David Brody, the chief political reporter for CBN News admitted in an MSNBC “Morning Joe” discussion this morning that the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, and the Tea Party are “coming together” with major anti-gay organizations and a hate group, the Family Research Council.
CBN News is the Christian Broadcasting Network, founded byÂ televangelistÂ Pat RobertsonÂ in 1961.Â Brody, author of the new book, The Teavangelicals: The Inside Story of How the Evangelicals and the Tea Party are Taking Back America, is alsoÂ “a political contributor to Glenn Beck’s GBTV network,” according to CBN.
“We talk about the pro-life groups but the pro-life groups are also the Tea Party type groups, in other words, they’re all coming together,” Brody told the panel, explaining the close relationship between the Tea Party, Tea Party organizations, the Koch Brothers (who fund those groups,) anti-gay organizations, and anti-gay hate groups.
“Here’s my point: Concerned Women for America, a pro-life group, they’re working with Americans For Prosperity, Tim Phillips group, and so they’re doing a lot of bus tours together.”
Americans For Prosperity was founded by the Koch Brothers.
WhileÂ Concerned Women for America is not technically a named anti-gay hate group, they are mentioned in thisÂ Southern Poverty Law Center article, “18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda” at least five times. They, their work, and their people have been embedded in several other anti-gay hate groups, like theÂ Family Research Council,Â Traditional Values Coalition,Â Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, andÂ Chalcedon Foundation, the SPLC reports.
Here’s what theÂ Southern Poverty Law Center article says aboutÂ Concerned Women for America:
San Diego, Calif., activist Beverly LaHaye, whose husband Tim would go on to become famous as co-author of the Left Behind novels depicting the end times, started Concerned Women for America (CWA) in 1979 to create an anti-feminist group that matched the power of the National Organization for Women. Today, CWA claims more than 500,000 members organized into state chapters, a radio program that reaches more than 1 million listeners, and a cadre of attorneys and researchers devoted to the groupâ€™s mission of promoting biblical values.
LaHaye has blamed gay people for a â€œradical leftist crusadeâ€ in America and, over the years, has occasionallyÂ equated homosexuality with pedophilia. In 2001, she hired prominent anti-gay propagandists Robert Knight (now with Coral Ridge Ministries; see below) and Peter LaBarbera (now with Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, above) to launch CWAâ€™s Culture and Family Institute. Matt Barber was CWAâ€™s policy director for cultural issues in 2007 and 2008 before moving on to similar work with the Liberty Counsel (below).
While at CWA, on April 12, 2007, Barber suggested againstÂ all the evidenceÂ that there were only a â€œminiscule numberâ€ of anti-gay hate crimes and most of those â€œmay very well be rooted in fraudulent reports.â€ In comments that have since disappeared from CWAâ€™s website, Barber demanded a federal probe of â€œhomosexual activistsâ€ for their alleged fabrications of hate crime reports.
CWA long relied on and displayed Knightâ€™s articles and talking points, including claims that â€œhomosexuality carries enormous physical and mental health risksâ€ and â€œgay marriage entices children to experiment with homosexuality.â€ Most remarkably, Knight cited the utterly discredited work of Paul Cameron (see Family Research Institute, below) to bolster claims that homosexuality is harmful.
Today, CWA continues to make arguments against homosexuality on the basis of dubious claims. President Wendy Wright said this August that gay activists were using same-sex marriage â€œto indoctrinate children in schools to reject their parentsâ€™ values and to harass, sue and punish people who disagree.â€ Last year, CWA accused the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a group that works to stop anti-gay bullying in schools, of using that mission as a cover to promote homosexuality in schools, adding that â€œteaching students from a young age that the homosexual lifestyle is perfectly natural â€¦ will [cause them to] develop into adults who are desensitized to the harmful, immoral reality of sexual deviance.â€
“Family Research Council, the pro-life group, is working with Colin Hanna, and Let Freedom Ring, another Tea Party group. It’s all very much a conglomerate… coming together,” Brody continued.
