck simply laughed and wondered why anyone would put someone like Beckel on television or even want to be around him.

"Bob," Beck said, "life does not have to be so angry all the time."

Good point, Glenn. After all, who wants to watch some madman screaming about nonsense day after day?

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/23/14

  • Dan Rafter @ HRC: Utah Special Attorney General Cites “Religious Duty” in Decision to Take Anti-Marriage Equality Case.
  • Andy Towle @ Towleroad: Virginia Attorney General Says He Won't Defend State's Gay Marriage Ban in Court.
  • Jeremy Hooper: Audio: Rep. Randy Weber says anti-gay groups came to him to draft State Marriage Defense Act.
  • Terry Firma @ Friendly Atheist: Illinois GOP Candidate Says God Put Autism and Dementia on Earth as Punishment for Marriage Equality and Abortion.
  • Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: ‘The wife is to voluntarily submit.’
  • Molly Redden @ Mother Jones: How Oil Drilling Is Like the "Civil Rights Revolution," and Other Gems From the Tea Party's Rising Star.

Right Wing Leftovers - 1/23/14

  • NOM is calling for "the impeachment of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring for 'malfeasance' and 'neglect of duty' and violating his sworn oath of office to support the constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia" for not defending the state's anti-gay marriage amendment.
  • Peter LaBarbera continues his crusade against Fox News for being too "pro-gay."
  • You really have to feel for the people on Glenn Beck's staff who have to sit there and listen as he goes off on a rant about who knows what.
  • Jerry Newcombe is outraged by Lifetime's remake of "Flowers In The Attic."
  • Finally, FRC continues to pray against Obamacare: "May Americans dazzled by the false promise of lower cost or free healthcare realize that they have bought into a lie that will result in increased, taxpayer-funded abortion, but also substandard healthcare, greater cost, reduced innovation, diminished care for the elderly, fewer doctors to serve more people, longer waits for care and very soon, rationing, etc."

Stockman: GM Bailout Brought Fascism To America

Steve Stockman, the currently missing Republican congressman, gave a New Year’s Eve interview with “Let’s Talk Bitcoin” where he warned about growing fascism in America.

Stockman, who recently decided that his Senate campaign will accept Bitcoin contributions, said that “we do have some fascism” in America due to “government intervention” in the economy, such as the GM bailout. 

Watch The Chevy Ad That Was Too Racy For The American Family Association

The American Family Association put out an email alert this weekend announcing that the group’s members had successfully pressured Chevrolet to pull a Silverado commercial that had aired during a couple of NFL games. We were of course curious to view the ad that the AFA described as “profanity-laced” and including “gutter language.”

No, the AFA was not upset by the ad's reliance on tired gender stereotypes. Instead, the group explained in a previous alert, they objected that "the announcer forcefully declares some tailgating activities should 'be damned.'"

"Chevrolet's use of profanity is irresponsible and offensive. It is extremely destructive and damaging to impressionable children viewing the commercial," they added.

Because we all know that the AFA will not abide by irresponsible and offensive content on the airwaves!

 

Cuccinelli: Liberals Are 'The Most Intolerant People In America'

Former Virginia attorney general and failed gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who spent four years trying to make life miserable for gay people and climate scientists, among others, is now lashing out at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for saying “extreme conservatives” have “no place in the state of New York.”

Speaking yesterday with Tony Perkins of Family Research Council, an organization that has called for the exportation of gay people, Cuccinelli alleged that “most of the left” shared Cuomo’s sentiments.

“They do not view us as worthy of respect because we hold traditional, thousands of years of principle-based views; their radical, society twisting and altering and destroying views are the only ones that they accept,” Cuccinelli said. “Nobody should make any mistake, the most intolerant people in America are leftists, bar none, it isn’t even close.”

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