Beisner Explains Why Environmentalism Represents the 'Greatest Threat to Western Civilization'

Yesterday, Dr. Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance appeared on Janet Mefferd's radio program where he explained that the modern environmental movement represents "the greatest threat to Western civilization" because it combines "the utopian vision of Marxism, the scientific facade of secular humanism, and the religious fanaticism of jihad" into a pseudo-religion that undermines Christianity:

Mefferd: That seems like, maybe to some people, like hyperbole Dr. Beisner, but why do you think that that's the case?

Beisner: Well, let me just give you four simple, direct reasons.

First, because unlike the Soviet Union and its satellites in the Cold War and unlike Islamic jihad today which were, or are, external and clearly recognized as enemies by the overwhelming majority of people in the free world, environmentalism is internal and thought by most to be friend, not foe.

Second, because unlike arid and nihilistic secular humanism, environmentalism speaks to the inherent spiritual yearnings of human souls and it provides plausible answers to dogged questions about how we got here and what causes suffering and how suffering might come to an end.

Third, because environmentalism incorporates the strengths of all three of those other threats: the utopian vision of Marxism, the scientific facade of secular humanism, and the religious fanaticism of jihad.

And fourth, finally, because environmentalism encompasses all the vague spiritualities that have frankly overwhelmed secular humanism in the West and now threaten the Christian faith as so many people now take to referring to themselves as "oh well, I'm spiritual but not religious," which basically means they are all involved in designer religion.

Garlow: America's Tombstone Will Read '1776-2012'

In the second part of Jim Garlow’s post-election sermon at a conference with James Dobson, the California pastor claimed that President Obama’s re-election marked the death of America. Garlow, who warned of America’s impending doom if Obama was re-elected, said that “if a tombstone were to be prepared for America I think it might say ‘1776-2012.’” Garlow went on to compare the prospects of America’s survival to a clinically dead patient miraculously coming back to life.

18 months before the election from May 2011 on I started saying privately to certain people, I think America’s only got 18 months left. I was very hesitant to say that to anybody because it sounded so melodramatic, so over-the-top, and when I talked to people they would all nod and say, ‘I agree with you.’ I was hoping somebody would counter me. I did a countdown: 15 months America’s got left; 12 months America’s got left; 6 months as we approached November 6; 3 months; 2 months; 1 month, and then came November 6, 2012. If a tombstone were to be prepared for America I think it might say: ‘1776-2012.’

But, I’ve written two books having to do with having to do with heaven and the afterlife several years ago in which we studied and analyzed near-death experiences, people who were clinically dead but were remarkably resuscitated and came back to life. I’m hanging on like you are to a conviction, to a belief, that something could happen, that the spirit of God could be released in such a way that something stir within this nation and that revival we’ve longed for suddenly and inexplicably break out someplace, somewhere and sweep this nation, and touch enough lives and transform enough lives that we would see life come back to what appears to be a dead patient.

Phyllis Schlafly Denounces Rob Portman's 'Stupid' and 'Dumb' Marriage Equality Announcement

In an interview on The Janet Mefferd Show yesterday, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly attacked Sen. Rob Portman’s newfound support for legalizing same-sex marriage, calling his announcement “dumb” and a “stupid statement.” Schlafly, who unlike Portman has maintained her opposition to marriage equality even after learning that she has a gay son, said that Ohio voters may “feel sorry for him” because “maybe he was pressured by his son to do this.”

She insisted that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) “does not proscribe a national rule against gay rights” and protects states’ rights.

However, Section 3 of DOMA requires the federal government to discriminate against legally married same-sex couples. Even the American Family Association’s legal counsel admits that Section 2, which allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex unions that are legal in other states, likely violates the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause.

Mefferd: What do you make of Sen. Portman’s announcement last week?

Schlafly: I think it was a rather stupid statement that he made. He doesn’t appear to understand what DOMA is all about. His statement is not in accord with the facts and it’s inconsistent. If he stands up for states to be able to make their own decisions about marriage, DOMA allows that, we have about a half a dozen states that have made that unfortunate decision and they’re not interfered with by DOMA. I don’t understand. Portman was always advertised as one of the brightest of the Senators and he doesn’t seem to understand that the Defense of Marriage Act does not proscribe a national rule against gay rights; it doesn’t do that at all. It just says if one state adopts same-sex marriage the other states simply do not have to recognize it. What can be more states’ rights than that?



Mefferd: That shouldn’t be the way people shift positions as far as public policy is X is happening in my family therefore I’ve changed my mind completely for the entire country.

Schlafly: I agree with you and I think it’s really a dumb way to create legislation and my guess is that the Ohio voters will take care of that in the next election; I think they won’t respond to that type of an argument. They’ll feel sorry for him, maybe he was pressured by his son to do this, but I think the legislators should stand up for what the majority of people want and not decided based on personal experience.