Business Week describesÂ Let Freedom Ring as “an advocacy organization active with ads targeting Obama in 2008 and whose founder is evangelical Christian John Templeton, and Washington-based Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, which is affiliated with Republican political strategist Karl Rove, are also airing commercials critical of the presidentâ€™s energy policy.”
Headed since 2003 by former Louisiana State Rep. Tony Perkins, the FRC has been a font of anti-gay propaganda throughout its history. It relies on the work of Robert Knight, who also worked at Concerned Women for America but now is at Coral Ridge Ministries (see above for both), along with that of FRC senior research fellows Tim Dailey (hired in 1999) and Peter Sprigg (2001). Both Dailey and Sprigg have pushedÂ false accusationsÂ linking gay men to pedophilia: Sprigg has written that most men who engage in same-sex child molestation â€œidentify themselves as homosexual or bisexual,â€ and Dailey and Sprigg devoted an entire chapter of their 2004 bookÂ Getting It StraightÂ to similar material. The men claimed that â€œhomosexuals are overrepresented in child sex offensesâ€ and similarly asserted that â€œhomosexuals are attracted in inordinate numbers to boys.â€
Thatâ€™s the least of it. In a 1999 publication (Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex With Boys) that has since disappeared from its website, the FRC claimed that â€œone of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the â€˜prophetsâ€™ of a new sexual order,â€ according to unrefuted research by AMERICAblog. The same publication argued that â€œhomosexual activists publicly disassociate themselves from pedophiles as part of a public relations strategy.â€ FRC offered no evidence for these remarkable assertions, and has never publicly retracted the allegations. (The American Psychological Association, among others, has concluded that â€œhomosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men are.â€)
In fact, in a Nov. 30, 2010, debate on MSNBCâ€™s â€œHardball with Chris Matthewsâ€Â between Perkins and the Southern Poverty Law Centerâ€™s Mark Potok, Perkins defended FRCâ€™s association of gay men with pedophilia, saying: â€œIf you look at the American College of Pediatricians, they say the research is overwhelming that homosexuality poses a danger to children. So Mark is wrong. He needs to go back and do his own research.â€ In fact, the college, despite its hifalutin name, is a tiny, explicitly religious-right breakaway group from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the 60,000-member association of the profession. Publications of the American College of Pediatricians, which has some 200 members, have been roundly attacked by leading scientific authorities who say they are baseless and accuse the college of distorting and misrepresenting their work.
Elsewhere, according to AMERICAblog, Knight, while working at the FRC, claimed that â€œ[t]here is a strong current of pedophilia in the homosexual subculture. â€¦ [T]hey want to promote a promiscuous society.â€ AMERICAblog also reported that then-FRC official Yvette Cantu, in an interview published on Americans for Truth About Homosexualityâ€™s website, said, â€œIf they [gays and lesbians] had children, what would happen when they were too busy having their sex parties?â€
More recently, in March 2008, Sprigg, responding to a question about uniting gay partners during the immigration process, said: â€œI would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them.â€ He later apologized, but then went on, last February, to tell MSNBC host Chris Matthews, â€œI think there would be a place for criminal sanctions on homosexual behavior.â€ â€œSo we should outlaw gay behavior?â€ Matthews asked. â€œYes,â€ Sprigg replied. At around the same time, Sprigg claimed that allowing gay people to serve openly in the military would lead to an increase in gay-on-straight sexual assaults.
Brody also stated this morning:
“What Ted Cruz did last night, talking about our rights come from God not government, Mitt Romney used that exact line in Irwin Pennsylvania and had — and I counted it — a 17-second standing ovation. Bigger than Obamacare, bigger than anything else.”
And Brody admitted Republican Senatorial nominee Ted Cruz used “code language” to appeal to religious voters, like, “the great awakening,” and agreed the former President George W. Bush also used the idea that rights come from God not from government.
“We hear about this all the time in those Tea Party and Evangelical circles, I call them the Teavangelical circles, you know, the great awakening, very much a spiritual reference to our nation’s history,” Brody said, talking about his book. “I talk about how our rights come from God, not government,” Brody added.
