Roger Wicker

The Religious Right's Council Of Conservative Citizens Connection

After the manifesto of the man who committed a mass murder at a black church in Charleston last week was found to contain material lifted from the white supremacist group Council of Conservative Citizens, formerly the White Citizens’ Councils, GOP politicians have been scrambling to erase their ties with the group, with several Republicans returning or donating to charity a total of tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from the group’s president.

But it’s proving to be more difficult for some in the GOP and their allies in the Religious Right to brush over a long history of ties with the group. As the Southern Poverty Law Center has reported, dozens of elected officials have attended the group’s meetings, including former RNC chair and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and current Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker. Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott has also spoken to the group, as has former Georgia congressman and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr.

Lott and the late North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms even went so far as to provide endorsements of the CCC, according to its newsletter.

A number of prominent figures on the Religious Right have also spoken to or defended the CCC, in a sign of the uneasy and often hidden alliances between the Religious Right and racist groups.

Mike Huckabee

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, now a GOP presidential candidate, submitted a video presentation to the CCC’s 1993 national convention, which the group’s newsletter later reported was a smash it. TPM:

Then-Lt. Gov. Huckabee was invited to speak at the group's 1993 national convention by the its founder, Gordon Lee Baum, according to a 2008 Huffington Post report. Baum told The Huffington Post that Huckabee "sent an audio/video presentation saying 'I can't be with you but I'd like to be speaker next time'" because he was compelled to remain in Arkansas during the convention while then-Gov. Jim Guy Tucker (D) travelled out of state.

The group's 1993 newsletter, which was obtained by Edward Sebesta, who researches neo-Confederate groups, hailed Huckabee's videotaped address as a smash hit.

"Ark. Lt. Governor Mike Huckabee, unable to leave Arkansas by law because the Governor was absent from the state, sent a terrific videotape speech, which was viewed and extremely well received by the audience," the newsletter read.

Huckabee agreed to speak in person at the group’s convention the next year but canceled after a human rights group told him that he’s be sharing the stage with a white supremacist and Holocaust denier.

Tony Perkins

Back when he was a Louisiana state legislator, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins spoke to a 2001 meeting of the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens. When asked about it several years later, Perkins said he could not “remember speaking at the event.” Unfortunately for him, there’s a picture:

Perkins also has ties to David Duke, a Louisiana politician and Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Roy Moore

The Alabama chief justice, a Religious Right hero who is currently battling the federal courts in an effort to stop marriage equality in his state, addressed CCC’s national conference in 1995, reports Buzzfeed.

(Image courtesy of Buzzfeed)

This is hardly Moore’s only troubling racist tie. Much of his career has been financed by Michael Peroutka, a former board member of the neo-Confederate League of the South, who shares many of his views on the role of “biblical law.” (SPLC reports that the League of the South’s and CCC’s “membership rolls overlap a good deal” and that the two groups have collaborated on events.)

John Eidsmoe

John Eidsmoe is the intellectual godfather of a strain of Christian nationalism that takes to an extreme the idea that “God’s law” must always be put before “man’s law.” He is a former legal advisor to Justice Moore and now works for the Foundation for Moral Law, a group that Moore founded. He is also famously a mentor of former Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Eidsmoe spoke to the 2005 national convention of the Council of Conservative citizens. He defended himself to the New Yorker, saying he would speak “to anyone.”

Ann Coulter

Perhaps even more than the Religious Right, the anti-immigrant movement sometimes has a hard time drawing a line between itself and the explicitly racist white nationalist and white supremacist movements. For instance, the work of white supremacist Sam Francis, an editor for and enthusiastic endorser of the CCC, occasionally ends up cited in the work of more “mainstream” anti-immigrant activists.

The best example of this nexus may be Ann Coulter, the anti-immigrant pundit beloved of CCC spokesman Jared Taylor and who cites white nationalist Peter Brimelow as an intellectual influence, but who has also been welcomed at Religious Right events like the Values Voter Summit.

Coulter took it upon herself in her 2009 book “Guilty,” to defend GOP politicians who had spoken to CCC, writing that the group’s statements in opposition to “forced integration” and “efforts to mix the races of mankind” were in no way endorsements of segregation:

Republican politicians who had given speeches to a conservative group, the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), were branded sympathizers of white supremacists because some of the directors of the CCC had, decades earlier, been leaders of a segregationist group, the Citizen Councils of America, which were founded in 1954. There is no evidence on its Web page that the modern incarnation of the CCC supports segregation, though its “Statement of Principles” offers that the organization opposes “forced integration” and “efforts to mix the races of mankind.” But mostly the principles refer to subjects such as a strong national defense, the right to keep and bear arms, the traditional family, and an “America First” trade policy.

