Check out our most recent mentions in the media:
January 5, 2017 – “The center has fallen, and white nationalism is filling the vacuum”
May 10, 2016 – “The rise of militias: Patriot candidates are now getting elected in Oregon”
Guardian reporter Jason Wilson covers PRA associate fellow Spencer Sunshine’s documentation of candidates for public office in Oregon who are associated with the Patriot movement and/or involved with the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge armed occupation in early 2016. While The Guardian only discusses a few candidates, Sunshine has documented over 20.
In the sad case of some parents in Idaho who refused to give their children medical assistance, claiming it was their religious freedom, The Guardian discusses the connections between the Christian Right’s redefined version of religious freedom, and conservatism. PRA’s Frederick Clarkson tells reporter Jason Wilson that “Religious liberty is a powerful idea, and a great achievement in the history of western civilization, but it’s also used as a tool by the rich and the powerful, and by politicians who want to look the other way. There’s also the fact that conservatives have been mobilizing religious liberty in recent years, first as a reason to kill same-sex marriage at the state level, and now to limit the scope of the supreme court’s decision that it cannot be outlawed by states.”
Mar 18, 2016 – “Just How Scary is Donald Trump?”
PRA executive director Tarso Luís Ramos speaks with The Progressive, explaining the depth and strength of Right Wing Populism. “Is there potentially a mass base for Trump’s brand of bigoted nationalism? I would say yes, absolutely,” Ramos says. “Many think Trump could not prevail in a general election, but I’m not convinced. Trump’s campaign has been a magnet for organized White supremacist groups, which have been actively recruiting members at his rallies… If you can be the nominee of the Republican Party as you call for deporting 11 million brown-skinned people—that really opens up the possibilities for far-right organizing.”
Jan 27, 2016 – “Tony Abbott’s Speaking Engagements Deserve Our Scrutiny, Our Concern”
PRA senior fellow Frederick Clarkson explains to The Guardian how groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) have issued handbooks that instruct organizations such as churches, schools, universities and hospitals, how to redefine all of their jobs and functions as essentially religious in nature, so that they can be wholly exempted from discrimination provisions in the Civil Rights Act under the “ministerial exception”. When successful, this allows them and their employees to discriminate against job applicants, and even clients, who are LGBT, or with whom they simply have a religious disagreement.
Jan 16, 2016 – “The Very Real Efforts to Create an American Theocracy in Plain Sight”
Salon praises the new report from PRA senior fellow Frederick Clarkson, When Exemption is the Rule: The Religious Freedom Strategy of the Christian Right, saying the report “highlights a key aspect of the religious right’s long-term strategy, taking the time-honored principle of religious exemption, intended to protect the individual right of conscience, and expanding it recklessly to apply to whole institutions, even for-profit businesses—as seen in the Supreme Court’s 2014 Hobby Lobby decision, in a process designed to fragment the common public sphere and carve out vast segments of American life where civil rights, labor law and other core protections simply do not apply…This report represents a significant beacon, shedding light on that strategy, the battlefield it’s waged on, and the kinds of long-term responses needed to counter-organize against it.”
Jan 13, 2016 – “Religious Freedom Advocates Warn of ‘Theocratic Zones of Control’”
Religious Dispatches covers the new report from PRA senior fellow Frederick Clarkson, When Exemption is the Rule: The Religious Freedom Strategy of the Christian Right, and the “rapidly strengthening network of allied organizations are ‘intensifying their campaign to carve out arenas of public life where religious institutions, individuals, and even businesses may evade civil rights and labor laws in the name of religious liberty.’”
Jan 11, 2016 – “What Will Stop the Oregon Standoff?”
PRA communications director Eric Ethington explains Al Jazeera English why the militiamen and paramilitary organizations involved at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge should not be dismissed as mere “nuts with guns in the forest.” The Patriot movement is growing rapidly in many areas of the country, posing serious risks to communities that frequently are suffering from a disappearing social safety net and public services. Patriot movement groups like the Three Percenters, Oath Keepers, and CSPOA capitalize on these rural economic woes, sweeping in and presenting their (frequently) violent rhetoric and illegal tactics as the solution.
Jan 10, 2016 – “The Ideological Roots of the Oregon Standoff”
PRA executive director Tarso Luís Ramos speaks with NY Times reporter Alan Feuer about the developing armed standoff in rural Oregon, and its roots in the 1980s and 1990s’ Wise Use Movement, founded by timber industry advisor Ron Arnold. “Arnold sent organizers into distressed rural communities to set up front groups with environmentally friendly sounding names that whipped up hostility against the government,” Ramos tells the Times. “What resulted was a coalition of natural-resource companies, property developers and conservative activists working with a network of community organizations. These groups came very close to the centers of power.
Jan 7, 2016 – “Where the Oregon Militias Came From”
PRA associate fellow Spencer Sunshine publishes an op-ed in The Progressive, taking down the myth that the armed paramilitary organizations in Oregon are local farmers and ranchers. “Instead,” Sunshine explains, “the armed occupiers are self-selected militants from the Patriot movement’s paramilitary network—known for invading rural communities and staging armed protests that distract from local attempts to fix real economic problems.
