Right Wing Round-Up - 9/29/16

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/29/16

  • Busted! "A comprehensive video has surfaced that rather convincingly shows Hillary Clinton using hand signals like a third base baseball coach to prompt moderator Lester Holt to quickly call on her to counter comments by opponent Donald Trump during Monday’s first Presidential Debate."
  • Jerry Boykin says that Clinton cannot be elected president because she "will complete the Obama agenda of the complete destruction of America's armed forces by continuing and even accelerating the pace of the destructive policies of President Barack Obama. Consequently, my grandchildren will have a dubious future and America's enemies will grow in strength and boldness while Mrs. Clinton panders to her socialist allies who would love nothing more than to see this nation become a third-rate military power."
  • William Gheen says that "the chances are there that Donald Trump could be in a landslide win situation with American voters, yet still have the election stolen from him by the legal and illegal immigrant voter registration drives currently in progress."
  • FRC prays for the end of the Johnson Amendment: "May God’s pastors preach like never before this Sunday! May His people press their elected representatives to end this unconstitutional muzzle on our pulpits – a muzzle that leads to more evil. May God’s pastors be loosed to exercise their responsibilities to God, their duties to His people, and their rights under the U.S. Constitution – to speak the whole truth regarding the qualifications of those who wish to be our civil leaders."
  • Finally, dozens of Religious Right activists have signed a letter warning that progressive Christian groups are little more than front groups for George Soros: "They use the Marxist-Alinsky tactic of funding 'ministers' who cherry-pick faith language to confuse and divide the Church’s morality, mission and vote."

Religious Right Backs Bill to Implement Trump’s Pledge to Make Churches More Politically Powerful

Donald Trump has repeatedly pledged to make conservative Christians more politically powerful by eliminating legal restrictions on churches’ and other tax-exempt nonprofits’ ability to do electoral work. On Wednesday two Republican congressmen, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Georgia’s Jody Hice, introduced H.R. 6195, what they call the “Free Speech Fairness Act,” which would lay the groundwork for a President Trump to do just that.

Scalise and Hice were joined at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Christiana Holcomb, and anti-gay activist and pastor Harry Jackson. According to a handout, the bill or the policies represented in it are also supported by Focus on the Family, the Heritage Foundation, the Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability, March for Life Action, Liberty Counsel and Liberty Counsel Action, the American Center for Law and Justice, and the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Trump has said he decided to call for repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which dates to 1954, when he heard from pastors that it restricted their ability to help him get elected. He has made it clear that he sees its repeal as a way to build Christian conservatives’ political muscle. So it was a bit unconvincing to have Scalise and Hice portray their legislation not as a vehicle for turning churches into more effective political machines, but merely an effort to protect the trampled-upon free speech rights of pastors and nonprofits.

Scalise and Hice say their bill would allow churches and nonprofits to make political statements if those statements are in the ordinary course of their regular work and any expenses related to them are de minimis. In their example, a preacher could endorse a candidate as part of a sermon, and a church could do the same in its normal newsletter. Under their rules, they say, the church couldn’t launch a new political direct mail campaign that is outside the normal scope of its work. But given the massive communications networks that many megachurches and nonprofit religious broadcasters have, this seems like more of a fig leaf than an actual limitation.

Before coming to Congress, Hice was a pastor in Georgia. He said he was one of 33 pastors who challenged the Johnson Amendment back in 2008 with the help of ADF, a challenge that grew into “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an annual project that encourages pastors to violate legal restrictions by endorsing candidates from the pulpit and daring the IRS to come after them. Not coincidentally, this year’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday is this weekend, October 2.

Speakers at this week’s press conference portrayed the Johnson Amendment as a dire restriction on free speech and religious liberty. ADF’s Holcomb said it has had “devastating impacts on religious freedom and the freedom of speech.” Hice said it is “unconscionable that our government would force individuals to choose between their constitutionally protected rights or their faith.”

Perkins quoted Martin Luther King Jr. at the press conference, and his commentary on the new bill at the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal features a large photograph of King. []Jackson also cited the civil rights movement. But the example of King actually undermines their hyperbolic claims about Johnson Amendment, which was in effect in the late 1950s and 1960s when African American pastors and churches served as moral and logistical focal points for the civil rights movement. They were not “muzzled” any more than conservative megachurches have been “muzzled” in speaking out about abortion for the past 40 years or rallying their members to vote against equality for LGBT people.

