Vander Plaats: Marriage Equality Unconstitutional Because It's 'Against The Law of Nature'

Last year, Religious Right activist and possible 2014 Iowa Republican Senate candidate Bob Vander Plaats claimed that the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling had provoked a “constitutional crisis” because it defied “the law of nature and the law of nature’s God.”

In an interview on the Steve Deace show last week, Vander Plaats elaborated on this constitutional analysis, claiming that a Utah federal judge’s ruling legalizing marriage equality was wrong because same-sex marriage “goes against the law of nature” and therefore is “against the Constitution.”

Vander Plaats also encouraged Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to simply ignore the court’s ruling and issue an executive order staying the decision until it’s put to a popular vote. 

He warned guest host Jen Green that the Utah ruling was the first step on a slippery slope to tyranny, showing the need to put judges “in their place” as he did in Iowa in 2010.

Vander Plaats: First of all, Justice Shelby, there’s a lot of issues with his ruling. Number one is, you had the people of Utah already amend the Constitution to what marriage is. And you’re supposed to uphold the Constitution, not redefine the Constitution. So, that’s number one.

Two is, there is no research on it, there is no data on it. Why? Because it never existed before. So all there is is speculation. But what we know is it goes against the law of nature, and the law of nature’s God, which means, again, it’s against the Constitution.

My suggestion to Gov. Herbert: Don’t overcomplicate this. Don’t over-study this or analyze this. Lead on this. Issue an executive order from the governor’s office that places a stay on this judge’s decision until the people of Utah resolve this, either through the legislature – the people’s representatives – or through another vote, if you need to go through another vote. But you don’t allow an activist judge to have his way to inflict same-sex marriage on the entire state of Utah.

It is We the People who are the final arbitrators of this deal. They gave us the power of the king. The governor is the executor. He’s got the executive branch, he’s the one who gets to enforce or not enforce. By him staying silent, he’s really enforcing this judge’s opinion. That’s why he needs to step up and lead, and what I’d say, issue that executive order.

And for the Lead or Get Out of the Way members and audience, and especially those in Utah, what really has to concern you here is that if they will do this to the institution of marriage, they won’t even blink an eye when they take your private property, tell you how to educate your kids. If you really want to have tyranny, keep allowing activist judges to keep activism alive. You need to put them in their place. That’s what I’d encourage Gov. Herbert to do.

Green: You will be made to care.

Vander Plaats: You will be made to care. But Gov. Herbert could make that judge made to care. Just like in Iowa, we made the judges, that they should care about what they’re doing.

Fischer: People Who Believe In Evolution Are 'Disqualified From Holding Political Office In The United States Of America'

Bryan Fischer returned to his radio broadcast today where he dedicated his first topic segment to explaining that no person who believes in evolution ought to ever be elected to public office.

"We don't share ancestors with apes and baboons," he proclaimed. "In fact, I would suggest to you that if a politician, if somebody wants to exercise political power and he is an evolutionist, he is disqualified from holding political office in the United States of America."

Fischer went on to clarify that he doesn't think there ought to be a law banning people who believe in evolution from holding office, merely that "that American people shouldn't vote for them because that guy, if he does not believe that we are created beings and that our rights come to us from God, that man cannot be trusted to protect your civil rights":

Terrible Fox News Correspondent Todd Starnes Is Still Terrible

Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes is just waiting for Bill de Blasio to go after him for loving God and America, which is now a crime in Comrade de Blasio’s New York.

This sort of anti-government paranoia is at the center of Starnes’s shtick and was in high-gear during the Fox News-trumped up War on Christmas.

And now Alan Noble of the Patheos blog Christ and Pop Culture is fed up with Starnes deliberately misleading readers about supposed attacks on Christmas and wrote a devastating piece exposing Starne's campaign of misinformation.

On Christmas, Starnes filed a report claiming that a VA hospital in Dallas, Texas, had rejected Christmas cards because they had a religious message, including the VA’s statement:

In order to be respectful of our veterans' religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.

But as Noble points out, Starnes removed key language from the statement — which notes that cards with religious messages will be distributed by the Chaplaincy Service —to make it appear as if the cards were banned:

In order to be respectful of our Veterans religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by Chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. After the review is complete, the holiday cards that reference religious and/or secular tones are then distributed by Chaplaincy Service on a one-on-one basis if the patient agrees to the religious reference in the holiday card donation. The holiday cards that do not contain religious and/or secular tones are distributed freely to patients across the Health Care System. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.