After PRA brought to light the anti-LGBTQ and anti-reproductive efforts of the U.S.-based World Congress of Families abroad, senior researcher Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma explains to the New York Times how U.S.-based LGBTQ groups and even the U.S. government need to be careful not to fall into the same neocolonial tactics that the U.S. Right has been using in Africa for years. Kaoma explains how LGBTQ Africans are becoming increasingly caught in the American culture battles being waged in Africa, saying “When two elephants fight, the grass will suffer. This is what’s happening in Africa. African LGBTQ persons are just collateral damage to U.S. politics on both ends.”
Nov 2, 2015 – “Don’t Forget Kim Davis: The Danger of a U.S. Theocracy Continues”
PRA senior fellow Frederick Clarkson puts the controversy surrounding county clerk Kim Davis into perspective for Truthout, saying: “The Christian Right has been steadily reframing their culture war agenda in terms of religious liberty since at least the 2009 manifesto, the Manhattan Declaration, which for the first time brought the leaders of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops together with top leaders of Protestant evangelicalism to forge a common platform — comprising three interrelated themes, ‘sanctity of life,’ ‘dignity of marriage,’ and ‘freedom of religion.’” ssdJan 15, 2014 – The Stealth War On Abortion
Oct 19, 2015 – “The US Evangelical Roots of African Homophobia“
EconomyWatch reporter David Smith dives into the world of African homophobia. Interviewing PRA’s senior researcher Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, he identifies how U.S. conservative evangelicals like Scott Lively and Rick Warren have spent decades using neo-colonialist tactics to influence African politicians, businesses, and religious leaders to support wildly anti-LGBTQ policies.
Aug 20, 2015 – “Where Do the Lies About LGBTIs in Africa Come From?“
Huffington Post reporter Michael Ashworth tackles the neocolonialism of the U.S. Right who are exporting the culture wars to Africa. In particular, he highlights the neoconservative Institute on Religion and Democracy, drawing on PRA’s research on it in Globalizing the Culture Wars which describes how conservative funding has made “archbishops’ offices the mouthpieces of U.S. conservatives.”
Aug 5, 2015 – “Freedom of Choice“
PRA’s senior fellow for religious freedom, Frederick Clarkson, is interviewed on the Nicole Sandler Show about his recent article exposing the group behind the anti-Planned Parenthood smear videos. Clarkson’s second article, which came out just after this interview, analyzed how a militant anti-abortion group is able to get away with calling themselves “investigative journalists” in the mainstream media.
Aug 2, 2015 – “For evangelical voters, Rafael Cruz may be Ted’s best apostle.”
PRA senior fellow Frederick Clarkson is quoted several times in the Austin American-Statesman’s profile of Ted Cruz’s father, who, as Clarkson explains, frequently espouses theocratic and dominionist rhetoric. “I believe Ted Cruz is probably the first presidential candidate of any plausibility to have been specifically groomed to be the Christian right candidate for president,” Clarkson said. “That is what his father wanted him to be.”
July 23, 2015 – “Fear of U.S. Marriage Equality Exported to Africa“
PRA senior researcher Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma pens an op-ed for Religion Dispatches. While LGBTQI people and allies in America enjoyed a hard-fought victory in last month’s Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, the reaction overseas has been far uglier. U.S. conservative Evangelicals have been leveraging the decision to further attack LGBTQI Africans, and African religious and political leaders are using the ruling as a smoke screen to cover corruption and economic woes in their countries.
July 21, 2015 – “Muslim vs Radical Right Terrorism Hypocrisy“
Brooklyn College, CUNY, professor Naomi Braine joins The David Pakman show to discuss her recent research article in The Public Eye magazine, Terror Network or Lone Wolf?. After the recent public shootings, it has become increasingly concerning to watch the disparate treatment of muslims and people of color by the FBI, law enforcement, the media, and our public dialogue.
July 21, 2015 – “The Global Backlash to America’s Gay Rights Triumph“
Huffington Post reporter Lila Shapiro interviews PRA’s senior researcher Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma about how the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality is being used by U.S. culture war exporters abroad. Kaoma details how the culture wars are just getting started overseas and how the U.S. Right is heavily involved in foreign government’s anti-LGBTQ laws. Shapiro also discusses Gillian Kane’s recent research report for PRA, exposing the U.S.-based Alliance Defending Freedom’s involvement in anti-LGBTQ and anti-Reproductive Justice laws and court cases in Latin America.
July 6, 2015 – “We live in theocratic times: Right-wing Christians claiming religious freedom to ignore any laws they wish“
Raw Story reporter Travis Gettys covers PRA’s new research article on the Christian Right’s campaign to redefine religious freedom. Gettys points out that while Americans have famously been granted religious exemptions before (from military service, medical treatments, etc.), what’s different about recent legal challenges is that the Christian Right—including evangelical, Catholic, and Mormon leaders—is claiming that individuals and for-profit corporations should be allowed to decide for themselves which laws to follow.
