NOM's Real Values

This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

Maine's investigation of the National Organization for Marriage's campaign finance practices has resulted in the release of several internal fundraising and planning documents. HRC has posted them online where NOM-watchers are poking through them. For sheer reprehensibility, it's hard to top hiring (or at least planning to hire) someone to find and exploit children who are willing to publicly betray their gay parents.

But that kind of "ends-justify-the-means" approach to politics has been the hallmark of NOM and its campaigns in California, Maine, and elsewhere. Those who have been on the receiving end of those dishonorable and untruthful campaigns won't be surprised by much of what's in the NOM documents. But the brazenness of the language around racial wedge politics long practiced by the religious right should make it easier to expose the group's Machiavellian heart. And it may be useful in blunting their efforts to make opposition to marriage equality a "marker of identity" for Latinos and African Americans.

The NOM documents from 2009 discuss a number of organizational projects and strategies, including a "Not a Civil Right" project:

The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks -- two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots.

And just in case that isn't clear enough: "Fanning the hostility raised in the wake of Prop 8 is key to raising the costs of pushing gay marriage to its advocates and persuading the movement's allies that advocates are unacceptably overreaching on this issue."

NOM's stated plans to overturn marriage equality in Washington, D.C. include an effort to "find attractive young black Democrats to challenge white gay marriage advocates electorally."

NOM's strategists said they needed "to accomplish a sophisticated cultural objective: interrupt the attempt to equate gay with black, and sexual orientation with race. We need to make traditional sexual morality intellectually respectable again in elite culture. And we need to give liberals an alternative way of thinking about gay rights issues, one that does not lead to the misuse of the power of government to crush dissent in the name of fighting discrimination."

Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, director of People for the American Way Foundation's African American Ministers Leadership Council, released a statement on behalf of the Council's Equal Justice Task Force calling NOM's wedge strategies "deeply cynical" and "deeply offensive."

NOM also planned to target Latinos through a "community of artists, athletes, writers, beauty queens and other glamorous noncognitive elites across national boundaries" who can help "interrupt the process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity." NOM hopes that "[a]s 'ethnic rebels' such spokespeople will also have an appeal across racial lines, especially to young urbans in America." NOM said, "Our ultimate goal is to make opposition to gay marriage an identity marker, a badge of youth rebellion to conformist assimilation to the bad side of 'Anglo' culture."

NOM has had more success in some areas than others: most recently it failed in a stated priority of overturning marriage in New Hampshire, despite having made gains in the state legislature; and it failed to prevent marriage from advancing in New York. Its efforts in other states, like Iowa, are still underway. And it is pushing constitutional amendments in North Carolina and Minnesota. It also hopes to keep opposition alive "behind enemy lines" in states that have made marriage equality a reality.

But even in 2009, the top priority for 2012 was clear: defeating Barack Obama. In order for the group to achieve victory on marriage, "the next president must be a man or woman who expressly articulates a pro-marriage culture, and appoints sympathetic Supreme Court justices." In order to help achieve that objective, the group discussed plans to "sideswipe Obama" by portraying him as a "social radical" and by taking steps to "[r]aise such issues as pornography, protection of children, and the need to oppose all efforts to weaken religious liberty and the federal level." No wonder Maggie Gallagher is such a fan of Rick Santorum -- his campaign plan mirrors NOM's.

In addition, it is utterly clear that the bishops and NOM were ready to make "religious liberty" a campaign issue well before the recent controversy over insurance coverage for contraception: "Gay marriage is the tip of the spear, the weapon that will be and is being used to marginalize and repress Christianity and the Church." NOM's documents also affirm the group's "close relationships" with Catholic bishops, with whom it would work to engage Catholic priests nationally as well as locally.

You can fault NOM for many things, but not for thinking small. NOM's planning documents discuss strategies for exporting its model and playing a major role internationally. It calls for a global "counterrevolution" against marriage equality, something that is, unfortunately, well underway, with disastrous consequences.

Barton: One More Bombing Run Would have Won the Vietnam War

Last week we discovered that a few presentations that David Barton had delivered at Gateway Church were posted on their website.  And, being gluttons for punishment, we decided to watch them, even though they were a few years old.

Back in 2007, Barton delivered a message entitled "America's Godly Heritage" right before Memorial Day where he made the case that God was pro-war, so much so that He even "gifted" certain people with the skills necessary for battle just as some people are gifted in the arts or sports. 

One of those people, Barton said, was Congressman Sam Johnson whom Barton called "maybe the most godly man I have ever met." While discussing the seven years Johnson spent as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, Barton made an aside in which he asserted that intelligence now shows that had the US just done one more bombing run, the Viet Cong would have surrendered:

Barton: Everything Biblical is Treated like it is Evil

This must be Anti-islam week on "WallBuilders Live," as yesterday David Barton welcomed Bridgette Gabriel on for a program where he misrepresented the "Zombie Mohammed" assault case in Pennsylvania to demonstrate that secular law is paving the way for Sharia in America.

