Monday, August 31, 2015

Josh Duggar Goes to "Long-Term Treatment Center"

Josh Duggar's scandals just keep snowballing. First there was the child sexual abuse scandal, then the revelation that Josh Duggar had an account with marital affair website Ashley Madison. Now, not only has an adult film actress accused Josh Duggar of violence, but Josh himself has sought treatment at a dubious Christian treatment center.

According to In Touch Weekly, adult film actress Danica Dillon claimed that she had sex with Josh Duggar. Duggar reportedly became violent with Dillon during the encounter, which Dillon described as "traumatic" and "terrifying". Dillon's accusations, combined with Josh's abusive behavior as a teenager, paint a picture of a predatory man with a deep-seated sense of sexual entitlement. Did Josh Duggar reportedly assault Dillon because he considered her a "fallen" woman who could be mistreated with impunity? Or, is assault what Josh thinks sex is? Did Josh assault other women? The implications are chilling.

I wonder how much Josh Duggar's fundamentalist upbringing exacerbated his predatory tendencies. In the Quiverfull subculture, youth receive little to no education on healthy sexuality, consent, and communication between partners, leaving youth ill-equipped to explore their sexuality in healthy ways. To boot, the Quiverfull subculture is rigidly patriarchal, assigning men authority over women and reducing women to submissive helpmeets. How much of Josh Duggar's sexual mistreatment of women and girls was rooted in Quiverfull's misogynist messages?

A family as mired in Quiverfull fundamentalism as the Duggars may well be in denial about how their subculture warped Josh's sexuality, as Quiverfull survivor Vyckie Garrison observed on Facebook. Garrison argues that the Duggars are hardly in a position to help Josh because the only tool they can offer him is inadequate religious doctrine.
"Jim Bob and Michelle have absolutely NO IDEA how to help Josh. They did everything they knew to do to ensure that Josh enjoyed perfect, godly marital bliss: they sheltered him by homeschooling and cutting out all access to evidence-based sex ed as well as all sensuous, worldly media, they protected him via modesty and purity culture, they kept him from the "divorce practice" which is dating and followed the courtship model to get him safely to the marriage altar.

And despite all of their efforts - and anyone who is not a fundamentalist Christian knows, BECAUSE of all their efforts - Josh turns out to be a total creepy-ass sexual freak!

Now all Jim Bob and Michelle know is to pray and trust God. That's it. They believe that God will work all things together for good, and they can't even imagine what sort of miracle He's going to pull off, but all they can do is trust and wait on Him. And in the meantime, what to do with Josh? At least by sending him off to "rehab," he's not their problem - let RU deal with him, let the Holy Spirit deal with him. So long as Jim Bob and Michelle never have to actually deal with their own son."
Josh seems to understand that he has a problem, or at the very least that he must make a public display of contrition. An August 26th statement at the Duggar family website states that Josh Duggar checked himself into a "long-term treatment center" as part of his "long journey toward wholeness and recovery". Whether Josh is seeking treatment for his alleged pornography addiction or for his immoral behavior as a whole is unclear.
"We are so thankful for the outpouring of love, care and prayers for our family during this most difficult situation with Josh. As parents we are so deeply grieved by our son’s decisions and actions. His wrong choices have deeply hurt his precious wife and children and have negatively affected so many others. He has also brought great insult to the values and faith we hold dear. Yesterday Josh checked himself into a long-term treatment center. For him it will be a long journey toward wholeness and recovery. We pray that in this he comes to complete repentance and sincere change. In the meantime, we will be offering our love, care and devoted support to Anna and our grandchildren as she also receives counsel and help for her own heart and future. During this time we continue to look to God—He is our rock and comfort. We ask for your continued prayers for our entire family." 
According to Gawker and Entertainment Tonight, Josh Duggar may be participating in a Christian addiction treatment program in Rockford, Illinois called Reformers Unanimous (RU). Reformers Unanimous is a faith-based residential program operated by North Love Baptist Church and co-founded by Paul Kingsbury, an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist pastor. Love, Joy, Feminism has explored Kingsbury's connections to sexual abusers such as Jack Schaap and his alleged failure to notify congregants about a sexual predator in their church. An inauspicious start for Josh's treatment, to be sure!

If Josh Duggar has indeed checked into RU, I have serious doubts about how much guidance they can offer him. First, the lack of medical or counseling credentials of RU's staff should give us pause. Second, according to Gawker, RU's men's program consists of daily devotions, Bible study, and work. Counseling is conspicuously absent from the schedule. To make matters worse, the program's code of conduct forbids any negative speech or "talking about old habits or lifestyles", making it difficult to even bring up personal issues, much less process them. These rules can be summarized as "be cheerful or else".
  • Our program goal is to have all conversation and behavior be Christ-like.
  • Griping, negative criticism, gossiping, complaining, faultfinding, foul language, and sowing discord will not be tolerated.
  • Talking about old habits or lifestyles is against God's word and is not permitted.
  • Failure to turn in a student for a violation of rules will result in your receiving the same punishment. You are not doing anyone any favors by concealing a violation.
Gawker's Ashley Feinberg observes that the fourth rule would create a sense of distrust and fear among participants, who would constantly worry about being punished for missing someone else's misbehavior.

The problems with treatment at an un-credentialed Bible-based residential center are numerous. Neil Carter describes the problems with this approach in an August 27th post at Godless in Dixie.
"This gets at the heart of what’s wrong with the entire culture in which this family lives. Fundamentalism teaches you to treat the Bible as if it is a resource designed to dictate how to live and think about every area of your life. You need life advice? Read the Bible. You need marital help? Read the Bible. Business principles? Bible again. You need a workout program? Read the Bible; there’s gotta be one in there somewhere. Sexual dysfunction? Well, the Bible of course!

And so the unhealthy cycles of abuse continue because at no point will families like this turn to real professionals for help. They don’t trust them because they’ve been taught to believe that those godless secular heathens are being blinded by the Devil.

How can you reason with that? You can’t. It’s a useless conversation because they’ve been taught to disregard empirical observation and credentialed support. It’s a crisis of trust, and families ensnared in this culture cannot accept outside help because they alone are in God’s design and everyone else is going to perish.

