Bernie Sanders At Liberty U & Pope Francis At CATO

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, spoke on Monday morning at Liberty University. Liberty was founded by Jerry Falwell and has, under his son’s leadership, grown to be a huge and influential part of the Religious Right’s cultural infrastructure. The school has a tradition of drawing attention to itself by inviting politicians to its mandatory student convocations.

Sanders stated upfront and unapologetically that he is pro-choice and pro-gay and that he knew most of the people in the audience disagreed with him about that. His speech focused on the themes of economic hardship and inequality, urging students to grapple with the morality and injustice of poverty, huge income and wage gaps, children dying for lack of health care and Republican budget proposals to slash safety-net spending for poor children and families. Sanders, who was raised Jewish but currently claims no religious ties, quoted Pope Francis’s critique of the global economy and warnings against the “idolatry” of money.

Sanders was received politely, but there was plenty of resistance to his message, and not just on abortion or marriage equality.  Nick Corasaniti at the New York Times reported from the event:

“Calling on us to help the neediest, that resonates with me as a Christian,” said Quincy Thompson, the student body president, who had a chance to briefly meet Mr. Sanders after the event. “But as a Christian, I think the responsibility to help them falls to the church, not the government.”

The idea that helping the poor is not a job for the government but for the church is a core teaching of Christian Reconstructionism that has spread throughout the Religious Right, the Tea Party, and the Republican Party, carried by people like David Barton and Michael Peroutka.

Liberty’s President Jerry Falwell, Jr. also took exception to Sanders’ approach to economics, sticking with the gospel of small government:

“I think it was Margaret Thatcher who said that the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money,” Mr. Falwell said in an interview after the event, making the case that he thought working toward a limited government and lowering taxes would “create the tide that rises all ships.”

A different strain of the Right took on a similar theme on Tuesday, when panelists at the libertarian CATO Institute, whose lobby features a quote from Ayn Rand, addressed Pope Francis’ critique of the  global economic system at an event titled, “Blessing or Scourge? Capitalism through the Eyes of Pope Francis.” Francis will visit Washington, D.C. next week.

Catholic University of America President John Garvey and National Catholic Reporter columnist Michael Sean Winters portrayed Francis’ statements as well within the tradition of Catholic social justice teaching and in line with comments from his papal predecessors.

Jay Richards is an assistant professor in the business school at Catholic University and a senior fellow at the creationist Discovery Institute who authored a 2010 book called “Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem.” Richards, whose Twitter handle is @FreemarketJay, suggested that Francis’ views on capitalism may have been distorted by his experience in Argentina, which Richards says ranks near the bottom on “economic freedom” indicators. The pope’s beef is not really with free-market capitalism, he says, but with the kind of cronyism and corporatism found in his home country— an argument that has been advanced by other Catholic conservatives but doesn’t reflect the scope of Francis’s critique of current global economic and financial systems.

The CATO panel was moderated by Marian Tupy, editor of CATO’s HumanProgress.org project. Tupy argued that the pope is ignoring evidence that capitalism has lifted millions of people out of poverty. Two of Tupy's articles critical of Francis’s economic critiques were distributed at the event, one of which concluded condescendingly, “Pope Francis has a big heart, but his credibility as a voice of justice and morality would be immeasurably improved if he based his statements on facts.”

 

 

Steve Deace's Only Comfort Is That Kim Davis' Conservative Critics Will Go To Hell

Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace invited influential state conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats on his program last week to discuss Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who had just been released from jail after refusing to allow her office to follow the law and issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Vander Plaats was very proud of himself that all of his warnings about gay marriage destroying religious liberty had come true, telling Deace, “Our team said to me today, they said, ‘Bob, you ought to feel like you’re prophetic in some of this stuff.’”

Deace, meanwhile, had nothing but contempt for Republican politicians and conservative activists who failed to defend Davis’ lawbreaking.