June 14, 2015 – “The ‘Natural Family’:The Latest Weapon in the Christian Right’s New Global War on Gays“
The Daily Beast draws heavily on the work of PRA researcher Cole Parke to show how the U.S. Right is working overseas, particularly in Russia, to develop a ‘Plan B’ against LGBTQ rights. It’s a storyline PRA has been warning about for years. Christian Right leaders know LGBTQ rights are inevitable here in the U.S., so they have taken their anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice campaigns and exported them to anti-Western countries (e.g. Uganda, Nigeria, Russia, etc.) where, once implemented, they can then seek to re-import them back to the U.S.
June 1, 2015 – “How Timothy McVeigh’s Ideals Entered the Mainstream“
Newsweek reporter Nina Burleigh interviews PRA executive director Tarso Luís Ramos about the mainstreaming of Patriot and Militia Movement rhetoric and ideals. As Ramos explains, the often-violent rhetoric largely dissipated after the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995. But it slowly grew back, before once again exploding in popularity following the election of Barack Obama to the presidency, resulting in incidents like the Bundy Ranch standoff.
April 28, 2015 – “A Single Garment of Destiny: Looking Beyond Marriage Equality and the Supreme Court”
Dr. Dorothee Benz, communications director at the Center for Constitutional Rights, discusses the Right’s plans now that the battle for marriage equality in the U.S. is drawing to a close. A big part of the Right’s strategy, Benz argues, is exporting their anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and policy—which are increasingly losing effect in the global West—overseas to countries that have existing anti-Western sentiments such as many African nations and Russia. Benz highlights the work of PRA senior researcher Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, who has documented this trend.
April 25, 2015 – “Progressives can’t trust Hillary Clinton: What’s behind her bizarre alliance with the Christian right?”
Salon’s Paul Rosenberg exhaustively documents the Clintons’ long history with the Christian Right, and their support for faith-based initiatives – the idea of taking crucial government social services and turning them over to faith programs to administer. Rosenberg quotes extensively from PRA senior fellow Frederick Clarkson’s report “An Uncharitable Choice: The Faith-Based Takeover of Federal Programs,” from PRA’s fall 2014 special Neoliberalism issue of The Public Eye magazine.
April 22, 2015 – “Inclusive Ministry Battles Spread of LGBT Hatred in Africa”
Windy City Times brings out the story of how U.S. pastors Rick Warren and Scott Lively have undertaken multi-year initiatives to spread anti-LGBTQ sentiment in African countries, as well as anti-LGBTQ laws such as the (formerly known as) “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda. The report draws on PRA’s exhaustive documentation of U.S. conservative evangelicals exportation of the culture wars to Africa, and the devastation these culture warriors are having on African sexual minorities and women.
April 18, 2015 – “Remembering the Oklahoma City Bombing”
The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing by remembering some of the political trends that led up to the tragedy that left 168 people dead. As the story highlights, PRA played a big role at the time as a leading researcher of the Patriot Movement and other right-wing support for armed militias. Then PRA senior researcher Chip Berlet was actually called as an expert witness in the trial of the bomber. RELATED: The Patriot Movement and groups like the Oath Keepers are once again on the rise in 2015.
April 3, 2015 – “NEWSFLASH: First-Ever Woman Sentenced For Feticide“
Ms. Magazine associate editor Anita Little profiles Lynn Paltrow’s new article in PRA’s The Public Eye magazine, detailing the account of Purvi Patel in Indiana. “While no woman should face criminal charges for having an abortion or experiencing a pregnancy loss, the cruel length of this sentence confirms that feticide and other measures promoted by anti-abortion organizations are intended to punish not protect women.”
April 3, 2015 – “Religion and RFRA—Fix It? Nix It?”
Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson of Metropolitan Community Churches draws on PRA’s 2013 report on the Christian Right’s campaign to redefine religious freedom in her article describing the backlash against the Indiana RFRA law. She concludes that religious freedom needs to be protected, but RFRA laws bear little resemblance to true religious freedom which “should do no harm,” nor ever be “an excuse to discriminate.”
Reporter Annie Wilkinson uses PRA’s documentation of the so-called “ex-gay movement’s” spread throughout the world—particularly in South America, Africa, and Eastern Europe—despite its collapse in the U.S. The movement is being heavily promoted by U.S. conservative evangelical culture warriors who are exporting the discredited practice in order to prop up their arguments for laws criminalizing LGBTQ people and women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.
March 19, 2015 – “The danger society doesn’t talk about”
Sally Kohn pens an important piece about U.S. society’s habit of envisioning perpetrators of crimes like rape, abuse, or even mass-shootings as automatically people of color. In reality, the perpetrators of these crimes are frequently young, White, men. Kohn draws on PRA’s article written after the killing spree by Elliot Rodger in 2014 which discussed the national statistic of the gender and race of mass-shooters.
March 18, 2015 – “U.S. Evangelicals in Africa Put Faith Into Action But Some Accused of Intolerance“
The Guardian speaks with PRA senior researcher Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma about his recent book, American Culture Warriors in Africa: A guide to the exporters of homophobia & sexism. Kaoma paints a picture of the myriad of US groups and their African allies who, he says, are “seeking to impose their intolerant – and even theocratic – interpretations of Christianity on the rest of the world” But despite the huge challenges and growing homophobic campaigns across Africa, Kaoma is optimistic. “I can prayerfully say every tear and drop of blood of African sexual minorities is the step towards total liberation,” he says.