Under the existing IRS rules, the Family Research Council has no problem communicating on the issues of the day with the 11,000 pastors in its network. Indeed, there are currently multiple voter registration and GOTV operations being carried out by Religious Right networks through conservative evangelical churches. Trump and other Republican presidential candidates have appeared before gatherings of pastors brought together by Christian nationalist David Lane, who has recruited hundreds of pastors to run for office.

Their First Amendment freedoms are quite intact. But they’re looking for more—the ability of churches, religious broadcasters and other nonprofits to engage in direct electoral advocacy with tax-exempt funds. Speakers at Religious Right conferences routinely blame what they see as America’s moral decline on timid preaching, and they blame that on pastors who are intimidated by the IRS or hide behind the supposed threat of the IRS to avoid taking strong political stands. Charisma’s Bob Eschliman even said in praising the new bill that the Third Great Awakening—a national spiritual revival longed for by Religious Right leaders—cannot come about until the nation’s pulpits are “unshackled from the Johnson Amendment.”

Perkins, who is honorary chairman for Pulpit Freedom Sunday, bragged about the fact that he worked with the Trump campaign to get language calling for repeal of the Johnson Amendment into the Republican Party platform. He praised Trump for making it a campaign issue, adding, “I hope the next time that I’m talking about this could possibly be as he’s signing it behind his desk as president.”

Jonathan Cahn Knows We're In The End Times Because 'We're Seeing Things That Even Sodom And Gomorrah Didn't See'

When End Times Messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn appeared on Glenn Beck's radio program last year, it was to warn that America was going to suffer a massive calamity—possibly an economic meltdown, possibly a terrorist attack, possibly a natural disaster—on September 13, 2015.

Obviously, that didn't happen, but that hasn't rattled Beck's faith in Cahn's prophetic gifts, so he brought him back on his radio program today to promote his latest book, "The Book of Mysteries," and to warn that the world is now living in the End Times.

In the last days, Cahn said, the Bible warns that "before the end comes, there will be a great falling away from the faith, now we see that ... It's a civilization falling away from the ways of God. Well, we're watching it, we're talking about it."

"In the same days when you see culture falling away from the ways of God," he said, "you're going to see ... man departing from the state of manhood, women departing from womanhood, marriage departing from the state marriage, family from the state of family, all of these things we are watching. You want to know the reason why we're hearing all these things, why the news, the blending of gender, all of these things? It goes right to the word that was hidden 2,000 years ago."

When Beck pointed out that just about every generation of Christians throughout history has been convinced that it was living in the End Times, Cahn insisted that this time is different because "we've never seen a falling away to this degree. I mean, we're seeing things that even Sodom and Gomorrah didn't see. So we're seeing things that are unprecedented."

Another Trump Adviser Appears On Radio Network That Features White Nationalists

Earlier this year, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign landed in hot water when the candidate’s son, Donald Trump Jr., agreed to be interviewed by notorious white nationalist radio host James Edwards. Edwards hosts a show called “The Political Cesspool,” which is syndicated by Liberty News Radio; his interview with Trump Jr. was aired on another Liberty News Radio program called “Liberty Roundtable,” which is hosted by the network’s owner and Edwards friend Sam Bushman.

The Trump campaign received widespread criticism for the interview, especially given Trump’s reluctance to disavow support from white nationalists, but apparently didn’t learn its lesson, because yesterday another Trump aide, economic adviser Stephen Moore, appeared on “Liberty Roundtable” to spin Trump’s abysmal performance in the first presidential debate.

Edwards wasn’t on the program this time, but Moore spoke with Bushman, who grilled him on the false rumor that Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe whom Trump has repeatedly insulted, used to be a “porn star,” which Bushman recommended that Trump focus on in the next debate.

The allegation caused Moore to erupt in laughter as he claimed that Machado was “lying through her teeth.”

A commercial break during Moore’s appearance on the program included an advertisement from Edwards touting his book “Racism Schmacism” and his show on Bushman's network.

Trump Names 'Pro-Life Advisory Council' In Attempt To Reassure Anti-Choice Movement

Donald Trump’s campaign has given the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody a sneak peek at the members of a “pro-life advisory council” that the candidate is set to introduce today. Earlier this month, Trump sent a letter to “pro-life leaders” laying out a number of promises that he would make to their movement and announcing that Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the anti-choice electoral group Susan B. Anthony List, would spearhead the new anti-abortion coalition for his campaign.