Roy Beck

Another prominent anti-immigrant activist with ties to CCC is Roy Beck, head of the influential lobbying group Numbers USA, who addressed the group in the late 1990s. The Center for New Community dug up this photo:

This post has been updated to add Roy Beck.

Right Wing Leftovers - 5/3/13

  • Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) is the latest Republican to embrace the discredited allegation that the military is preparing to court-martial Christians. 
  • Phyllis Schlafly prays that God will speak to the Justices of the Supreme Court and tell them to oppose marriage equality. 
  • Ex-gay activist Greg Quinlan of PFOX has launched the “Citizens Against the Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act.”
  • WND’s Ilana Mercer writes a column about how gun violence is the result of our “estrogen-infused” society and somehow manages to fit in an attack on Jason Collins.

The GOP's Embrace of Bryan Fischer Continues

As we noted last month, despite his long history of unabashed bigotry, leading Republicans continue to appear on Bryan Fischer's radio program.

At the time of that post, Fischer had been joined Sen. Roger Wicker, Sen. Jim Inhofe, Sen. Jim DeMint, Rep. Lamar Smith, Rep. Alan Nunnelee, Rep. Raul Labrador, and presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty.

Since then, Fischer has also hosted Mike Huckabee and now we can add Rep. Steve King to the list:

The interview itself as rather dull, focusing mostly on the issue of funding for health care reform and Planned Parenthood in any Continuing Resolution, but I am posting it nonetheless as part of our effort to keep track of the increasing number of Republican leaders who have no qualms about embracing Fischer and his bigotry.

Tony Perkins Embraces the Extreme Personhood Movement

The anti-choice campaign to pass “Personhood Amendments,” the radical plan once shunned by major Religious Right organizations, continues to gain prominent supporters within the conservative movement. Following in the footsteps of other right-wing leaders like Bryan Fischer, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has come out in favor of the Personhood Amendment, which would give legal rights to zygotes and criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, common forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization.

As voters consistently voted down Personhood Amendments by lopsided margins in Colorado, leading groups like National Right to Life and Americans United for Life refused to back the Amendment and the Colorado Eagle Forum warned allies in 2009 that the Personhood movement intends to “spread their disaster to key swing states like Florida, Missouri, Nevada and Montana.”

And now the Personhood movement is doing exactly that, but this time with the support of major Religious Right figures, and even Republican politicians.

Fischer, the American Family Association, and the Liberty Counsel have come out strongly in favor of the Personhood Amendment that will be on Mississippi’s November ballot, as have top Republicans like Senator Roger Wicker and Congressman Alan Nunnelee.

In Georgia, Perkins praised the Personhood Amendment introduced by state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, saying, “The Georgia Personhood Amendment is a reflection of a growing pro-life sentiment across the country.”

But in 2007, James Bopp, the General Counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, criticized the Personhood measure in Georgia, known as the Human Life Amendment (HLA), in a legal memo. Warning of “the inevitable striking down” of the amendment and that “significant damage would be done,” Bopp said that “the proposed HLA has serious flaws and is not a wise use of pro-life resources at this time.”

Georgia and Mississippi aren’t the only states where the Personhood movement is moving into high gear.

The State House in North Dakota just passed a personhood bill that one supporter said “should shut down” the state’s last clinic that provides abortion services, and a subcommittee in the Iowa State House also approved a personhood bill. Personhood USA, the leading advocacy organization, has pledged to mount fights in states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Montana as well.

Tony Perkins Embraces the Extreme Personhood Movement

The anti-choice campaign to pass “Personhood Amendments,” the radical plan once shunned by major Religious Right organizations, continues to gain prominent supporters within the conservative movement. Following in the footsteps of other right-wing leaders like Bryan Fischer, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has come out in favor of the Personhood Amendment, which would give legal rights to zygotes and criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, common forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization.

As voters consistently voted down Personhood Amendments by lopsided margins in Colorado, leading groups like National Right to Life and Americans United for Life refused to back the Amendment and the Colorado Eagle Forum warned allies in 2009 that the Personhood movement intends to “spread their disaster to key swing states like Florida, Missouri, Nevada and Montana.”