March 16, 2015 – “Utah LGBT Discrimination Law Backed By Mormon Church Comes With Concerns“
The International Business Times covers the recent passage of a “compromise” non-discrimination/religious freedom law in Utah. PRA communications director Eric Ethington says that the bill is actually a Trojan Horse for the Religious Right’s agenda, by getting LGBTQ groups to provide an endorsement for the Right’s framework. “What good are the protections when you create a system that allows the protections to be taken away at any time?” Ethington also added “When you open Pandora’s box, it’s almost always impossible to close it again.”
January 30, 2015 – “‘Wage War to Restore a Christian America,’ Urged Pastor Behind Reince Priebus’ RNC Trip to Israel”
Huffington Post Reporter Bruce Wilson discusses David Lane, the little-known but incredibly influential political operative who is leading the Republican National Committee’s already infamous trip to Israel. Wilson draws from the work of PRA fellow Rachel Tabachnick, who also wrote a detailed article on Lane’s involvement in both the Israel trip as well as the 2015 The Response event in Louisiana, and why we should all be much more concerned about Lane’s involvement than about the AFA’s Bryan Fischer, who has taken the fall for the trip.
January 16, 2015 – “Stand in the Bright Light of History on Religious Freedom Day“
Senior fellow for religious liberty Frederick Clarkson pens an op-ed for The Hill. “There may not be any fireworks or family gatherings today, Religious Freedom Day. Most of us have never even heard of it. This is as remarkable as it is tragic, since it recalls an event that has profound significance for our contemporary debates over the proper role of religion in public life. The Day was created by Congress in 1991 to recognize the enactment of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom on January 16, 1786. It has been commemorated by presidential proclamation every year since. But something strange, something ugly, has happened in recent years….”
January 16, 2015 – “Extremist Christians Want You to Forget About Religious Freedom Day“
Political Research Associates’ senior fellow for religious liberty, Frederick Clarkson, joined The David Pakman Show to discuss Religious Freedom Day, and how the definition of religious freedom laid out by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison is now being corrupted by the Christian Right into a weapon that can be used to punish individuals for their beliefs or non-beliefs.
January 12, 2015 – “Scott Lively & Uganda“
PRA’s senior religion and sexuality researcher, Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, joins WHMP in Western Massachusetts to combat U.S. culture warrior Scott Lively, who claims that he never encouraged or supported the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda. Rev. Dr. Kaoma went undercover in 2009 to Uganda and filmed Lively’s now infamous presentation in which he repeatedly claims that LGBTQ people are pedophiles, says that Western gay people are infiltrating Uganda to abduct and abuse 12 year olds from school, blames the Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust on gays, and calls for laws to “discourage” homosexuality.
December 31, 2014 – “A Better Feminism for 2015“
Time recaps the last year in feminism, from successes to setbacks. Reporter Cathy Young links to PRA’s 2011 article about fathers’ rights groups who are threatening women’s safety as an example of some major hurtles the feminist movement still needs to overcome.
December 12, 2014 – “LGBT Advocates Mark International Human Rights Day“
The Washington Blade covers PRA senior religion and sexuality researcher Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma’s appearance at a United Nations panel on Human Rights Day (Dec. 10), where he discussed the struggle of LGBTQ Africans. Click the headline to read the Blade’s story, you can also watch the full video of the presentation here.
November 18, 2014 – “The New Culture War”
MSNBC reporter Irin Carmon discusses how the Religious Right’s war to alter the meaning of religious freedom has become the newest culture war in the U.S. She draws heavily from PRA’s groundbreaking report Redefining Religious Liberty: The Covert Campaign Against Civil Rights to show how conservatives are twisting the original meaning and intent of religious freedom to strip individuals of there freedom, while giving corporations and institutions the power to force us all to believe whatever our bosses may believe.
November 8, 2014 – “Separating Church and State Still an Issue in the US”
Senior fellow Fred Clarkson is interviewed by Eleanor Bader of Truthout, and criticizes the town of Ave Maria, Florida—created by Tom Monaghan to be an all-Roman Catholic society. Clarkson raises the serious questions of possible 1st Amendment violations. “A guy like Tom Monahan does not get to rewrite the Constitution in accordance with his religious or political viewpoint. … For me, the real question is one that Thomas Jefferson asked: Are you as free to go out of a church as you are to go into one? Or are you a captive of the company store?”
October 30, 2014 – “How Political Donors Are Changing Statehouse News Reporting“
Senior fellow Fred Clarkson speaks with Governing Magazine about the conservative Franklin Center and State Policy Network groups masquerading as legitimate “news” outlets to push their ideological agendas. “This assembly line of politics, policy and news is unprecedented in American history. They are a corrupt enterprise using the façade of journalism to carry out a political agenda.”