“Beware of those in a culture war who write, you know, really principled and highly intellectual thought pieces for conservative or Christian outlets, and then in a time of crisis and confrontation like this, they say, oh this is not the right hill to die on,” he fumed. “What they really mean, Bob, is there’s never a right time to stand for anything nor is there ever any hill to die on. And these are the people, they’re going to hold the jail cell open for us when the Marxists throw us inside too.”

He added that his only comfort was that those conservatives are on their way to Hell: “It reminds me of the famous quote from Dante, that the hottest places in Hell are reserved for these kind of cowardly quislings. And I’ll just flat-out say it on the radio, the mere thought of that comforts me. The mere thought of that statement being true comforts me, because it confirms that God is just and they have received their award in full.”

“And judgment is mine, declares the Lord,” Vander Plaats added. “And so therefore we’re glad we serve a just God.”

Conservatives See 2016 As Key To A More Conservative SCOTUS

Four of the nine Supreme Court Justices will be in their 80s during the first term of whoever is elected president next year, meaning he or she could usher in an enormous shift in the Court’s makeup.  The Court issues enormously consequential rulings on numerous issues affecting everyone across the country – LGBT equality, money in politics, workers’ rights, religious liberty, workplace discrimination, abortion rights, and many others.  With the current Court so often divided 5-4, usually tilting toward far-right conservatives, it’s clear that the Supreme Court is perhaps the most important issue in the 2016 presidential election.

You certainly don’t need to persuade conservatives.  In fact, according to press reports, the far-right Judicial Crisis Network is launching a new website and ad campaign to pressure GOP presidential hopefuls ever rightward on the issue of Supreme Court nominations.  A reported in The Hill, the group blasts the arch-conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and very conservative Anthony Kennedy as insufficiently conservative.

“Demand justices with a proven record of upholding the constitution. We can’t afford more surprises,” a narrator says as the video shows the faces of Roberts, Kennedy and former Justice David Souter, who retired in 2009.

The three justices are “examples of bad GOP appointments,” the Judicial Crisis Network said in a statement announcing the advertisements.



[JCN] says it made the $200,000 television and digital ad buys ahead of the Republican presidential debates to get candidates on the record about their approach to Supreme Court picks. The next Republican debate is Wednesday.

The television and digital ads are set to run in Iowa, New Hampshire and Washington, D.C. starting Monday, the group said.

Roberts and Kennedy … not conservative enough?  Along with Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, they formed the five-person majority that gutted the heart of the Voting Rights Act (Shelby County), opened the floodgates to corporate money in politics (Citizens United), twisted religious liberty into a tool to deprive others of their legal rights (Hobby Lobby), and regularly misinterpret and severely undermine our nation’s anti-discrimination laws (Ledbetter, for a start).  True, Justice Kennedy authored the Court’s key opinions recognizing the constitutional rights and basic humanity of LGBT people, but he is no liberal.

If conservative activists succeed in electing a conservative president who wants to drive the currently far-right Supreme Court even farther rightward, the repercussions will be enormous.

But imagine instead if Americans elect a president who wants to restore a high court that recognizes and protects our constitutional and statutory rights to liberty, equality, and democracy … Again, the repercussions for people across the entire country would be enormous.

There is one thing where we agree with the JCN.  As their ad says:

On the most important issues, the Supreme Court decides.  The next president could appoint a new majority to last a generation.

Keep that in mind between now and Election Day.  You can be assured that conservatives will.

Cross-posted from People For the American Way's blog.

Inside The Right-Wing Plan To 'Take Out Planned Parenthood'

While some Republican politicians contend that the most recent round of attacks on Planned Parenthood is aimed only at its donation of fetal tissue for medical research, a practice that became the focus of sting videos that misleadingly suggest that the organization is profiting off the donations, Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins told conservative activists last week that the real goal is to “take out Planned Parenthood.”