And now the Personhood movement is doing exactly that, but this time with the support of major Religious Right figures, and even Republican politicians.

Fischer, the American Family Association, and the Liberty Counsel have come out strongly in favor of the Personhood Amendment that will be on Mississippi’s November ballot, as have top Republicans like Senator Roger Wicker and Congressman Alan Nunnelee.

In Georgia, Perkins praised the Personhood Amendment introduced by state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, saying, “The Georgia Personhood Amendment is a reflection of a growing pro-life sentiment across the country.”

But in 2007, James Bopp, the General Counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, criticized the Personhood measure in Georgia, known as the Human Life Amendment (HLA), in a legal memo. Warning of “the inevitable striking down” of the amendment and that “significant damage would be done,” Bopp said that “the proposed HLA has serious flaws and is not a wise use of pro-life resources at this time.”

Georgia and Mississippi aren’t the only states where the Personhood movement is moving into high gear.

The State House in North Dakota just passed a personhood bill that one supporter said “should shut down” the state’s last clinic that provides abortion services, and a subcommittee in the Iowa State House also approved a personhood bill. Personhood USA, the leading advocacy organization, has pledged to mount fights in states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Montana as well.

Porter's Ohio Effort Being Undercut By Her Former Employer

As we have noted in the past, the groups pushing the anti-choice "personhood" amendments all around the country have tended to operate on their own because other established anti-choice groups have refused to support the efforts because a) they are unlikely to pass and b) they are unlikely to survive court challenges.

And despite the fact that the whenever "personhood" has made it onto the ballot, it has failed miserably, organizers continue to press the issue, and are even picking up support for an effort in Mississippi from the American Family Association while Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker is introducing national "personhood" legislation in Congress.

And in Ohio, Janet Porter has resurfaced with her own "personhood"-like legislation called "The Heartbeat Bill." The legislation would ban abortions once a heartbeat is detected and, just like with the various "personhood" efforts, Porter's former colleagues at Ohio Right to Life are refusing to support her measure because it won't stand up in court: 

[T]he so-called “Heartbeat Bill” legislation, which would ban abortion as early as 18 to 24 days after conception, isn’t supported by the Ohio Right to Life Society. That organization is backing a number of other anti-abortion bills, including a ban on late-term abortions after 20 weeks except when necessary to prevent the death of the mother or the irreversible impairment of a major body function.

Mike Gonidakis, the group’s executive director, said the heartbeat legislation would not survive a court challenge. “Despite noble aspirations, there is no scenario under which the heartbeat legislation will be upheld by any court and therefore no lives will be saved by passage of this bill,” Gonidakis said in an e-mail. “Our goal is to protect the lives we can now and that is why we introduced the late-term ban.”

...

Janet Porter, a key backer and a former Ohio Right to Life legislative director, said, “If we never ask, we’re never going to get it.”

Porter's Ohio Effort Being Undercut By Her Former Employer

As we have noted in the past, the groups pushing the anti-choice "personhood" amendments all around the country have tended to operate on their own because other established anti-choice groups have refused to support the efforts because a) they are unlikely to pass and b) they are unlikely to survive court challenges.

And despite the fact that the whenever "personhood" has made it onto the ballot, it has failed miserably, organizers continue to press the issue, and are even picking up support for an effort in Mississippi from the American Family Association while Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker is introducing national "personhood" legislation in Congress.

And in Ohio, Janet Porter has resurfaced with her own "personhood"-like legislation called "The Heartbeat Bill." The legislation would ban abortions once a heartbeat is detected and, just like with the various "personhood" efforts, Porter's former colleagues at Ohio Right to Life are refusing to support her measure because it won't stand up in court: 

[T]he so-called “Heartbeat Bill” legislation, which would ban abortion as early as 18 to 24 days after conception, isn’t supported by the Ohio Right to Life Society. That organization is backing a number of other anti-abortion bills, including a ban on late-term abortions after 20 weeks except when necessary to prevent the death of the mother or the irreversible impairment of a major body function.

Mike Gonidakis, the group’s executive director, said the heartbeat legislation would not survive a court challenge. “Despite noble aspirations, there is no scenario under which the heartbeat legislation will be upheld by any court and therefore no lives will be saved by passage of this bill,” Gonidakis said in an e-mail. “Our goal is to protect the lives we can now and that is why we introduced the late-term ban.”

