Ralph Reed’s Tea Party Luncheon

Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition kicked off its 2012 conference with a splashy show of the Reed’s political muscle in the form of three U.S. Senators.  Rob Portman of Ohio, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, and Marco Rubio of Florida all delivered speeches that reflect Reed’s goal for 2012 and beyond: merging the messages and organizing energies of the overlapping Tea Party and Religious Right movements to elect conservative Republicans.

“American exceptionalism” was a major theme of the day – defined generally as America being uniquely blessed by God for its commitment to limited government and free-market economics grounded in a belief that individual rights come from God.  And – no surprise -- President Obama was portrayed as an enemy of faith and freedom.

Portman declared that the Obama administration had treated freedom of religion as a “second-class right.”  He argued that life should be held sacred “from conception til death.”

 DeMint charged the President with wanting a country and economy run from the top down, and called for a stop to government “purging faith” from the American way of life. “We need to realize we’re blessed,” said DeMint. “We need to know that we’re in trouble. And we need to know that 2012 may be our last chance to turn this thing around.”

Reed introduced Rubio as one of the greatest talents and most transformational figures that any of us have ever seen.  Rubio, who is hawking a new book, argued that social and fiscal conservatism are indistinguishable, and that the notion of God as the source of freedom is essential to freedom itself.  “You cannot have your freedom without your faith, because the source of your freedom is your faith.”  He argued that calling for the wealthy to pay more taxes is “divisive” and pits Americans against each other for the purposes of winning an election, claiming, “that is never who we have been.” (Surely even Rubio does not actually believe that the Republican Party and Tea Party have never run divisive campaigns in order to win elections.)

Listening to Rubio, you can understand why GOP strategists have such high hopes for him. He calls on people to help their neighbors. He says the conservative movement is not about imposing its values on others or leaving people behind.  He says conservatives want drinking water to be clean and the air to be breathable. (In reality, of course, policies backed by today’s far-right GOP would indeed impose their values on others, leave millions of Americans behind, and eviscerate regulations that protect our families’ food, air, and water.)

Before the conference started, an FFC press release claimed that its activists will be “phoning, mailing, and knocking on the doors of 27 million conservative and pro-family voters, distributing 35 million voter guides, and making a total of 120 million voter contacts” in 2012. At today’s luncheon, Reed encouraged members of the audience to imagine what could happen with another 10 or 20 senators like Rubio.  Yes, just imagine.

Linda Harvey Wonders how to 'Peacefully but Permanently' Put an End to Gay Pride Events

Linda Harvey of Mission America today asked listeners to think about what people could “do peacefully but permanently to put an end” to gay pride celebrations, which typically take place in June. Incensed by President Obama’s LGBT Pride Month proclamation, Harvey said that Obama holds “an incorrect view of homosexuality, which is not a basic right,” and is “dissing” people of faith. Harvey, who does not believe that LGBT people exist, later claimed that the Obama administration’s support of “risky lifestyle choices” undercuts the First Lady’s efforts to promote healthy living:

Once again this year, June is filled with cities holding gay pride celebrations. Every year I continue to challenge believers to pray about what we can do peacefully but permanently to put an end to these events in our cities. I will admit, I have not come up with the answer, but there is no question that God will help us if we ask Him. It’s also terribly sad when we have a president who has once again this Spring issued a presidential proclamation declaring June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. In the proclamation which you can find by going to the website WhiteHouse.gov, the president alludes to these deviant behaviors as being part of an effort towards civil rights, which is incorrect. The homosexual political agenda being forced on America is ‘stronger than hate,’ the proclamation says. Once more, the president disses and dismisses those who have religious or personal beliefs that might contradict what he thinks is right, no allowance for other viewpoints. The proclamation speaks with compassion about those who are ‘denied basic rights.’ Again, this is an incorrect view of homosexuality, which is not a basic right.



There are many health care risks and elevated costs associated with these behaviors, which are not inborn identities. So the Obama administration has endorsed poor health care and risky lifestyle choices and helped to codify these into health care law. And yet, Michelle Obama wants people to eat right and exercise? It’s another example of misplaced priorities and confused ethics.

Barber: WI Election Signals the 'Implosion [of] the Progressive Movement'

One of the entertaining thing about monitoring the Religious Right is watching them explain how seemingly every election signals some sort of broad national trend or carries with it some deep philosophical implication that supports their political agenda. 

When Republicans lose, it is always because they did not take a stand for the Religious Right's agenda and so the voters rejected them for being insufficiently conservative. But when Republicans win, it is inevitably because the candidate stood for conservative Christian values and the victory is therefore proof that Americans embrace that worldview ... leading to absurdly overblown pieces of "analysis" like this from Matt Barber declaring that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's win in the recent recall election signals "a shift of the tectonic plates" and the "implosion [of] the progressive movement":

I think it's a shift of the tectonic plates here and this is just an early tremor of the earthquake that is going come of implosion with the progressive movement ... It's a microcosm that shows that the American people have rejected radical secular socialism, the agenda of the unions, liberal causes and that they adopting fiscal responsibility, family values, the things that made this the greatest nation on earth.

