Archive for the ‘Religious Right Crusaders’ Category


Fox News Host Wants Federal Investigation into ‘South Park‘ for Blasphemy

Fox News’s Todd Starnes is sick and tired of ‘South Park’ and Hollywood getting a free pass. The Fox News commentator participated in the Values Voter Summit panel on “Religious Hostility in America” over the weekend.

The panel featured the familiar argument that Christians in America are somehow a beleaguered minority that is under constant assault. Starnes claims to have a pile of stories stacked up on his desk about “instances of people who have been facing attack because of their faith in Jesus Christ.”
Speaking of the controversy surrounding the laughably bad “Innocence of Muslims,” Starnes asked why the federal government isn’t investigating “shows like ‘South Park,’ which has denigrated all faiths.” He also demanded to know why President Obama hasn’t denounced Hollywood.
We have the seen the administration come out and say, “we condemn anyone who denigrates religious faith.” And they come out in regards to this anti-Muslim film.
Well, that’s well and good, but my question is, when has the administration condemned the anti-Christian films that are coming out of Hollywood? Where are the federal investigations into shows like ‘South Park,’ which has denigrated all faiths?
Where is the outrage when people of the Christian faith are subjected to this humiliation that is coming out of Hollywood?
Religious Right activists have been the most vocal supporters of the filmmakers, if you can call them that, and have rightfully pointed out that the First Amendment protects their activities. Starnes, however, seems to have a double-standard when it comes to speech that he deems offensive to his religious views.
As it turns out, the only investigation going on around the “Innocence of Muslims” concerns whether one of the purported “filmmakers” violated the terms of his probation. Otherwise the government has no place policing speech, regardless of who is offended, and the president is not the film critic in chief. President Obama can be excused, however, for speaking out when Americans are being killed over an amateurish YouTube video.

Kirk Cameron: “God IS the Platform”
The Christian Taliban movement
Wingnuts

Today’s moment of right wing religious fanaticism comes from former child star Kirk Cameron, who says, “one of our parties is wondering whether the name God should be in the platform,” but according to America’s founding fathers, “God is the platform!

The crowd cheers this line in a very disturbing way.


Jonathan Kay: Egypt’s “crucifixion” hoax becomes an instant Internet myth
Jonathan Kay | Aug 22, 2012 12:53 PM ET | Last Updated: Aug 25, 2012 9:31 PM ET More from Jonathan Kay | @jonkay
PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images

PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty ImagesAn Egyptian anti-government demonstrator holds a cross and the Koran at Cairo’s Tahrir Square back in 2011.

Have you heard the one about how Christians are being nailed up on crucifixes and left to die in front of the Egyptian presidential place?

It’s a story worth dissecting — not because it’s true (it isn’t), but because it is a textbook example of how the Internet, once thought to be the perfect medium of truth-seeking, has been co-opted by culture warriors as a weapon to fire up the naïve masses with lies and urban legends.

The Egyptian crucifixion story gained critical mass five days ago, when WorldNetDaily, a popular right-wing web site that promotes anti-gay and anti-Muslim conspiracy theories from an Evangelical perspective, published a story entitled “Arab Spring run amok: [Mulsim] Brotherhood starts crucifixions.”

“The Arab Spring takeover of Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood has run amok, with reports from several different media agencies that the radical Muslims have begun crucifying opponents of newly installed President Mohammed Morsi,” author Michael Carl declared. “Middle East media confirm that during a recent rampage, Muslim Brotherhood operatives ‘crucified those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others.’ ”

The article quickly went viral. It has been tweeted thousands of times, and has 14,000 Facebook “likes.” Education is apparently no defence against this sort of web-peddled nonsense: Some of the people who credulously sent me a link to the article in recent days included an Ivy League-educated U.S. lawyer, and a former Canadian Senator. Britain’s Daily Mail reported the story, as did thousands of blogs.