In a speech to Eagle Council 2015, the annual conference held by Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, Hawkins depicted Planned Parenthood as a money-obsessed and racist business that “promotes and covers up” statutory rape and aids sex traffickers. Hawkins claimed that Planned Parenthood only supports sexual education and birth control in order to convince young women to have premarital sex, causing them to go to Planned Parenthood to spend money on STD tests and treatment and, eventually, abortions.

“She’s going to start this cycle of bad decisions,” she said. “They made money off of her every step away. Everything was about that bottom line.”

Hawkins described in detail the anti-choice movement’s strategy to rebrand itself as a pro-women, social justice cause while also attempting to “rebrand Planned Parenthood” as the “abortion Goliath” that “preys upon women.”

“When this generation was coming to age and decided, ‘How can we make a difference? How can we make our Phyllis Schlafly mark on the pro-life movement?’ We set our sights on one target, and that’s Planned Parenthood, because they are the Goliath,” she said. While Planned Parenthood is the Goliath, Hawkins said, David Daleiden, the activist behind the sting videos, is fittingly named “David” — “I think the Holy Spirit had something to do when his mother named him.”

Why focus on Planned Parenthood? As Hawkins admits, it is because of Planned Parenthood’s popularity: “While we’ve been educating a movement since 2008 on Planned Parenthood, we’ve been losing in the court of public opinion. Every poll we’ve taken always shows that Planned Parenthood enjoys a positive view in people’s minds, because it’s Planned Parenthood.”

Hawkins said that anti-choice activists plan to run online ads targeting “Democratic-leaning,” “mushy middle” women voters, whom she characterized as the “Grey’s Anatomy binge-watchers and West Wing-watchers.”

Appropriating some of the themes used by the Occupy Wall Street movement, Hawkins urged the Eagle Forum activists to pressure Congress to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood funding, saying that the move would give them an opportunity to rebrand Planned Parenthood as the “Walmart of abortion” and the true foe of the “99 percent.”

She also revealed that her group’s new ads will look like government-sponsored PSAs telling pregnant women that if they go to Planned Parenthood, they will probably end up getting an abortion.

Will you or will you not vote for a CR, continuing resolution, that funds Planned Parenthood? Yes or no? A non-commitment is allowing this to happen, that’s a pro-abortion vote in my record. You need to scare the bejeezus out of these people because they don’t want to do it, they don’t want to do it. House Republican leadership and Senate Republican leadership does not want to touch Planned Parenthood because they didn’t listen to their Bible stories very well. We need you to make those calls. We need to be talking about the presidency. There’s a little bit of an election coming up in a year and it is very, very important that we elect a pro-life president, not only so we defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider and vendor, but that we get a pro-life president who will appoint pro-life judges, this next president could literally determine if we overturn Roe v. Wade in our lifetime or not. I’m a very impatient person, I have other career goals, I don’t want to be doing this the rest of my life. I want to end abortion as quickly as possible and to do that we’ve got to take out Planned Parenthood.

The next thing we have to do is we need to rebrand Planned Parenthood. In our communities we need to promote organizations like Thrive, like other pregnancy resource centers that are literally taking money, client money, out of their hands. We need to talk about Planned Parenthood, we need to make people aware of what Planned Parenthood is doing. Students for Life has a tour coming up in October and November, ‘The Planned Parenthood Project.’ We don’t say abortion is bad because people already know abortion is bad, what we show young people is that Planned Parenthood makes money off them and that they’re using them. A very popular line we found with young people is, “Planned Parenthood is the Walmart of the abortion industry.” I love Walmart, trust me, I spent like $500 there last night, however, it’s a very “99%” approach to the issue, that they’re the big, bad dog and they are using you.