Today, Barton and co-host Rick Green welcomed anti-Islam activist Jerry Boykin to the program where Barton complained that everything Biblical is being treated as if it is evil: 

There is such a hostility toward Biblical stuff, whether it's Jewish or Christian, there's such a hostility [that] we'll embrace anything as long as it's not Jewish or Christian. And that's a result of our universities, that's a result of what we've done in Hollywood for a number of years, that's a result of the kind of people we have put in office. It is unbelievable to me that we have allowed several cycles of educational stuff to go through where evil is Christian; if it's Christian, if it's Jewish, if it's Biblical, it's evil. Everything else is really wholesome and healthy.

Daniel Lapin joins Benny Hinn to 'Battle the Twin Forces of Islamic Fundamentalism and Intense Secularism' while Making Money

The Religious Right’s favorite rabbi Daniel Lapin visited Benny Hinn on This is Your Day to promote his new book, Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money. The partnership between Lapin and Hinn makes a lot of sense: Lapin was involved in disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s corruption scandal and Hinn’s Word-Faith ministry is corrupt to the core, using his cash-for-healings scheme to finance his lavish lifestyle.

Lapin told Hinn that God put him on this earth “to bring ancient Jewish wisdom secrets of making money to everybody” and that he attends churches not to make money but because “it’s where the people are”…the people he wants to buy his book. He went on to tell Hinn that he is determined to fight the “assault” waged on civilization “by the twin forces of Islamic fundamentalism and intense secularism.”

Lapin shouldn’t need to lecture Hinn about making money, as the owner of a $30 million Gulfstream jet who lives in a $10 million seaside mansion in Orange County, California, and extravagant hotel rooms around the world seems to be doing quite well for himself.

Watch:

Lapin: I know that part of the purpose that I was put here for was to bring ancient Jewish wisdom secrets of making money to everybody.

Hinn: Can I ask you a question sir, why would an orthodox rabbi go to churches?

Lapin: To paraphrase Willie Sutton the bank robber, ‘that’s where the money is,’ in my case it’s not where the money is but it’s where the listeners are, it’s where the audience is, it’s where the people are.

Hinn: Oh really, so that’s why you do it.

Lapin: I believe that it is vitally important to bring the wisdom of the Torah to everybody; I believe that is what’s going to salvage civilization. I believe civilization is under assault right now by the twin forces of Islamic fundamentalism and intense secularism.

Pat Robertson Says Satan is Behind Homosexuality and Abortion Rights

Kirk Cameron was a guest on the 700 Club today to promote his new Religious Right documentary Monumental. Referring to his interview with Piers Morgan where he called homosexuality “destructive,” Cameron told CBN News reporter Heather Sells that he was “stoned, so to speak” for not bending “to the moral standards of the politically correct, those in charge.” Following the interview, Pat Robertson, who yesterday said homosexuality is “related to demonic possession,” said homosexuality and abortion rights represent the “attack of Satan” on marriage and procreation, and congratulated Cameron for his stand against homosexuality:

Did NOM Hire Someone to Unsuccessfully Find ‘Victims’ of Gay Parents?

HRC got its hands last night on a December 2009 National Organization for Marriage strategy document, which was unsealed in connection to NOM’s court challenge to Maine’s campaign finance disclosure laws.

The most explosive revelation in the document is NOM’s explicit plan to drive a wedge between the gay community and blacks and Latinos. But another part of their effort to recruit “hearts and minds” to the anti-marriage cause is also startling. Not only did NOM propose to document anti-gay “victims” of gay rights with emotional videos– a plan they implemented with a set of glossy films in upstate New York, for instance – they proposed to hire a staff member at $50,000 a year “to identify children of gay parents willing to speak on camera”:

Did NOM end up hiring someone to find children of gay parents who they could portray as “victims”? If so, it seems that a year’s worth of full-time work didn’t turn up a single child of gay parents who was willing to be portrayed as a “victim” of marriage equality.
 

TBN Lawsuit Alleges Cover-Up of Sexual and Criminal Scandals – Paul, Jan and Matt Crouch Implicated

A lawsuit filed in California Superior Court against televangelism powerhouse TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) threatens to blow the lid off alleged misconduct and criminal activity at the very highest levels of the organization. TBN, which advertises itself as the “World’s Largest Christian Network,” is home to such luminaries as Rod Parsley, TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar, John Hagee, Benny Hinn, James Robison and the larger-than-life founders of the network – Paul and Jan Crouch, and their son Matt – who are a constant presence in front of the camera.