October 21, 2014 – “The Religious Liberty Campaign”
Dr. Jay Michaelson joined NPR’s RadioWest program to discuss how the Religious Right and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) are putting their own members at risk by creating “religious freedom exemptions” to civil rights laws. If private businesses can discriminate against LGBTQ people on religious grounds, than White business owners can discriminate against Blacks, Male business owners can discriminate against women, and Evangelicals can discriminate against Mormons. Click the title to listen, and read Michaelson’s full report Redefining Religious Liberty: The Covert Campaign Against Civil Rights here.
October 10, 2014 – “This Alabama Judge Has Figured Out How to Dismantle Roe v. Wade“
ProPublica draws on the research of PRA senior fellow Fred Clarkson to discuss Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker, whose mentor, Justice Roy Moore, installed a granite Ten Commandments monument in the state judiciary building which touched off what became a considerable embarrassment and a genuine constitutional crisis. At Parker’s swearing-in, he made it clear that he had sought the bench to continue his old boss’s spiritual fight.
September 14, 2014 – “Bronx Councilman’s Gay Problem“
Crain’s New York gets a preview of PRA’s upcoming report, Religious Right Leaders Use Prominent Athletes and Movie Stars, Scam Progressive Donors to Advance Outreach, to show how New York City Council member Fernando Cabrera is deeply tied to not only some of the leading Ugandan activists responsible for the “Kill the Gays bill,” but also U.S. Religious Right leaders who are camouflaging their right-wing agenda to scam progressive donors.
August 29, 2014 – “It’s Harder to Reach the American Dream If You’re Reaching All Alone“
Robert Borosage discusses the decline of labor in the United States, particularly within the private market. The absence of worker voices on the job is leading to higher rates of “contingent employees,” who see fewer hours, low to no benefits, and constant job insecurity. Borosage draws from PRA’s groundbreaking report on Low-Wage Worker Organizing to show the constant attacks on labor by the Right.
August 29, 2014 – “Rev. Dr. William Barber II on North Carolina’s Fight for Democracy“
BillMoyers.com publishes a long excerpt of PRA Economic Justice fellow Mariya Strauss’ interview with North Carolina NAACP president Rev. Dr. William Barber II. Barber points out the Right’s neoliberal agenda in his state includes denying necessary funds and access to public education. Read the excerpt on BillMoyers.com, and the full interview here.
August 26, 2014 – “Dan Page’s Deeply Disturbing Views on Race, Sexual Assault, and Government“
Slate reporter Boer Deng provides more coverage of PRA’s breaking news about the officer who shoved CNN’s Don Lemon in Ferguson, MO. PRA exposed 3 radio interviews Page did within the past few months, claiming knowledge of a military plot to overthrow U.S. sovereignty, that 99.9% of sexual assaults in the military are “bogus,” and that White female teachers in the public education system are purposefully teaching young Black men to be willing to violently disarm White men.
August 24, 2014 – “More Audio Surfaces From Dan Page, the St. Louis County Police Officer Suspended After Racist Remarks“
Mother Jones reporter AJ Vicens covers PRA’s breaking news about Officer Dan Page in Ferguson, who we now have on record claiming knowledge of a military plot to overthrow U.S. sovereignty, that 99.9% of sexual assaults in the military are “bogus,” and that White female school teachers are teaching young Black men to violently hate White men. Read PRA’s breaking news coverage here.
August 5, 2014 – “Mainstream Extremism“
Baltimore City Paper is the latest news outlet to cover Michael Peroutka, the Theocrat and former Constitution Party presidential candidate who is now the Republican nominee for a city council seat in Anne Arundel. The story has been exposed by PRA senior fellow Fred Clarkson, and BCP’s story covers Clarkson’s research into Peroutka’s calls for invalidation of Maryland’s state government, and militant theocratic revolution.
July 30, 2014 – “Meet New York Giants’ David Tyree’s ‘Spiritual Mother,’ Who Says ‘Jews Own Everything‘”
Michelangelo Signorile, editor-at-large at HuffPost Gay, covers PRA fellow Rachel Tabachnick’s report on the New York Giants’ David Tyree’s business and religious connections to Apostle Kimberly Daniels, his “spiritual mother,” and her radical movement. The Giants’ recent hiring of former player Tyree as director of player development has been under intense criticism because of his past anti-gay advocacy, homophobic statements and belief that gays can be turned straight.
July 23, 2014 – “Religious Liberty Belongs to Everyone, Not Just the Religious Right”
PRA executive director Tarso Luís Ramos and senior fellow Fred Clarkson publish a major OpEd in The Hill, pointing out that the Hobby Lobby decision is only a part of a broad attack by the Religious Right on civil rights by redefining Religious Liberty. “This redefinition of religious liberty effectively transforms the Framers’ shield against religious tyranny into a sword institutions can wield to impose religious dictates on individuals in the marketplace.” Read the full OpEd Here.
July 23, 2014 – “Ukraine Under Siege By The Religious Right”
Buzzflash uses research compiled by PRA’s Cole Parke to show how over the the past fifteen years, the Religious Right has launched numerous projects aimed at the Ukrainian people. The list of projects and initiatives include many prominent U.S.-based culture warriors, including Trinity Broadcasting Network, Pat Robertson, Rick Warren, and Mike Bickle. Read the full article here.
