Tuesday, April 26, 2005

More "Justice" Sunday fallout - the Dobson-Klan connection


Well it looks like the "people of faith" like people have problems with "people of color."

Bill Frist appeared through a telecast as a speaker at "Justice Sunday," at the invitation of the event's main sponsor, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. "Justice Sunday" was promoted as a rally to portray Democrats as being "against people of faith." Many of the speakers compared the plight of conservative Christians to the civil rights movement. But in sharing the stage with Perkins, who introduced him to the rally, Frist was associating himself with someone who has longstanding ties to racist organizations.

Four years ago, Perkins addressed the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), America's premier white supremacist organization, the successor to the White Citizens Councils, which battled integration in the South. In 1996 Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,000 for his mailing list. At the time, Perkins was the campaign manager for a right-wing Republican candidate for the US Senate in Louisiana. The Federal Election Commission fined the campaign Perkins ran $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke...

Justice Sunday also featured a token Catholic, William Donohue, who heads the nation's largest "Catholic civil rights organization," the Catholic League. In the battle to confirm far-right judicial nominees like William Pryor, who happens to be Catholic, Donohue has become a key asset for the Christian right's evangelical faction. He has argued that Democratic senators opposing Pryor and others are motivated by anti-Catholicism. "There isn't de jure discrimination against Catholics in the Senate," Donohue claimed on Sunday. "There is de facto discrimination. They've set the bar so high with the abortion issue, we can't get any real Catholics over it."

But for all his concern with anti-Catholicism, Donohue had no qualms about sharing the stage with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Dr. Albert Mohler. "As an evangelical, I believe that the Roman Catholic Church is a false church," Mohler remarked during a 2000 TV interview. "It teaches a false gospel. And the Pope himself holds a false and unbiblical office." Donohue, who has protested against Democrats who have made no such comments about Catholics, was silent about Mohler. In fact, the site of Justice Sunday, Highview Baptist Church, in Louisville, Kentucky, is Mohler's home church...

F or Tony Perkins, Justice Sunday was the fulfillment of a strategy devised more than two decades ago by his political mentor, Woody Jenkins. In May 1981, in the wake of Ronald Reagan's presidential victory, Jenkins and some fifty other conservative activists met at the Northern Virginia home of direct-mail pioneer Richard Viguerie to plot the growth of their movement. The Council for National Policy (CNP), an ultra-secretive, right-wing organization, was the outcome of that meeting. The CNP hooked up theocrats like R.J. Rushdoony, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell with wealthy movement funders like Amway founder Richard DeVos and beer baron Joseph Coors. As DeVos famously said, the CNP "brings together the doers with the donors."

Jenkins, then a Louisiana state lawmaker, became CNP's first executive director, and promptly made a bold prediction to a Newsweek reporter: "One day before the end of this century, the Council will be so influential that no president, regardless of party or philosophy, will be able to ignore us or our concerns or shut us out of the highest levels of government."

..[I]n 2002, Perkins embarked on a campaign to avenge his mentor's defeat by running for the US Senate himself. But Perkins was dogged with questions about his involvement with David Duke. Perkins issued a flat denial that he had ever had anything to do with Duke, and he denounced him for good measure. Unfortunately, Perkins's signature was on the document authorizing the purchase of Duke's list. Perkins's dalliance with the racist Council of Conservative Citizens in the run-up to his campaign also illuminates the seamy underside of his political associations. Despite endorsements from James Dobson and a host of prominent CNP members, Perkins was not even the leading Republican in the senatorial race.

In the wake of his defeat, with Dobson's blessing, Perkins moved to Washington to head the Family Research Council.

Let's not say it any other way: James Dobson supports people who get their support from racists and Klan supporters.

They - combined with terrorist supporters such as Randall Terry- are truly the gravest threat America faces today.

Now if Hugh Hewitt had a scintilla- an iota- a quark's worth- of integrity, he'd admit this, and explain it. But he won't.

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