Trump has given the anti-abortion movement some serious heartburn during his campaign as he’s continually reshaped his position on the issue and bungled their talking points, including at one point saying that women should face “some form of punishment” for abortion if the procedure is recriminalized. But since earning the Republican nomination, he’s started to win over many skeptical anti-abortion leaders with promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who share their views and to help them dismantle Planned Parenthood.

Brody writes that the full list released today “may indeed give comfort to those remaining evangelicals who are having a tough time making their way to the voting booth this Election Cycle.” Indeed, while Trump has attempted to say different things about abortion rights to different audiences, this new coalition shows that he is ready to go all-in with a movement that ultimately wants to ban the procedure without exception.

On the new list of Trump’s anti-choice allies are a number of legislators who have taken the lead on fighting abortion rights in Congress, including Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who led the House select committee investigating Planned Parenthood, Rep. Diane Black, Rep. Trent Franks and Rep. Chris Smith. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is on the list, as is Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.

Also joining the new coalition are Religious Right activists including Tony Perkins and Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council; Gary BauerRalph Reed; the American Principles Project’s Frank Cannon; Bill Dallas of United in Purpose; Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance; C-FAM’s Austin Ruse; and Ed Martin, head of the late Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, who is apparently sympathetic to many of Trump’s views.

The list also includes anti-abortion activists Day Gardner of the National Black Pro-Life Union, Kristan Hawkins of Students for LifeAlveda King and Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, and former Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest, who now works for Bauer’s American Values.

Dannenfelser has made no secret of the fact that she eventually wants to ban abortion without exception (except for a narrow exemption for saving a woman’s life) and her group opposes some common forms of birth control, claiming that they cause abortions. Many of the activists in Trump’s new coalition have similarly extreme views and are confident that Trump will let them have their way.

Ruse, who works at the United Nations to attempt to stop the adoption of language friendly to LGBT equality and reproductive rights, has declared, for instance, that “comprehensive sexuality education” is “a phrase created in the pits of hell by wicked individuals who wanted to undermine the family and ultimately destroy any institution that stands between the family and the state.” After meeting with Trump earlier this year, Ruse said that the GOP candidate “doesn’t care about” reproductive rights and therefore will “let our side do exactly what we want to do.”

Others have presented different reasons for supporting Trump. Priests for Life’s Pavone, who has said that legal abortion is worse than terrorism, has been somewhat lukewarm about Trump but has argued that Trump’s promises on abortion overcome any other faults he might have.

In response to a caller to a Catholic radio program who said that Trump’s stances on things like nuclear warfare and going after the families of suspected terrorists aren’t exactly pro-life, Pavone said that the potential of Trump dropping an atomic bomb is less dangerous than the certainty of Hillary Clinton continuing the “raging holocaust” of legal abortion. On another radio program, Pavone argued that it is more important that a candidate be “right on abortion” than on “poverty, immigration, war and peace, homelessness [and] health care.”

Pavone, after Trump said he supported punishing women who have abortions, floated the possibility of legal punishments for abortion “accomplices,” such as the person who brings a woman to a clinic.

Pavone’s Priests for Life colleague, Alveda King, also has some extreme views on reproductive rights, including alleging that “chemicals and things” in birth control make women infertile and that Planned Parenthood gives women contraception in order to give them breast cancer.

Other activists in Trump’s coalition have been leaders of the effort to chip away at abortion access by attempting to regulate abortion providers out of existence. When Yoest was at Americans United for Life, she was at the forefront of what she called this “stealth strategy” of “trench warfare and gaining ground under the radar.”

David Barton Claims The Founding Fathers Used 'The Exact Language Of The Bible' To Write The Constitution

A few years ago, right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton developed a new talking point in which he claimed that the Constitution is filled with direct, verbatim quotes straight out of the Bible.

We pointed out repeatedly that the clauses in the Constitution that Barton insisted were direct quotes from the Bible were nothing of the sort and Barton eventually stopped making this obviously false claim.

But when he appeared on the Messianic Jewish program "Jewish Voice" recently, Barton dusted it off when he once again insisted that the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution by using the "exact language" of the Bible.

Barton was making the case that the Bible tells voters all they need to know about how to choose their elected leaders, repeating his false claim that 34 percent of the political documents from the founding era cited the Bible, which he claimed is why the Constitution is filled with direct quotations from the Bible.

"I can show you clause after clause in the Constitution where they used the exact language of the Bible in the Constitution," he said. "It's just that we're so biblicaly illiterate today that we don't recognize that in the Constitution."