...

Janet Porter, a key backer and a former Ohio Right to Life legislative director, said, “If we never ask, we’re never going to get it.”

Republican Leaders Continue To Embrace Bryan Fischer

As we have said time and time again, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer is among the most openly and viciously bigoted Religious Right leaders active today ... but that does not seem to bother any of the Republican leaders who continually appear on his radio program.

Just last week, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker joined Fischer to discuss his anti-choice legislation, and before that it was presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty telling Fischer he'll reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

This is in addition to past appearances from Sen. Jim Inhofe, Sen. Jim DeMint, Rep. Lamar Smith, Rep. Alan Nunnelee, and Rep. Raul Labrador.

And the pattern continues, as in the last few days Fischer has had two more Republican members on Congress on his program, starting last Friday with Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey who joined Fischer to discuss his anti-choice efforts:

And then on Monday, Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia also joined Fischer to discuss his appearance on Bill Maher and defend his Creationist views:

Bryan Fischer spends the majority of his time viciously attacking gays and Mulsims (and bears) and yet Republican leaders are eager to make time to regularly join him on his radio program.

 

Republican Leaders Continue To Embrace Bryan Fischer

As we have said time and time again, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer is among the most openly and viciously bigoted Religious Right leaders active today ... but that does not seem to bother any of the Republican leaders who continually appear on his radio program.

Just last week, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker joined Fischer to discuss his anti-choice legislation, and before that it was presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty telling Fischer he'll reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

This is in addition to past appearances from Sen. Jim Inhofe, Sen. Jim DeMint, Rep. Lamar Smith, Rep. Alan Nunnelee, and Rep. Raul Labrador.

And the pattern continues, as in the last few days Fischer has had two more Republican members on Congress on his program, starting last Friday with Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey who joined Fischer to discuss his anti-choice efforts:

And then on Monday, Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia also joined Fischer to discuss his appearance on Bill Maher and defend his Creationist views:

Bryan Fischer spends the majority of his time viciously attacking gays and Mulsims (and bears) and yet Republican leaders are eager to make time to regularly join him on his radio program.

 

Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) Proposes Legislation “Identical” to Radical “Personhood” Amendment

Right Wing Watch has been covering the extreme “personhood” movement, which after being overwhelmingly rejected by voters in Colorado, has emerged as a powerful force in Mississippi, where the amendment will be on the 2011 ballot. Now, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker is taking the “personhood” fight to the national level by introducing legislation in the Senate mirroring Mississippi’s personhood initiative.

The “personhood” movement seeks to give legal rights to zygotes and would effectively criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, common forms of birth control and even in vitro fertilization. The once-fringe “personhood” activists were initially renounced by Religious Right organizations as unrealistic and unhelpful to the anti-choice cause, but now groups like the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel along with leading Republican politicians have embraced the Mississippi Personhood campaign led by Les Riley, a radical activist who supports the separatist “Christian Exodus” movement.

Senator Wicker spoke to the AFA’s Director of Issue Analysis and resident bigot Bryan Fischer on Focal Point and pledged to introduce the “Life at Conception Act.” Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) plans to introduce a companion bill in the House.

About two minutes in to the interview, Wicker tells Fischer that “a personhood amendment to the state constitution [will be] voted on very soon in my state, and I’m not the only one who’s seized on to this idea and of course it will be introduced in the House of Representatives also.”

Fischer replies, “In fact we have talked on this program frequently about the personhood amendment, and in fact I believe if I’m not mistaken Senator Wicker, the language in Mississippi’s personhood amendment and in your ‘Life at Conception Act’ are virtually identical in the key paragraphs.” Wicker backs up Fischer’s claim, saying, “That is certainly my understanding, yes sir.”

Watch:

Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) Proposes Legislation “Identical” to Radical “Personhood” Amendment

Right Wing Watch has been covering the extreme “personhood” movement, which after being overwhelmingly rejected by voters in Colorado, has emerged as a powerful force in Mississippi, where the amendment will be on the 2011 ballot. Now, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker is taking the “personhood” fight to the national level by introducing legislation in the Senate mirroring Mississippi’s personhood initiative.

