Archive for the ‘religious right’ Category

What They Really Think

March 29, 2012

From a religious-right group’s email to activists today:

“Rick Santorum is from God and will win with Christians and Catholics uniting for Santorum.”

“Christians and Catholics”? As if Catholics aren’t Christians?

Of course, it’s bad enough that religious-righters try to deify their favored political candidates (like Santorum). But the suggestion that Catholics are something other than Christians should tell you what they really think about even their supposed allies.

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Bringing Compassion Back into Faith

March 26, 2012

Jeremy Reynalds, founder of an emergency homeless shelter in Albuquerque, calls on fellow evangelicals to practice the compassion they preach:

I’m an evangelical Christian, although I’m hesitant to use that word because of the negativity it routinely engenders.

I prefer to think of myself as an ordinary person who loves Jesus and wants to spend his remaining days helping people.

At one point not so long ago I considered myself a proud conservative evangelical Republican Christian.

Now I’m just me, conservative in some aspects, liberal in others and loving Jesus in all.

So what happened? Well, I’m no longer willing to subscribe to the political correctness which dominates so much of evangelical “orthodoxy.” To be honest, I don’t think some of it is very, well, “Christian.”

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From the Hate Mail Bag

March 23, 2012

A new Christian-themed specialty license plate, approved by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles board last December, went on sale this week. Here’s what we told Fox News about our concerns:

“I think you want to be very careful when you give government the authority to favor a particular religion in an official way such as this,” Dan Quinn, communications director for the Texas Freedom Network, told FoxNews.com.

“That’s what bumper stickers are for,” Quinn said of religious decorations on vehicles. “We support religious freedom for everybody. The question is: Do you need government approval for that? We don’t want government having that authority.”

The group had previously blasted the plate as “disrespectful,” saying in a December press release on its website that “It’s become pretty clear that our governor [Rick Perry] is dismissive of religious beliefs other than his own, and now his governmental appointees have voted to send a message that Texas is unwelcoming to the religious faiths of some of its citizens.”

Our hate mail typically spikes when we’re quoted by Fox. (Go figure.) In any case, the writer of the following email apparently checked out our website, including the section on our Texas Faith Network. He doesn’t like us:

Saw your site and the proclamation of “progressive clergy”?

“Progressive clergy” is just another way to say sell out clergy.

No Christian, at least a true Christian, is tolerant or accepting of other religions.

In fact, God’s Holy Word the Bible tells Christians to flee evil ….. not to even talk of the evil that they do.

Unlike your ““progressive clergy” proclaims, we are not all the children of God and we do not serve the same god.

True Christians are the only children of God and true Christians serve the one and only true God …. God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

Your “progressive clergy” are the false prophets that the Bible teaches us about. The purveyors of false doctrine ……. the servants of Satan and his minion.

This is a nation based upon Christians beliefs.

To God be the glory and may His judgment fall upon this nation that it, through your evil kind and your “progressive clergy” across this nation, has called upon it.

As the Bible says, the rain falls on the heads of the just and unjust …….. we, the true Christians, the born again Christians, the true children of God will bear it for His Name’s sake.

Fox News’ Huckabee: Get Your Facts Straight

March 16, 2012

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has some gall.

In the wake of this week’s silly spat over the Doonesbury series of comic strips depicting a woman undergoing a state-forced transvaginal sonogram before getting a completely legal medical procedure, Huckabee called out Doonesbury author Garry Trudeau for not checking his facts. In doing so, Huckabee ironically failed to check his facts and instead relied on — of all people — far-right Texas state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, for his information.

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Bipartisan Rejection of Eagle Forum Hysteria

March 1, 2012

The Texas Eagle Forum strolled into the wrong committee hearing last month (video below).

It was on Feb. 17 when the Texas House Committee on Public Education met in Austin to take up interim charges at a hearing on charter schools. Speaking at the hearing, TEF Vice President MerryLynn Gerstenschlager asked lawmakers to pass legislation requiring charter school operators to be U.S. citizens.

