Right Wing Leftovers - 5/3/13

  • Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) is the latest Republican to embrace the discredited allegation that the military is preparing to court-martial Christians. 
  • Phyllis Schlafly prays that God will speak to the Justices of the Supreme Court and tell them to oppose marriage equality. 
  • Ex-gay activist Greg Quinlan of PFOX has launched the “Citizens Against the Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act.”
  • WND’s Ilana Mercer writes a column about how gun violence is the result of our “estrogen-infused” society and somehow manages to fit in an attack on Jason Collins.

Wisconsin Republicans Try to Limit Power of Courts Blocking Their Agenda

Last week, we reported on the creative and constitutionally questionable efforts by Iowa Republicans to punish the state supreme court justices who issued the state’s landmark marriage equality ruling.

Now, Wisconsin Republicans are up to something similar, seeking to strip county circuit court judges of the ability to issue preliminary injunctions on laws that may be unconstitutional. The measure, which was introduced last month and had public hearings yesterday, is widely seen as a reaction to judicial injunctions on efforts by state Republicans to impose voter ID requirements and limit collective bargaining rights.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explains:

With some of their major legislative achievements thwarted by trial courts in the past two years, Wisconsin Republicans have been looking for ways to rein in local judges, particularly in liberal areas such as Dane County.

Since 2011, circuit court judges have blocked all or parts of laws backed by Republicans that required voters to show photo ID at the polls, limited collective bargaining for public employees and expanded the governor's power over administrative rules. Under a measure announced last month, such injunctions would be automatically stayed as soon as they were appealed - meaning laws that were blocked would be put back in effect until a higher court issued a ruling.

The state’s nonpartisan Legislative Council is now warning that the bill is likely unconstitutional.

Incidentally, one of the bill’s sponsors is state Sen. Glenn Grothman, who last year tried to get a state public health agency to list single parenthood listed as “a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.”
 

Congressmen Scalise and Gohmert Fall for Debunked Fox News Story on Supposed Plan to Court Martial Christians

Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes likes to report on culture war issues and frequently highlights examples of supposed anti-Christian persecution. He plucks the examples from Religious Right media outlets, which then turn around and point to Starnes’ Fox News stories for validation.

Fox example, one recent Starnes story alleged that a New York school was forcing girls to kiss each other as part of an anti-bullying seminar. But the ‘forced lesbianism’ story was baseless [PDF], and the school superintendent had to write to Starnes to urge him to, you know, report stories accurately [PDF].

In another instance of shoddy journalism, Starnes claimed that the military was deliberately blocking access to a Southern Baptist website as part of a “Christian cleansing” of the armed forces by the Obama administration. Well, as it turns out, the website was automatically blocked over malware issues and the Southern Baptist Convention’s own director of information systems acknowledged that there was malware on the SBC website, not any anti-Christian animus in the military, was responsible for the mishap.

So it came as no surprise to learn that a new Starnes column about the military getting ready to court martial Christians, since picked up by organizations like the Family Research Council, was also completely groundless.

Starnes contends that Obama administration officials are working with church-state separation activists to begin kicking Christians out of the military and cracking down on their religious freedom.

As Warren Throckmorton points out, the Defense Department guidelines on proselytizing and religious bias that has so enraged Starnes and others was actually put in place in 2008 during the Bush administration and the language clearly “draws a distinction between simply speaking about one’s faith and coercion.” Throckmorton also notes that Starnes twisted a statement from a Pentagon spokesman “to make it seem as though the outcome of religious proselytizing cases would be court martial.”

The Tennessean and Stars and Stripes have also debunked the story, but don’t tell Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who in an interview with Starnes said that Obama is trying to make Christian service members leave their faith:

“Under President Obama’s military you are no longer allowed to share your faith,” he said – noting that the policy is putting Christians in a tough position. “Do you follow President Obama or do you follow God and the teachings of Jesus?”