In another War on Christmas story, Starnes said that a group of high school carolers visiting a VA hospital in Augusta, Georgia were “banned from singing any religious themed-Christmas carols to patients.” But in reality, the hospital administrators actually offered the carolers “the option of performing in a private chapel or day room” if they wished to sing religious songs, but Starnes omitted that key detail from the story. Noble adds:

That’s the thing about sensationalism and exaggeration: it hurts real efforts to address real issues. But in this case, there’s more at risk. Starnes’ lies should remind us that for many people and companies, Christians are a market demographic. They know our fears, our values, and our desires.

Starnes sells us what we want to hear. We want to believe that we are the underdog. And Starnes sells us that story, wrapped in language of patriotism and faith. For our own good, we need to reject and denounce hucksters like Starnes. For our own wisdom, for the witness of the Church, and simply because lying is wrong. Starnes should not have a job as a journalist, but more importantly, we should not support him by sharing and promoting his deceptions.

But it doesn’t end there.

In a piece entitled, “Georgia School Confiscates Christmas Cards,” Starnes accused an elementary school of “Christmas card censorship” that “cracks down on religious expression in their schools.”

He encouraged readers to “let school officials have a piece of their mind” and quoted one resident of engaging in an “attack on Christianity.”

He eventually updated the post with a denial from the school, but even his update left out the school’s statement which completely discredits Starnes’s reporting.

Unfortunately, today the school was terrorized by an intentional and vicious dissemination of untrue information that disrupted the good work going on inside. Fox News Radio Commentary Host Todd Starnes, acting on misinformation that neither he, nor his media outlet corroborated with the school system or [Principal Marlin] Baker, misreported a story about student Christmas Cards being removed from the school. Baker did not receive any questions from the local community either.

The cards in question were not student Christmas cards, nor were they a student project or tradition. The cards are the personal family Christmas cards that faculty members share with one another. They are the personal cards from their homes that they would send to family and friends.

It has been a faculty tradition to post the cards on a small display board made of two pieces of red and green poster paper. The display in the past was posted in hallway outside the office workroom.

This year, due to a legitimate, personal privacy concern raised by one of the school's staff members, Baker moved the display to the opposite wall inside the office work room so that the staff member could still participate in the tradition. Baker wanted to respect the staff member's privacy and that of his/her children depicted in the Christmas card.

But filing false report after false report won’t stop Starnes from being a favorite among Religious Right commentators or impact his job at Fox News.

And it most certainly won’t stop Starnes from telling his audience, as he did at the Watchmen on the Wall summit for pastors, that “you can read my stories and you can be assured that I am sharing with you accurate information.”

More Proof That Religious Right Myths Never Die

Back before the holiday break, we noted that just because some right-wing tale of supposed anti-Christian persecution happened to be totally false, that would never stop the Religious Right from repeating it endlessly, as they have been doing with the saga of Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk, who claims he was relieved of duty for disagreeing with a lesbian commander over the issue of gay marriage.

As we noted last time, a military investigation found Monk's claims to be baseless ... which means that David Barton and friends are just going to keep on repeating them time and again, as he did on his radio program last week where he took it all a step further and claimed that Monk's lesbian commander "read him his Miranda Rights ... for not affirming homosexuality ... For refusing to affirm openly homosexuality and gay marriage, she gets him demoted and gets him knocked off his post and they read him his Miranda Rights telling him that a criminal investigation is now under way":

Barton and the Liberty Institute's Kelly Shackelford made the same claim when Barton guest-hosted Glenn Beck's television program last week as well, adding, for good measure, that if members of the military are not allowed to be open about their Christian faith "we'll end up with Hitler's SS":

What neither Barton nor Shackleford bother to mention is that Monk was, in fact, read his Miranda Rights during the investigation because he was suspected of lying about the entire thing, which is a violation Uniform Code of Military Justice.

As the Air Force stated upon completion of its investigation, Monk did indeed make false statements about what happened, but "they did not rise to a level that violated Articles 107 and/or 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice":

The investigation, initiated Aug. 15 by Col. Mark Camerer, 37th Training Wing commander at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, found the claim unsubstantiated. The investigation also looked into whether Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk made false official statements. It concluded statements he made were false; however, they did not rise to a level that violated Articles 107 and/or 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Monk asserted through interviews with several national media outlets that he was improperly removed from his position as first sergeant of the 326th Training Squadron at Lackland because he did not agree with his commander’s position on same-sex marriage.