The next thing we have to do is we’re going to need to go on the airwaves and right now, Students for Life, I’ve got two commercials that we are getting ready to launch and we are putting out there to national organizations, saying, “please fund these commercials.” Because the commercials aren’t about us, they’re not about the pro-life movement, they are targeted to “mushy middle” women, 18- to 44-year-old women who are targeted by the Democrats every single election with a scary “war on women” rhetoric. The ads are light, they’re airy, they’re beautiful, they kind of look like a government PSA, that’s how I made them look. And it says, ‘Hey, you’re pregnant! Yay! Did you know that 94 percent of women who go to the Planned Parenthood get an abortion? However, you can visit a federally-funded health clinic that will serve all of your and your child’s needs for free.’ Then it links to HRSA.gov. It looks a little bit like a PSA. We are running it through the lawyers to make sure I don’t get sued for impersonation by the government. But we are going to be running these ads because we are going to make the point that we don’t need Planned Parenthood any longer. We don’t need Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is the opposite of empowerment, Planned Parenthood is the opposite of empowerment for women. They do the exact opposite and we simply don’t need them.

Jim Bakker: Even Your 'Sweet Neighbors' Will Start Eating Babies In The End Times

Televangelist Jim Bakker, hawking his trademark buckets of survival food on his program earlier this month, warned his studio audience that they must hide the food they store up in preparation for the Last Days because as the world collapses, even their “sweet neighbors” will become so ravenously hungry that they will steal food and even eat their own babies (this is not the first time Bakker has used the threat of cannibalism to sell his survival food buckets).

“The Bible says they’re going to eat their arms, the Bible says they’re going to eat their babies, then it says they’re going to eat their children,” he warned. “That’s what people do when they get hungry.” In order to prepare for this, Bakker encourages viewers to buy buckets of food that he advertises on his show but not inform their neighbors that they have done so.

Having food during the End Times, Bakker claimed, is not the only benefit of buying his food buckets; in the event that the government collapses for any reason, he said, basic necessities are all that is going to matter. “If the social security checks don’t come, what are you going to do?” asked Bakker. “The government is already broke! … How can we trust a country that’s broke?”

Bakker explained that although some pastors are urging their congregations not to listen to him, he feels a moral obligation to sell his food buckets: “When you’re huddled in a corner with your grandbaby and they’re screaming and crying and there’s no food – I don’t want that blood on my hands.”

Glenn Beck's $10 Million Refugee Effort Aims To Save Only Christians

In conjunction with his "Never Again Is Now/Restoring Unity" rally in Birmingham, Alabama, last month, Glenn Beck announced the creation of something called "The Nazarene Fund," through which he is seeking to raise $10 million dollars to help relocate refugees who are fleeing the chaos and violence in places like Iraq and Syria.

With that money, Beck hopes to be able to save more than 2,000 refugees, which he repeatedly points out is more than the number of Jews that Oskar Schindler saved during World War II, and is even vowing to personally lead some of these refugees into the United States by marching them across the southern border, even if doing so lands him in jail.

Of course, as the name suggests, this effort is aimed only at saving Christians because, as Beck emphasized several times during his radio program today, he has no way to tell "which is the good Muslim and which is the bad Muslim."

"There is no differentiation between them that we can actually tell," Beck explained. "I wish we could take the Muslims who have been marked for death because they will not play the game of ISIS, but I don't know whose side you're on because you have not stood up en masse and differentiated yourself. So I can't figure that one out, that's beyond me to figure out. So I can try to help those we can figure out ... The right thing is to save people's lives, especially those who you know are not here to kill us, not here to convert us or behead us. Again, I wish I could say this about others, but the only ones I know for sure don't want to convert or kill us are those Christians in the Middle East who have been marked for death."

Roy Moore: First They Came For Kim Davis…

Before Kim Davis, there was Roy Moore, the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who invoked divine law in his effort to block his state from enforcing a pre-Obergefell federal court decision striking down its ban on same-sex marriage.

Moore ordered state probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, railing against the “rejection of God’s law by the federal judiciary” and insisting that “the laws of this state have always recognized the biblical admonition stated by our Lord.”