I’ve encountered a measure of this mentality myself, and it’s angering to watch. The only hope for people in their situation is to get out of it. Leave that culture behind and discover a larger world beyond the confines of the religious tradition they inhabit. It’s never going to get any better if they don’t leave it behind."
In my opinion, Josh Duggar's behavior is not the result of addiction, but of entitlement, selfishness, and toxic attitudes. Until he feels genuine remorse for his behavior and takes responsibility for his actions, true change will be out of his reach. Josh needs professional therapy that will bring him to that point, not a Bible study.

To read additional commentary, visit the following links.

Love, Joy, Feminism: “Terrifying” Josh Duggar Porn Star Allegations Reveal the Depravity of Evangelicals’ Sexual Ethic

The Daily Beast: Josh Duggar’s Fall From Unholy Grace: Sex Abuse, Affairs, and Now Rehab

Godless in Dixie: Josh Duggar’s Rehab Facility Knows Way More About Recovery Than Those Silly Doctors

Thursday, August 27, 2015

News Tidbits

NPR: Ted Cruz Rallies Evangelicals In Campaign To Defund Planned Parenthood

Christian Science Monitor: To counter Trump, Ted Cruz aims to lead religious right rebellion

The Guardian: Jeb Bush joins conservatives in call to defund Planned Parenthood

Forward: Pew Study Finds Orthodox Similar to Evangelical Christians, Not Other Jews

Good4Utah: Accused child molester claims religion as defense

Washington Post: LGBT memoir on Duke University reading list protested as insensitive to ‘Christian moral beliefs’ 

Washington Post: Abortion foes find new ways to get details about patients, doctors

Associated Press: Mormons Keep Affiliation With Boy Scouts Despite Gay Leaders

Pink News: Anti-gay marriage group NOM funded by Catholic donors it fought to keep secret

On Top Magazine: Scott Lively Claims LGBT Protections Bill Will 'Punish Christians'

Commentary Tidbits

Satiricalifragilistic: On Frollo and Josh Duggar

Gawker: Making Money Off Miracles: The Gospel of Televangelists

Rolling Stone: LGBT Catholics Disappointed on Eve of 'Liberal' Pope's U.S. Visit

The Guardian: Silence in the Catholic church may be its weapon of self destruction 

Freedom Builders: 10 “biblical” beliefs that poison Christians

RH Reality Check: Deceptive Planned Parenthood Attack Videos Spur More Anti-Choice Protests

Washington Post: The war on Planned Parenthood intensifies, but the group is fighting back in court

SheWired: Get Ready for Antigay Candace Cameron Bure Full Time on The View

Wall of Separation: Arkansas Officials Post Ten Commandments But Reject Symbols Of Other Faiths

New York Times: Trump-ward, Christian Soldiers?

Slaktivist: White evangelical voters, Donald Trump, and the evolution of the religious right

Monday, August 24, 2015

Musical Interlude: "Cult of Personality" by Living Colour

In an August 23rd commentary piece at Politico, Ben Schreckinger described Donald Trump's presidential campaign as a cult of personality. "Trump’s rallies magnify the cult of personality of a would-be leader who promises to save the country through personal talent and integrity so great that they transcend any issue or ideology," he wrote. Other commentators have also used the "cult of personality" language in reference to Trump's campaign.

Now I can't get "Cult of Personality" by Living Colour out of my head.

News Tidbits

New York Times: Ted Cruz, Seeking Converts to His Campaign, Rallies Iowa Evangelicals

Washington Post: Cruz’s evangelical outreach shifts into high gear

Wichita Eagle: Chanute residents protest removal of picture of Jesus from school

Us Weekly: Sam Rader, Viral Christian Vlogger, Kicked Out of Conference for Threatening Violence

People Magazine: Duggar Family Pastor Focuses Sunday Sermon on Infidelity After Ashley Madison Hack: 'We're in a Sexual Epidemic' 

Associated Press: NOM turns over donor list from gay marriage fight in Maine

National Catholic Reporter: LGBT groups continue valuable work, despite losing space during World Meeting

Kentucky*com: Two rallies in Frankfort represent two sides of same-sex marriage debate

Huffington Post: Denver May Ban Chick-Fil-A Branch Due To Its Anti-Gay History

Religion News Service: Italian Catholic Church scrambles to explain its role in lavish Mafia boss funeral

Commentary Tidbits

Salon: Meet the Tea Party’s evangelical quack: David Barton is Glenn Beck’s favorite "historian"

Diary of an Autodidact: Josh Duggar, Ashley Madison, and Covenant Marriage 

The Advocate: Look! Up in the Sky! It's a Rainbow Banner Promoting an Antigay Movie

Buzzfeed: This Anti-Marriage Equality Group’s Brochure Is Truly Meme-Worthy

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tweets from the August 22nd Planned Parenthood Protests

Anti-abortion activists were out in force on August 22nd, protesting Planned Parenthood locations across the country as part of a coordinated campaign against the health care provider. (More here and here.) Twitter was brimming with tweets and images from the protests.

Fortunately, pro-choice people made their voices heard too.

Anti-Abortion Activists Protest at Planned Parenthood Clinics Nationwide

Anti-abortion activists came together on Saturday, August 22nd to protest Planned Parenthood. After the Center for Medical Progress released several edited smear videos of Planned Parenthood staff (detailed here), several anti-abortion organizations organized a nationwide protest of the abortion provider. According to the Washington Post, protesters demonstrated at approximately 320 clinics across the U.S., calling for Planned Parenthood to be defunded.

According to the Protest PP website, the demonstrations are meant to show outrage over Planned Parenthood's alleged "harvesting and selling of aborted baby parts". The end goal of such protests is the defunding and closure of Planned Parenthood offices.
"ProtestPP is a coalition of pro-life groups calling for a National Day of Protest on August 22, 2015 at Planned Parenthood facilities all across America. Our goal is to raise awareness of the heartless and even illegal activities of Planned Parenthood by going to where the killing and harvesting of body parts from aborted children takes place. The four main sponsors are: Created Equal, the Pro-Life Action League, 40 Days for Life, and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society.