July 22, 2014 – “A much larger and more dangerous movement”: Right-wing militias thrive post-Bundy
Cliven Bundy wasn’t a one-off. Salon interviews PRA’s senior fellow, Fred Clarkson, about the ongoing encouragement of violent confrontations on the Right, which are being encouraged and promoted by high-ranking GOP operatives with ties to Republican presidential candidates. Read the full article here.
July 15, 2014 – Church of England Votes to Ordain Female Bishops
Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma is interviewed by BBC’s Newsday about the breaking news out of the Church of England. They ask him how the news is likely to be taken in Africa. Kaoma explains how the Church of England is highly influential throughout the world, but he worries this particular message won’t penetrate the Church of Africa. “This is about power. [Men] don’t want to share that power with anyone else.” Kaoma concludes, “God did not intend men to dominate women.” Listen to the full story here. (Rev. Dr. Kaoma comes in at 46:55)
July 8, 2014 – “This is a religious civil war: Hobby Lobby only the beginning for new religious theocrats”
Paul Rosenberg at Salon uses PRA’s research report Redefining Religious Liberty: The Covert Campaign Against Civil Rights to make the point that we, as a nation, should be “extremely reluctant” to allow anyone or any corporation to impose its beliefs on others. Rosenberg also speaks with PRA fellow Rachel Tabachnick about her research into NAR, and followers who seek to spread their religious beliefs by gaining real dominion over the country. Read the full article here.
July 3, 2014 – “Hobby Lobby Decision RESTRICTS Religious Freedom”
PRA’s executive director Tarso Luís Ramos joined The David Pakman show to discuss how SCOTUS’ Hobby Lobby decision actually restricts religious liberty. “Despite the rhetoric of Christian Right groups, the battle for the meaning of religious liberty is not between Christianity and secularism, but between pluralism and authoritarianism. However strong their convictions may be, the Religious Right’s campaign is about exempting themselves from federal laws and winning the government-backed right to impose their religious beliefs on others. This is exactly what the Constitution’s Framers sought to avoid. They called it “tyranny.” Watch it here.
July 2, 2014 – PRA’s Fred Clarkson Discusses Religious Liberty on Between The Lines Radio
PRA’s senior fellow, Frederick Clarkson, says “The greatest significance [of the Hobby Lobby ruling] is going to be over time. When a Supreme Court decision comes down, a body of federal case laws develop as a result… As a matter of religious belief, the Supreme Court has now said that a company can defy medical science, and get an exemption from federal law. That’s an extraordinary development.” Listen to the interview here.
July 1, 2014 – “Christian Right Secession Fantasy: Spooky Neo-Confederate Talk Grows Louder At The Fringes”
Salon covers PRA senior fellow Fred Clarkson’s recent report, Rumblings of Theocratic Violence, which examines the increasing calls (including from some high-level GOP operatives) for violence, martyrdom, and revolution as the only way to establish their version of a Christian Nation. Read the full article here.
June 30, 2014 – “SCOTUS Reinterprets Religious Liberty to Justify Corporate Discrimination
PRA’s executive director Tarso Luís Ramos appeared on The Real News Network to discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. “The decision effectively transforms the Framer’s notion of religious liberty as a shield against tyranny into a sword institutions can wield to impose religious dictates on individuals in the marketplace.” Watch the video here.
June 29, 2014 – “John Oliver and Uganda”
PRA had the opportunity this last week to work with HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, discussing the U.S.-based conservative evangelicals who are responsible for exporting the culture wars to Uganda and other African nations. Watch it here.
June 27, 2014 – “Now That They’ve Lost the Culture War, Will Hard-Core Homophobes Turn to Violence?”
Queerty covers the new report by PRA fellow Fred Clarkson, which examines how many leaders on the Religious Right (including some high-level GOP operatives) are increasingly calling for martyrdom and violence as their only remaining option after increasing losses in the culture wars. Read the full article here.
June 20, 2014 – “Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law and America’s Right Hand”
The Huffington Post covers PRA’s recent press release praising the Obama Administration’s newly-announced sanctions against certain officials in Uganda who are most responsible for cultivating human rights abuses. PRA says the sanctions are a good step, but social justice-minded Americans must join the fight and start holding the U.S.-based conservatives here at home accountable, and stop them from spreading the culture wars overseas. Read the full article here.
June 18, 2014 – “Right-Wing Anti-Government Violence, a Growing Threat to Democracy”
Between the Lines host Scott Harris sits down with PRA fellow Rachel Tabachnik to discuss the escalating violence and violent rhetoric coming from the religious right anti-government groups. Unless Americans stand up against it, situations like the Las Vegas shooting and Bundy Ranch are going to occur more frequently. Listen to the interview here.
June 12, 2014 – “Catholic Bishops Vote to Double Down on Culture War”
Religious Dispatches discusses the new research from PRA fellow Fred Clarkson (see: Rumblings of Theocratic Violence) about the Religious Right activists and high-level GOP operatives who are starting to advocate martyrdom and violence. Read the article here.