“That’s pretty tough when your commander in chief puts you on the horn for that dilemma,” he added.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) similarly told Tony Perkins on Washington Watch earlier this week called the story “yet another attack on religious liberty that we’ve seen from the Obama administration.”

Perkins: The idea that members of the military who share their faith, directly or indirectly, could be potentially court martialed, is this stunning or what?

Scalise: It’s frightening and shocking. Unfortunately it is yet another attack on religious liberty that we’ve seen from the Obama administration and it’s just been an endless assault from so many different angles. Of course it comes off the heels of the FDA approving the morning-after pill. There are just so many things that this administration is doing that go against a lot of the Christian beliefs that this country was founded upon and I think it really needs to be pushed back hard on.

While the victimhood narrative of oppressed white straight evangelicals is beloved by the Religious Right and trumpeted by Fox News, conservative activists may want to at least try to find real incidents of persecution and real journalists if they want people to ever believe them.

Rep. Scott Perry Wonders if Obama Hiding 'Saudi Connection' to Boston Bombings

On Wednesday, The Daily Mail published an article claiming that Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States warned the Department of Homeland Security about Tamerlan Tsarnaev a year before the Boston bombings. The story, which was already fairly fishy, completely fell apart when the Saudi embassy said they had sent no such letter. But the fictional Saudi letter had already entered the conspiracy theory news cycle, where Glenn Beck, among others, picked it up and ran with it.

The theory, it turns out, also reached the halls of Congress. In an interview with Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg on Wednesday afternoon, Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania speculated that the Obama administration might be hiding a “Saudi connection” or other information about the the Boston bombings that might endanger “your town or my town.”

Well, we’re not surprised, number one, and we’re skeptical, I think, the American people, certainly I am, about the statements that there’s no one else involved. We keep on hearing about a Saudi connection. And listen, this administration hasn’t been forthcoming information on other cases that are important to the American people, namely Benghazi, Fast and Furious, etc., so pardon us for being skeptical and questioning the validity of the claims that, you know, nobody else is involved or nobody’s dangerous or this happened after the fact and so on and so forth.

Listen, when they haven’t been really forthcoming about these other Saudi connections and what have you, then we are skeptical and we are mistrusting and we just don’t believe them. And so we wonder what other shoes haven’t dropped yet, and is there an unsafe situation in your town or my town?
 

Dominionist 'Apostle' Promotes David Barton's Distorted History

Among the many publications distributed at Liberty Counsel’s Awakening conference in April were two booklets examining Democratic and Republican party platforms. They were produced by Justice at the Gate, a group that describes its vision as “Building strategic partnerships to mobilize Christians to pray effectively and to vote righteously.”

The two publications are both titled “Democrats & Republicans In Their Own Words.”  One of them is subtitled, “National Party Platforms on Specific Biblical Issues.”  I’m not sure where in the Bible they find school prayer and “school choice and faith-based education,” but those are listed as biblical issues, along with abortion and homosexuality.  This booklet includes side-by-side excerpts from party platforms between 1976 and 2000. Other notable issues covered in the Bible, such as poverty, are nowhere to be found.

The other “In Their Own Words” booklet features an African American couple with a young child on the front cover. It is subtitled, “A 124-Year History of Major Civil Rights Efforts Based on a Side-by-Side Comparison of the Early Platforms of the Two Major Political Parties.” Apparently, racial justice and civil rights do not count as “biblical issues,” since they aren’t mentioned in the other publication. The side-by-side comparison in this booklet goes back to old anti-abolitionist planks in Democratic platforms from the 1840s, before the Republican Party was even formed.  The booklet takes 13 pages before it even gets to the 20th Century -- and that part of the booklet, which focuses on Southern Democrats’ support for segregation, stops in 1964.

In other words, this supposed history of racial justice and the political parties finds no room for a discussion of the Republican Party’s post-civil-rights-era southern strategy, which built power by fomenting racial resentment among southern whites, or for any of the political parties’  positions on racial justice and civil rights over the past 50 years.