Challenging the Right's Religious Liberty Claims

The ongoing campaign by the Religious Right and its conservative Catholic allies to redefine religious liberty in America – which has been covered extensively by PFAW and Right Wing Watch – is the focus of a new report released on Monday by Political Research Associates, a think tank that also monitors right-wing organizations. “Redefining Religious Liberty: The Covert Campaign Against Civil Rights,” was written by Jay Michaelson, who published a condensed version in the Daily Beast.

Michaelson’s report reviews the organizational players and the strategies they employ, among them: mixing fact and fiction; claiming that there is a war on religious liberty; and reversing the roles of victim and oppressor to portray as religious liberty “victims” people who claim a right to discriminate against others. He notes that Religious Right disinformation has had some success in shaping public opinion: in Minnesota last year a large plurality of marriage equality opponents believed that if marriage equality became the law, churches would be forced to solemnize same-sex marriages, even though there is universal agreement that the First Amendment guarantees that churches are free to choose which relationships to bless or not to bless.

The PRA report includes the following recommendations for social justice advocates:

1. Define and publicize the campaign to redefine religious liberty

2. Organize a unified response

3. Counter misinformation

4. Reclaim the religious liberty frame

5. Develop academic responses

6. Leverage religious communities

7. Ongoing research and monitoring

Religious liberty was also the topic of a forum at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., cosponsored by the Newseum’s Religious Freedom Education Project, Moment Magazine, and the Committee on Religious Liberty of the National Council of Churches. Moment, an independent Jewish Magazine, has also published a special Religious Freedom issue for March/April 2013.  At the conference, two large panels brought together a range of religious and secular voices to discuss and debate the meaning of religious liberty and the claims that liberty is under attack in the U.S. today.

Charles Haynes, the First Amendment expert who heads Newseum’s religious liberty committee, noted that the broad coalition that came together to back the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the 1990s is no longer.  Michael Lieberman, director of the Civil Rights Policy Planning Center for the Anti-Defamation League, suggested a reason: that the coalition had intended RFRA to be a shield against government restrictions on the free exercise of religion, but that conservative groups had turned RFRA into a spear used to attack anti-discrimination laws.

One central principle of PFAW’s Twelve Rules for Mixing Religion and Politics became clear: while people can agree on the broad principle that religious liberty protects the freedom to live in accord with one’s religious beliefs, that consensus breaks down quickly when deciding how law and policy should react when religious liberty comes into tension with other constitutional principles like equality under the law. Indeed, panelists strongly (but civilly) disagreed on to what extent organizations – whether religiously affiliated institutions or business corporations – should be able to claim exemption from anti-discrimination laws or the HHS requirement for insurance coverage of contraception. 

Richard Foltin of the American Jewish Committee argued for a shades-of-gray, rather than a black-and-white approach, saying organizations should be viewed on a spectrum, with churches and sectarian institutions on one end and corporations at the other. Foltin said the AJC has submitted amicus briefs in favor of marriage equality at the Supreme Court, but also believes that there are significant religious liberty questions that courts will have to deal with as marriage equality is implemented.  (As noted at another point during the day, the states that now recognize marriage equality all have somewhat different religious exemptions.)

Michaelson proposes five tiers of organizations with differing levels of claims to religious liberty: churches/denominations; religious organizations; religiously affiliated organizations; religiously owned business, and religious individuals. The right-wing, he says, keeps trying to “move the sticks” from the first three groups to the latter two.  He notes that the Mormon Church owns extensive business interests, including shopping malls, and says that if business owners are allowed to claim exemption from anti-discrimination laws and other regulations based on religious belief, many employees will have their rights and interests restricted. 

Author Wendy Kaminer argued that the religious liberty of institutions is over-protected rather than threatened, saying that she believes some claims for religious liberty are actually demands for religious power to impose their beliefs on others.  If business owners are allowed to claim a religious exemption from generally applicable civil rights laws, she asked, what would be the limiting principle to such claims? Could business owners cite religious beliefs to ignore child labor laws, or to refuse to hire married women?  Kaminer challenged what she called an emerging legal double standard: when it comes to taking government funds, advocates say religious organizations need a level playing field and should be treated like every other organization. But when it comes to free exercise claims, and groups like Catholic Charities say they shouldn’t be subject to generally applicable laws, they don’t want a level playing field but special privileges.

Holly Hollman, general counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, said that overblown rhetoric about threats to religious freedom is damaging to public understanding of religious liberty. She suggests that the first response to someone who talks about threats to religious liberty should be to ask them what specifically they are talking about.  For example, while people may be concerned when they hear about “an assault on religious liberty,” most Americans do not see a problem with requiring religiously affiliated institutions to abide by anti-discrimination laws or meet contraception requirements.

