Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., had an unusual take yesterday on recent protests around the police shootings of African-American men in North Carolina and Oklahoma, saying that while Black Lives Matter is made up of “radical groups” and “confused people,” the real “institutional racism” is policies that removed government-sponsored religious teaching from public schools.
Virginia talk radio host John Fredericks asked Brat yesterday, “Help me understand, what is Black Lives Matter rioting about in Charlotte?”
“Well, that’s just sub-groups,” Brat responded, “some of these radical groups that are funded out of George Soros’ pot of money and just some confused people.”
In contrast, he said, he recently visited a prison and met with former heroin addicts who told him that they wanted him to “get the Bible back in the classroom and religion back in the classroom so my kids and grandkids don’t end up like me.” Because of the lack of religious instruction, he said, these men were “never taught what was good and bad in life in the public school system.”
“The Democrat policy in education is holding back an entire generation from being successful,” he said, “and then you end up with this racial system when your school system … [is] teaching them about isosceles triangles but we’re not giving them any hope.”
“There is institutional racism,” Brat told Fredericks, “and if Obama and Hillary want to talk about institutionalized racism, I just mentioned the source of it. It’s their own policies. that’s where the institutional racism is, right? When you don’t tell people what is ethically good and bad, right, if you cannot even define what a morally good life is anymore and you block the Bible and you block the Judeo-Christian tradition and you block the Baptist church, which is fundamental in the African-American community, from being the voice of power and the only hope you give is a broken federal system of government …”
He added that since Martin Luther King Jr., we haven’t had “any nationally prominent philosophers or theologians out there promoting the Judeo-Christian tradition in the African-American community and across the board in education.”
The National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown has been attempting to mobilize U.S. support for activists in Mexico who are trying to stop President Enrique Peña Nieto from putting marriage equality into the country’s constitution.
However, like a lot of NOM’s recentefforts, this one doesn’t seem to quite be catching on.
Today, NOM hosted a rally in front of the Mexican embassy in Washington, D.C., along with the World Congress of Families, which Brown also now leads, and CitizenGo, an international petition platform whose board Brown sits on.
The rally drew a grand total of 11 people, not counting a handful of children in strollers, bystanders and reporters:
At the rally, activists read a letter that they said they were delivering to the Mexican ambassador announcing that they were joining “in spirit” the protests this weekend led by the National Front for the Family.
The letter stated the group’s support for “natural marriage as a stable relationship between one man and one woman,” saying that “several scientific research studies” have shown that this is the best environment for children. It claimed that “extracting marriage from its procreative and educative purpose … weakens the legal, social and cultural fabric” of a society. The letter also included a reference to adoption by gay couples and a plea to keep “content and ideologies that do not belong to the public educative sphere” out of school curricula, instead demanding that curricula be based on “scientific criteria.”
Right-wing activist Jesse Lee Peterson recently delivered a sermon in which he warned his congregation not to become intellectuals because intellectualism is responsible for foisting things like gay marriage upon America.
"I notice that the people who are really into the intellect are nutcases," Peterson said. "Absolute nutcases. Because of this intellectual thing taking over and the people rule us, we now have so-called same-sex marriage. That wouldn't happen if we weren't into the intellect. Common sense would dictate that is not going to happen and common sense wouldn't care what you thought about it because we would know that that's wrong."
Intellectuals are also responsible for the fact that "we now have drag queens running around in the military," Peterson added.
"Can you imagine jumping down in a foxhole, running from bin Laden, and there is a man in there with a dress and lipstick on? It would shock you. You would rather be out with bin Laden," Peterson stated, apparently so dedicated to being anti-intellectual that he's totally unaware that Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011.
People simply need to rely "on the intellect of God," he recommended, because human intellect is a tool of the devil, which is why "all intellectual people are insecure people ... because their father is weak, their father Satan is a deceiver."
According to news reports, Donald Trump is set to release today more names of individuals whom he would consider nominating to the Supreme Court if elected, a key part of his strategy to win over the Religious Right and the conservative establishment.