Secular socialism has been an abject failure everywhere and every time it has been tried and we find ourselves headed down that path in this country right now and we need only look to Europe to see where that leads us and it's disaster. And Wisconsin, as I mentioned, is the early tremors, the American people saying "no, the secular socialist progressive ideology has failed in Europe, it's failed every time it's been tried, it's going to fail here in the United States, we reject it and we're heading back to our founding principles!"

Apparently, Criticizing David Barton is now Proof that he Speaks the Truth

Historians across the board, including evangelicals, have roundly criticized and debunked the work of Religious Right pseudo-historian and WallBuilders president David Barton, whose shoddy history has been repeatedly documented on this blog. However, Barton’s influence among social conservatives and leading Republicans, including presidential candidates, continues to grow.

As exhibited today in a WallBuilders Live interview with David French of the American Center for Law and Justice, it appears that Barton’s clout has increased not despite the overwhelming criticism he has received for his faux-history and extremist views but because of it. French told Barton’s deputy Rick Green that disapproval of Barton’s work is proof that he is speaking the truth!

Green: We’re worried about cratering because someone might say, ‘that’s mean-spirited’!

French: Exactly, or, ‘you’re a bigot,’ and then all of a sudden you are immediately backpedalling. It shows the power that we have allowed peer and cultural regard to have over our lives and heart. One of the best things that any Christian can do is to begin to just break away from that, to become indifferent to that.

You guys, you and David, get such hate all the time from folks who are just appalled that you are bringing truth about America’s heritage into the public square, a truth they have been spending generations trying to squelch. I’m sure it hurts on some occasion when you see it but it’s also a sign that you guys are making incredible progress and incredible headway and you’ve gotten a message out that I can just tell in the Christian community in the past five to ten years, there’s a difference in knowledge about America because of the work that you guys have done.

Green: Hey man, if you’re not taking flak you’re not over the target right?

French: Exactly.

Green: It could be a good thing. I think you’re dead-on, if you are speaking truth, if you are doing something that’s going to make a difference, you’re going to take some criticism. We need to challenge this generation to actually be excited about the opportunity to stand for truth.

Barton certainly has made a “difference in knowledge about America”…by consistently fabricating and disseminating false claims about American history.

Bryan Fischer Goes Ballistic over New Yorker Profile

Yesterday we wrote about an excellent, and in-depth, profile of Bryan Fischer by veteran reporter Jane Mayer in this week’s New Yorker. Fischer took to his radio show to respond to the piece, and let’s just say it seems to have hit a nerve. If you weren’t already planning on reading it, you’ll definitely want to after watching Fischer get so worked up about it (highlights below and full video here):  

Fischer variably called the profile “shoddy,” “laughably bad,” “juvenile,” “poorly written,” “unprofessional,” “distorted, misleading, false, and deceptive,” “offensively bad,” and “an embarrassingly bad piece of journalism” that is “like something you would get in a middle school journalism class.” He said that Mayer “ought to be ashamed of herself” and is an “inexcusably bad journalist.”
 
Fischer, of course, doth protest too much. He threw around a lot of names and accusations but did nothing to call into question the veracity or quality of the article. And he seemed genuinely shocked that a reporter would take the time to speak with people he’s known throughout his life, and that some of those people might not agree with him or hold him in the same high esteem he holds himself. “This was my own life, she’s talking about my life here,” he complained.
 
“If I was a journalist,” said Fischer, “I'd be embarrassed frankly to be associated with a piece of tripe like this.” But I think it’s safe to say that he has a weak grasp on what journalism is. Regardless, Fischer says he’s going to take his ball and go home: “This is it. I am never ever gonna cooperate with an organ of the mainstream media for a profile on me ever again.”
 

Boykin: From Public School Textbooks to the 'Full Implementation of Marxism'

All this week, Rick Joyner is once again hosting Jerry Boykin for a series of programs for his daily "Prophetic Perspective on Current Events" television show where the two have been discussing their conspiracy theories about how the Muslim Brotherhood are working with Marxists in order to destroy America and its Judeo-Christian values and heritage. 

Today, Boykin revealed that one of the ways this is being accomplished is through public school textbooks, which are being "deliberately altered to rob us of our identity [and our] pride in being Americans" in order to undermine the Judeo-Christian base upon which this nation was founded.  And the reason this is happening is because Leftists are out to destroy Christianity in order to fully implement Marxism in America:

Questions arise in Alabama after Public TV Employees were Fired after Rebuffing David Barton Programming

In no uncertain terms, David Barton is not a historian, but a hyper-partisan political activist whose writings have been so repeatedly and thoroughly debunked that he is not taken seriously outside of certain conservative circles. Indeed, right-wing figures regularly hail Barton, whose only degree is a B.A. in religious education from Oral Roberts University, as not just a historian but perhaps even the greatest historian.