10 days ago,Â The New Civil Rights Movement reported on a new poll that found while “Democrats came in with 68% support for same-sex marriage, Independents with 57%, and Republicans with only 30%, a mere 6% of Tea Party members said they support same-sex marriage. No other group was close to that low support level.”
The relevant portion begins around the 8:00 minute mark, but the entire clip is fascinating.
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‘Scared to Death’: Trump’s Prison Panic Admission Means He Knows He’s Doomed Says Legal Expert
Reacting to a report that Donald Trump has been quizzing his attorneys about what type of prison he likely will be sent to, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner stated that is not only an indication that he knows he’s going to be convicted but also an admission of guilt.
Speaking with MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart, the attorney was asked about a recent Rolling Stone report about Trump’s prison panic.
As Rolling Stone reported, Trump asked if he’s “be sent to a ‘club fed’ style prison — a place that’s relatively comfortable, as far these things go — or a ‘bad’ prison? Would he serve out a sentence in a plush home confinement? Would government officials try to strip him of his lifetime Secret Service protections? What would they make him wear, if his enemies actually did ever get him in a cell — an unprecedented set of consequences for a former leader of the free world.”
According to the attorney, Trump is revealing himself by asking for so many details.
“What does this tell you about Trump’s mindset?” host Capehart asked.
“It tells me he is scared to death” Kirschner quickly answered. “It tells me he has overwhelming consciousness of guilt because he knows what he did wrong and he knows he is about to be held accountable for his crimes. So it is not surprising that he is obsessing.”
“If he was confident that he would be completely exonerated, would he have to obsess about what his future time in prison might look like?” he suggested. “I think the last refuge for Donald Trump can be seen in a recent post where he urged the Republicans to defund essentially the prosecutions against him. which, to this prosecutor, Jonathan, smells a lot like an attempt to obstruct justice.”
Watch below or at the link.
Image via Shutterstock
‘Vulgar and Lewd’: Trump Judge Cites Extremist Group to Allow Drag Show Ban
A federal judge in Texas known for a ruling that attempted to ban a widely-used abortion drug is citing an extremist anti-LGBTQ group in his ruling allowing a ban on drag shows to stay in place.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a former attorney for an anti-LGBTQ conservative Christian legal organization, and a member of the Federalist Society, in his 26-page ruling dated Thursday cited the “About” page of Gays Against Groomers to claim, “it’s unclear how drag shows unmistakably communicate advocacy for LGBT rights.”
Judge Kacsmaryk, appointed by Donald Trump twice before finally assuming office in 2019, suggests the First Amendment does not provide for freedom of expression for drag shows, calls drag “sexualized conduct,” and says it is “more regulable” because “children are in the audience.”
Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern adds, “Kacsmaryk’s conclusion that drag is probably NOT protected by the First Amendment conflicts with decisions from Texas, Florida, Tennessee, and Montana which held that drag is constitutionally protected expression. It also bristles with undisguised hostility toward LGBTQ people.”
Calling the judge “a proud Christian nationalist who flatly refuses to apply binding Supreme Court precedent when it conflicts with his extremist far-right beliefs,” Stern at Slate writes that Kacsmaryk ruled drag “may be outlawed to protect ‘the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.’ In short, he concluded that drag fails to convey a message, while explaining all the reasons why he’s offended by the message it conveys.”
Stern does not let Kacsmaryk off the hook there.
“From almost any other judge, the ruling in Spectrum WT v. Wendler would be a shocking rejection of basic free speech principles; from Kacsmaryk, it’s par for the course. This is, after all, the judge who sought to ban medication abortion nationwide, restricted minors’ access to birth control, seize control over border policy to exclude asylum-seekers, and flouted recent precedent protecting LGBTQ+ equality,” Stern says.