Why does that sound so familiar? The answer lies inside the front cover: “Historical footnotes and annotations by David Barton, President of WallBuilders.” Barton has been peddling the notion that Republicans are civil rights heroes for more than a decade. He made the same kind of distorted and truncated history the centerpiece of his 2006 DVD, “Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White,” and in the outreach he has done to African Americans on behalf of the GOP.  (For those just joining us, Barton is a right-wing “historian” whose book on Jefferson was disavowed by its publisher last year after complaints about its inaccuracies.)

Who or what is Justice at the Gate?  It’s a vehicle for Alice Patterson, who is among the Religious Right leaders hoping that the right kind of outreach will get African American Christians to start voting more conservatively. Patterson is an “apostle” affiliated with the dominionist New Apostolic Reformation who believes the Democratic Party is controlled by demons. Her mission has been described as bringing NAR’s views into government, which is why she organized The Response, the dominionist-heavy prayer rally that was supposed to launch Rick Perry into the White House.  

King: Obama's Mexico Trip Will 'Undermine National Sovereignty and Rule of Law'

President Obama is traveling to Mexico this week to advocate for increased trade ties and cooperation on border enforcement with Mexico in advance of his push for comprehensive immigration reform. But in an interview with Steve Malzberg yesterday, Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King said that Obama is actually in Mexico to “undermine national sovereignty and rule of law” by delivering a “greeting card” to Mexican nationals previously deported from the United States and telling them to “come back and try again.”

King was referring to a provision of the Senate bipartisan immigration reform proposal that would allow some people previously deported for non-criminal reasons to reapply for U.S. residency. Going further, he called the president’s trip “completely outrageous” and accused Republican immigration reform supporters of being “complicit” in the president’s scheme.

King also falsely claimed the bill would provide “instantaneous amnesty” to undocumented immigrants currently in the United States.

Malzberg: Let me ask you, since there’s nobody more active on the immigration than you, and the president of course is in Mexico, and he’s going to give his, you know, his immigration presidential stump speech down in Mexico. To me, that is so inappropriate, it just reeks of inappropriateness. What can we anticipate in his campaign to, again, push for comprehensive immigration reform down in Mexico?

King: Oh my, you know, if you read the bill, the 834-page bill, I think what the president will be doing is already written into the bill. We know that it grants instantaneous amnesty to everybody that’s in the United States illegally, with some exceptions that perhaps will materialize due to law enforcement over time. But it also, in the bill, it invites everybody who has been deported in the past to reapply to come back into the United States, it says, ‘We didn’t mean it.’

So here’s the president down in Mexico, he’s the one that’s essentially carrying the greeting card. Presumably there are people in Mexico who have been deported, he’s down there as president saying, ‘We’re going to legalize everyone that’s in America and if you’ve been deported, come back and try again, we may be able to let you back into the United States.’ I think you’ll hear that from him. This is just, it’s completely outrageous to think that a president would undermine national sovereignty and rule of law that way, and not have the utter outrage of all of Congress lined up against him. And he doesn’t even have the utter outrage of all Republicans lined up against him, because some of them are complicit.

'As A Journalist,' Glenn Beck Wants To Know If Airport Shooter 'Ever Attended Any Occupy Wall Street Stuff'

Glenn Beck kicked off his radio program this morning by reiterating his theory that the shooting that occurred at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, TX yesterday was some sort of Reichstag-like false flag operation orchestrated by the "uber-left" to undermine the NRA convention taking place in the same city.

"As a journalist and somebody that runs a journalistic organization," Beck explained, "I want to find out if this guy has been unemployed, if he was a union worker, if he's ever attend any Occupy Wall Street stuff."

Beck then tied this theory to his other theory involving the Boston Marathon bombing, saying that just as the Tsarnaev brothers were supposedly guided into carrying out the bombing by their Saudi national/al Qaeda "control agent," this shooter may likewise have been guided into this act by some "uber-left" revolutionary he met at an Occupy Wall Street rally.