Creating a presence at neighborhood Planned Parenthood facilities is essential to inform the public about what is going on behind closed doors. Local sidewalk counselors and activists are a key component to shutting down Planned Parenthood in the long term.

The National Day of Protest will strengthen local efforts by raising their profile with the local press, the community and other pro-life activists. Together, the protests held on August 22 will put pressure on the media, both local and national, to report the truth about Planned Parenthood, and on government officials to stop funding this discredited organization."
Family Research Council, one of the co-sponsors of #ProtestPP, blasted Planned Parenthood in a recent press release. Arina Grossu, Family Research Council’s Director of the Center for Human Dignity, insisted that the protests were meant to support women and denounce "human rights abuses".
"We must to stand against the scandal-plagued Planned Parenthood on behalf of women and children who have been hurt by them and hold them accountable for all of the horrific practices they do behind closed doors. Each of us can stand up against the horrific human rights abuses going on in our midst. When Congress returns in September, they must redirect taxpayer money from Planned Parenthood to the thousands of health care centers that don’t perform abortions and are not under federal and state investigation..."
Several Religious Right figures took part in the August 22nd protests. For instance, Bethlehem College & Seminary chancellor John Piper took part in a protest in St. Paul, Minnesota "to say to Planned Parenthood that killing children is not an acceptable response to crisis pregnancies". In a commentary piece at Desiring God, Piper praised his fellow Christians for attending the protest.
"The gathering this morning was explicitly Christian. The name of Jesus and his Lordship were on the lips of the leaders. We sang praises to God and to the Victor, Jesus Christ. This is a beautiful thing — that the public stand for justice for the weakest in our society would be carried by the followers of Christ. We have a great salvation, and that this would be one of the fruits is wonderful.

It is no secret that the Roman Catholic Church has been the religious backbone of the prolife movement for forty years. I thank God for this persevering clarity on the reality and dignity of unborn human life. I am not a Roman Catholic, but happily stood with them in this common cause of justice for the unborn. When the time comes, we will have our knock-down, drag-out arguments over the sacrificial Mass, baptismal regeneration, and the precious doctrine of justification by faith alone. But each thing in its own season. This morning the issue was this: God’s is weaving human life in the womb in his image; don’t kill what he is creating."

New Apostolic Reformation leader Jim Garlow (pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa, California) spoke at at anti-abortion protest in San Diego, California. Tastelessly, he compared Planned Parenthood to the Holocaust and ISIS at the beginning of the video.
"[Inaudible] Jewish Holocaust survivors--when you hear the stories of what they went through, it wouldn't occur to you that it could possibly--seventy years later, we find ourselves with two manifestations of this horrible dismemberment of humanity. Now refer to that what is happening across the Middle East. We have two modern day representations of that kind of hatred. ISIS and other related jihadist groups. We read the reports and we're in shock that people could do this to other people, and Planned Parenthood is the other one, right here globally doing the same kinds of things to humanity that ISIS does as well."
Garlow sneered at claims that Planned Parenthood performs valuable services, likening the organization to Adolph Hitler at the 2:50 mark.
"Some say, 'oh, Planned Parenthood does some good'. So did Hitler! He built the Autobahn and created the Volkswagen, but that's not enough for six million Jews who died. They never got a chance to use those roads. They never could drive those cars. Don't give me the line 'you do some good' when you're murdering babies right in our communities."
At the 3:42 mark, Garlow complained that Planned Parenthood has supposedly forced abortions on the population, just as LGBTQ rights advocates supposedly forced same-sex marriage on the U.S.
"Some use the "optional" argument. They say, 'well, the fact is we have abortion, but we don't force it on you'. That's the line they used on same-sex marriage. Now they've forced it on all of us. The fact is, they have forced abortion on all of us."
This weekend's protests showed us that the anti-abortion movement is energizing its followers and stoking their rage. Now that the movement is organized and angry, we can expect an uptick in anti-choice activism. Is the pro-choice movement ready to push back?

News Tidbits

Washington Blade: RNC endorses federal ‘religious freedom’ bill

Reuters: Nuns who reject Obamacare contraception mandate win stay on order to comply

Associated Press: Thousands rally for clerks denying gay marriage licenses 

New York Daily News: Duggars refuse sitdown with People to avoid being asked about Josh Duggar's molestation confession

Commentary Tidbits

Jezebel: Jehovah's Witness Leader: There's a 'Spiritual Dilemma' in Reporting Sexual Abuse

Right Wing Watch: President Mike Huckabee Will Outlaw Abortion By Executive Fiat

The Advocate: Mike Huckabee's Revival of the 'Social Experiment' Fallacy

Jerks 4 Jesus: Duggar Scandal Bingo

The New Yorker: Josh Duggar’s Ashley Madison Problem

The Planned Parenthood Controversy: Anti-Abortion Activists Call for Defunding

As discussed in a prior post, the Center for Medical Progress has launched a video smear campaign against Planned Parenthood, accusing Planned Parenthood of illegally selling fetal tissue derived from abortions. In reality, Planned Parenthood donates fetal tissue to medical research, which is perfectly legal.

As the controversy rages, anti-abortion activists are demonizing Planned Parenthood with gusto. Many anti-abortion figures are repeating their usual calls to defund the organization, ignoring both the lack of evidence of any illegal activity and the many positive health care services it provides.

For example, Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina demanded that Planned Parenthood be defunded during her visit to the Iowa State Fair. In this C-SPAN video, Fiorina spouts the usual right-wing myths about Planned Parenthood, accusing it of targeting poor women and pressuring women to terminate pregnancies.
"I am pro-life, and I believe science is proving us right every day, but you do not have to be pro-life to understand the hideous nature of what is going on here. This is about the moral character of our nation, when you can have employees who target poor communities, who are pushing women into later term abortions so they can more successfully harvest body parts, even thought late term abortions are demonstrably bad for women. You can only be horrified when you see employees picking over a petri dish for body parts while they say, 'look, it's a baby'. There is no excuse. Planned Parenthood must be defunded."  
In an August 20th statement at the Concerned Women for America website, Jaime Ballew accused the mainstream media of biased reporting on the video controversy. Ballew then accused Planned Parenthood of greedily seeking profits (despite Planned Parenthood's status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit) and raged against taxpayer funding for the group.
"The (now seven) videos from the Center for Medical Progress have clearly outlined Planned Parenthood’s disregard for not only life but also the law. Another heartbreaking facet is how the mainstream media choses to ignore these facts to better serve their own interests. Instead of fair and unbiased reporting, the media chooses sides and overwhelmingly reports on pieces that illicit a response that does not inconvenience anyone or make anyone unnecessarily uncomfortable."