Katrina Pierson Insists That Unscientific Online Polls Are Accurate, Media Polls Are 'Skewed'

On Tuesday, Donald Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson took a page from her boss and touted Trump’s performance in post-debate online polls that have no scientific accuracy whatsoever.

After conservative talk show host Joe Pags told Pierson that “news organization polling” is tilted against Trump because media outlets “have some sort of vested interested in getting Hillary Clinton elected,” Pierson said that the scientific polls conducted by media firms are “skewed.”

As proof, she cited the fact that the CNN sampled more Democrats in its poll of debate viewers. Three other scientific polls also found that most people thought that Clinton won the debate.

Pierson vigorously defended the accuracy of voluntary, unscientific online polls: “When you look at the online polls, these are people who are, like I said, not engaged in the day-to-day, 24-hour news cycle, watching cable news all day every day, these are just people. If you’re looking at Time magazine, if you’re on another website and they’re doing a poll and you vote in that poll, by the way, to the tune of over a million votes in some of these polls, that’s important, because those aren’t the people who are in it one way or another, a lot of those people are just engaging.”

However, just the opposite typically occurs, as many online surveys are swarmed by one candidate’s supporters, such as this online poll of around 300,000 votes that found Green Party nominee Jill Stein leading the presidential field with close to 65 percent of the vote.

Fox News’ vice president of public opinion research, Dana Blanton, had to release a memo reaffirming the uselessness of online polls after several Fox News anchors hyped online polls after the debate. (Sean Hannity and Brian Kilmeade, however, continued to cite Trump’s strong performance in such polls after the memo was released). Business Insider reports:

A Fox News executive sent a memo to television producers and the politics team on Tuesday afternoon reminding employees that unscientific online polls "do not meet our editorial standards."

Dana Blanton, the vice president of public-opinion research at Fox News, explained in the memo obtained by Business Insider that "online 'polls' like the one on Drudge, Time, etc. where people can opt-in or self-select … are really just for fun."

"As most of the publications themselves clearly state, the sample obviously can't be representative of the electorate because they only reflect the views of those Internet users who have chosen to participate," Blanton wrote.

As the Fox News executive pointed out, users who participate in such polls must have internet access, be online at the time of the poll, be fans of the website in question, and self-select to participate.

"Another problem — we know some campaigns/groups of supporters encourage people to vote in online polls and flood the results," she wrote. "These quickie click items do not meet our editorial standards."

"News networks and other organizations go to great effort and rigor to conduct scientific polls — for good reason," Blanton wrote in the memo. "They know quick vote items posted on the web are nonsense, not true measures of public opinion."

However, we won’t hold our breath for Trump and his campaign to stop promoting the results of unscientific polls as long as they turn out favorable to them.

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/28/16

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/28/16

  • Janice Crouse is not happy about adult coloring books being used for therapy: "I was rather disturbed because I think it shows a great failure in our culture to instill any kind of religious values and any kind of strong, central commitment for young people."
  • Linda Harvey says that "Americans from coast to coast are fed up with homosexual and transgender foolishness and are wrestling with their consciences. Teachers, office staff, factory workers, nurses, hospitality staff, first responders, bus drivers, etc. are furious at the illegitimate priority being given to deviant, unnatural behaviors."
  • Joseph Farah warns that "slavery and Jim Crow laws were wholly Democratic Party institutions. Democrats created them, perpetuated them and enforced them with the aid of their own military wing – the Ku Klux Klan, which, in addition to lynching blacks, systematically murdered Republicans ... Consider yourself warned as you make your way to the voting booth in November. The new Klan looks more and more like the old Klan."
  • Carl Gallups laments that “as the culture of the United States, the largest Christian nation the planet has ever known, becomes increasingly secular, and as much of America’s church slips progressively into apostasy, the intensity of demonic activity will only increase. This is not only a biblical prediction, but also a current reality that, with growing frequency, is reported upon practically every week."
  • Finally, Rachel Alexander insists that Hillary Clinton lost the first presidential debate because "stylistically, Clinton was a disaster. It may not be fair to judge candidates on this, but style does influence voters — remember the Nixon-Kennedy debate. She marched out in a glaringly bright red pantsuit, the type of outfit she is ridiculed for, since the harsh colors are unforgiving to her body shape. She reverted to her nasally, harsh 'schoolmarm' voice throughout the length of the debate, perhaps to keep from coughing."
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