The “personhood” movement seeks to give legal rights to zygotes and would effectively criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, common forms of birth control and even in vitro fertilization. The once-fringe “personhood” activists were initially renounced by Religious Right organizations as unrealistic and unhelpful to the anti-choice cause, but now groups like the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel along with leading Republican politicians have embraced the Mississippi Personhood campaign led by Les Riley, a radical activist who supports the separatist “Christian Exodus” movement.

Senator Wicker spoke to the AFA’s Director of Issue Analysis and resident bigot Bryan Fischer on Focal Point and pledged to introduce the “Life at Conception Act.” Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) plans to introduce a companion bill in the House.

About two minutes in to the interview, Wicker tells Fischer that “a personhood amendment to the state constitution [will be] voted on very soon in my state, and I’m not the only one who’s seized on to this idea and of course it will be introduced in the House of Representatives also.”

Fischer replies, “In fact we have talked on this program frequently about the personhood amendment, and in fact I believe if I’m not mistaken Senator Wicker, the language in Mississippi’s personhood amendment and in your ‘Life at Conception Act’ are virtually identical in the key paragraphs.” Wicker backs up Fischer’s claim, saying, “That is certainly my understanding, yes sir.”

Watch:

Dozens of GOP Leaders Declare Solidarity With Those Who Want To See Homosexuality Outlawed

Last week when Jeremy Hooper discovered that the Family Research Council was planning to roll out a campaign fighting back against the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation of the organization as an anti-gay hate group, we noted that FRC was asking people to sign on to the campaign to "stand in solidarity with Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women of America, National Organization for Marriage, Liberty Counsel and other pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family."

By doing so, we pointed out, any one who added their name was essentially declaring that they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with groups that proclaim:

Today, FRC announced that it was running this open letter [PDF] in both Politico and The Washington Examiner and that the effort had the support of dozens of Republican members of Congress and conservative leaders:

Family Research Council (FRC) announced the placement of a full-page open letter in today's print editions of Politico and the Washington Examiner responding to the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) recent attacks on FRC and other groups.

SPLC has targeted FRC and other organizations that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The open letter, signed by more than 150 organizational leaders, Members of Congress and other elected officials, calls for a "vigorous but responsible exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty that are the birthright of all Americans."

The open letter was signed by many current and former elected and government officials including Speaker-designate John Boehner, Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor, U.S. Reps Mike Pence (R-IN), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), John Carter (R-TX), John Fleming (R-LA,) Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX,) Gregg Harper (R-MS), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Steve King (R-IA,) Don Manzullo (R-IL), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Peter Roskam (R-LA), Lamar Smith (R-TX,) Steve Scalise (R-LA,) Fred Upton (R-MI), U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK,) David Vitter (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sam Brownback (Gov.-elect, Kansas), Governor Bobby Jindal, former Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Senator Rick Santorum, Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General of the United States, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

For the record, here is the complete list of leaders who have publicly declared their solidarity with SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups who want to see gays barred from serving in public office and homosexuality made illegal: 