Legal scholar Jeffrey Rosen suggested that on church-state issues, the Supreme Court justices could be divided into three camps: religious supremacists, advocates of “religious neutrality,” and strict church-state separationists.  The separationists, he said, had their heyday in the 1970s and early 1980s, but that the courts have been moving more toward a “religious neutrality” approach, which he said in some cases is really a cover for the religious supremacists yearning for an openly religious state.  He said a landmark of the triumph of “neutrality” over separation was the 1995 Rosenberger case, in which the court said a public university could not deny funding from a religious publication because of its religious nature.  In the future, he said, Justices Breyer and Kagan may be willing to embrace a “religious neutrality” approach in hopes of winning votes to try to keep Robert and Kennedy from joining the Scalia-Thomas religious supremacists.

Mark Rienzi of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has filed lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate and which has urged the Supreme Court to uphold Prop 8 and DOMA, portrayed religious liberty issues not as part of a culture war but as the necessity in a pluralistic society of recognizing that differences exist and allowing everyone the maximum ability to live according to their beliefs. He suggested that most church-state conflicts are blown out of proportion and can be resolved relatively easy with a willingness to work around individual religious liberty claims. Kim Colby of the Christian Legal Society endorsed that view, and noted that the Supreme Court will likely be deciding cases in the near future about what constitutes a “substantial burden” on a person’s religious beliefs and what might qualify as a “compelling state interest” that would justify that burden.

Michaelson challenged Rienzi’s portrayal, saying that “religious liberty” itself has become a code word for a new tactic in the culture war against LGBT equality and reproductive rights, and that it was wrong to pretend there would be no victim if a business owner were granted the right, for example, to ignore laws against anti-gay discrimination.  Pharmacies, he said, used to have lunch counters that were segregated. Would it have been OK to justify that discrimination by saying there was another lunch counter down the street, the argument used by advocates for allowing pharmacists to refuse to provide some drugs based on their religious beliefs?

The ADL’s Lieberman said that from his perspective as an advocate for minority religions these do not seem like small or easily resolved issues, and said there was a clear prospect that individual rights would not be safeguarded if, for example, majoritarian school prayer were permitted.  Hoda Elshishtawy, legislative and policy analyst at the Muslim Public Affairs Council also noted the reality of a major power differential between members of majority and minority religions.  Dan Mach, director of the ACLU’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, noted that there are widespread abuses in public schools, citing an example of a South Carolina public school that set aside a day explicitly intended to try to convert as many students as possible to Christianity.

Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance, who moderated the first panel, noted that even on the day the First Amendment was passed, not everyone agreed with it or agreed with what it meant. We’ve been working it out ever since then and can’t quit, he said.  Charles Haynes made a similar point in his closing remarks, noting that in spite of all the differences evident in how we apply First Amendment principles, the ability to continue having the conversation is a reminder of how well those principles have worked to protect religious liberty in an increasingly diverse nation.

Rep. Matt Salmon: House GOP 'The Last Bastion of Freedom for This Country'

Arizona congressman Matt Salmon appeared on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins last week, where he told the Family Research Council president that the GOP-controlled House is “the last bastion of freedom for this country.” However, Salmon warned that if House Republicans fail to “use every tool” at their disposal to stop Obama “at every turn,” then they will be just like the servant in the Parable of the Talents who was punished for hiding his master’s money in the ground rather than earning more money.

Salmon: We need to change the way things are in Washington DC. We cannot let President Obama keep advancing his agenda; we have got to stop it at every turn. You are the last bastion of freedom for this country and we’re counting on you so use every tool in your toolbox.

Perkins: Yeah what I have seen is that the Republicans tend to be too concerned about keeping the majority then using it.

Salmon: You know if that’s where we’re at then you will lose it.

Perkins: And you do, you’re absolutely right.

Salmon: It’s kind of like the parable of the ten talents in the Bible. The one that buried up his talents, was afraid that he would lose them, lost everything in the end.

Anti-Gay Activists Attack Rob Portman's Son's 'Disorder' and 'Abhorrent Lifestyle'

Last week, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman announced that, inspired by his son’s coming out, he now supports marriage equality. Religious Right activists are, of course, responding with a characteristic lack of tact and grace.

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber, for example, denounced Portman for trying to “accommodate his son’s abhorrent lifestyle.”

“... Perhaps [the senator’s] love for his son has deceived him in not being able to differentiate between loving his son and helping his son to do the right thing, versus changing his entire worldview and his view of the natural institution of legitimate marriage in order to accommodate his son's abhorrent lifestyle,” says Barber.

Portman told reporters his previous views on marriage were rooted in his Methodist faith and his change of heart came because of "the Bible's overarching themes of love and compassion." Barber challenges that interpretation.

“This provides us a perfect example of the danger of looking at things through the jaundiced prism of our own feelings rather than on objective truths,” says the Liberty Counsel attorney.

