Even after a Texas school district refuted an erroneous report from Fox News reporter Todd Starnes alleging that the district is banning Christmas trees and the colors red and green, Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition yesterday decided to run with the story anyway in order to scare its members about the “War on Christmas.”
In August, TX Gov. Rick Perry signed into law the “Merry Christmas Bill,” which legally permits students and teacher to use traditional holiday greetings such as “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” and also protects traditional holiday symbols. Lawmakers in the state hoped it would put an end to the “War on Christmas” scandals that plague us each winter. Unfortunately, officials at Nichols Elementary School in Waco, TX have already violated the new law, banning all reference to Christmas, from Christmas trees to the colors red and green, in their upcoming “Winter Party.”
Contact Principal Courtney Murphy & school board president Renee Ehmke and tell them that the parents and students at Nichols Elementary are guaranteed the right to celebrate Christmas. Call Nichols Elementary at (469)-633-3950 or contact them via email at email@example.com and contact Emke at (469)633-6000.
Of course, if the FFC had simply contacted the school district (as it advises its members to do) or just did a Google search, it would have found out that the school district’s “War on Christmas” is nothing but a Fox News-generated myth:
An unfortunate misunderstanding regarding an email that was sent by a room mom has unfairly portrayed a school and the Frisco ISD as having violated the “Merry Christmas Law.” This is simply incorrect.
The email being referenced was not an official PTA email nor was the school aware of it being sent. The email that was sent by the room mom was sent two weeks before the party planning meeting had even been held. At the party planning meeting held on November 19, prior to any knowledge of the email, the school leaders went over the new law as part of the meeting. Please understand, there has never been a ban on what is worn, what is said, or what is brought to the party (as long as they do not violate the “Limitations on Content” prohibited by policy FNAA -obscene, vulgar, inappropriate for the age, etc.). The new law is consistent with the manner in which holiday parties have been handled by the District in the past and in line with state and federal law.
When the email was forwarded to Mr. Fallon stating no red or green or Christmas trees and no reference to Christmas or another religious holiday, he sent a letter to our Superintendent regarding the law. Our Superintendent called him and assured him these were not our rules. We are still unsure of why the campus and District’s position was misunderstood and why there is the feeling that there is some sort of ban of items or greetings regarding the winter holiday parties at that school.
When in our schools and offices, you will see a variety of decorations – you will see Christmas Trees at some, you will see a winter wonderland theme at others, you may even see staff wearing Santa hats. Yesterday the District hosted a senior citizens luncheon and students performed a lovely concert with Christmas and holiday tunes.
Last week, a Colorado judge ruled that the owners of a bakery who were refusing to serve gay customers must do so or face fines. The owner is vowing to resist the ruling and Bryan Fischer voiced his support on his radio broadcast today, saying that the baker has become a victim of "The Secular Inquisition."
"Our secular theocrats have found this man guilty of heresy," Fischer said, "guilty of idolatry, guilty of blasphemy because he will not agree to the dogma of the secular theocrats. He is a heretic and he must be punished just like the Spanish Inquisition did for those that went astray from the dogma of the church in their day."
Last week, Glenn Beck was telling his audience of Tea Party activists that they "are the people that our Founders saw, the wise and the honest" who would rise up and save the nation when it was on the verge of collapse.
Today on his radio broadcast, Beck stepped it up a notch, telling his audience that "governments fear the individual," which is why the South African government imprisoned Nelson Mandela for twenty seven years. So, of course, Beck then told his audience that they are exactly the sorts of strong, courageous individuals that the government fears.
"They fear the next Nelson Mandela," he proclaimed, "and I tell you, you are the next Nelson Mandela. You are the next Martin Luther King. You are the next Gandhi. You are the next Abraham Lincoln. You are the next George Washington":
WorldNetDaily columnist and regular Fox News guest Erik Rush told his radio show’s listeners last week that while he opposes apartheid, South Africa may have declined since the fall of the racist system, adding that the late Nelson Mandela “didn’t do much.”
“You know I hate to rain on the parade here, but there really isn’t a whole lot to celebrate aside from this synthetic symbolism that is being made out of someone who, you know, didn’t do much,” Rush said. “Apartheid went away, great. There are South African blacks who have told friends of mine they wish it was back because the country was safer, if you can believe that.”
At a panel discussion on immigration policy today, Rep. Steve King of Iowa claimed that Democrats support bipartisan immigration reform because undocumented immigrants would “vote for a more liberal agenda” which in turn, “erodes the law further.”