May 28, 2014 – “American Right-Wingers Push Anti-Gay Agenda in Africa”
Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma joins David Pakman to discuss the origins of American culture warriors persecuting sexual minorities and women in Africa. The beginnings stretch back as far as the 1980s, evolving from protection against a Soviet/Communist “threat” to the neo-colonizing version of today, where U.S. conservatives cast themselves as friends of African nations who will help protect against Western gays. Watch the video here.
May 25, 2014 – “New Book Links U.S. Conservatives and African ‘Kill the Gays’ Bills”
LGBTQ Nation features PRA and Rev. Dr. Kaoma’s new book, American Culture Warriors in Africa, urging their readers to follow the guidelines laid out in the book for how U.S. activists can counter the U.S.-based conservatives and stop their work overseas. Read the story here.
May 21, 2014 – “African Homophobes Are Politicians, Not Lunatics, Writer Says”
Buzzfeed’s J. Lester Feder interviews PRA’s senior researcher, Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, about American Culture Warriors in Africa. Kaoma emphasizes that it is not the place of American social justice activists to try and “fix” homophobia in Africa, but to work to stop the tide of homophobia and sexism flowing from American conservatives to Africa. Read the story here.
May 17, 2014 – “Help Stop Evangelicals Exporting Homophobia & Sexism Abroad”
NCRM profiles the new book from PRA and Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, American Culture Warriors in Africa: A Guide to the Exporters of Homophobia and Sexism. The book will be available May 19, and includes full profiles of the top U.S. conservative culture warriors, and concrete examples of how U.S. social justice activists can counter their work. Read the story here.
May 17, 2014 – “With Gains in U.S., Gay Rights Fight Goes Abroad”
The San Francisco Gate speaks with PRA senior researcher Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma and executive director Tarso Luís Ramos detail how U.S. conservatives—facing heavy losses here in the U.S.—are now working to export the American culture wars abroad. Read the story here.
April 1, 2014 – “Watch: Scott Lively Preached Hate in Uganda Just Before Anti-Gay Law Proposed”
The UK’s Pink News is promoting PRA’s exclusive undercover video of U.S. conservative anti-LGBTQ Pastor Scott Lively in Uganda. Lively is on tape giving a two-day seminar to lawmakers, faith leaders, and the public about the “evils” of the “homosexual agenda” and how Western LGBTQ people are coming into Ugandan schools to molest and “recruit” children. See their story here.
Mar 31, 2014 – “Don’t Be Fooled by Far-Right Activists Dressed Up As Democratic Candidates”
The Huffington Post examines PRA fellow Fred Clarkson’s research into two neo-confederates with a long history of leadership in the theocratic Constitution Party, who have simultaneously filed to run in Maryland elections – one as a Democrat and one as a Republican. You can see Clarkson’s original article here (including video), and read HuffPost’s piece here.
Mar 30, 2014 – “Scott Lively: ‘Protecting Civilization’ From Homosexuals”
PRA’s senior researcher Kapya Kaoma joined ITN News’ Channel 4 (England) in a spotlight feature about Scott Lively’s involvement in the creation of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The piece includes PRA’s exclusive video of Lively’s presentation at a Uganda anti-gay conference in 2009. Watch the full video here.
Mar 24, 2014 – “Why Corporations Don’t Deserve Religious Freedom”
PRA fellow Jay Michaelson pens an op-ed for Reuters, explaining why the Supreme Court should rule against the Hobby Lobby’s attempt to exempt themselves from the Affordable Care Act’s provision that requires employer-provided insurance plans to include contraception coverage. “Corporations exist as separate legal entities precisely to distinguish their activities from those of their owners. It is that separation that Hobby Lobby threatens to erase.” Read the full article here.
Mar 22, 2014 – “How Anti-Gay Christians Evangelize Hate Abroad”
PRA’s senior religion and sexuality researcher Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma published an Op-Ed in the LA Times this morning, detailing U.S. conservative evangelical involvement in the spread of anti-gay legislation across the world. From Uganda to Nigeria to Russia, the influence of Americans like Scott Lively, Rick Warren, and Lou Engle is spreading. Read the Op-Ed here.
Mar 10, 2014 – “Meet the American Pastor Behind Uganda’s Anti-Gay Crackdown”
Mother Jones has published an incredibly in-depth analysis of Scott Lively, the U.S. right-wing evangelical who has traveled to Uganda, Russia, Latvia, and other countries where he has preached that Western homosexuals are trying to sneak into schools to recruit children for sex and urged legislation punishing local LGBTQ communities. The article draws extensively on PRA’s research, and features undercover footage shot by PRA’s Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma in Uganda of Lively. Read the full article here.
Mar 3, 2014 – “The Culture Clash”
PRA’s Senior Religion and Sexuality Researcher, Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, was featured on a recent episode of Al-Jazeera English’s “The Stream.” While U.S. right-wing pastors are desperately trying to go back and claim they had no involvement in the creation of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, Rev. Kaoma has undercover video footage proving that not only did they encourage anti-LGBTQ sentiment, they supported and assisted in its creation. Watch it here.
Feb 27, 2014 – “Arizona’s Decision on Anti-Gay Bill Unlikely to End Religious Liberty Movement”
Jay Michaelson, author of Political Research Associates’ explosive report Redefining Religious Liberty: The Covert Campaign Against Civil Liberties, joined CNN to discuss how Arizona’s SB1062 is only the beginning of the Right’s push to redefine religious rights. Watch it here.