It is, of course, theoretically possible that Muslim radicals truly have “crucified” someone, somewhere, sometime, in Egypt. Islamist mobs have staged countless murderous attacks on Copt “infidels” in recent years — and a crucifixion would hardly be a more barbarous tactic than truck bombs and beheadings.

But the story doesn’t just allege that a crucifixion has taken place somewhere in Egypt: It alleges that multiple crucifixions have taken place in front of the presidential palace. That would be the equivalent of, say, mass lynchings taking place in front of the White House, or a giant gang rape taking place in front of Ottawa’s Centennial Flame fountain.

“If that happened, wouldn’t someone, you know, take a picture?” I asked one of the friends who emailed me the WorldNetDaily link. Maybe just a few shots with a cell phone camera from one of the tens of thousands of people who no doubt would have witnessed this Biblical horror in one of the most densely trafficked patches of real estate in the entire Arab world?

And yet, not one of the stories I saw had a photo — or even names or descriptions of any of the supposed crucifixion victims. So I decided to check out the “several different media agencies” that supposedly have reported the crucifixion story.

WorldNetDaily, and other sites that are reporting the story, all trace the claim of multiple Arabic sources to a Jewish web site called algemeiner, which has published its own highly-trafficked article on the subject, and to something called The Investigative Project on Terrorism. Like the cited Arabic sources, they in turn base their claims on reports from Sky News Arabic — a recently formed joint venture between BSkyB and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp. Sky is supposedly the original source on the story, everyone agrees. Yet neither algemeiner nor WND nor any of the other sources supply the original Sky reporting that purportedly outlines the facts.

That’s because there is no Sky report on the subject.

Yesterday I contacted the management of Sky News Arabic, and asked them about the crucifixions. According to Fares Ghneim, a Sky communications official, the crucifixion claim “began on social media. It started getting pick-up from there and eventually reached us.”

“Our reporters came across reports of the alleged crucifixions and a story very briefly appeared on the Sky News Arabia website,” he added. “The story — which was taken down within minutes — was based on third-party reports and I am not aware that any of our reporters said or confirmed anything along the lines of what is quoted in the article [by WorldNetDaily] … What’s unclear is where websites in North America got [the] Sky News Arabia bit from. As mentioned [previously], none of our correspondents confirmed this issue or commented on it. Clearly there is an intermediate source the websites got the info from, but as of yet we haven’t been able to identify it.”

Nevertheless, web surfers already had begun sourcing the story to Sky, at which point it went viral in portions of the Arabic media, and then on U.S. Christian web sites, and pro-Israel blogs. And thus was born an Internet urban legend. (Update: In response to my article, WND has posted a new article claiming they have confirmed the original Sky report — but the only relevant new evidence produced is an obscure Youtube video produced by a third party, which purports to reproduce text from the deleted Sky web story).

Enter the terms Brotherhood crucifying 2012 into Google and you get numerous hits, the most prominent being the articles I have discussed in this column. Every single one of them swallows this made-up story whole. Indeed, some are even more emphatic than the original WorldNetDaily story, such as a well-trafficked Free Republic headline that claims, plainly, “Muslim Brotherhood Are Crucifying People.”

Such sites also have carried other nonsense articles about the Muslim Brotherhood, such as that it plans to blow up the pyramids — which the New York Times thankfully took pains to debunk back in July. Yet till now, no one (that I can tell) has taken the time to investigate or debunk the crucifixion tale, even though it only took a few emails to Sky to show that it was bunk. (Ordinary Egyptians also could have helped debunk the story. Here’s how one Copt put it in an email to WorldNetDaily: “I am an Egyptian Coptic Orthodox, i.e. Egyptian Christian, my mother and members of my family live within a stone throw from the presidential palace. I talk to my mother every other day. If something like what you mentioned in your article took place, she [would] be the first one to know.”)