Moore was the keynote speaker at Eagle Council 2015, a St. Louis conference hosted by Phyllis Schlafly’s group Eagle Forum last week, where he naturally brought up Davis’ similar fight in Kentucky against marriage equality. The Alabama justice dedicated his entire speech to attacking the Obergefell decision and, like Davis’ lawyers, compared the clerk to victims of the Holocaust. 

After reading Martin Niemöller’s poem “First They Came For The Socialists…,” Moore decided to write his own version in honor of Davis: “Ladies in gentlemen, we can say the same thing today. They came for the bakers, I didn’t bake cakes. They came for the florists, but I didn’t deal with flowers. They came for the little clerk down in Kentucky by the name of Kim Davis, but I’m not a clerk, I have nothing do with issuing licenses. Then they came for me, and nobody was left.”

“This will touch every person in this room, every child in this room eventually,” he said of Obergefell. “This opinion is not like other opinions that have been issued.”

Joe The Plumber: Maybe God Killed A Hundred People In Mecca

Samuel Wurzelbacher, the Tea Party activist and failed GOP congressional candidate better known as Joe the Plumber, is one of the many conservatives built up by the Republican Party who end up using their new found platform to spout off crazy conspiracy theories.

For example, Wurzelbacher today blamed an attack on an amusement park worker on President Obama.

WATCH as these THUGS in Memphis actually attack an amusement ride attendant at a local fair.WHY????… You ask?? Just...

Posted by Joe the Plumber on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

And thinks Obama is having a “love affair with Islamists.”

Obama's love affair with Islamists taken to a new level. God help us! http://joeforamerica.com/2015/09/obama-admitting-possibly-millions-of-sy...

Posted by Joe the Plumber on Monday, September 14, 2015

He also wondered if God was behind the crane collapse in Mecca that killed 107 people.

Karma? The Hand Of God?

Posted by Joe the Plumber on Saturday, September 12, 2015

 

Like His Wife, Joe Davis Has Now Become A Religious Right Celebrity

Yesterday, the Family Research Council announced that Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who became a Religious Right hero for prohibiting her office from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, would be receiving an award at its upcoming Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.

It turns out that Kim is not the only member of the family who has been transformed into a Religious Right celebrity, as her second/fourth husband Joe Davis will be a featured speaker at an upcoming "Stand in the Gap for Truth" rally being organized by the Tennessee Pastors Network, which is an arm of the American Pastors Network.

Davis will be speaking along with Richard Land, E.W. Jackson, Rafael Cruz and several others:

Joe Davis had been living a quiet life in Kentucky with his wife, Kim. But this summer, the Davises were thrown into the national spotlight over religious freedoms and the rights all Americans have when it comes to their closely held religious convictions.

As Kim returned to work in the Rowan County’s clerk’s office yesterday, after being jailed for six days for refusing to issue marriage licenses to any couple, Joe is traveling to Nashville to rally others to stand for their freedoms like his wife did.

On Thursday, Joe Davis, often seen wearing his signature straw hat and overalls, will be a part of an exciting and much-needed event that will help motivate Tennesseans to defend their religious freedom and uphold God’s design for the nation at the “Stand in the Gap for Truth” Rally, hosted by the Tennessee Pastors Network (TNPN, www.tnpastors.net).

Starting at 11 a.m. Sept. 17, the rally will take place at the Legislative Plaza, 301 6th Ave N in Nashville. Pastors throughout Tennessee who are part of TNPN will partner with state legislators to host the event that will engage Tennesseans to address the most talked-about issues of the day such as shifting marriage and family foundations, an unworkable immigration system, weak terrorism laws, failing education, a damaging nationalized health care system, lack of religious freedom protections and the blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution.

“This summer, Kim and Joe Davis have been a part of a religious freedom battle of a lifetime,” said TNPN President Dale Walker. “And now, we are honored to welcome Joe to the ‘Stand in the Gap for Truth’ Rally, as he has shared about their experiences that have essentially changed this nation’s history. We are thankful for those like the Davises who have stood for freedom—not only for themselves, but for all Americans. In Nashville on Thursday, we want to fill the Legislative Plaza with thousands who want to take that stand, too.”