Alaska Family Council Jim Minnery - President
American College of Pediatricians Tom Benton, MD - President
American Conservative Union Foundation Cleta Mitchell - Chairman
American Decency Association Bill Johnson - President
American Family Association Tim Wildmon - President
American Family Association of Pennsylvania Diane Gramley - President
American Principles Project Andresen Blom - Executive Director
American Values Gary Bauer - President
Association of Maryland Families Derek McCoy - President
Best-Selling Author and Host of Morning in America Dr. William J. Bennett
Calvary Chapel Jack Hibbs - Senior Pastor
Cardinal Newman Society Patrick Reilly - President
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights Bill Donohue - President
CCV of Indiana PAC Joseph Sergio, Ph.D - Chairman
Center for Arizona Policy Cathi Herrod - President
Center for Law and Social Strategy Mark Spengler - Executive Director
Center for Security Policy Frank Gaffney - President and CEO
Center for Urban Renewal and Education Star Parker - President
Christian Civic League of Maine Carroll Conley - Executive Director
Christian Medical Association David Stevens - CEO
CitizenLink Tom Minnery - Senior Vice President, Public Policy
Citizens for Community Values Phil Burress - President
Citizens for Community Values of Indiana Patrick Mangan - Executive Director
CNSNews.com Chris Johnson - News Correspondant
CNSNews.com Eric Scheiner - Senior Video Producer
Coalition for Marriage and FamilyTom Shields - Chairman
Colorado Family Action Jessica Haverkate - Director
Committee for Justice Curt Levey - Executive Director
Concerned Citizens for Family Values of Connecticut Ray Kastner - President
Concerned Women For America Penny Nance - CEO
Concerned Women for American Wendy Wright - President
ConservativeHQ.com Richard Viguerie - Chairman
Coral Ridge Ministries Robert Knight - Senior Writer
Coral Ridge Ministries Hector Padron - Executive Vice President
Cornerstone Action, NH Kevin Smith - Executive Director
Cornerstone Family Council of ID Julie Lynde - Executive Director
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D. - National Spokesman
Delaware Family Policy Council Nicole Theis - Executive Director
Design4 Marketing Communications Clint Cline - President
Eagle Forum Phyllis Schlafly - President
Ethics and Public Policy Center Rick Santorum - Senior Fellow
Faith Christian Fellowship Church The Rev Dr. R. Edgar Bonniwell - Senior Pastor
Family Action Council of Tennessee David Fowler - President
Family First (Nebraska FPC) Dave Bydalek Bydalek - Executive Director
Family Institute of Connecticut Peter Wolfgang - Executive Director
Florida Family Policy Counci lJohn Stemberger - President and General Counsel
ForAmerica David Bozell - Executive Director
Generals International Cindy Jacobs - President
Illinois Family Institute David Smith - Executive Director
Iowa Family Policy Center Chuck Hurley - President
Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality Elaine Silodor Berk - Director
Judicial Action Group Phillip Jauregui - President
Kansas Sam Brownback - Governor-elect
Kansas Family Policy Council Donna Lippoldt - Executive Director
Kingdom Warriors Ministry William Boykin - LTG(R) USArmy
Landmark Legal Foundation Mark Levin - President
Leadership Institute Morton Blackwell - President
Let Freedom Ring Colin Hanna - President
Liberty Center for Law and Policy Mandi Campbell - Legal Director
Liberty Counsel Matt Barber - Director of Cultural Affairs
Liberty Counsel Mathew Staver - Founder and Chairman
Liberty Institute Kelly Shackelford
Louisiana Bobby Jindal - Governor
Louisiana Family Forum Action Gene Mills - President
Massachusetts Family Institute Kris Mineau - President
Media Research Center Matthew Balan - news analyst
Media Research CenterL. Brent Bozell - Founder and President
Media Research Center Kyle Drennen - News Analyst
Media Research Center Matthew Hadro
Mike Huckabee - Former Governor, TV/ Radio Commentator
Minnesota Family Council David Eaton - Chairman
Minnesota Family Council John Helmberger - Chief Executive Officer
Mission America Linda Harvey - President
Missouri Family Policy Council Joe Ortwerth - Executive Director
National Organization for Marriage Brian Brown - President
National Organization for Marriage Maggie Gallagher - Chairman
National Organization for Marriage - Rhode Island Christopher Plante - Executive Director
National Review Rich Lowry - Editor
Nationally Syndicated Radio Talkshow Host Janet Parshall
Nevada Concerned Citizens Richard Ziser - Director
New Jersey Family First Len Deo - Founder & President
New Yorker's Family Research Foundation Rev. Tom Stiles
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms Rev. Jason McGuire
North Dakota Family Alliance Tom Freier - Executive Director
Ohio Faith and Freedom Coalition Ken Blackwell - Chairman
Priests For LifeFr. Frank Pavone - National Director
Prison Fellowship and The Colson Center for Christian Worldview Chuck Colson - Founder
Public Service Research Foundation David Denholm - President
Radio America Franklin Raff - Sr. Executive Producer
Rappahannock Ventures WillIam Walton - Chairman
ReAL Action Rick Tyler - Chairman
RedState Erick-Woods Erickson - Editor
Renewing American Leadership Jim Garlow - Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana Roger Villere, Jr. - Chairman
Restore America David Crowe - President
Retired Rensselaer Broekhuizen - Pastor
RightMarch.com William Greene - President
Shirley & Banister Public Affairs Diana Banister - Vice President
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Dr. Richard Land - President
State of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty - Governor
The American Spectator Alfred Regnery - Publisher
The Coalition of Conscience Michael Brown, Ph.D. - Director
The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation Abby Moffat - Vice President and COO
The Family Foundation of VirginiaVictoria Cobb - President
The Family Policy Council of WVJeremiah Dys, Esq. - President and General Counsel
The National Legal Foundation Steven Fitschen - President
THE New Voice, Inc.Herman Cain - CEO and President
The Oak InititativeRick Joyner - President
The Washington Examiner Mark Tapscott - Editorial Page Editor
TheCall Louis Engle - President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.C. Preston Noell III - President
Traditional Values Coalition Jody Hutchens - Regional Director
Traditional Values Coalition Andrea Lafferty - Executive Director
U.S. Congress Senator David Vitter - (R-LA)
U.S. Congress Senator Roger Wicker - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congresswoman Michele Bachmann - (R-MN)
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker-designate John Boehner - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor - (R-VA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman John Fleming, M.D. - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Trent Franks - (R-AZ)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Louie Gohmert - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jeb Henserling - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jim Jordan - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve King - (R-IA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Donald Manzullo - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representative sCongressman Kevin McCarthy - (R-CA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman-elect Alan Nunnelee - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Mike Pence - (R-IN)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Joe Pitts - (R-PA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Peter Roskam - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve Scalise - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Lamar Smith - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Fred Upton - (R-MI)
United States SenateJim DeMint - Senator
Virginia Ken Cuccinelli - Attorney General
Western Center for Journalism Floyd Brown - President
Wisconsin Family Action Julaine Appling - President
WMtek Corp. Dan Pennell - CEO
WND.com Joseph Farah - Chief Executive Officer

