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(Un)Fantastic Five: A Remembrance Of Values Voter Summits Past

The Religious Right’s annual “Values Voter Summit” (VVS) takes place this weekend. Americans United staffers Simon Brown, Sarah Jones and I will be there. (Barry Lynn usually pops in too, in case anyone wants to take a selfie with him.)

If you are a religious person, please pray for us. If you’re not religious, please forward some recommendations for stress-relief strategies – favorite liquors, ice-cream brands, yoga positions, etc. – as I suspect we’ll all need some way to unwind when this thing is over. Read more

Falsehoods, By George!: Religious Right Seeks Retroactive Baptism Of America’s First President

If you have nothing better to do on Wednesday, May 8, at 6:30 p.m., you could go to Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol and listen to a bunch of Religious Right activists tell lies about George Washington.

U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and other members of Congress are sponsoring an event to celebrate the 224th anniversary of the inauguration of Washington. The event is called “Washington: A Man of Prayer.” Read more

Moral Morass: Religious Right Groups Love To Judge Your Ethics – But How Are Their Own?

If you’re a political junkie you might be following a story out of Florida centering on a man named Nathan Sproul. Sproul stands accused of engaging in voter registration fraud.

The other day a reporter from Florida called to ask me some questions about Sproul. I was surprised to hear from her because I didn’t think I knew anything about him, other than what I had read in the papers. Read more

Falwell Follies, Episode Umpteen: Jerry Jr. Runs Liberty U. Ads In Iowa That Feature Candidate Gingrich

Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. is up to his old tricks again.

According to media reports, television ads that feature Newt Gingrich extolling the virtues of Liberty University have appeared in Iowa just before today’s presidential caucuses.

It doesn’t take much political imagination to see this as a barely disguised endorsement of the Republican White House hopeful. Read more

Fundamentalist Forum: Religious Right To Grill Candidates On ‘Questions Of The Soul’

Tomorrow afternoon, most of the Republican presidential candidates will come together in Iowa for the latest in a seemingly endless series of debates as they try to prove to the electorate that they are qualified to be the leader of the United States.

Unlike previous debates, which have been sponsored primarily by news organizations, this one is a “forum” sponsored by an Iowa Religious Right group called The FAMiLY Leader, CitizenLink (an affiliate of the James Dobson-founded Focus on the Family) and the National Organization for Marriage. Read more

Barton Baloney: New York Times Shines Light On Religious Right ‘Historian’

David Barton is the scariest Religious Right leader you never heard of.

But that’s beginning to change. Today, The New York Times offered readers a front-page report on Barton, a “self-taught historian who is described by several conservative presidential aspirants as a valued adviser and a source of historical and biblical justification for their policies.” Read more

In Play In Iowa: Ralph Reed Confab Shows Religious Right Is In The Game For 2012

Some political analysts are speculating that the Religious Right is dead and that the Tea Party is movement to watch.

Well, it looks like Religious Right leaders and activists haven’t gotten that memo.

Recent evidence of the non-death of the Religious Right comes from Iowa, where former Christian Coalition Executive Director Ralph Reed last night held a forum on “moral” issues featuring a line-up of Republican presidential possibilities. Read more

New (And Unimproved) Newt: Gingrich Seeks To Topple Secular America

I’ve been reporting on Religious Right meetings for more than two decades now and have had to sit through some pretty nasty stuff. I recall a meeting of the Family Research Council’s “Values Voter Summit” a few years ago where a staff member with the American Family Association explained how Adolf Hitler invented the separation of church and state.

As bad as that was, it wasn’t as annoying as listening to Newt Gingrich. Gingrich is a fixture at these meetings. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard him speak. It’s awful, every time. Read more

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