Jade Helm 15 Is Over And Obama Didn't Even Invade Texas!

For most of the summer, a military training exercise called Jade Helm 15 captivated the imaginations of the Right, striking fear into the hearts of Republican presidential candidates, members of Congress and even governors. Latching on to a conspiracy theory that originated in the far-right fringes of the internet, they warned that the training exercise was in fact part of a plot by President Obama to invade Texas, impose martial law and abolish civil liberties.

At one point, one-third of Republican voters and half of all Tea Party supporters feared that the federal government was “trying to take over Texas,” with another 28 percent of GOP voters saying that they were not sure whether or not the plot existed.

Outlets such as WorldNetDaily and InfoWars, far-right sites that also regularly host Republican politicians, led the way in spreading the conspiracy theories. But the theories soon spread beyond the far-right, and suddenly people had to debate whether the government would use secret tunnels, closed Walmart stores and cattle cars as part of an increasingly fantastical plot to eviscerate American freedom.

Unsurprisingly, the people who were pushing conspiracy theories about the military training exercise fell silent when it became clear that none of the scenarios they predicted had materialized. Jade Helm 15 proceeded as planned over the summer officially ended today without a federal takeover of Texas.

However, the exercise didn’t go without incident, as it was the target of violent attacks and a deadly plot from far-right militants who thought “that the federal government intended to use the armed forces to impose martial law in the United States.”

This was far from the first time that right-wing activists had cooked up strange theories about President Obama trying to wage war against the American public. But this time, presidential candidates were fielding questions about the military exercise. Ted Cruz and Rick Perry used the conspiracy theories as a way to criticize Obama, blaming him for the increasing fears about the exercise, while Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, repeatedly suggested that the exercise was designed by the Obama administration to vilify people living in conservative states like Texas.

Perhaps no one furthered the cause of Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theorists more than Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who ordered the Texas State Guard to “monitor Operation Jade Helm 15 ” and give him “regular updates on the progress sand safety of the Operations” to ensure that Texans’ “safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties” would “not be infringed.” Texas State Guard officials viewed the order as a “great opportunity” to find new recruits, but conspiracy theorists used it as an excuse to pounce.

Religious Right broadcaster Rick Wiles emerged as a champion of the Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theory, telling viewers that it represented “the preparation for or the actual implementation of a roundup of patriotic men who have the capacity to influence and inspire the citizenry to resist a coup against the republic.” Wiles described Jade Helm 15 as a “two-month-long Night of the Long Knives” in which Obama might launch a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attacks against conservative states. “I believe that they would level the state of Texas, I believe they would use an EMP against Texas,” he said.

When Wiles appeared on “The Jim Bakker Show,” he and Bakker wondered if they would soon end up in jail as a result of the military drill:

Wiles also worried that the exercise would allow President Obama to “ seize power illegally.”

He wasn’t alone in that view.

Matt Barber’s website BarbWire ran a column warning that Jade Helm 15 could be “the final exercise before the Obama-Jarrett team install Martial Law nationwide.” WorldNetDaily even consulted a “Bible prophecy expert” for an article asking if Jade Helm 15 was proof that the government was “preparing for some major future event that will bring chaos to America.”

Paul Vallely, a former Army general turned radical right-wing activist who once volunteered to lead a right-wing coup against Obama, said that the military exercise was giving Obama an opportunity to impose martial law.

“We know full well that Obama would declare martial law at the earliest opportunity if he could,” Vallely said. “I’ve seen the documents, it gives them plenty of latitude to start talking about how do you control the civilian population if they rise up? And that’s part of what Obama is trying to do and the question that came out again, ‘Will the military turn on the American people if Obama decides to do any kind of a martial law activity?’ That’s what the American people are concerned about.”