Robertson's ACLJ Files Anti-DC Marriage Brief On Behalf of 39 GOP Members of Congress

Today, the American Center for Law and Justice announced that it had filed a brief on behalf of 39 Republican members of Congress against marriage equality in Washington DC, arguing that the "Board of Elections and Ethics wrongfully denied [the] proposed initiative and its decision should be reversed":

We have just filed an important amicus brief in defense of marriage. This time the venue is the District of Columbia, where the city council has authorized same-sex marriages. In our brief, we're representing members of Congress in a very significant legal challenge.

A group of citizens has applied for the right for D.C. residents to vote on an initiative to halt same-sex marriages in D.C. However, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics has wrongly rejected that application.

The D.C. residents have filed suit to challenge the Board’s ruling, and the ACLJ – with the support of 39 members of Congress – has filed an amicus brief with the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in support of the citizens asking the court to reverse the decision of the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics.

The brief [PDF] lists the following Republican members of Congress as having signed on:

Amici United States Senators James Inhofe and Roger Wicker and Representatives Robert Aderholt, Todd Akin, Michele Bachmann, Gresham Barrett, Roscoe Bartlett, Marsha Blackburn, John Boehner, John Boozman, Eric Cantor, Jason Chaffetz, John Fleming, Randy Forbes, Virginia Foxx, Scott Garrett, Phil Gingrey, Louie Gohmert, Jeb Hensarling, Wally Herger, Walter Jones, Jim Jordan, Steve King, Jack Kingston, John Kline, Doug Lamborn, Robert Latta, Don Manzullo, Michael McCaul, Thaddeus McCotter, Patrick McHenry, Cathy McMorris Rogers, Jeff Miller, Jerry Moran, Randy Neugebauer, Mike Pence, Joe Pitts, Mark Souder, and Todd Tiahrt are currently serving in the One Hundred and Eleventh Congress. Under the United States Constitution, they serve as members of the ultimate legislative authority for the District of Columbia and the very body which delegated to the District its limited legislative power under home rule. As members of the District’s ultimate legislative body, amici are concerned about the extent of the District’s delegated legislative authority, the preservation of Congress’s constitutional authority, and the interpretation of home rule. Amici also support the right of the District electors to directly participate in the legislative process pursuant to the initiative and referendum rights, under the Initiative Referendum and Recall Charter Amendments Act of 1977. It is precisely these concerns which lead amici to support Petitioners in seeking a reversal of the denial of the proposed initiative.

The Right’s Latest Gripe

Always on the lookout for anything they can churn into a controversy that suggests that God is somehow under attack here in America, the Right has latched onto the opening of the new Capitol Visitor Center, which they are accusing of intentionally slighting God and the role that Christianity played in the founding of our nation:

Protests by conservative lawmakers led architects to promise to add "In God We Trust" as the national motto and to engrave the Pledge of Allegiance in the new $621 million Capitol Visitor Center.