Why? Fethullah Gulen.

We’ve seen this song and dance before. When your goal is to stoke irrational fears, it’s always best to have a bogeyman you can point to. And for a few years now, far-right pressure groups like TEF have settled on Gulen and Harmony Charter Schools.

It goes like this: Fethullah Gulen, who is a billionaire Turkish Muslim living in Pennsylvania, funds numerous charter schools across the country — including some in Texas — under the name of Harmony Charter Schools. Ergo: Muslim+schools+children=Indoctrination. At least, that’s the way TEF sees it.

But to hear TEF tell it, the problem is not that Gulen is Muslim. Says Gerstenschlager:

“There is an emphasis on Turkish culture. And that is fine. But it seems to be a common thread throughout these schools. And I wonder if they spend as much time teaching about American culture. That is my concern, that young impressionable children will become sympathetic towards Turkey and I wonder where their allegiance will lie.”

And that’s really the only evidence TEF has offered to support the claim that Gulen aims to indoctrinate — that Gulen is Turkish. As you’ll see, Gerstenschlager repeatedly denies that Gulen’s faith has anything to do with it, but she also claims that Gulen is tied to radical Islamism. Which begs the question: Would TEF even be at this hearing if Gulen were, say, a Christian born in Turkey?

But when Gerstenschlager testified at the committee hearing, both Republicans and Democrats would have none of it.

Who says the parties can’t agree on anything these days?

Far-right activists in Texas are so obsessed with Gulen that during the last legislative session they were willing to shut down government in order to push their divisive propaganda.

Whether they have a problem with all foreign-born billionaires allegedly using their wealth to influence America from within, or just the Muslim ones, is unclear. But we think it’s just the Muslim ones. All other ones (see Murdoch, Rupert) are probably fine.

Graham Apologizes

February 29, 2012

Was that so hard, Franklin Graham?

From Religion News Service:

“I regret any comments I have ever made which may have cast any doubt on the personal faith of our president, Mr. Obama. I apologize to him and to any I have offended for not better articulating my reason for not supporting him in this election — for his faith has nothing to do with my consideration of him as a candidate.”

And it only took Graham a week to say this. Background from TFN Insider here.

Franklin Graham’s Double Standard

February 21, 2012

Unbelievable.

Just a few days ago we told you about a good ol’ tactic right-wingers like to use: questioning a politician’s Christianity or claiming the politician is not Christian at all.

This morning it was Franklin Graham’s turn. Graham, the son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe taking questions from the panel. The conversation went something like this (quotes paraphrased):

MSNBC: Is President Obama a Christian?

Graham: Ask him. I assume he is, but it’s not for me to say.

MSNBC: What about Mormon Mitt Romney, is he a Christian?

Graham: I can’t know what’s in another man’s heart.

MSNBC: Is Rick Santorum a Christian?

Graham: Oh, totally.

MSNBC: But you just said …

Graham: I know what I said. Rick Santorum is a Christian.

MSNBC: Isn’t that a double standard?

Graham: You have to look at what a person does with his life (this one is an actual quote). Oh, and by the way, thrice-married Newt Gingrich is a Christian, too.

You can watch the actual exchange in its entirety here.

If you’ve finished watching the clip and are done beating your head against your desk, click here to read about a coalition of Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, and religious liberties organizations that has called for an end to this kind of divisive rhetoric.

Aspirin as Birth Control

February 16, 2012

It’s thinking like this that filters down to school sex ed policies and gives states such as Texas a horrible track record with teen birthrates:

“Back in my days, we used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.”

That was said today by mutual fund manager Foster Friess, who — along with his deep pockets — is supporting Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum.

Let us repeat: That was said today, in the 21st century, not a hundred years ago.

Seriously, these guys are giving us a headache. If only there was something we could take for that. If only.