Feb 25, 2014 – “Amid Controversy, ‘Right to Refuse’ Bill Hits Governor’s Desk”
Jay Michaelson, author of Political Research Associates’ Redefining Religious Liberty: the Covert Campaign Against Civil Rights, joined NPR to discuss how the Right has twisted the meaning of “religious liberty” to advance a bill in Arizona that allows anyone with “sincerely held religious beliefs” to deny commercial services to LGBTQ people. Listen to the audio here.
Feb 25, 2014 – “How U.S. Evangelical Missionaries Wage War on Gay People in Uganda”
The Guardian has published a recap of PRA researcher Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma’s undercover footage of U.S. evangelical Scott Lively, who held meetings in Uganda to advocate for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Watch the video here.
Feb 24, 2014 – “Anti-Gay Bills Abroad Tied to US Evangelicals”
Rachel Maddow interviews Jeff Sharlet, a contributing editor for Harper’s Magazine, about U.S. conservative involvement in the creation of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Sharlet quotes heavily from Political Research Associates’ work, and Rachel airs video footage shot in Uganda by PRA researcher Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma. Watch Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.
Feb 24, 2014 – “U.S. Christian Right Behind Anti-Gay Law Passed in Uganda”
Political Research Associates’ senior religion and sexuality researcher, Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, joined The Real News Network to discuss how U.S. conservative evangelicals are the real culprits behind Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Law.
Feb 24, 2014 – “Virginia counter-terror training by anti-Muslim activist sparks outcry”
The Guardian quotes PRA’s report, Manufacturing the Muslim Menace, in an article about former FBI agent John Guandolo, who is holding a 3-day conference to teach 50 law enforcement about how he believes the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the U.S. government and how the CIA director is a secret Muslim. Read the full article here.
Feb 19, 2014 – “George Zimmerman’s BFF Called Oprah the N-Word”
Mother Jones‘ Matt Connolly recaps the audio clip PRA’s Rachel Tabachnick found of Frank Taaffe, a regular analyst for CNN/HLN on the George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn trials, calling Oprah Winfrey the n-word on his radio program. Read the Mother Jones piece here and our original posting of the audio here. The story was also covered by Mediaite and Raw Story.
Feb 10, 2014 – “Scrambling to Make Sense of Russia”
PRA’s Jay Michaelson, author of the groundbreaking report, Redefining Religious Liberty: The Covert Campaign Against Civil Rights, joins local NPR outlet WNPR News to discuss how anti-LGBTQ laws aren’t limited to Russia; they’re cropping up around the world. Listen to the audio here.
Jan 20, 2014 – “Why the GOP’s civil war is only going to get uglier”
PRA fellow Rachel Tabachnick’s work on exposing Ron Paul as the engine behind the movement for so-called nullification bills is catching a lot of attention. The former Congressman bills himself as a libertarian, but it’s merely a front to fool supporters while his real agenda progresses. Read the full article here.
Jan 23, 2014 – “Evangelicals Are Winning The Gay Marriage Fight — in Africa and Russia”
In the latest issue of the National Journal, Political Research Associates’ researchers Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma and Cole Parke discuss how U.S.-based conservatives are working directly with the governments of nations like Russia and Uganda to bring about anti-LGBTQ legislation. Read the full article here.
Jan 16, 2014 – “Tea Party hatches quiet-but-insane plot against democracy: Meet the ’12 Percent Solution'”
PRA fellows Fred Clarkson and Rachel Tabachnick are featured prominently in this article out of Salon. They discuss the disturbing new trend emerging from the Right, a push for a constitutional convention that would strip power away from the United States and feed it to conservatives in state legislatures. Read the full article here.
Jan 15, 2014 – “The Stealth War on Abortion”
PRA fellow Rachel Tabachnick discusses how the Right has merged unpopular social attacks on women’s health with conservative economic policy, creating a single “worldview” with the war on reproductive rights as a non-negotiable component.
Read the Full Article Here
Jan 13, 2014 – “When the Right to Religion Conflicts With a Changing Society”
Jay Michaelson, author of the groundbreaking PRA report Redefining Religious Liberty: the Covert Campaign Against Civil Rights, joined NPR’s All Things Considered to discuss how the Right has manipulated the meaning of religious liberty, which guarantees the free practice of religions themselves, to claim that religious individuals are the victims for not being allowed to use their religious beliefs as a basis for discrimination in non-religious commercial settings.
Listen to the Audio Here
Jan 8, 2014 – “Nuns’ Obamacare Challenge and the Right”
In her column on CNN.com, author Sally Kohn uses PRA’s research on the Becket Fund to highlight its financial and ideological ties to the agenda of the Religious Right.
Read the Article Here
Dec 20, 2013 – “Ugandan MPs rush through draconian laws against homosexuality”
PRA executive director Tarso Luís Ramos and senior religion and sexuality researcher Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma discuss how the newly-passed Anti-Homosexuality Law in Uganda was created, inspired, and pushed by American evangelicals.
Read the full article here. You can also see PRA’s full press release here.