Planned Parenthood has an agenda, and to think that their sole interest is women is a lie. Over and over again one thing has come across loud and clear: Planned Parenthood is concerned with the bottom line; they’ve said so themselves. It is appalling that a cent of taxpayer money has gone towards the vicious annihilation of a generation, especially considering Planned Parenthood tops one billion dollars in assets. Even if no taxpayer funds go directly into providing abortions, those dollars allow Planned Parenthood to keep the lights on and print pink t-shirts to hand out to their blind celebrity following. Do not be deceived; taxpayer funding allows Planned Parenthood to more efficiently operate."
Arina Grossu, director of the Family Research Council's Center for Human Dignity, also cited the videos in her call to defund Planned Parenthood.
"With the release of two more videos this week showing several other senior officials at Planned Parenthood callously and casually discussing sale of babies’ organs as if they were selling car parts, this country has been presented with another reminder of the ugly realities of the abortion industry. Even pro-abortion Americans have been shocked and sickened by what goes on behind closed doors at Planned Parenthood.

When will we decide we’ve had enough? How much more appalling evidence do we need from Planned Parenthood before we officially cut ties between the taxpayer and this abortion giant that scavenges baby parts and haggles for the cost of each ‘specimen’? Planned Parenthood must not receive one penny more of hard-earned taxpayer dollars."
Seán O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, echoed the call to defund Planned Parenthood in an August 3rd letter to the U.S. Senate.
"The most recent revelations about Planned Parenthood’s willingness to traffic in fetal tissue from abortions, and to alter abortion methods not for any reason related to women’s health but to obtain more “intact” organs, is the latest demonstration of a callousness toward women and their unborn children that is shocking to many Americans.

The Catholic Church comes to this issue from a perspective rooted in experience. Catholic charitable agencies and pregnancy help centers have helped countless pregnant women find life-affirming alternatives to abortion. Our hospitals and other health facilities are second to none in providing quality health care for women.

We support the legislative proposal to reallocate federal funding, so that women can obtain their health care from providers that do not promote abortion. It is my sincere hope that you will be able to help advance this goal by supporting S. 1881."
Live Action, an anti-abortion group with tactics similar to the Center for Medical Progress, also joined the chorus. In an August 3rd statement, Lila Rose called on lawmakers to defund Planned Parenthood.
"The public outcry against Planned Parenthood continues to grow as we learn about the atrocities within the abortion giant’s facilities. I have to believe that those Senators who voted against defunding Planned Parenthood must have never actually viewed the videos released by Center for Medical Progress, where multiple high-level Planned Parenthood executives have been caught on tape negotiating prices for the bodies of aborted preborn children while they cavalierly talk about “crushing” certain body parts to preserve “five-star” organs for sale. This, just the latest in years of mounting evidence against Planned Parenthood. We call on elected officials to cut close-knit ties with Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry lobby."
Some of the anti-Planned Parenthood rhetoric is downright strange. In a July 31st press release, Alveda King linked Planned Parenthood's alleged sale of fetal tissue to a Satanic Temple fundraiser. King likened reproductive rights to the "three headed demonic force" of racism, "sexual perversion", and "reproductive genocide", thereby demonizing Planned Parenthood as an infernal enemy of people of color. (Hat tip to Right Wing Watch.)
"In a news flash, a devil-worshipping group calling itself the Satanic Temple is raising funds to promote abortion-on-demand to counter legal efforts such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and 20-week abortion bans. A highly publicized ceremonial unveiling of a satanic figure, an event billed as the "largest public satanic ceremony in history," sold $25 and $75 tickets, the proceeds of which will be used to support the reproductive rights legal action fund.

Why connect the two? It's a three headed demonic force.

Again, the pro-life struggle is part of a bigger battle going on in our world - a battle for souls - a battle between good and evil. Many don't understand; in today's culture, people like Cecile Richards call evil, good and good, evil. They are backed by so much money; their lying message is repeated so often, people begin to believe it; creating a ball of confusion."
If these anti-abortion voices had done their research, they would have learned that Planned Parenthood has not been illegally selling fetal tissue, merely donating it to medical research in exchange for transport reimbursement. Furthermore, a few minutes of research would have shown them that several states have investigated Planned Parenthood and found no evidence of illegal activity. Finally, anti-abortion figures ignore Planned Parenthood's positive contributions to public health, such as abortion services, contraception, STD testing, cancer screening, and sex education.

Anti-abortion figures aren't going to countenance that evidence any time soon. Their animosity toward Planned Parenthood cannot be pacified with facts or logical arguments. Their efforts to undermine women's reproductive rights will continue, forcing pro-choice advocates to remain vigilant. Expect more hyperbole and more myths as the video controversy rages on.

The Planned Parenthood Controversy: An Introduction

Over the past few weeks, an anti-abortion group calling itself the Center for Medical Progress has released several videos showing conversations between Planned Parenthood staff and undercover activists posing as employees of a sham company. The videos are part of the group's Human Capital Project, a smear campaign meant to depict Planned Parenthood as an illegal purveyor of fetal tissue. In reality, Planned Parenthood donates fetal tissue from abortions to medical research, which is both legal and vital to the search for new medical discoveries. For me, the video scandal triggers feelings of déjà vu, stirring memories of Live Action's undercover smear videos. The controversy comes at a time when the U.S. is still polarized about abortion and states legislatures are restricting abortion access.

The Center for Medical Progress insists that the videos show Planned Parenthood representatives discussing the illegal sale of fetal tissue derived from abortions. Media sources, blogs, and watchdog websites have argued that the videos were deceptively edited, pointing out that officials in the video discuss reimbursement for clinic expenses, not sale of fetal tissue.