 
The Crouches have invited criticism and scorn in the past with their lavish lifestyle and flamboyant appearance, but the new lawsuit paints a portrait of a thoroughly corrupt organization. The suit centers on Paul Crouch’s granddaughter Brittany Koper, a former executive at TBN who was fired after she blew the whistle on alleged fraudulent and criminal activities. She claims that she subsequently faced massive retaliation, including threats of “physical and lethal violence.”
 
The Los Angeles Times provided an overview of the case on Friday and focused on alleged self-dealing by the Crouches:
The lawsuit alleges that Paul Crouch Sr. obtained a $50-million Global Express luxury jet for his personal use through a "sham loan," and that TBN funds paid for a $100,000 motor home for dogs owned by his wife, Janice Crouch, a network director.
 
The suit also alleges that TBN bought residences across the country for its directors under the pretext that they were "guest homes" or "church parsonages." The properties include mansions used by the Crouch family in Newport Beach; side-by-side mansions in Windermere, Fla.; and homes in Nashville; Miami; and Irving, Texas, according to the suit.
While the $100k dog motor home is a pretty irresistible story (Seamus Romney must be so jealous!), the Times glossed over other portions of the suit that sound more like The Sopranos than Elmer Gantry. For instance, a section entitled “Multiple cover-ups of sexual and criminal scandals” accuses TBN, among other things, of covering up a “bloody sexual assault,” infidelities by Paul and Jan Crouch, and repeated incidents in which Matt Crouch exposed his genitals to cleaning staff.
 
I've included that section below, which mentions a legal settlement with Enoch Lonnie Ford. As previously reported, Ford, a TBN employee, was paid $425,000 to not discuss his alleged sexual encounters with Paul Crouch.
 
 
When Koper refused to play along, she wasn’t just sidelined within TBN. She allegedly faced threats of “physical and lethal violence” by Matt Crouch, and was told by Paul Crouch that Jan and Matt “want your heads” – referring to Koper and her husband, also a former TBN executive:
 
 
TBN issued a press release this morning in response to recent media coverage. Rather than address the substance of the suit, TBN’s lawyer and attorney Colby May portrayed the Kopers as disgruntled former employees who stole from the network to enrich themselves:
"The soundness and veracity of these stories are completely undermined when you realize that they depend almost exclusively upon accusations from individuals who admitted they had embezzled and misappropriated over $1 million from the network, and its companion ministry, International Christian Broadcasting," May explained. […]
 
"What the bulk of media stories don't explain is that these individuals used lawsuits to contrive absurd allegations that trusted TBN officials had illegally funneled millions of dollars for their own use," said May. "Add to that the fabrications that Dr. and Mrs. Crouch were using ministry funds to buy jewelry, jets, mansions, and mobile homes for dogs, and you have all the ammunition for a stereotypical attack against an esteemed media ministry."
We’ll be eagerly watching this case as it plays out. Koper has made explosive accusations against TBN and the Crouches, and the Kopers, as longtime insiders at TBN, are uniquely positioned to marshal evidence to back up their claims.
 
Click here to read the entire complaint against TBN.

Fischer: The Constitution and Declaration are Covenants with God

Bryan Fischer generally begins every daily radio program with a reading from, discussion of, and prayer based on a few verses of the Bible.   On Friday, as he was reading from the book of Deuteronomy, he explained that God preserved the books of the Old Testament so that we can understand on He deals with nations that have entered a covenantal relationship with Him, as the United States did with the Declaration of Independence and Constitution:

When we look at these books of history of the Old Testament, one of the things we need to recognize is God has preserved these for us because he wants us to understand how God deals with nations, nations that have entered into some kind of a covenantal relationship with Him and we have done that. We have done that in the United States of America. Our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution represents a covenantal relationship with God.

In the Declaration of Independence we told God, look we are building the entire foundation of this political experiment on you ... So our whole approach to government, our whole approach to our political life, our shared common life is rooted and grounded in the Bible. We have made a covenant relationship with God.

We even dated both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, we dated them to the year of the birth of Jesus Christ. In fact, when the Founders, when they dated the Constitution 'the year of our Lord, 1787,' they referred to Jesus as 'our Lord." Don't let people tell you that Christ is not in the Constitution; He's in there.

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/26/12

  • Warren Throckmorton: Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims About Our Third President.

Right Wing Leftovers - 3/26/12

  • Jerry Boykin says “the gay and lesbian movement,” “the women’s movement” and “the environmentalists” have all “become apologists for the Muslim Brotherhood.”
  • Tony Perkins is positively giddy that Kirk Cameron will “teach” everyone “the secret recipe to America’s success” in Monumental.

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