Since Barton’s discredited claims about American history have such a following it was no surprise to see that a member of the Alabama Educational Television Commission pressured the state’s educational public television outlet to air one of Barton’s “history” series. And yesterday, the Current Public Media blog reported that Alabama Public Television managers Allan Pizzato and Pauline Howland were fired possibly after refusing a request from commissioner Rodney Herring, a Republican Party official and donor, to broadcast Barton’s program:

The Alabama Educational Television Commission came out of an executive session Tuesday afternoon and ordered veteran pubcaster Allan Pizzato and his deputy Pauline Howland to clean out their desks and leave APT’s headquarters in Birmingham.

Pizzato had served 12 years as executive director of APT, a statewide network governed by a board of seven political appointees.

Howland, deputy director and chief financial officer, described the firings in an interview with Current and said she was "baffled" by the dismissals. But she also recalled how Pizzato had asked staff in April for advice about a series of videos that AETC commissioners wanted APT to air.

The videos featured David Barton, an evangelical minister and conservative activist whose publications and media appearances promote his theories about the religious intentions of America’s founders. He frequently appears on political commentary programs hosted by conservative Glenn Beck.



AETC Commissioner Rodney Herring, an Opelika-based chiropractor, had provided the series to APT for broadcast consideration. Herring joined the commission last year and was elected board secretary in January. As of late Wednesday evening, Herring did not return a voice message from Current.

Kyle Whitmire of the weekly newspaper Weld for Birmingham also reported on the firings and pressure from “members of the commission to air programing produced by David Barton”:

Sources who spoke on condition of anonymity told Weld on Tuesday that APTV executive director Allan Pizzato and chief financial officer Pauline Howland were ordered to clean out their desks and escorted from the building on Tuesday, and the two executives were not allowed to speak to staff or explain the change on the premises. The sources requested anonymity because they are not authorized to make public statements about APTV’s internal affairs.



In recent months, APTV has been pressured by members of the commission to air programing produced by David Barton, a Texas evangelist. Barton’s organization, Wall Builders, has produced a series of videos promoting a religious conservative view of American History. The Wall Builders website explains its purpose is to promote Christian religious values.

As Kyle has noted, Barton’s new “Building on the American Heritage Series” features not only the same faux-history but also Creationist and anti-choice claims, demands for greater intolerance of gays and lesbians and an appeal for the criminalization of homosexuality:

But this kind of rhetoric may find its way onto Alabama’s public television soon, all under the guise of “history.”

Tony Perkins Praises ExxonMobil's 'Courage' for not 'Fueling the Homosexual Agenda'

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on his daily radio bulletin applauded ExxonMobil shareholders for voting down a proposal to prohibit job discrimination based sexual orientation, even claiming that the vote was part of a “backlash” against President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality. By not “fueling the homosexual agenda,” Perkins said the oil giant’s decision showed “courage” and was a “stand for true American values.”

Perkins: At ExxonMobil, the shareholders put their stock in something other than political correctness. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins in the Family Research Council in Washington. It won't change the price of gas, but it may comfort you to know that at ExxonMobil, your business isn't fueling the homosexual agenda. At Exxon's annual meeting, shareholders refused to add special protections based upon "sexual orientation" to the employment policy. It was the 13th straight year the company wouldn't cave to the pressure. While the outcome wasn't a surprise, the margin of victory certainly was. Eighty percent of the company voted "no"--that was the highest number since 1999. That was a huge shock to liberals who were pushing the change, who said the resolution had 40% support in years past. But that was before the President forced Americans into a debate about homosexual marriage. Now, the backlash is starting to show, and it's not just political. Maybe Exxon's courage will fuel other companies to stand for true American values.

Right Wing Round-Up - 6/13/12

Right Wing Leftovers - 6/13/12

  • FRC says that if ENDA passes, "Congress would be establishing a caste system, where the special protections of homosexuals trump the First Freedoms of any employer."
  • Ted Baehr blames the church for the failure of the movie "October Baby."
  • Concerned Women for America is launching a million dollar "She Votes 2012" campaign to get out the vote in the November general election.
  • Gary Bauer claims "you've got to go back to the Nixon years to find a Justice Department that had as many clouds over it as this one does. And quite frankly, the Nixon years pale in comparison."
  • Janet Porter is now targeting Governor John Kasich in her push for passage of her "Heartbeat Bill."
  • And finally, it seems that Mat Staver and a group of students from Liberty University Law School were treated to a private meeting with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia yesterday.
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