Planned Parenthood has asserted its innocence. Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, reminded the public that the organization provides important health services and does not sell fetal tissue. Eric Ferrero, vice president of communications, explained that Planned Parenthood receives reimbursement for tissue transport but does not financially benefit in any way. The organization's clergy advocacy board blasted the "fraudulent and extreme tactics" used in the video smear campaign. Moreover, Planned Parenthood hasn't taken politicians' attacks attacks lying down. According to Politico, the organization launched an ad campaign calling out senators who supported defunding measures.

The Center for Medical Progress, is anti-abortion organization calling itself "a group of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances". The group claims that "trafficking in aborted baby parts" is a "national problem" warranting congressional investigation and defunding of Planned Parenthood. The smear campaign is yet another attempt by anti-abortion activists to turn public opinion against Planned Parenthood, undermine its funding, and deny reproductive health services to women. People for the American Way called the campaign "part of a long-running effort to undermine access to reproductive health care — including contraception, reproductive health screenings, sex education and legal abortion — by providing cover to legislators who want to dismantle women’s access to reproductive care."

Predictably, the Center for Medical Progress was founded by prominent anti-abortion activists. According to the Center for Medical Progress' registration form with California's Registry of Charitable Trusts, Troy Newman serves as the group's secretary. (Hat tip to the Nation.) Troy Newman is president of Operation Rescue, a zealous anti-abortion group that tormented the late Dr. George Tiller, a provider of late-term abortions. Albin Rhomberg, the group's chief financial officer, has a history of anti-abortion activism in California, according to Planned Parenthood's California affiliate. According to the Baptist Press, Rhomberg took photos of aborted remains at at the Los Angeles County coroner's office in 1982.

Media outlets and lawmakers have noticed the group's unsavory tactics and ties. David Daleiden, CEO of the Center for Medical Progress, defended his ties to Troy Newman, deflecting Alisyn Camerota's questions about Newman during an appearance on CNN's New Day. (Hat tip to Raw Story.) In July, three House Democrats urged U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and California Attorney General Kamala Harris to investigate the Center for Medical Progress to determine if they broke any laws, reports Huffington Post. Harris has agreed to investigate, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Unfortunately, other lawmakers were taken in by the inflammatory videos. Politico reports that some Republican politicians were so outraged by the videos that they wanted to deny federal funding to Planned Parenthood -- despite Republican lawmakers' past support for the use of fetal tissue in medical research.The threat of a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding fizzled, and efforts to defund the organization failed.

Even some state leaders were swayed by the videos, which gave them an excuse to deny funding to the reproductive health care provider. Earlier this month, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley announced that he was terminating an agreement between Planned Parenthood and the Alabama Medicaid Agency. Al*com quoted Bentley as decrying the "deplorable practices" at Planned Parenthood.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal also announced the termination of a Medicaid agreement between Planned Paranethood and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. In an August 3rd press release, Jindal blasted Planned Parenthood for its alleged "disrespect for human life", insisting that " this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state."

The federal government has warned both states against denying Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) has warned Alabama and Louisiana that terminating Medicaid provider agreements with Planned Parenthood may run afoul of federal law, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Despite the lurid accusations of anti-abortion activists, state investigations have affirmed Planned Parenthood's innocence. Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, and South Dakota conducted reviews of Planned Parenthood and found no violations of the law, according to the Hill. Governors of other states have declined to investigate Planned Parenthood. For example, the Spokesman-Review reports that Idaho Governor C. L. Otter turned down a request by 30 Republican state lawmakers to investigate the organization, arguing that there is no evidence that Planned Parenthood violated state or federal law.

Despite the fact that the Center for Medical Progress' videos were edited and that Planned Parenthood has done nothing illegal, anti-abortion figures will continue to incorrectly accuse the health care provider of selling fetal tissue. The videos have given them another excuse to attack Planned Parenthood's funding, promote outlandish myths about abortion, and target reproductive rights. This controversy is about crippling reproductive freedom, not ethics or laws.

To read additional commentary, visit the following links.

People for the American Way: The Activists And Ideology Behind The Latest Attacks On Planned Parenthood

RH Reality Check: A Network of Lies 

Los Angeles Times: Undercover video sting of Planned Parenthood is off-base, as usual

New York Times: The Campaign of Deception Against Planned Parenthood 

The Daily Beast: These States Are Illegally Defunding Planned Parenthood

Family Research Council Responds to Josh Duggar Controversy

As mentioned in prior posts, Josh Duggar has been at the center of raging scandals involving sexual abuse of children and infidelity. Earlier this year, Josh Duggar resigned from his position as executive director of Family Research Council Action, to which FRC president Tony Perkins responded with a terse press release. Now, Perkins has posted a statement about Josh Duggar's Ashley Madison revelations on the front page of the FRC website.
"Last night we learned from online reports about allegations concerning Josh Duggar and then read his confession today. We are grieved by Josh’s conduct and the devastating impact of his pornography addiction and marital unfaithfulness. Our hearts hurt for his family, and all those affected by Josh’s actions. His deceitful behavior harms his family, his friends, his former coworkers, and the cause he has publicly espoused. Those of us who advocate for family values in the public square are held to a higher standard, and Josh’s failures serve as a painful reminder of the destructive effects of not living with integrity. We are praying for the family."
I couldn't be happier that Josh Duggar's infidelity scandal has harmed "the cause he has publicly espoused", a cause devoted to demonizing and denying rights to LGBTQ citizens. LGBTQ equality isn't a threat to marriage and family. Sexual abuse is. Patriarchy is. Arrogant entitlement is. Infidelity is. Hypocrisy is. The so-called "family values" movement is far greater danger the notion of family than same-sex marriage.