“I felt the need to conduct a thorough review to ensure no Air Force policies were violated, and the investigating officer provided that,” Camerer said. “Ultimately I wanted to be sure all facts were collected so we could determine if there was merit to the sergeant’s statements.”

The investigation concluded Monk was not removed from his position, but rather moved, as scheduled, to another Lackland unit, an assignment he was notified of in April 2013. The report stated Monk never voiced a religious or moral objection about same sex marriage to his commander.

“The weight of the evidence shows that religion was never discussed between the two,” Camerer said. “In the end, this is a case about command authority, good order and discipline, and civil rights—not religious freedoms.”

Monk was read his Miranda Rights because he was accused of lying about being the victim of anti-Christian persecution which never happened. But, for the Religious Right, this is now being held up as proof that he was the victim of anti-Christian persecution.

God Tells Pat Robertson That 2014 Will Be A Horrible Year Of Chaos, Unless You're A Republican

Televangelist Pat Robertson today revealed what God told him is in store for America in 2014, and it’s bad news unless you are a Republican. Robertson explained that he didn’t receive a New Year’s message at the beginning of 2013 because weather conditions prevented him from going to the mountain retreat where God speaks to him. (Or maybe the 700 Club host was still peeved about his 2012 conversation with God, in which Robertson claims God told him that Mitt Romney would defeat President Obama and become a successful two-term president.)

Keeping with his tradition of passing along extremely vague divine warnings about the country’s unraveling, Robertson reported to co-host Wendy Griffith that God informed him of severe economic problems that will devastate the global economy and the emergence of a nuclear Iran.

But there is a silver lining, Robertson reported: All of these problems will benefit Republicans, who will win control of the Senate in the midterm elections as Obama retreats to become a surfer in Hawaii.

“I think that the world is going to be in chaos this year,” Robertson said. “We’re not going to have a unified world. I think sometime during the year there is going to be some kind of a credit crisis and I think China is going to lead the way. The other thing is I do believe that the Iranians will have a nuclear device before the end of the year and Obama is using a tactic of containment that’s not going to work.”

Robertson did have good news for the GOP:

I do believe that the Republicans will win control of the Congress but they will not have a veto-proof majority…. The other thing is I think that the President is going to be severely, severely hampered. I think that America is going to turn against him much more so than now, as that Affordable Care thing starts biting hard as it is, he’s going to be discredited terribly. As a process, I think that he is going to withdraw. He likes Hawaii, he spent a lot of time in Hawaii and he probably figured, ‘Okay, I’ve done my thing, now let’s go surfing.’ I mean really, he’s got a big airplane to ride around in, he’s got a big staff, he’s got a big expensive limousine to ride in, he can just go bopping around the world and he doesn’t have to govern and I don’t think he’s going to because he can’t get anything through.

Robertson also said that God will bless “people in the pews, regular Christians who are filled with the spirit” with “tremendous healing,” while “Islam is going to be in retreat.”

“It’s going to be the greatest year in the history of the church,” Robertson claimed. “You know, onward Christian soldiers.”

Just in case he was wrong though, Robertson prefaced his remarks by saying: “What is He going to do this year? I offer that with humility saying, let’s see what happens, check it out when the year is over: Was I right or wrong?”

'They Can Take And Put You In Prison Now If You Speak Out Against Our Leaders'

Early last month, Rick Joyner was the guest on Jim Bakker's television program where the two men lamented that America has been lost, declared that President Obama was God's judgment upon this nation, and warned that Christians will wind up in prison in the very near future.

Bakker began by saying that he is now even reluctant to mention President Obama on his program "because they can take and put you in prison now if you speak out against our leaders." He then began to rant that the nation is "following leaders who have come against every tenet of the faith of the word of the living God" and declaring that "America is not America any more," which prompted Joyner to add that following leaders like this "is an ultimate depravity and that is what releases [God's] judgment against a nation and this is what we're experiencing."