"I only jumped to that conclusion that it needs to be looked into," Beck said, "because I've studied revolutions and this happens all the time in the beginning of revolutions. In Germany, it was the Reichstag fire and something happens, everybody goes into a panic and then laws are passed and all of a sudden, it's lights out":

Truth In Action Ministries Film Warns Gays 'Puts Boys At Serious Risk'

Truth In Action Ministries, which last year produced a film warning that the “radical homosexual agenda” will destroy America like an iceberg hitting the Titanic, is out with a new short film opposing gay members in the Boy Scouts. Featuring Religious Right leaders like Bob Knight of the American Civil Rights Union, Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, the anti-gay activists warn that gays pose a physical and spiritual danger to children and do away with morality.

Watch highlights here:

Crouse Sees Left's Failures in 'Risky Drive Into Certain Neighborhoods'

Concerned Women for America’s Janice Shaw Crouse is very concerned about a new Census Bureau report finding a spike in births to unmarried mothers. In an American Thinker column today, Crouse accuses “liberals, progressives, feminists and welfare advocates” of responding to “problems associated by the triad of out-of-wedlock childbearing, single motherhood, and child poverty” by promoting “abortion and increased welfare dependency.” The failure of these policies, she claims, “is obvious to anyone who will face the realities that are evident should one take a risky drive into certain neighborhoods of our cities.”

The founding fathers, she continues, “would roll over in their graves” to see that the country has become “mired in reckless self-indulgence and thus regressed in terms of people's well being.”

For decades, liberals, progressives, feminists and welfare advocates have tried to get to the bottom of the problems associated by the triad of out-of-wedlock childbearing, single motherhood, and child poverty.  Heretofore, the solutions have been abortion and increased welfare dependency. I don't need to ask, "How is that working for us?" The answer is obvious to anyone who will face the realities that are evident should one take a risky drive into certain neighborhoods of our cities or choose the safer route of reading about the dramatic increases in non-marital births documented in the SECCUM report.

The nation's founding fathers first instituted a national census so that the nation could "mark the progress of society."  They would roll over in their graves to see that the nation they founded with great hope and based on principles of personal and civic responsibility, instead of progressing, has instead become mired in reckless self-indulgence and thus regressed in terms of people's well being.  We have spent hundreds of billions of dollars over the past four decades trying to alleviate the consequences of poor and irresponsible choices only to reap a harvest of greater dependency than ever before and several generations of children at risk for all the negative outcomes that parents hope to avoid (truancy, delinquency, substance abuse, etc). It is not merely the demographics of non-marital child bearing that need to be publicized but an honest, extensive reporting of the damages as well.

When the sum total of our morality, both personal and public, consists of not being judgmental, we should not be surprised to find that there is little will to be concerned with more than the pursuit of whatever brings a moment of pleasure today with no regard for the effects this will have for anyone's well-being tomorrow.

Beck Demonstrates The NRA's Commitment To Safety

Glenn Beck broadcast his television broadcast last from Houston, TX where is he in town to speak at the annual NRA convention. Prior to telling his audience that the shooting that occurred earlier that today at the Houston airport was a false flag "set-up" tied to the "uber left," Beck was extolling the virtues of the NRA and the organization's dedication to gun safety.

In making the point, Beck pointed to a table full of historical weapons he had gotten from the NRA museum that he is going to be using in his speech tomorrow and recounted how, all day long, NRA staff had been reminding him how to safely pick up and hold a firearm, all of which Beck said he already knows because he took a NRA safety course.

In fact, the NRA is so concerned about safety that staffers even taped a large "T" on the wall of the auditorium to mark the spot at which all of the guns lying on the table were pointed, signaling that nobody should ever be standing in that area.

But when Beck went to point it out, he first had to ask one of his staff members to move ... because she was standing right in front of it:

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