AUL Report Highlights Rift in Anti-Choice Movement

The anti-choice movement has for several years been experiencing a quiet rift over extreme state-level measures would ban all abortions – and in some cases, in vitro fertilization and some forms of birth control – in a head-on challenge to Roe v. Wade. As Personhood USA and Janet Porter gain more and more success in pushing “personhood” and “heartbeat” bills at the state level, national pro-life groups who oppose the laws for strategic reasons find themselves in a bind.

In March, when North Dakota passed a “heartbeat” bill which would ban nearly all abortions in the state and strike directly at Roe v. Wade, it also passed two narrower measures banning abortion based on genetic abnormalities or the sex of the fetus. The national anti-choice group Concerned Women for America praised heartbeat the bill,  while Americans United For Life issued press releases that ignored the bill and praised the narrower measures. National Right to Life went even further, actively speaking out against the North Dakota bill and similar “heartbeat” measures in other states.

In an article for the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly this week, Americans United For Life’s senior counsel, William Saunders, lays out his fears of what would happen if the Supreme Court were given the opportunity to reconsider Roe v. Wade. While he praises the “admirable and inspiring” efforts behind the trio of new abortion restrictions in North Dakota, Saunders warns that a direct challenge to Roe will give the Supreme Court a chance to rewrite their 1973 decision on more solid “equal protection” footing.

Instead, he argues, anti-choice activists should target incremental measures at wearing away the opposition of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who voted to uphold the so-called “partial birth” abortion ban in Gonzales v. Carhart. “Can the statute be fashioned so as to make it as easy as possible for him (and the others) to go the one step (or two or ten) further than Gonzales in restricting abortion?,” he asks.

Taken together, these three laws provide significant food for thought.

While the persistent efforts of pro-life Americans at the state level are admirable and inspiring and must be encouraged, how does one evaluate the wisdom of any particular proposed (or enacted) law? First, I suggest, one must recognize the legal realities—what kinds of statutes will the courts certainly overturn? Of course, this is not to say that the courts should govern this matter. In fact, the usurpation of the political process by courts is, in my view, unconstitutional itself and should be resisted. However, if we know a law will be overturned by a court, we should consider the risk of such a decision. At least one significant risk is that the Supreme Court, in overturning a law, will entrench “abortion rights” more firmly in constitutional jurisprudence, perhaps under an “equal-protection”-based right, as Justice Ginsburg and three colleagues wanted to do in the Gonzales dissent.

Sad as it is to consider, Gonzales was decided by only one vote, that of Justice Anthony Kennedy. The opinion he wrote for the majority, while speaking of the right of the legislature to choose among divided experts in fashioning law and while recognizing that abortion harms at least some women, did no more than uphold the outlawing of one abortion procedure when others were available. Is such a person likely to uphold a ban on all abortions at any point in pregnancy? If so, what rationale for doing so (what basis) is likely to appeal to him? Can the statute be fashioned so as to make it as easy as possible for him (and the others) to go the one step (or two or ten) further than Gonzales in restricting abortion? Might a statute with a ban (or limit) early in pregnancy lead him to “protect” the “abortion right” and vote with Ginsburg and her colleagues in favor of a firm affirmation of a “constitutional” right to abortion? Is it better to move the ball gently, seeking to build momentum for the ultimate reversal of Roe/Doe, or to force the issue with a broad and early ban? While reasonable people can differ on the answers to these questions, the consequences of a possible forty more years of unlimited abortion due to another Casey-like decision by the Supreme Court counsels for very careful consideration of what prudence requires.

Traditional Values Coalition Promotes False Claim That Muslim-Americans Are Exempt From Obamacare

It looks like the American Family Association isn’t the only group pushing the patently false claim that Muslim-Americans are exempt from the new health care reform law.

The Traditional Values Coalition is now telling members that “Islam got a free pass” under Obamacare, even though as FactCheck.org pointed out back in 2010, Muslims are not one of the groups granted a religious exemption.

The health care law only exempts the same religious groups already exempt from government benefits like Social Security. In fact, the only religious sects that have exemptions are Christian denominations.

But what else would you expect from the group which claimed that President Obama signed a law that “makes the Bible illegal”?

Guess what? Muslims don't have to participate in Obamacare due to "religious exemptions" not extended to Christians! Need evidence? Here you go:

EXEMPTIONS FROM INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS.