Where Did the Guv Go?

October 27, 2011

This post has been updated

We were so looking forward to the One Nation Under God event organized by Champion the Vote, the national campaign that seeks to register evangelical Christians to vote. But now it seems our main reason for tuning in won’t even be there.

Gov. Rick Perry’s likeness and his name as an invited speaker have been scrubbed from onenationundergodevent.com, leaving Newt Gingrich as the only other Republican presidential candidate scheduled to appear.

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Coordinated Anti-Mormonism?

October 17, 2011

Mormonism, or the attacks on it, is in the news again this morning following a story in The Daily Beast that cites emails between a Christian radio executive and well-known religious-right activist David Lane.

The emails between Lane and Dick Bott of the Bott Radio Network seem to indicate the two were in cahoots to advance the anti-Mormon narrative that became controversial when Dallas pastor and Gov. Rick Perry supporter Robert Jeffress called the faith of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney a cult and non-Christian.

The story posits that because Lane a long history as an important Gov. Perry supporter, perhaps the coordinated efforts were not between Lane and Bott alone, but also with Gov. Perry’s presidential campaign.

We’re not quite ready to take that leap. As Sarah Posner points out in another story published today in Religion Dispatches, the evidence for coordination between Gov. Perry’s campaign and Lane on this issue is thin right now. But there are other reasons to be distressed by these emails.

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BREAKING: World Ends Oct. 21

October 14, 2011

In breaking news out of California, radio evangelist Harold Camping predicts the world will end on May 21, 1988   September 6, 1994   May 21, 2011   October 21, 2011.

You know what they say? The fourth time is the charm.

So there you go, you have until next Friday to get your affairs in order. If you have a birthday next Friday, this news is upsetting. But not as upsetting as it is for the rest of us to know that someone cruelly picked the delicious International Day of the Nacho as the date of the Apocalypse.

Not that we would use the end of times for a shameless plug, but this also means TFN’s 16th annual gala next Thursday will be the last. Tickets can be purchased here.

Religious-Righters Gone Wild!

October 10, 2011

The annual Values Voter Summit has become something like “spring break” for religious-righters — except without the booze and naughty behavior. (Well, maybe. Who knows these days?) OK, so maybe it’s not really like “spring break.” Still, the VVS is where you can see the religious right in all its intolerant and anti-science glory. Talking Points Memo has pics from booths during this weekend’s gathering in the nation’s capital. Click on the photo below for more. We’ll have more on the VVS later.

Gov. Perry and the Father of Science

September 8, 2011

There we were, almost at the end of last night’s Republican presidential debate, ready to declare that Texas had gotten off embarrassment-free. Then the moderator had to ruin it all by asking Gov. Rick Perry a question about science.

Asked about climate change, Gov. Perry repeated his claim that the idea of man-made global warming is increasingly in dispute in scientific circles (not really), and ….

“Galileo got outvoted for a spell.”

Here’s the video:

Buried somewhere beneath this flat, 6,000-year-old Earth of ours, Galileo spun in his grave.

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Perry’s Weekend Confab

September 1, 2011

The Texas Tribune this morning published what is the most complete account to date of what happened last weekend when Gov. Rick Perry traveled to Fredericksburg to attend a confab of social conservatives hosted by the so-called “sugar daddy” of the far right in Texas, Dr. James Leininger.

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Fischer Is Too Much to Bear

August 9, 2011

Bryan Fischer, who serves as hater-in-chief for the American Family Association, is developing a hate list rivaled in length only by Mr. T’s pity list.

Now on Fischer’s hate list: bears. Right alongside Muslims, homosexuals, Jews and poor people sit grizzly bears, which should be shot on sight, Fischer says.

Writing on the AFA’s blog on Wednesday, Fischer wrote of the recent bear mauling death of a man and other bear attacks at Yellowstone National Park, you know, where a lot of grizzlies live.

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