News Tidbits

Salt Lake Tribune: Mormon Leaders Appoint Three Women To Top Church Positions

Huffington Post: Illinois Bans Gay Conversion Therapy For LGBT Youths

Washington Blade: White House ‘pleased’ with Illinois ‘ex-gay’ therapy ban

The Advocate: Groups Ask Obama: Fix Religious Freedom Act

Ynet: Huckabee in Israel: 'Lose the land, lose the peace'

Topeka Capital-Journal: Kris Kobach employee allegedly fired for lack of religious fervor, lawsuit claims

Politico: Planned Parenthood fires back

Raw Story: Tennessee pastor lashes out at ‘liberal society': Stoning gays is part of ‘the mindset of God’

LGBTQ Nation: “Bible-banging homophobe” goes gay for a year — and stops being antigay  

Vice: More than 1,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses Have Been Accused of Child Sex Abuse in Australia — And Police Never Knew

Commentary Tidbits

Boing Boing: Rules for Bible Class

Love, Joy, Feminism: Bill Gothard Explains Road Safety (aka How Not to Get Raped)

Salon: Secrets of the extreme religious right: Inside the frightening world of Christian Reconstructionism

Raw Story: Children as property: The common root of religious child abuse and the pro-life movement

The Guardian: Mike Huckabee blunders his way through Israel press conference 

The Daily Beast: How The Duggars’ Church Encourages Young Women To ‘Submit’

Huffington Post: Conservative Christians Are Still Fighting Gay Marriage, But It's An Uphill Battle Against The Courts

Daily Xtra: Why Korea’s Christian churches are leading the anti-gay charge

Daylight Atheism: Jewish Fundamentalism Is Poisoning Israel

Josh Duggar Had Account with Ashley Madison Dating Website

Scandals involving the Duggar family just keep piling up. Earlier this year, In Touch Magazine reported that Josh Duggar was named as an "alleged offender" in a child sexual abuse probe, and that his parents waited more than a year to contact law enforcement. Josh Duggar later resigned from his position as executive director of Family Research Council Action. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee defended the family, but their reputation was already in tatters. TLC eventually canceled the Duggar's reality show, 19 Kids and Counting, and announced plans to air a documentary on child sexual abuse in the wake of the scandal. Now, Josh Duggar is at the center of another sex scandal.

On August 19th, Gawker reported that Josh Duggar had a paid account with Ashley Madison, a dating website devoted to extramarital affairs. According to Gawker, hackers accessed client data from Ashley Madison's servers and released the data online. The hack revealed that someone used the website with a credit card in Josh Duggar's name and a billing addressed that matched his grandmother's home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The subscription was maintained from February 2013 to May 2015.

Shortly after the Ashley Madison revelation came to light, Josh Duggar released a statement through his parents' website. In the statement, Josh Duggar confessed to a secret pornography "addiction" that supposedly played a role in how he "became unfaithful" to his wife. Not long thereafter, the original statement disappeared and was replaced by a shorter, scrubbed version that made no mention of pornography. Fortunately, Spiritual Sounding Board posted screen captures of the original statement, which reads as follows:
Statement from Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar:

Please see the statement below from our son Josh regarding recent media stories about him. When we learned of this late last night our hearts were broken. As we continue to place our trust in God we ask for your prayers for Josh, Anna, our grandchildren and our entire family.

Statement from Josh Duggar:

I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife.

I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.

I brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends, and the fans of our show with my actions that happened when I was 14-15 years old, and now I have rebroken that trust.

The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, in my heart I had allowed Satan to build a fortress that no one knew about.

As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose to our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example.

I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time."
Now, the family's website features a shorter statement, which reads as follows:
Statement from Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar:

Please see the statement below from our son Josh regarding recent media stories about him. When we learned of this late last night our hearts were broken. As we continue to place our trust in God we ask for your prayers for Josh, Anna, our grandchildren and our entire family.

Statement from Josh Duggar:

I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife.

I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.

I have brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions.

The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country I was hiding my own personal failures.

As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all the hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example.

I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time.
Why was the statement scrubbed? Why were references to pornography, Satan, and the molestation scandal removed? Did the Duggars realize that their fundamentalist Christian lingo would fail to resonate with the public? Did a lawyer insist that they to remove some of the content? I'm baffled.

The original statement is revealing in many ways. First, some of Josh Duggar's original language deflects responsibility away from him. His claims that Satan built a fortress in his heart and that he "became unfaithful" to his wife distract viewers from the fact that he made the choice to sign up for an Ashley Madison account.

Second, the reference to pornography addiction offers us insight to how some fundamentalist Christians understand infidelity. In some fundamentalist circles, pornography consumption is lumped together with other sexual sins under the category of "lust". When one realizes that some fundamentalists see porn consumption and adultery as morally equivalent sexual sins, or blame infidelity on lust inflamed by porn, the passage begins to make sense. This does not mean that the two acts are actually morally equivalent, nor does it absolve Josh Duggar of responsibility for his actions.

In both statements, Josh Duggar at least acknowledges the hypocrisy of his family values crusade with FRC Action. The hypocrisy of a man who condemned LGBTQ people for their alleged sexual immorality while cheating on his wife cannot be overstated. As with so many other Religious Right figures whose sexual sins came to light, Josh Duggar lectured others about the sanctity of heterosexual marriage while failing to hold himself to the same standards.

In the middle of this humiliating scandal is Anna, Josh's wife. An anonymous source told People Magazine that Josh's wife, Anna, has no plans to divorce her husband. Given how the Duggar's Quiverfull/Christian Patriarchy subculture loathes divorce and places great emphasis on a wife's submission to her husband, this rumor is not surprising. Moreover, without money of her own, job experience, or loved ones outside of the Christian Patriarchy subculture, divorce would be daunting for Anna. We can only hope that Anna's loved ones are showing her love and support, rather than scapegoating her for the adultery, as some fundamentalists are wont to do.

The sex scandals involving Josh Duggar, Bill Gothard, and Doug Phillips serve as ugly reminders that the Quiverfull/Christian Patriarchy subculture cannot deliver on its promises. A movement that promises its adherents sexual purity, virtuous families, and stable marriages has been marred by scandals involving infidelity, abusive behavior, and horrid family secrets. A movement that promises godly husbands to women in exchange for submission has given them entitled, predatory men instead. What other scandals will emerge from this toxic subculture?

To read additional commentary, visit the following links.