—In the case of an individual who is seeking an exemption certificate under section 1311(d)(4)(H) from any requirement or penalty imposed by section 5000A, the following information:

In the case of an individual seeking exemption based on the individual’s status as a member of an exempt religious sect or division, as a member of a health care sharing ministry, as an Indian, or as an individual eligible for a hardship exemption, such information as the Secretary shall prescribe.”

Senate Bill, H.R. 3590, pages 273-274


Now what's curious about this tidy little insertion is that it's primarily designed for religious groups such as the Amish. But add a wrinkle here -- for Muslims, modern health care systems are a bit more akin to "gambling" -- which is haram or forbidden in Islam. Liberty and Pride explains:

There are several reasons why an individual could claim exemption, being a member of a religion that does not believe in insurance is one of them. Islam is one of those religions. Muslims believe that health insurance is “haraam”, or forbidden; because they liken the ambiguity and probability of insurance to gambling. This belief excludes them from any of the requirements, mandates, or penalties set forth in the bill. Other excluded groups include Amish, American Indians, and Christian Scientists.

What's fascinating about this is while Christian business owners and organizations -- most notably the Catholic Church, Domino's Pizza, and Hobby Lobby -- are fighting for their very lives resisting the violations of religious conscience in Obamacare, apparently Islam got a free pass.

Why?

Barber: Satan Is Trying to Get the Government to Approve Sin Through Gay Marriage

On today's "Faith and Freedom" broadcast, Matt Barber explained that the push for gay marriage is really an effort by Satan to get the United States to officially embrace sin.

Since man-woman marriage is a metaphor for Christ and the Church, Barber explained, "Satan hates the institution of natural marriage and wants to see it watered down."

"What is central to so-called gay marriage?" Barber asked. "Homosexual sin. So therefore gay marriage is, in and of itself, sin.  And so if they can get the government to put its official stamp of approval on counterfeit same-sex marriage, then that is the government shaking its fist at God and saying 'we know better than you do'":

How False Religious Right Talking Points Are Born

On August 15, 2012, a gunman walked into the Washington, DC headquarters of the Family Research Council with the intent of killing as many people as possible. Fortunately, the FRC's building manager confronted him and, despite being shot in the arm, subdued him and prevented any loss of life.

When the gunman, Floyd Lee Corkins, was interrogated by the FBI about why he carried out this attack on the FRC, he said it was because of the organization's anti-gay activism. When Corkins admitted that he had visited the website of the Southern Poverty Law Center while doing research, the Religious Right seized on the info as supposed proof that the SPLC's designation of FRC as an anti-gay hate group was leading to violence.

In particular, they insisted that the "hate map" on the SPLC's website played a direct role in Corkins' actions. 

Here is that map:

How that vague image somehow directed Corkins to the FRC's headquarters is never explained. In fact, the map doesn't even provide any data as to FRC's actual location, unlike the FRC's own website which provides its address and detailed directions.

But since Corkins mentioned the research produced by the SPLC during his interrogation, and since Corkins was charged under the District of Columbia's Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002, for activsts like Jerry Boykin and David Barton, that means that the SPLC is now "directly linked to domestic terrorism":

Boykin: Islamic terrorists are not the only people we need to be concerned about. We have now, right here, in our own country, an organization that is connected to domestic terrorism as a result of a federal trial in Washington, DC.

..

Barton: The fact that now, in federal court, they have been directly linked to domestic terrorism, that's significant stuff.

Much like the way that anti-Islam activists falsely insist that various Muslim groups were designated as "unindicted co-conspirators" with ties to terrorism by a federal court, we expect to keep hearing the Religious Right falsely assert that the SPLC is linked to domestic terrorism despite the fact that it is obviously nonsense.

Stakelbeck Condemns Obama for Defending Right to Build Mosques; Fears Muslim 'Infiltration' of the Bible Belt

Next time Christian Broadcasting Network correspondent Erick Stakelbeck talks about religious liberty, just remember that he doesn’t seem to extend that freedom to Muslims. During a conference call with the group Tea Party Unity, Stakelbeck attacked the Obama administration for having “literally” intervened in cases to defend the construction of mosques.

Stakelbeck said he is outraged that the Obama administration is trying to stop residents from blocking the construction of mosques because how dare the Justice Department defend the First Amendment!