“He is also poised to bankrupt Planned Parenthood by compelling them to pay a $1.8 billion penalty on truly ludicrous grounds. And he is not the only Trump-appointed judge substituting his reactionary beliefs for legal analysis. We have reached a point where these lawless decisions are not only predictable but inevitable, and they show no sign of stopping: Their authors are still just settling into a decadeslong service in the federal judiciary.”
West Texas A&M University President Walter V. Wendler penned the letter that sparked the lawsuit.
Titled, “A Harmless Drag Show? No Such Thing,” Wendler wrote: “I believe every human being is created in the image of God and, therefore, a person of dignity. Being created in God’s image is the basis of Natural Law. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, prisoners of the culture of their time as are we, declared the Creator’s origin as the foundational fiber in the fabric of our nation as they breathed life into it. Does a drag show preserve a single thread of human dignity? I think not.”
Journalist Chris Geidner concludes, “It’s an extremely biased ruling by a judge who has established that he does not care about being overturned — even by the most conservative appeals court in the nation.”
Gaetz Praises GOP Congressman Who Echoes His Call for Change ‘Through Force’
U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL). largely seen as pushing Speaker Kevin McCarthy‘s Republican-majority House of Representatives toward shutting down the federal government, is praising and promoting remarks made by a freshman GOP lawmaker that appear to suggest the use of violence. U.S. Rep. Eli Crane‘s comments, posted Friday (below), call for change “through force,” remarks echoing Congressman Gaetz’s recent comments which were denounced by an expert on authoritarianism as fascistic.
“The only way we’re going to see meaningful change in this town is through force,” wrote Congressman Crane, Republican of Arizona atop a three-minute video in which he frames what is now an almost guaranteed government shutdown as a “spending fight.” In his video he says, “the only way you’re gonna get any change in this town is through force.” Gaetz in August had said, “we know that only through force do we make any change in a corrupt town like Washington, D.C.”
Congressman Crane is a former Navy SEAL. He has promoted the false “Big Lie” conspiracy theory that there was massive fraud in the election President Joe Biden won, and called “on the state legislature to decertify the 2020 election.” He is one of six House Republicans who voted against McCarthy’s speakership all 15 times in January.
“Congressman Eli Crane is a fountainhead of political courage,” said Rep. Gaetz Friday afternoon. “He holds the line.”
Crane recently came under fire for calling Black people “colored,” during debate on his legislation that would force the U.S. Armed Forces to not use any diversity requirements in its hiring practices.
Just days before he won his House seat last year, The Washington Post reported Crane had urged an “audience to look up an antisemitic sermon at a recent campaign stop.”
“Crane said that he was motivated to run because of ‘radical ideologies that are destroying this country’ and that he was most concerned about ‘Cultural Marxism,’ which the Southern Poverty Law Center has described as an antisemitic baseless claim gaining traction on the American right.”
“He encouraged the audience to watch a speech by a right-wing pastor who blamed cultural change on a group of German Jewish philosophers and condemned Barack Obama for having a ‘homosexual agenda.'”
“If we don’t wake up,” Crane said, according to the Post, “if we don’t study what they’re doing, and if we don’t put people in influential positions that understand what this war is all about, what they’re trying to do and have and have the courage to call it out, we’re going to lose this country.”
In August, while standing next to Donald Trump at a campaign rally, Congressman Gaetz said, “Mr. President, I cannot stand these people that are destroying our country. They are opening our borders. They are weaponizing our federal law enforcement against patriotic Americans who love this nation as we should.”
“But we know that only through force do we make any change in a corrupt town like Washington, D.C. And so to all my friends here in Iowa, when you see them come for this man, know that they are coming for our movement and they are coming for all of us.”
At the time, Raw Story reported, “historian and author Ruth Ben-Ghiat called Gaetz comments alarming.”
“What he is saying is that they are not going to have change through elections or through legislation or through reform. They are going to have change through violence,” she warned.
“And that’s how fascists talk,” Ben-Ghiat added. “So, even if Trump is out of the picture, these are people who have adopted methods very familiar to me as a historian of fascism, that violence and corruption and lying that’s what the party is today.”
Image via Shutterstock
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