The new list includes Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who, as Peter noted earlier this year, is not only a staunch social conservative but also believes that large parts of the federal social safety net are unconstitutional:
Lee also has some ideas about how he’d like to change the Constitution. We wrote when Lee was running for Senate in the Tea Party wave of 2010:
He wants to eliminate capital gains taxes and make the current tax system more regressive – more reliant on lower income taxpayers – and says his favorite approach to taxation would actually be to repeal the 16th amendment altogether, strip the federal government of the power to tax income, and leave it to the states to determine how they would tax their own citizens to pay for the limited federal government that would be left.
He’s a constitutional lawyer who’d like to make lots of changes to the Constitution: he has said he supports repeal of the 17th Amendment, which calls for popular election of U S Senators; he wants to "clarify" the 14th Amendment through legislation to deny citizenship to children born in the U.S. to parents who are not citizens or legal residents; he wants to amend the Constitution to require a balanced federal budget and to impose congressional term limits.
Other names on Trump’s expanded list are also sure to please those who are hoping to radically reshape American law.
The Trump campaign’s statement boasts that one potential pick, Michigan Chief Justice Robert Young, is part of a court majority that has “embraced originalism and led what one scholar described as a ‘textualism revolution.’” The article in question notes that much of the Michigan majority’s philosophy draws on the arguments of the late Justice Antonin Scalia (while differing with Scalia in some ways).
In 2007, Young wrote a majority opinion upholding Michigan’s voter ID law, writing that it was a “reasonable, nondiscriminatory restriction designed to preserve the purity of elections and to prevent abuses of the electoral franchise."
The new list also includes Charles Canady, a Florida Supreme Court justice who served four terms as a Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1990s. In the House, Canady was the first to introduce the so-called ban on “partial-birth” abortion, a term that had been newly coined by anti-choice activists to stir up opposition to a specific abortion procedure and prompt a legal challenge to undermine Roe v. Wade.
Also on Trump’s list is Timothy Tymkovich, the chief judge of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, who wrote that court’s opinion in favor of Hobby Lobby’s attempt to cite religious objections to deny its employees health insurance coverage for contraception. That case later made it to the Supreme Court, resulting in a dramatic reinterpretation of the idea of religious liberty in America.
Trump’s new Supreme Court list is, like his original list released in May, clearly aimed at pacifying social conservatives who want assurance that his federal judges will uphold their policy priorities and by conservative legal groups intent on remaking American law.
ALIPAC's William Gheen warns that "the violence you are seeing in many cities is not a phase or just protests, but part of a socialist uprising and overthrow that will organize increasing violence from individuals and groups as election day approaches!"
David Whitney fumes about laws banning the use of "ex-gay" reparative therapy on minors and court rulings upholding them: "The court has essentially ruled that it is illegal to proclaim repentance to sodomites of a certain age, even if they might want help to rid themselves of that same sex bondage ... So proclaiming repentance has been declared illegal by the Legislature of California as well as by the Federal Circuit Court."
Erik Rush wants the government to "revoke the citizenship of each and every naturalized Muslim American and deport them to their native countries, save for giving them the opportunity to renounce Islam in order to escape this fate."
Michele Bachmann says that "we’ve lost our rights to free speech now because of what this one-world-order diversity plan has chosen for us, and we’re just supposed to lie down and take it."
Finally, FRC prays for North Carolina: "May God give Governor Pat McCrory, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest and the members of the entire North Carolina Legislature extraordinary wisdom, moral strength, courage, and steadfastness to stand and withstand what is nothing less than an onslaught of evil. May God protect his people and America from blind leaders who are destroying our nation from within! May our next president have the understanding, the grace, and the will to undo the evil transformation that has taken place in America during the past eight years. And may God snap millions of blinded men and women out of the delusion that moves them to elect and reelect men and women who advocate these things!"