He was also livid that Muslims may want to build “a $5 million mega-mosque,” just as we are sure he is angry that a Southern Baptist congregation in Dallas constructed a $130 million megachurch.

But then again, what do you expect from a sports reporter-turned-terrorism “expert” who has championed anti-Muslim activists like “mosque buster” Gavin Boby?

Caller: How is it we can get these facilities, because I’m not going to call it a church or a religion, how can we get them shut down?

Stakelbeck: Well look under this administration, good luck, because I’m just working on a chapter in my new book about how this administration when locals, in places like Murfreesboro, Tennessee, when local residents are up in arms about a mosque being built, the Obama Department of Justice literally intervenes, files amicus briefs in support of the mosque, we’ve seen this time and time again. Here’s a statistic for you, folks, in the year 2001 there were 1,200 mosques in America; now, just twelve years later after 9/11, that number has doubled to over 2,000 mosques, that’s a 74 percent increase since 9/11 alone, that is astounding and it is not a coincidence. Under the Obama administration the floodgates are open even more; they are literally intervening in these mosque cases around the country, in small towns with very small Muslim populations. I’m sorry, if you have a 200-strong Muslim population, why do you need a $5 million mega-mosque? And where is the money coming from? Look no further than Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. So getting mosques shut down in this era, in the age of Obama? Good luck. What you’re going to see is more mosques built.

Stakelbeck told another caller that “there is a concerted effort by Islamists to infiltrate the very heartland of American society,” particularly the Bible Belt.

Just to be clear, Muslims represent just 1% of the population of Tennessee and less than 0.5% in other Bible Belt states like Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Arkansas.

But maybe they’re all just hiding in national parks….

Caller: We are seeing so much Saudi in middle Tennessee, I mean they have the best health care in the Saudi embassy, we have classes at the university, so we are just seeing a major, major influx of Saudi nationals here in middle Tennessee.

Stakelbeck: Folks, it’s not a coincidence. Middle Tennessee is the buckle of the Bible Belt. This is not just in New York City, Boston, Chicago, LA, traditional gateway cities for immigrants, anymore; there is a concerted effort by Islamists to infiltrate the very heartland of American society. I write about this in my book “The Terrorist Next Door,” I call it “Southern Inhospitality,” and that’s what we’re seeing, and you’re seeing it in a major way in that Nashville area where you have tens of thousands of Muslim immigrants in Murfreesboro and Shelbyville.

Robertson Tells Woman Whose Husband Cheated to Remember 'He's a Man' and be Grateful She Lives in America

Pat Robertson has advice for women who are struggling to forgive their cheating husbands: “Well, he’s a man.”

On today’s 700 Club, Robertson told a woman whose husband was cheating on her that she should stop focusing on the adultery and instead ponder, “Does he provide a home for you to live in, does he provide food for you to eat, does he provide clothes for you to wear, is he nice to the children…is he handsome?”

After encouraging the woman to focus on the positives rather than her husband’s adultery, which Robertson imagined to be a one night stand with a stripper in a hotel room, he said she should “give him honor instead of trying to worry about it.”

He also suggested the woman could have done more to prevent her husband from cheating: “But recognize also, like it or not, males have a tendency to wander a little bit and what you want to do is make a home so wonderful that he doesn’t want to wander.”

“What you have to do is say, ‘My husband was captured and I want to get him free,’” Robertson said, concluding that the woman should still be grateful that she lives in America: “Begin to thank God that you have a marriage that is together and that you live in America and good things are happening.”

Watch:

Truth In Action Ministries Scrubs Website To Hide Bogus 'Persecution' Story

On Monday, we reported that Truth In Action Ministries spokesman Jerry Newcombe wrote a column defending a Texas student athlete who claimed he was disqualified from a tack race over a religious gesture, which Newcombe used as evidence of anti-Christian persecution in America.

But Newcombe’s account had one tiny little problem: the week before he published his column, the athlete admitted that he made the story up.

Rather than retract his post, our friends at Wonkette point out that Truth In Action Ministries scrubbed it from their website and Newcombe rewrote the column to detail the case of Texas cheerleaders who wanted to put Bible verses on banners during football games.