Why do so many people believe this made up story? For the same reason that people believe all urban legends — because they play to some deeply held narrative that resides in our deepest fears. In this case, the narrative is that the Arab Spring is part of an orchestrated Islamist plot to destroy Western civilization (beginning with Israel). Believers in this narrative (who are especially numerous in America’s right-wing Evangelical circles) are so hungry for news items that purport to offer confirmation that they ignore the credibility of the messengers. If they had checked out the credibility of WorldNetDaily, for instance, they would have found that the site’s past “scoops” have included the claim that drinking soy milk makes you gay, and that Barack Obama himself is gay (presumably from aforesaid soy milk).

As James Callaghan once put the old adage, “a lie can be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on.” He was British PM back in the 1970s, decades before the Internet expedited the process. These days, the truth doesn’t even bother rousing itself from bed. It just turns over its sleep, and puts a pillow over its exposed ear to drown out the nonsense from the world’s web-enabled conspiracists.

AUGUST 24 UPDATE Earlier this week, I debunked the story — spreading like wildfire on WorldNetDaily and other Internet sites — that Christians were being crucified by the Muslim Brotherhood in front of Egypt’s presidential palace. As I noted, the story was based on nothing more than a social-media rumor that had been posted for a few minutes on the Web site of Sky News Arabic, before an alert Sky editor deleted it. From that small seed of nonsense, it traveled far and wide, as such urban legends do in the Internet age.

In response to my debunking, WorldNetDaily published a new article purporting to “confirm” the original crucifixion story. But the only relevant new evidence WND provides is a link to a video that purports to show the deleted text from the Sky web site. Since I already reported the existence of the original, short-lived Sky article, I’m not sure what this is supposed to prove. (More generally, the article also supplies links to Arabic-media images of people who have been brutalized — allegedly at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. I have no reason to doubt that these photos are genuine. But as I made abundantly clear in my original article, I don’t dispute that Egypt’s hardcore Islamists are a nasty lot. My article was limited to debunking the crucifixion claim. And none of the photos provided show any hint of crucifixion.)

Over the last day or so, I have had an ongoing email correspondence with Michael Carl, the WND reporter who wrote the crucifixion article. He tells me he is sticking by his story. When I asked him if he has “any information from any of the tens of thousands of people who would have seen an actual ‘crucifixion’ if one really did take place in front of the presidential palace,” he told me that he had. Tantalized, I pressed him for details. Alas, he refused to divulge any of the evidence to me — or anyone else. If he did, he explained, the Muslim Brotherhood “would kill my sources.” And so ended our correspondence.

More enlightening than my emails with Father Carl (he describes himself as a priest, as well as a reporter), was a note I got from a reader pointing out that this is not the first time that Islamists in the region have been falsely accused of crucifixions.

As Nathan J. Brown pointed out in early 2009, on the web site of the Carnegie Endowment, an internet rumor circulated in late 2008 to the effect that Hamas was “celebrating” Christmas by crucifying Gaza’s non-Muslims. And amazingly, it wasn’t just the conspiracy theorists at WND who got sucked into this one. According to Brown, it was featured in blogs connected to such respectable publications as The New Republic, National Review and Commentary. Even the Simon Wiesenthal Center was pushing the story.

Here is the real story, as Brown describes it:

Some officials of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Justice (answering to Hamas) have been drafting a new criminal code based on Islamic criminal law. They have not released its work (at least outside of Gaza), but they did hold a workshop to discuss a draft. A copy of this document fell into the hands of a reporter for the Arabic daily al-Hayat. While that newspaper is generally reliable enough, the reporter made a significant mistake: He thought the draft had been fully and finally passed by the parliament, not that it was the subject of a small group discussion. And he quoted from some passages in the law — including the title of a section dealing with categories of punishment that mentioned crucifixion (a legal category in Islamic criminal law). There was no evidence that the law went beyond using the term as a legal category. And since the reporter did quote some fairly strong provisions in other areas it seems unlikely that he would have missed the opportunity to mention any actual provisions for crucifixion. The small (and mistaken) article in al-Hayat was picked up by the Jerusalem Post (it also circulated in some Arabic media outlets) which — in perhaps the only glimmer of responsible journalism in this strange episode — added that it could not confirm the report. But that qualification got lost. So did the explanation from Hamas legal officials that no law had been passed. One Israeli activist working hard to circulate the charge (Itamar Marcus) actually went so far as to cover up his mistake by claiming that the Hamas denial (which was actually quite accurate) was simply a “lie” … And so columnists (generally on the right side of the political spectrum) began to claim that Hamas had legislated crucifixion — in the more lurid report — for any “unbelievers,” “enemies of Islam,” or even Christians. And few could resist mentioning that the timing coincided with Christmas.