Donald Trump is manifestly unfit to be president of the United States. His campaign has already driven our politics down to new levels of vulgarity. His appeals to racial and ethnic fears and prejudice are offensive to any genuinely Catholic sensibility. He promised to order U.S. military personnel to torture terrorist suspects and to kill terrorists’ families — actions condemned by the Church and policies that would bring shame upon our country. And there is nothing in his campaign or his previous record that gives us grounds for confidence that he genuinely shares our commitments to the right to life, to religious freedom and the rights of conscience, to rebuilding the marriage culture, or to subsidiarity and the principle of limited constitutional government.
Mr. Trump’s record and his campaign show us no promise of greatness; they promise only the further degradation of our politics and our culture. We urge our fellow Catholics and all our fellow citizens to reject his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination by supporting a genuinely reformist candidate.
Cella, the founder of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, was among a group of prominent conservative Catholics who signed an anti-Trump “Appeal to our Fellow Catholics” that was published by National Review during the primary elections. That manifesto was written by Robert George and George Weigel, neither of whom is among the names that have been reported to have joined Trump’s new Catholic advisory council.
In addition to former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum, as reported by Philly.com, the campaign’s new Catholic advisory council includes some high profile right-wing activists, among them:
…Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List; Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback; Matt Schlapp, president of the American Conservative Union; former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating (R); U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, Republican of Ohio; Jim Nicholson, former Republican national chairman, secretary of veterans affairs and ambassador to the Vatican; longtime conservative leader Richard Viguerie; and Tom Monaghan of Michigan, founder of Domino’s Pizza and the Ave Maria University.
Moreover, as women, we are disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women, in particular. He has impugned the dignity of women, most notably Megyn Kelly, he mocked and bullied Carly Fiorina, and has through the years made disparaging public comments to and about many women. Further, Mr. Trump has profited from the exploitation of women in his Atlantic City casino hotel which boasted of the first strip club casino in the country.
America will only be a great nation when we have leaders of strong character who will defend both unborn children and the dignity of women. We cannot trust Donald Trump to do either. Therefore we urge our fellow citizens to support an alternative candidate.
In the recent letter addressed “Dear Pro-Life Leader,” Trump made a number of promises:
I am committed to:
Nominating pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Signing into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would end painful late-term abortions nationwide.
Defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions, and reallocating their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women.
Making the Hyde Amendment permanent law to protect taxpayers from having to pay for abortions.
Trump urged anti-choice activists to “make this contrast clear in the minds of pro-life voters, especially those in the battleground states” so that “Mike Pence and I can be advocates for the unborn and their mothers every day we are in the White House.”
Former Reagan administration official Faith Whittlesey, a member of the campaign’s Catholic advisory board, reportedly said Trump “will fight for Catholics in defense of life, and their religious liberty” and claimed that Hillary Clinton would threaten “the ability of Christians to fully and freely practice their faith that is constitutionally protected by the First Amendment.”
Televangelist Jim Bakker hosted Robert Maginnis, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and Family Research Council senior fellow on his program today, and questioned Maginnis about President Obama’s nomination of a Muslim-American attorney to be a federal judge.
Bakker saw the nomination as a sign that the Obama administration gives “preferential treatment” to Muslims while “the cross is being degraded in America, the Christians are being—the very thing Jesus said would happen in the Last Days, that we would be, because we serve God, we would be attacked, we would be hated for the name of Christ’s sake. It seems like our nation is kinder to other faiths and Christianity is being put down further and further and further.”
Maginnis wholeheartedly agreed, claiming that “the persecution against Christians” is rampant in the Pentagon and that the Obama administration “is aggressive against Christians.”
He even said that he had “personally met” with witches who told him that they are advising high-ranking government officials in Washington, D.C. “I know that there’s demonic forces in that city,” he said. “I have personally met people that refer to themselves as witches, people that say they advise the senior leadership of the country. We invite within the federal government people to advise us and often some of those advisers, I think, have evil motivations, things that you and I would not approve of.”