This fear also found a receptive audience in the Oath Keepers, a militant group that won notoriety when its armed members flocked to the Bundy ranch to stage a a standoff with law enforcement officers. Following the Bundy incident, the organization has been trying to find a new cause, such as Kim Davis, Ferguson, or, of course, Jade Helm 15. The group’s fear of Jade Helm 15 makes perfect sense considering that its entire reason for existing is to tell law enforcement officers that they should defy unconstitutional orders that may be coming down the pike, such as a command to throw Americans into concentration camps.

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes said that “Jade Helm is in part conditioning and vetting of the military to see who will and will not go along” with a future plot to repress Americans. “I think they’re figuring out who is loyal and who is not loyal and who is likely to go along, with the town councils and county commissioners as well,” he said.

“I think it is very likely that you’re going to see scenarios shift from supposedly being practicing for overseas, all the sudden it will be, ‘oh, today we are going to take down a compound of skinheads,’ or whatever least favorable people they can name domestically and get the guys to go along with it, see who does and doesn’t go along,” Rhodes said. “I think it’s also conditioning and assessment and vetting of the local politicians. Who raises questions? Who has any serious, meaningful questions about what we’re doing with this exercise? They put their name down. I think they’re figuring out who is loyal and who is not loyal and who is likely to go along, with the town councils and county commissioners as well.”

He claimed that the government was using Jade Helm 15 to send a message to the public, particularly “veterans, gun owners and anyone who is a constitutionalist,” that “resistance is futile” and if you object “Navy Seals and Delta Forces will come get you.”

“Jade Helm is definitely NOT meant to prepare troops for foreign operations,” read one article on the group’s website. “The program is admitted to be a primer for military response to ‘crisis scenarios,’ denoting domestic operation…. And they are training and infiltrating completely American environments, which they would not be doing unless they planned to operate in very similar environments.” Citing the plot of a Chuck Norris movie, the post claimed that the government would present Jade Helm 15 as a way to save the country from ISIS terrorist attacks:

Maybe I am connecting dots that are not dots, but it seems to me that the timing of ISIS warnings, the re-ignition of economic downturn in 2014/2015, the global shift away from the dollar, and Jade Helm are not entirely coincidental. Martial Law is not a scenario that can be generated in a vacuum; it needs a primer, a trigger event, if not multiple trigger events.

If the final trigger event is indeed intended to be a terror campaign on U.S. soil, then questions of the true purpose of Jade Helm will undoubtedly take a back seat to immediate solutions to what amounts to a foreign invasion (at least, that is how it will be painted), and none other than Jade Helm will be presented as that solution.

“ISIS has long been a collaborative creation of the U.S. government and its allies,” the post continued. “So should Americans be forced to relinquish their freedoms in order to combat an enemy that our own government engineered out of thin air?”

Another Oath Keepers post put it this way:

It strikes many people as a portentous government plan, a pre-fabricated and pre-constructed umbrella under which a black op by the Deep State’s compartmentalized agencies could possibly ‘Go Live’ in a fantastic sort of Shock and Awe False Flag psycho-coup to jar the public mind of America through fear into acceptance of some nefarious policy the government desired, such as the establishment of Martial Law and the complete loss of individual liberty and our Constitution. To do that, the public mind must be conditioned first. That is part of what is behind the Special Operation Command’s Jade Helm 15.

Now that Jade Helm 15 is over and literally nothing anyone predicted about a massive military operation intruding on the rights of Americans actually came true, don’t expect this to be a moment for right-wing politicians, activists and media personalities to reconsider their tried-and-true practice of carelessly engaging in baseless conspiracy theories.

If anything, the widespread belief in an imminent invasion of Texas among Republican voters, along with the success in early presidential polls of outspoken conspiracy theorists like Donald Trump and Ben Carson — the former of whom suggested that the 2012 election was a “total sham” and the latter that Obama may cancel the 2016 election — may actually give Republicans more reason to push the most wild conspiracy theories about Obama, no matter how bizarre or dangerous.

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