Love, Joy, Feminism: Josh Duggar Spent Nearly $1000 to Cheat on His Wife

The Daily Beast: Is Josh Duggar the Biggest Family-Values Hypocrite Ever? Not Even Close

No Longer Quivering: Here Are 5 Misogynistic, Christian ‘Family Values’ Taught to Hypocrite Josh Duggar

No Longer Quivering: Will Anna Duggar Be Offered As The Next Live Sacrifice To Save The Duggar Family? Scapegoating, Spread Your Legs Theology And The Modern Molech

Sunday, August 16, 2015

News Tidbits

Associated Press: TLC sets airdate for sex abuse documentary prompted by Duggars

Time: Controversial Award Moved From Ted Cruz Event in Arkansas

Raw Story: Cops toss Fayetteville activists anti-LGBT rights rally 

Tallahassee Democrat: Dropped assignment raises questions about book banning

Religion News Service: Christian moviemakers opt for black cast after glut of whitewashed faith films

Commentary Tidbits

Micah J. Murray: How Not to Discover God’s Will For Your Life

Freak Out Nation: Mike Huckabee: I Support Forcing A 10-Year-Old Victim To Have Her Rapist’s Baby

Rolling Stone: John Oliver Eviscerates American Sex Ed – But the Reality Is Even Worse 

The Atlantic: Christian Bakers Gotta Bake, Even for Gays

Raw Story: Florida couple accused of raping orphaned teen for years — and using the Bible to justify it

Sydney Morning Herald: Australia: Grassroots anti-marriage lobbies have powerful connections

World Congress of Families Criticizes Amnesty International Decision

Last week, Amnesty International passed a resolution at its international council meeting in Dublin, Ireland supporting decriminalization of prostitution. The new resolution was condemned by some anti-trafficking advocates who warned that Amnesty's efforts would harm women in the sex trade. Critics of the resolution include Cindy McCain, SPACE International, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Prostitution Research & Education, Vancouver Rape Relief, Eaves, and AF3IRM. The resolution has proven divisive even within Amnesty International, alienating some of its members.

The World Congress of Families, a Religious Right organization best known for its global conferences, also condemned the resolution in an August 13th press release. Janice Shaw Crouse, executive director of the World Congress of Families IX meeting, called the resolution a "major blow for the protection of vulnerable women and children", adding that "Amnesty International has come down on the wrong side of history".
"This decision by a leading international human rights advocacy group is a major blow for the protection of vulnerable women and children. It is a pivotal victory for the brothel owners, pimps, sex traffickers and johns who can now claim that their actions are acceptable and there's nothing wrong with what they do.

"The Amnesty vote takes away the meager protections given to those who are exploited, dehumanized and in numerous other ways now have the last remaining human rights stripped from them. The vote greatly increases the inhumane power of the exploiters and significantly increases the likelihood that victims will be subjected to more abuse and brutality at the hands of their exploiters."
While I do not disagree with Crouse's assertions -- indeed, I too worry about the implications of Amnesty International's resolution -- I find the World Congress of Family's outrage disingenuous. For years, the WCF has adopted stances at odds with women's equality, opposing reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and women's prerogative to decide if and when to marry or bear children. The WCF might champion women in its latest press release, but that does not erase its long history of undermining women.

First, WCF has long opposed women's reproductive rights, as indicated by workshops at WCF conferences opposing abortion. One WCF leader frowned on contraception during a recent WCF event in Belgrade, criticizing contraception for "preventing life from happening", according to Right Wing Watch. Reproductive rights are vital for women, as they allow women to exercise control over their lives by determining if, when, and how many children they bear. WCF's opposition to abortion and contraception show that it does not always have the best interest of women at heart.

Furthermore, the WCF exalts heterosexual marriage and family as "the ideal, optimal, true family system", ignoring the many women who find single life, childfree life, or same-sex relationships much more satisfying. The WCF's stubborn defense of rigid gender stereotypes and default motherhood shoehorns women into narrow roles that would prevent many women from thriving. Its 2012 Madrid Declaration summarizes these attitudes succinctly.
"We affirm that women and men are equal in dignity and innate human rights, but different in function. Even if sometimes thwarted by events beyond the individual’s control (or sometimes given up for a religious vocation), the calling of each boy is to become husband and father; the calling of each girl is to become wife and mother. Culture, law, and policy should take these differences into account.

We affirm that the complementarity of the sexes is a source of strength. Men and women exhibit profound biological and psychological differences. When united in marriage, though, the whole becomes greater then the sum of the parts."
The brochure for the WCF's 2011 Moscow Demographic Summit opposes "radical feminists", the childfree movement, and the LGBTQ community, thereby condemning women whose lives deviate from their married, heterosexual, maternal ideal.
"World Congress of Families represents the most extensive and widespread association of a large number of organizations advocating for the preservation of the natural Family. Members of the Congress are opponents of the “childfree” movement, the radical feminists and various "sexual minorities". The Congress officially declares that the Family is the union of man and woman without any other options. The main objective of the Congress is to coordinate and unite all the healthy forces working for the strengthening of the Family and Childhood."
The idea that women can and should make their own decisions about their lives, including choices about when and if to marry or have children, is alien to the WCF. Feminists who defend women's autonomy are blasted or ignored.

Furthermore, WCF has a long history of resisting LGBTQ equality across the globe, showing us that the organization is no friend to lesbian, bisexual, or transgender women. In 2014, Human Rights Campaign released Exposed: The World Congress of Families, a report on the WCF's extensive anti-LGBTQ global activism. Moreover, a WCF press release downplayed the dangers of a 2013 Russian law banning gay "propaganda". WCF also signed a controversial statement praising the Russian anti-gay law (more here), ignoring the law's fundamental homophobia.

If the World Congress of Families truly had the best interest of women at heart, it would not only oppose sexual exploitation, but would also champion equality for all women. The organization's adherence to gender stereotypes, opposition to reproductive rights, and disdain for LGBTQ equality reminds us that it is not a friend to women. Thus, its recent criticism of Amnesty International strikes me as hypocritical, given its history.