Michael Savage spoke with Newsmax host Steve Malzberg today about Hillary Clinton’s health, saying that Clinton is “like an old nag on a racetrack” and may not “make it to the finish line.”
Malzberg said that in a recent a video message to a labor union summit, Clinton “looked awful” and was “shouting.” Savage, a far-right radio host who has earned Donald Trump’s praise, diagnosed Clinton with “neurological problems” and said that “she shouldn’t be running for the office but she’s a power-mad woman.”
“She’ll run until the worst possibility could occur,” he said. “There’s a lot of people saying she’s not making it to the finish line. She’s like an old nag on a racetrack who people are saying cannot complete the last few laps of that track. Donald, on the other hand, from a lifetime of meatloaf and mayonnaise, apparently is getting stronger as he goes on.”
So naturally, it was only a matter of time before Donald Trump added his ignorant voice to the mix by declaring his opposition to "the President’s intent to cede control to international interests, including countries like China and Russia, which have a long track record of trying to impose online censorship" and called on Congress to stop the transition.
Perhaps nothing quite demonstrates the rampant ignorance fueling this ill-informed right-wing freak-out like the discussion about this issue that occurred between J.D. Hayworth and Tom DeLay on "Newsmax Prime" yesterday, in which the two former congressmen wildly speculated that the move was part of some effort by Obama to allow foreign nations to hack our election through voter fraud.
"To have the international community take over the internet in late October, just prior to the first week in November," Hayworth said, "man, the timing of this is really suspect!"
DeLay, who admitted that he is so ignorant when it comes to technological issues that he can barely turn on his own computer, was nevertheless outraged by the transition, calling it "patently dangerous."
"It just boggles my mind that we would give up control of the internet, of all things," DeLay said. "I know that whatever agreement has been made by this administration is not going to benefit the United States and is not going to benefit the American people, so we have got to find a way to put this off until the next president is put into office."
Yesterday, three board members from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit organization that is at the center of this upcoming transition, published an op-ed in The Hill explaining that the fear mongering that is currently being whipped up around it is rooted in misinformation and ignorance:
IANA transition does not affect the security of your website, your email, or the Domain Name System.
The security of websites has been and remains the responsibility of the owners and operators of the websites - ICANN is not involved in protecting web sites or tracking down hackers. If websites are compromised, law enforcement agencies are responsible for enforcement actions. The IANA transition changes none of the roles and responsibilities of the various actors already engaged in protecting the security and stability of the Internet.
The statement that control of ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) would change hands as a result of the IANA transition is also wrong and misleading. The SSAC is not a “security guard” for the Internet. The SSAC has no enforcement power, and the value of its advice is based on the strength of the facts underlying such advice.
The Security and Stability Advisory Committee advises the ICANN community and Board on matters relating to the security and integrity of the Internet's naming and address allocation systems. Our recent work include advisories on a wide range of topics such as internationalized domain names, protecting domain name owners and operators, best practices for domain name registrars, analysis on the changing nature of IPv4 address semantics, and advice on matters pertaining to the correct and reliable operation of the root name system and other issues (see https://ssac.icann.org/ for more details). The SSAC neither operates as a security guard for the Internet, nor does it aspire to.
The IANA transition has no practical effect on the work and activities of the SSAC. Nor does the transition have any effect on the security and stability of website owners worldwide. The risk of compromise of a website owner does not increase as a result of the IANA transition, since ICANN and IANA do not control either the ownership of websites or the content on websites. Leading technical experts, industry associations, and civil society groups agree that allowing the IANA contract to expire is the best possible way to protect and promote the continued integrity of the Internet.
There is simply no relationship between ICANN and the current U.S. election process. Assertions of this sort are misleading and irresponsible. On the other hand, attempt to connect ICANN to the U.S. political process play directly into the hands of the enemies of an open Internet who would like to see ICANN and other Internet bodies put under the control of the United Nations or, worse yet, broken up into separate, government-controlled networks that do not interoperate smoothly around the world.