Sen. Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, had threatened to delay Tuesday's opening of the marble-and-stone center that took seven years to build at triple the original cost … Despite winning a months-long battle to highlight the importance of religion in American life, DeMint said the center still misrepresents American history by downplaying the faith of the Founding Fathers and other prominent figures.

"The current Capitol Visitor Center displays are left-leaning and in some cases distort our true history," DeMint said. The center's "most prominent display proclaims faith not in God, but in government."

DeMint, rated the most conservative senator by several think tanks and advocacy groups, also protested an engraved statement near the center's entrance: "We have built no temple but the Capitol. We consult no common oracle but the Constitution."

That quote was uttered by Rufus Choate, a Massachusetts lawyer who represented his state in the House of Representatives in the 1830s and in the Senate the following decade.

"This is an intentional misrepresentation of our nation's real history and an offensive refusal to honor America's God-given blessings," DeMint said.

Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, along with Republican Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia, joined DeMint in the protest.

There is likewise a new article in The National Review complaining that not only is the new center hostile to God, it’s also overflowing with “liberal bias”  

[M]any conservatives were startled by its mere existence — and they observed that it came in the wake of a trend toward the effacement of religion from the public squares of Washington. David Barton, a historian who heads WallBuilders, an Evangelical organization, had tried to call attention to it. The FDR Memorial, dedicated in 1997, contains no mention of God. Neither does the World War II Memorial, opened in 2004. Carved on one of its walls is a short D-Day message by Dwight Eisenhower, but the quote ends just before Ike seeks “the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.” Barton is convinced this isn’t accidental: “It’s hard not to see the bias. Religion is completely scrubbed out” … When Sen. Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, explored the hall, he wasn’t pleased. “There was an obvious absence of any accurate historical reference to our religious heritage,” he says. He noticed the misidentification of the national motto, but the problem went much deeper — and he took it to the floor of the Senate. “In touring the CVC, I found the exhibits to be politically correct, left-leaning, and secular in nature,” he said on September 27. “There seems to be a trend of whitewashing God out of our history.” He noted that although the hall displayed a couple of Bibles, a replica of the House chamber didn’t include “In God We Trust” above the speaker’s rostrum.

Yet the exhibition hall still includes plenty of liberal bias. A section on FDR describes the New Deal, in rah-rah fashion, as “a creative burst of energy that initiated economic recovery” during the Depression. There’s a panel on the 19th-century impeachment of Andrew Johnson, but nothing comparable on the 20th-century impeachment of Bill Clinton (except a brief mention in a video). What’s more, conservative icons are almost totally missing. There’s a picture of Robert A. Taft, but no image of Barry Goldwater or Henry Hyde. At the same time, the CVC is full of dutiful tributes to female firsts: the first woman elected to the House (Jeannette Rankin), the first woman to serve in the Senate (Rebecca Felton), the first woman elected to the Senate (Hattie Caraway), the first woman elected to both the House and the Senate (Margaret Chase Smith), the first “woman of color” and first Asian-American woman elected to Congress (Patsy Mink), the longest-serving woman in Congress (Edith Nourse Rogers), and so on.

An alcove on modern history includes big pictures of an Earth Day rally, an ACT-UP protest on AIDS funding, and hippies at the Pentagon in 1967. It’s not as if the CVC made no attempt at balance: There’s also a black-and-white photo of Vietnam-era “pro-war demonstrators” that’s one-quarter the size of the full-color anti-war image.

But it seems that it is the perceived “religious hostility” of the center that is really irking the Right, so much so that the Family Research Council dedicated its most recent Washington Update to decrying it:

Religious Hostility on Display at U.S. Capitol

Today, the U.S. Capitol unveiled what one congressman has called a "$600 million godless pit," a palatial underground visitors' center which is at the heart of an ongoing debate over the place of America's religious heritage in the nation's capital. Not only does the basement of the House and Senate's home have new galleries, theaters, and gift shops, but, as 108 congressmen rightly argue, it should also include an honest and complete portrayal of America's religious roots.

Initially, planners had scrubbed references to "In God We Trust," the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Founders' faith. The Architect of the Capitol, who is responsible for the renovations, came under fire from the building's own residents, the U.S. Congress, for omitting such basic references to the Almighty. Although some of the concerns were addressed before the center opened this afternoon, dozens of leaders and organizations like FRC are still troubled by the politically correct nature of the exhibits, which are historically incorrect.