The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
A prominent Christian direct-mail guru with former ties to an anti-Semitic publication now faces federal charges for his alleged role assisting a woman flee the United States with her biological daughter after losing custody of the child to a former lesbian partner.
Philip Zodhiates, whose direct-mail business, Response Unlimited, targets conservatives and Christians, is scheduled to voluntarily appear for arraignment next Wednesday in Buffalo, N.Y. A grand jury there returned a two-count indictment on Sept. 19 charging him with conspiracy to defraud the United States and international parental kidnapping.
As news of the ultra-violent Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) repugnant activities has filtered into America’s consciousness, right-wing politicians and media outlets have made the group the latest cause célèbre in their endless rhetorical war against the twin evils of Islam and immigration.
An extremist group too radical for even Al Qaeda to stomach, ISIS has horrified the world with the recent beheading of two American journalists and its brutal massacres of Iraqi religious minorities. Though there is no evidence that ISIS has operatives in America, ultraconservative Texas Gov. Rick Perry has suggested that the group has sent combatants over the U.S.-Mexico border, while WorldNetDaily, a far-right conspiracist online tabloid, claims that ISIS is working with Mexican drug cartels to infiltrate this country.
The LGBT- and Muslim-bashing hate group Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC), takes it one step further than that.
In an unsigned Sept. 4 blog post apparently written by CADC head Gary Cass (Cass is known to write most of the posts on the CADC site), the group seems convinced that ISIS is already here – and it thinks American Christians must prepare to fight back with “overwhelming Christian just war.” In the post, titled “I’m Islamophobic, Are You?,” CADC says “every true follower of Mohammed wants to … subjugate and murder you. They believe they have been given a mandate by Allah (Satan) to dominate the world.”
That, of course, is in direct conflict with Cass’s own belief that in fact it is Christians who have been given a mandate for dominion. Cass’s mentor, the late D. James Kennedy of the anti-LGBT group Coral Ridge Ministries (of which Cass is the former executive director), once said, “As the vice regents of God, [Christians] are to exercise godly dominion and influence over … every aspect and institution of human society.”
According to the new CADC post, the only way to permanently prevent Muslims from pursuing their “infernal goals” is for Christians to “obtain a gun(s), learn to shoot, teach your kids the Christian doctrines of just war and self defense, create small cells of family and friends that you can rely on if some thing [sic] catastrophic happens and civil society suddenly melts down.”
The CADC post considers and rejects the slightly less harsh options of conversion and deportation. The former is dismissed as “not biblically doable,” because according CADC’s reading of the bible, Arabs are descended from Ishmael, who was cursed to be “an ass of a man; His hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him.” While seemingly keen on deportation (CADC is not specific as to where) or forced sterilization, the post is skeptical that American “politicians will do anything until it is too late, unless, of course, ‘we the people’ demand otherwise.” ( continue to full post… )
How did a bipartisan set of education standards developed by the National Governors Association and state school superintendents get to be one of the most hotly contested issues in public life? A new report out today from the Southern Poverty Law Center – “Public Schools in the Crosshairs: Far-Right Propaganda and the Common Core State Standards” – takes a hard look at the extremists behind the right-wing effort to destroy the Common Core, which they’ve dubbed “Obamacore.”
Common Core is being implemented in 44 states and has widespread backing among Republicans, Democrats, educators and big business. Notwithstanding legitimate concerns and questions from many corners, there is a level of consensus around the standards that is virtually unheard of in contemporary politics. But extremists on the far right are fast at work dismantling it. And their ultimate goal is dismantling public education itself.
Common Core sets standards for literacy and math skills that all children in public school should achieve at every grade level – nothing more, nothing less. Contrary to the claims by right-wing pundits, the standards don’t mandate any particular texts or courses of study.
But to the far right, the standards are a Trojan horse intended to set the stage for mass indoctrination of America’s children and the destruction of traditional values. The goal, they say, is to separate children from their parents and communities, render them unable to think for themselves and put them on a path to dependency on big government for the rest of their lives.
The right-wing propagandists have created an alternate universe of lies and deceptions, and not for the first time. Obamacare had “death panels,” and now Obamacore has “government indoctrination camps” to turn children into “green serfs” who will serve the “New World Order.”
It may all sound crazy – and it is – but the anti-Common Core propaganda could have real political consequences. In late March, Indiana became the first state to pull out of Common Core. And roughly 100 bills have been introduced around the nation that would slow or reverse adoption of the standards.
It’s a crucial moment in the political debate over Common Core, and you can’t make sense of it without understanding the lies and distortions coming from the far right as well as their true goal – the dismantling of the public education system itself. Be sure to check out the full “Public Schools in the Crosshairs” report.
Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus fired off a memo and letter to MSNBC today announcing a boycott of the network by all RNC staff and surrogates. Priebus seized upon a tweet sent out by MSNBC yesterday that taunted conservatives by suggesting they would hate a new Cheerios ad featuring a biracial family. The ad generated a racist backlash online when it first ran last year.
MSNBC has deleted the tweet and apologized, but Priebus says there has been a “troubling streak” of “comments that belittle and demean Americans without furthering any thoughtful dialogue.” He is promising to boycott until the head of MSNBC personally apologizes and takes “corrective action.”
This seems like a good time to remind Priebus that he appeared – not quite three weeks ago – on a hate radio network, American Family Radio. The network is run by an anti-LGBT hate group – the American Family Association – whose spokesperson Bryan Fischer makes a sport of attacking women, Muslims and LGBT people on his show. He wants them removed from the military and public office. He’s also said that Hispanics are “socialists by nature” who “plunder of the wealth of the United States” and that African-American women “rut like rabbits” to get more welfare money. ( continue to full post… )
It’s sometimes hard to know just exactly what the American Family Association, the rabidly anti-gay group based in Tupelo, Miss., believes. It’s obviously against the advancement of any rights for the LGBT community, and it clearly harbors substantial fears about a secular government. But when it comes to matters of race? That’s when things get murky.
This week, on the AFA’s radio network, American Family Radio, host Sandy Rios went wild with a twisted view of racism after a listener accused her of being a racist. Rios, who is also a Fox News Channel contributor, quickly offered a surprising and completely inaccurate assertion – that white people have moved beyond racism, except in response to black racism.
“The American Anglo-Saxon crew really has moved past racism. They did it quite a long time ago. I mean, they did elect Barack Obama – twice,” Rios said last week in comments reported yesterday by Right Wing Watch. “But racism seems to be raging in the black community.”
She added, “What’s causing it is people like Barack Obama and Eric Holder who can’t say enough and stir the pot enough to create anger and hatred and bitterness.”
This isn’t the first time the AFA, through its various mouthpieces, has demeaned black Americans or other minorities. ( continue to full post… )
December is upon us. And the first mortar rounds in the annual “War on Christmas” have been fired.
Last night, Christmas sentry Bill O’Reilly invited a fellow Christmas-defending warrior from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to join him on his Fox News show to preview the upcoming battle.
O’REILLY: So once again this year, I will keep an eye on the situation. Helping me is the Alliance Defending Freedom organization based in Scottsdale, Arizona. They have been very successful in defending traditional rights in the courts. Therefore I say to them, ‘God bless you, each and every one,’ with apologies to Dickens.
What O’Reilly fails to mention is that while defending Christmas in the fake war at home, the ADF is waging a vastly different and very real legal war abroad: an aggressive effort to imprison LGBT people. ( continue to full post… )
Rick Joyner, one of the leading lights of the Christian Dominionist movement, recently told his television audience that democracy has failed in America, and that the nation’s only hope, in light of the looming “tyranny” of the Obama administration, is “a military takeover – martial law.” ( continue to full post… )
A controversial course on the United States Constitution developed by a board member of the neo-Confederate, pro-secessionist League of the South (LOS) and aired by the influential National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is “to be removed” from the network, a spokesman for NRB told Hatewatch today.
“It is actually going to be going down,” the spokesman, Kenneth Chan, said of the 12-week course presented by the Institute on the Constitution (IOTC), which was co-founded by Maryland-based lawyer Michael Peroutka, the LOS board member who developed the course and teaches it on NRB.
But it’s unclear when the course will be removed from the NRB lineup. Only one session remains to be broadcast and is scheduled to air Thursday. Chan referred further inquirers on timing and on the impact of a pastor’s petition drive seeking to have the program removed to the president of the network, Troy Miller. ( continue to full post… )
As barriers to equality for the LGBT community continue to fall, the Family Research Council (FRC), an influential Christian Right group that has been propagating anti-gay pseudo-science for decades, is broadening its message by adopting the language of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement.
Case in point: This week, less than two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the federal government cannot discriminate against legally married same-sex couples, the FRC circulated an online fundraising appeal that urges recipients to “Seize this Opportunity to Stop Tyranny in America!” ( continue to full post… )
“The curse of Ham,” an old-time Biblical (mis)interpretation used to vilify black people and justify slavery and laws against racial intermarriage, is still alive and spreading bigotry in the United States.
The Appleby Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, Texas, is among this country’s scattered, independent fundamentalist churches still openly promoting the idea that the Biblical Noah pronounced a curse on descendants of his son, Ham. Ham had sexually molested Noah as he slept in a drunken stupor, and Noah realized it, the story goes. The curse ultimately fell on Canaan, Noah’s grandson, whose descendants were black and fated to be an underclass of slaves, according to this version of the Bible, which has been widely discredited by mainstream religious scholars. ( continue to full post… )