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah wondered how Portman would respond if his son came out as a serial killer:

I’ve heard some wacky excuses by politicians for changing their minds on some of the most important moral issues facing American, but Ohio Sen. Rob Portman’s rationale for flip-flopping on same-sex marriage takes the proverbial wedding cake.

In case you haven’t heard, his son is a homosexual.

“I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married,” Portman wrote in a commentary published Friday in the Columbus Dispatch.

I guess we should all be grateful Rob Portman’s son didn’t choose to become a polygamist or a serial killer.



People like Todd Akin and Steve King don’t represent a threat to the future of the Republican Party. People like Rob Portman and Karl Rove represent a clear and present danger to its future.

What they are pushing is not liberty, it is licentiousness. What they are pushing is not morality, it is moral relativism. What they are pushing is not the kind of virtue and personal responsibility that makes self-government possible, it is the kind of pop-culture immorality that makes self-government impossible.

Ohio-based activist Linda Harvey, president of Mission America, lamented Portman’s decision to support his “rebellious” son’s “disorder” and “delusion”:

It’s not that I can’t empathize with the position his son has put him in. Every parent hopes never to face a rebellious child. But Portman has decided not to call this rebellion. Whether it was pressure from his wife or some kind of ultimatum by his son, Portman now issues editorial statements that ring with “gay marriage” advocacy. What a slam on Ohio families!

He opines about “civil marriage rights” as if they don’t exist now. These unions will be a stabilizing force bringing “renewed strength” to the institution, he thinks – but Portman is either woefully uninformed or deliberately ignores the mounting evidence against these lifestyles and the political militancy they are unleashing . There is no excuse for a sitting senator to jump on board a movement that viciously targets challengers, forces indoctrination of children in taxpayer- funded schools and bullies the corporate culture as well as the Boy Scouts into bowing before its altar of deviance.

And it’s so unnecessary. Every person out there who claims a “gay” identity has the ability to get married in Ohio or anywhere else now. He or she can marry someone of the opposite sex, because that’s what marriage is and because a “gay” identity is a delusion. Two men, no matter how sincere they feel, or two women, will never be a marriage. The person who believes this disorder is “who he is,” as apparently Portman’s son does, has tragically internalized a lie.



The deception of the culture is easy to accommodate if your principles are weak at the core. Homosexual feelings may seem unchosen, but we do have a choice about what fantasies and desires we nurture and feed. And we always have a choice about public identity and behavior.

His son needs to hear the hope of change and the stories of the thousands of former homosexuals in this country. But his father is apparently not going to tell him. How sad!

Beck: Start Hoarding Cash Now!

After a lengthy opening monologue on last night's program in which he declared that "Emperor" Michael Bloomberg is the "most dangerous man in America," Glenn Beck turned his attention to the financial crisis in Cyprus and urged his audience to pull their money out of the stock market and out of the banks and start stockpiling it at home since what is happening if Cyprus "will happen here" because "it has happened before; it happened the last time the progressives tried a utopia."

Beck went on to warn his audience not to tell anyone but their immediate family that they were hoarding money because "the last thing you want to be known as is someone with cash on hand when all of the banks are closed," warning that they will "become more and more of a target" even from their "relatives who call you a joke now" because "drowning people pull others under the water":

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/18/13

Right Wing Leftovers - 3/18/13

  • FRC is asking people to thank Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Louie Gohmert, and Rep. John Boehner for"standing up for marriage and showing true leadership."
  • Nothing will entice young people to join the conservative movement quite like a discussion between the AFA and Phyllis Schlafly defending Dan Quayle's twenty year old attack on "Murphy Brown."
  • The Daily Caller's hit piece on Sen. Bob Menendez continues to fall apart.
  • Despite the fact that he was just re-elected, according to WND 44% of the population wants to see President Obama impeached.
  • Scott Lively calls for a "First Amendment Supremacy Clause" so nothing can ever curtail the Religious Right's anti-gay activism.
  • Who do you even root for in a fight between Karl Rove and Sarah Palin?
  • Finally, it was obviously just a total coincidence that Satan in "The Bible" miniseries happens to look like President Obama.

Fischer: GOP Should Not 'Pander' to Ignorant, Naive, and Uneducated Young Voters on Gay Issues

Bryan Fischer is not at all impressed by the Republican National Committee's "autopsy" of what has gone wrong with the GOP leading to back-to-back election losses, and is especially miffed about findings that the party's hostility to gay rights is turning off younger voters.

As Fischer sees it, it is "idiotic" for the GOP to consider changing its message in an effort to win over ignorant and naive young people who don't understand the dangers posed by homosexuality. 

"They don't need to be pandered to," Fischer proclaimed, "they need to be educated. We don't pander to the least mature, least intelligent, least informed, least experienced, least educated members of our movement; we educate them."

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