The people reporting this false story were not deliberately lying. As I noted in my original post, they have simply become so wrapped up in the idea that we are fighting an existential war against militant Islam, that they are willing to believe any nonsense story they come across without checking it. If it sounds like it could be true, then it must be.

The first casualty of war, as always, is truth.

National Post jkay@nationalpost.com Twitter @jonkay


Secularism vs. Theocracy
Freedom vs. Theocracy
Freedom vs. theocracy is appropriate for this image because today’s Democratic Party is anything but secular. Instead of standing up for our secular democracy, many have adopted a path of pandering to the religious. For us, regardless of our political leanings, it is about secularism vs. theocracy.
Here’s how Adam Lee (Daylight Atheism) recently put it:

It’s secularism against theocracy, the free intellect against dogmatism, conscience against barbarity, the future against the past. Like it or not, it’s one of the defining struggles of our time. And there are many decent, well-intentioned people who don’t want to confront the full scope of the problem, who turn their gazes from it or try to paper it over with soothing platitudes. (Or worse, they claim that we, the people who are pointing out the problem, are the ones who started it all, and everything would be fine if we’d just be quieter and more respectful.)

I encourage you to read Lee’s entire post. It is one of those rare gems I plan to bookmark and re-read whenever I feel like giving up.


Anti-Muslim Bigot Robert Spencer Comes to the Defense of Genocidal Site “BareNakedIslam”

Anders Breivik's choice for the "Noble Peace Prize," Robert Spencer

Anders Breivik’s choice for the “Noble Peace Prize,” Robert Spencer

Via:- Anti-Muslim Bigot Robert Spencer Comes to the Defense of Genocidal Site “BareNakedIslam”

Extremist far right anti-Muslim, MEK-Terror linked, Terrorist Inspirer, and conservative Catholic apologist Robert Spencer‘s bigotry and hatred for Islam and Muslims is evident to most rational individuals. Just take a brief glance at our copious documentation of his words, statements and activities if you are unsure of what we mean. You can also see what others have said about Spencer.

Spencer is so stuck in his goofy 11th century Crusader mentality that he is once again defending open calls to genocide. I guess he didn’t learn anything from the Anders Breivik fiasco, you know, the “insane” terrorist who thought Robert Spencer deserved the “Noble Peace Prize.”

This time Spencer is going to bat for the loony-even-by-Geller-standards, BareNakedIslam website, which was briefly shut down by WordPress for violating its terms and conditions.

A few days ago Sheila Musaji of The American Muslim reported on the unanimous cacophony of sadistic joy displayed by the owners and commenters on BareNakedIslam regarding the repeated arson attacks on mosques in France.

An anti-Muslim site called Bare Naked Islam has posted an article celebrating this. The article is titled “WOO HOO! Yet ANOTHER anti-Muslim attack on a French mosque”.  Just in case they take it down, CAIR has saved the page here.  The headline of the article states Apparently, Hell hath no fury like a Frenchman scorned. It’s the third attack on a mosque just this month. Will the Muslims ever get a clue that they are not welcome in France?

Most of the comments below the Bare Naked Islam article are hateful.  Some examples:

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Musaji notes:

This last comment by Keith Mahone is the most extreme, and a particular concern since he says in his long rambling rant that he regularly drives past a mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, and that the sight of that mosque causes him distress.