"I believe, if we don't speak out, we're all going to be in prison very, very soon," Joyner said. "And it's going to be a worse prison then we could imagine ... If we don't have revival, if we don't have another great awakening, we're going to experience a tyranny and a totalitarian oppression far worse than anything that was experienced in the Twentieth Century":

WND Columnist Wants To 'Fill The Jails' With Officials Who Ignore Birther Conspiracy

Even though Lord Christopher Monckton hopes Canadian-born Sen. Ted Cruz will be the next president, the WorldNetDaily columnist also claims that President Obama was actually born outside of the U.S. and therefore should not only be removed from office but also imprisoned.

In a New Year’s column, “7 Steps That’ll Land Obama In Jail,” Monckton advises the House GOP to embrace the birther investigation led by Mike Zullo and Joe Arpaio.

“Prepare a bill to remove from the statute-book every act of Congress or executive order signed by Mr. Obama. They are all invalid,” Monckton writes. “Let the heads roll, right across federal and state governments. Fill the jails.”

Step 3: Get briefed. For two reasons, the GOP caucus should get its wobbly bottom down to Phoenix and get itself up to speed on the investigation.

First, the chief investigator, Mike Zullo, is no longer making public the results of his inquiries. The initial findings were publicized to attract people with evidence to come forward. That tactic worked. It is now clear to the investigators that criminal charges will be brought. So they cannot compromise the coming prosecution by saying what they know.

Secondly, the sheriff has now called in professional, full-time detectives to supplement the unpaid volunteers who have, until now, doggedly worked unrewarded and unthanked. Joe Arpaio would never have taken that step unless he were very sure of his ground.

Step 4: Prepare a bill to remove from the statute-book every act of Congress or executive order signed by Mr. Obama. They are all invalid.

Step 5: Don’t expect anyone to arrest Mr. Obama while he is still the people’s tenant. The sheriff is all too conscious of the extraordinary extent to which every relevant federal investigating authority is willfully providing cover for Mr. Obama on the flimsy ground that the international community would think less well of America if the scandal became public.

However, in 2016 Mr Obama will no longer be protected by the office to which he is not on any view entitled. At that point, various agencies will belatedly scramble to start doing the job they should be doing now, in the vain hope of evading prosecution for acting as accessories after the fact of forgery.

Step 6: Press home your advantage. Obamagate is the paradigm of why Big Government does not work. Give private citizens the right to bring prosecutions without the consent of the states’ attorneys general. All of them were shown an outline of the evidence. None – without exception – has lifted a finger to put right what is so obviously wrong.

Let the heads roll, right across federal and state governments. Fill the jails. Only when the crooks have gone can America march forward again as her Founding Fathers had intended.

Barton: If Cuccinelli 'Had Been More Pro-Life,' He Would Have Won Election

During his time in office, Ken Cuccinelli worked to pass a personhood law which would have criminalized not only abortion but also several forms of contraception and fertility treatments. On top of that, he declared that God will punish America over abortion rights, which he compared to slavery, and routinely pressed to close clinics that provide abortions as well as to defund Planned Parenthood.

But to hear David Barton tell it, the only reason that Cuccinelli lost his bid to become governor of Virginia last year was because he was not anti-abortion enough!

Filling in for Glenn Beck over the holiday break, Barton brought on anti-abortion activist Michael New to discuss the state of the movement. New asserted that the "pro-life" position routinely beats the "pro-choice" position in public polling, which prompted Barton to declare that an analysis of Cuccinelli's lost found that "if he had been stronger on pro-life issues, he probably would have won the election in Virginia."

"That's fairly amazing," Barton added, "to say, for Virginia which - northern Virginia is so blue - that if he had been more pro-life he would have won, which means we must be picking up public opinion across the board on this kind of issue":

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/30/13

  • Stpehen Marche @ Esquire: No, Viral Media, President Obama Didn’t Make An Offensive Hand Gesture. Take A Deep Breath.

Right Wing Leftovers - 12/30/13

  • The number of Republicans who believe in evolution has actually gone down since 2009 and is now a minority viewpoint.
  • We can only imagine how Religious Right activists would react if the Obama administration decided to have the government cover the costs of abortion services, but since it is the Israeli government they probably won’t say anything.
  • Liberty University is teaming up with the Trinity Broadcasting Network for a New Year’s Eve party and the re-launch of their “edgy” network, JUCE TV.
  • Robert Knight insists (falsely) that Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson’s “crime was to coarsely express the normal male preference for female anatomy.”
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