Mike Huckabee Speaks at "In Defense of Life: Why All Lives Matter" Event

On July 31st, Freedom's Journal Institute's RISE Initiative Program, aimed at conservative African Americans, hosted a conference entitled "In Defense of Life: Why All Lives Matter" in Tinley Park, Illinois. The event was co-sponsored by the World Congress of Families and the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, according to a press release at Christian News Wire.

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee delivered at talk at the conference entitled "Strong Family Values", which On Target Radio shared via YouTube. As usual, Huckabee promoted an anti-LGBTQ, anti-abortion platform, acknowledging his audience's hunger for change while offering few solutions of substance to America's woes.

In true Religious Right fashion, Huckabee appealed to "nature's God" and "our great republic". After likening the U.S.  to an airplane that needs both wings and a steering mechanism to fly, Huckabee stressed that America needs "moral clarity" to stay aloft. At the 8:24 mark, he argued that the Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage was antithetical to this moral clarity.
"In our form of government, the steering mechanism is a moral clarity based on the objective truth that some things are right, some things are wrong, and without a moral foundation, our great republic cannot stand because it was based on the notion that we self-govern according to the laws of nature and the laws of nature's God.

Today we have those who would defy those laws and believe that laws are whatever we wish them to be based on whatever we wish they could be. A few weeks ago, when the Extreme Court made its irrational and illogical decision to redefine marriage, I found it astonishing as I read through a hundred and twenty-something pages of their decision and the four dissents from the more level-headed justices who actually apparently read the Constitution before trying to redefine it, but I thought it was most noted that Justice John Roberts ... said, "Who do we think we are?" I would suggest if man believes that he can redefine marriage, it's apparent that man believes that he has become his own God, and this is a dangerous place for America to be."
Huckabee made a surprisingly nuanced comment about government programs and poverty at the 15:45 mark. After describing the working class poverty of his youth, Huckabee blamed poverty on government programs with arbitrary cut-off thresholds. I would argue that unfair wages, the outsourcing of jobs overseas, low literacy, and lack of access to education fuel poverty far more than flaws in governmental program, but Huckabee's observation does have merit.
"Nobody living in poverty wants to be there. There's a ridiculous notion that people who are poor really like it and want to stay poor, and they just want the government to give them more stuff. And I say, look, let me explain something to you. People who are poor would rather not be poor, but there comes a point at every time when they try to get out of the hole of poverty, and the government programs keep putting its foot on their faces and pushing them back down the ladder, there comes a point at which people do give up, and at that point, when they don't think there's any way they'll ever get out of the hole, they at least start saying, 'Then could you make the hole a little nicer?' Folks, our goal ought not to be to see if we can make the hole nicer. It ought to be, can we get people out of that hole and on their own two independent feet?

And one way to do that is to make sure that the various programs, benefits that sometimes people do need as they move up the ladder don't have an arbitrary cut-off point so that if a single mom with a couple of kids is getting Medicaid, Section 8 housing, WIC, food stamps, and then all of a sudden, if she goes and takes a job and she makes one dollar over the threshold for qualification of those programs, her kids go from being at least tolerably well off to utterly impoverished, without a roof over their heads, food on their table, and health care to take care of their illnesses. And at that point, I say don't blame the single mom for taking advantage of the programs. Blame a government that punishes her for going to work rather than one that would reward her for going to work and doing better for her family."
Unfortunately, Huckabee quickly reverted to his right-wing self. At the 18:03 mark, he blamed poverty on the breakdown of the family, rather than unfair labor practices, outsourcing, or lack of educational opportunities.
"The single greatest contributor to poverty is the breakdown of the traditional family of one man as a husband and one wife as a mother raising their children in a [inaudible] environment. Only 17% of African American children reach the age of 17 with a mother and a father who are also the biological parents of that child ... 72% of the births in the African American community now are births to an unwed mother, and the fact is, if a child grows up in a home with both a mother and a father, both of whom have a minimum of a high school education and who are gainfully employed, there's a 91% chance that child will never spend one single day in poverty. If you take away the mother or the father, and you take away the bare minimum of a high school education, and you take away gainful and consistent employment, there is now an 87% chance that that child will spend most of his growing up in poverty."
Huckabee promotes the simplistic trope of marriage as the solution to poverty. Unfortunately, for millions of families, marriage does not provide automatic inoculation against poverty. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 9.5% of children living in married-couple families lived in poverty in 2013. While married couples are much less likely to live in poverty compared to single-parent households, marriage alone cannot solve America's poverty woes. Huckabee refuses to examine the complex roots of poverty and incorrectly assumes that unmarried status is a cause, rather than an effect, of chronic poverty. Exalting heterosexual marriage (and taking jabs at same-sex marriage in the process) will not create jobs, raise wages, or help people afford higher education.

An anti-abortion activist to the core, Huckabee was compelled to demonized Planned Parenthood. At the 23:28 mark, he referenced the controversial Planned Parenthood videos released this summer, ignoring arguments that the videos were deceptively edited.
"I am not a pro-life person because I got into politics and thought that would be a popular platform on which to build my political life. I got into politics because I'm pro-life and believe that if we do not accept the intrinsic worth and value of every single human life from the moment of conception, we are violating the very spirit of our declaration that gave us our independence. 

The denigration of human life in our culture has been made more remarkably and more starkly clear this week because of the revelations from the videos that were secretly taped at Planned Parenthood facilities across the country. If anybody can watch those videos and can watch medical doctors -- who are supposedly trained to heal -- callously and with a cavalier attitude chomp on a salad, sipping wine, and speak of trading body parts as if they're trading the parts to a used Buick, anyone who can watch that and listen to them talk about the harvesting of human hearts and livers and kidneys and selling them, and to do it while having a conversation and wishing about selling enough so they can own a Lamborghini, if anyone can see that and not be repulsed to the point of saying enough is enough, then I can only surmise that person has what the Bible calls a seared conscience, no longer able to feel a twinge of guilt [inaudible]."
Mike Huckabee's playbook hasn't changed. His platform still consists of condemning abortion, criticizing LGBTQ rights, and exalting heterosexual marriage while offering few concrete solutions to pressing problems.