I waded through a few articles on the site and the comments, and found that this sort of rabid hatred of Muslims and encouragement of not only limiting the civil rights of American Muslims, and encouragement of not only limiting the civil rights of American Muslims, but also actually murdering them is common.

Read Sheila Musaji’s complete piece, it details even more examples of the rabid and visceral genocide calling on BareNakedIslam.

Spencer has linked to BareNakedIslam for years now and they seem to have a mutual admiration for one another. Spencer does not take issue with BNI’s anti-Muslim genocidal rants nor does he condemn them, rather he resorts to conspiracy theory and forwards the argument that BNI is a victim of “Islamic supremacist” warfare.

Instead of apologizing for associating with BNI he rushes full hog into their corner, lauding them as an “anti-Jihad website.” He gives the meager caveat that “he doesn’t agree with everything they write,” and that “he doesn’t condone threats” but then he goes onto deflect, saying they were just a few “unhinged comments.”

No, Spencer, they aren’t a few comments they are just an example of the consistent violent anti-Muslim rhetoric pervasive in the Islamophobesphere, including your own blog (one example out of many):

Spencer also oddly attempts to deflect by posting screen shots of comments by commenters “Mosizzle” and “RefutingActs” on Spencerwatch which he interpreted as a threat, but which even some of his own followers considered a ludicrous stretch. It is really a pathetic attempt at “deflection” when anyone with half a brain knows that what is written on a daily basis on JihadWatch and BareNakedIslam cannot compare to our meticulous care in deleting hateful or bigoted remarks and even allowing some Islamophobes such as “halal pork” to post.

At the end of the day, Spencer is so far down the rabbit hole he probably doesn’t understand what he is doing. At this point he’s hoping for a Hail Mary that may somehow redeem his hateful and bloody fantasies of a world without Muslims.


The Suspected White House Shooter’s Right Wing Ideas
An anti-government religious fanatic who thinks Obama is the anti-Christ
Charles Johnson

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez has been charged with attempting to assassinate President Obama, and in light of the right wing blogosphere’s ongoing attempts to link Ortega to the Occupy Wall Street protests, it should be pointed out that what we know so far about his delusional ideas falls much more in line with right wing religious ideology: Idaho Man Threatened Obama, Officials Say.

Mr. Ortega-Hernandez’s family had reported him missing in Idaho Falls last month, after he drove away in the Honda Accord, the complaint said. The Secret Service has said it did not have Mr. Ortega-Hernandez on record as having made any threats against the president. But after the shooting, several acquaintances said he had been fixated on Mr. Obama.

Besides the one friend who told investigators that Mr. Ortega-Hernandez had said he believed the president was the “Antichrist” and that he needed to kill him, another friend said he stated “President Obama was the problem with the government,” was “the devil,” and that he “needed to be taken care of.” The second friend also said he appeared to be “preparing for something.”

Mr. Ortega-Hernandez has had legal problems in Idaho, Texas, and Utah, including charges related to drug offenses, resisting arrest and assault on a police officer, officials have said. He is said to be heavily tattooed, with the word “Israel” on his neck and pictures of rosary beads and hands clasped in prayer on his chest.

The crazy idea that President Obama is the anti-Christ is a very common meme on the religious right; here’s one of many articles at World Net Daily promoting this idiocy: Did Jesus actually reveal name of the ‘antichrist’?

The name that “Jesus revealed,” according to this article, is Barack Obama.


The Religious Right habitually camouflages it’s nefarious Christian Nationalist Worldview behind a phoney “pro-Israel” facade.

Religious fanatic John Hagee believes god sent Hitler to exterminate Jews and thus, as act and prophetic directive of his god, obviously a righteous and just genocide.

Like Catholic Hitler, John Hagee believes that unless Jews are converted to his Christ, they will be eradicated in the fires of hell that is, their final annihilation.

One has to wonder how even certain Right Wing Jews can be so utterly blind and continue support a religious buffoon who considers the destruction of Jews an inexorable, righteous and prophetic dictate — of his
psychopathic god?!