King suggested to the panel, convened by the right-wing Judicial Watch, that if given a roadmap to citizenship, undocumented immigrants would go on a crime spree: “When people break the law to come here and we reward them with breaking the law, then they think that’s all right to break another law. It breeds disrespect for the law. We cannot be a great nation if we are going to willfully destroy the rule of law, especially for political purposes.”
King touted Robert Rector’s discredited Heritage Foundation study, which purported to show a devastating economic impact from immigration reform, but which was both deeply methodologically flawed and co-written by someone who believes that Latinos are genetically inferior.
Later in the discussion, King claimed that President Obama’s executive order implementing parts of the DREAM Act had provoked a “constitutional crisis.” He also lamented that immigration proponents have been pushing the “sympathy factor” with the help of “a lot of Christian groups who misread the scripture.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas joined a conference call last week organized by Tea Party Unity, the conservative group founded by Texas pastor Rick Scarborough, to warn listeners that President Obama is trying to “achieve peace by allowing evil people to take over the world.”
He warned that God may soon remove his hand of protection from America, leaving no place in the world safe for liberty and freedom…except for Israel.
I know, Rick, you probably hear people say, ‘Well if it gets much worse, maybe I just need to go to an island somewhere or go to a different country.’ Let me tell you folks, when the United States is not around with its protective hand in the world to protect freedom and liberty and freedom from abuse, then there is no other place to go. Maybe Israel. But when God removes his protective hand from America, this isn’t a safe place either. I hope and pray people will wake up. You cannot achieve peace by allowing evil people to take over the world, that’s not how it works.
As we reported yesterday, we have been engaged in a battle with "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt for several weeks now, stemming from Klingenschmitt's mistaken belief that the videos we have been posting featuring excerpts from his television program are violations of his copyright. As a result, Klingenschmitt has filed multiple copyright claims against our YouTube account and succeeded in shutting it down on two separate occasions.
In both instances, we have filed counter-claims against each and every alleged violation and every one has been resolved in our favor, resulting in our account being restored and the strike against us being removed.
Fed up with his on-going campaign to hamper our work, our lawyers have sent Klingenschmitt a cease and desist letter explicitly warning him that if he continues to file bogus copyright complaints against our YouTube account, legal action will be taken against him.
But, according to an interview Klingenschmitt conducted with David Pakman yesterday, it doesn't appear as if he has any intention of ceasing his campaign to permanently shut down our YouTube account by relentlessly filing bogus copyright complaints against our videos.
Insisting that we are "stealing" his content and trying to pass it off as our own in an effort to make money, Klingenschmitt amazingly asserted that we have been filing a "false counter-claim knowingly infringing on my copyright" by responding to his bogus copyright claims and getting our videos restored on YouTube.
As such, Klingenschmitt states that he has been in contact with lawyers of his own who have allegedly recommended that he sue us, but that is not a course of action that he intends to pursue at this time, he said, though he does intend to continue to file copyright claims against our videos and have them removed from YouTube.
When Pakman pointed out that we cannot be expected to moderate the thousands of comments our videos receive on YouTube nor be held responsible for what anonymous users might post in those comments, Klingenschmitt insisted that we do, in fact, moderate the comments and have removed comments from people supporting him. He even claims to have screencaps that prove it, which is pretty amazing considering that that has never happened.
Pakman's interview with Klingenschmitt was very fair and even-handed, but we would like to address the hypothetical argument he raised that the videos we post to YouTube might not be protected by Fair Use since we are not adding any commentary or criticism.
The entire purpose of posting these brief video clips to YouTube is so that they can serve as the focus in blog posts written here on RightWingWatch where we provide commentary, context, and criticism. Each video uploaded to our YouTube account makes clear that the clip is being posted as part of our regular news reporting to highlight and expose the outrageous statements made by key figures in the right-wing movement and includes commentary on the statements highlighted in the video. As the most popular video sharing site, posting our clips to YouTube makes our reporting available to the broadest swatch of people so that it can easily be shared with other bloggers, activists, and media outlets. In addition, our videos also include a link to the relevant RightWingWatch blog post in which it is being used, which contains further commentary, context, and explanation.
There can be no question that our video clips are used for an entirely different purpose (reporting and commentary) than Klingenschmitt's original purpose, which is to spread his radical, right-wing, anti-gay views and agenda, further making clear that our videos are protected by the doctrine of Fair Use.