But despite Truth In Action Ministries’ best efforts, you can still read Newcombe’s original (and never corrected) column here:

Ted Cruz Won't 'Throw Rocks'

Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Texas, has spent his first few months in office making enemies on both sides of the aisle. Perhaps this is because the Tea Party hero employs a potent mix of of sanctimonious rhetoric and hatchet-job politics that led one of his fellow GOP senators to call him “Jim DeMint without the charm.” His particular brand of smarminess was on display, for instance, when he delivered a condescending, elementary school-level lecture about the Constitution to Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Or when he explained that he was for gun sales background checks but opposed a bill to expand them because the very real gun-show loophole “doesn’t exist.” Or when he mocked his Republicans colleagues who did support the background check bill, calling them weak “squishes.”

So it was a treat today to stumble across this interview that Cruz gave earlier this month to Red State, in which he explains that if anybody has a problem with him it’s their own fault because, “When others have chosen to insult me, to throw rocks at me, I have not and will not respond in kind.”

“Washington is a place where people often shy away from speaking the truth,” he explained. “And so my focus will remain on the substance...and I think there’s some that don’t like a consistent and explicit focus on the substance of the issue.”
 

We thought we’d help Sen. Cruz out by highlighting just a few examples of times when he has refrained from throwing rocks and displayed “a consistent and explicit focus on the substance of the issue”:

Right-Wing 'News' Outlet: 'Obamacare Just Killed its Millionth Person'

An email sent from Charisma media, a Pentecostal media company, brings the “news” that Obamacare has killed its millionth person. Amazingly, this milestone was reached even before health care reform has been fully implemented. The claim is not documented or explained in any way. It seems to be mostly an attention-grabbing way to promote some right-wing hucksterism.  Here’s how the letter starts:

Obamacare Just Killed its Millionth Person...

Dear Concerned Citizen, 

The eleventh hour is upon us.

In the coming weeks, the full impact of Obamacare will take effect. 

I've seen what's coming and it's scary. It's a lethal dose of socialism being injected directly into the heart of the American health insurance market.

Heck, it's already wreaking havoc. By our estimates, Obamacare has already killed a million people by further straining an already weak healthcare system. 

The letter pitches an anti-Obamacare petition and promotes “Capitol Hill Daily,” an electronic publication launched this year. Capitol Hill Daily’s “Chief Political Analyst” is right-wing activist Floyd Brown, a co-founder of Citizens United and infamous as the political operative behind the Willie Horton ad deployed against Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential race.

Capitol Hill Daily produces reports, such as From Policy to Profit: How the World's Biggest Profit Opportunity is Hiding Inside of Capitol Hill , that purport to teach people how to make “enormous sums of money”  based on the kind of “political intelligence” available to members of Congress and hill staffers.  

Ex-Gay Activist Claims 'Gay Activist Indoctrination' Protects Sexual Predators

Ex-gay activist Christopher Doyle talked to Sandy Rios of the American Family Association this week where he made the outlandish claim that if ex-gay counseling is restricted, then youth who have been sexually abused will never report the harm done to them and “more Jerry Sanduskys will get off scot-free.”

Doyle works for the International Healing Foundation, the “therapy” organization led by Richard Cohen (yes, that Richard Cohen), and is now promoting a group called the Citizens Against The Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act with fellow ex-gay Greg Quinlan.

He told Rios that if “gay activists [who] are indoctrinating young people to believe that they’re born that way” get their way, then children who have been molested will not report the abuse or tell their parents or a counselor and “the Jerry Sanduskys of the world will not be discovered.”

Rios: So there was a press conference last Monday, now who called the press conference and for what purpose?

Doyle: The press conference was called by the Citizens United Against The Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act, I’m a part of that committee, and what we’re trying to communicate to the press was gay activists are indoctrinating young people to believe that they’re born that way, that they’re born gay. And if young people believe that they’re born gay because of the gay activist indoctrination they will not seek a professional counselor to try to figure out why they have same-sex attractions. Many times, in fact about half of the clients that I have in my client list right now, have experienced sexual abuse, lots of them by pedophiles such as Jerry Sandusky. So if they’re never going to go and seek help for their unwanted same-sex attractions which are a symptom of that trauma then the Jerry Sanduskys of the world will not be discovered, they will not be reported by professional counselors, kids won’t tell their parents they were molested because the kids are going to think, ‘hey I’m born this way and my sex abuse didn’t have anything to do with my same-sex attractions,’ and then there you go more Jerry Sanduskys will get off scot-free.
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