In Wisconsin, there's a ban on domestic-partner benefits for state employees. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit -- and now elected legislators have chosen to bring in the Jesus Warriors, as Madison's Capital Times reports:
The Joint Committee on Legislative Organization ... approved the request from Assembly Speaker John Gard, R-Peshtigo, earlier in the week to authorize the Alliance Defense Fund to act on behalf of the Legislature in the case.
This is being done over the strenuous objection of Governor Jim Doyle, who doubts Speaker Gard's assurance that the work will be done pro bono, and who points out, sensibly, that defending the state against lawsuits is one big reason Wisconsin has an attorney general with a staff of lawyers.
Now, some of you may know about the Alliance Defense Fund. You might recall that when a teacher in Cupertino, California, handed out flyers in class that proselytized for Christianity, one of which included a passage from the Declaration of Independence, ADF distorted the truth by issuing a press release titled "Declaration of Independence Banned from Classroom."
Alan Sears, ADF's president, simply doesn't believe in separation of church and state, and once linked it to the Ku Klux Klan in an article:
It took a former Ku Klux Klansman turned Supreme Court Justice, Hugo Black, to move the so-called "separation of church and state" into common jurisprudence, which he accomplished in 1947 in Everson v. Board of Education. As a committed Klansman, Black surely must have participated in the Klan's oath of allegiance, to "most zealously ... shield and preserve ... (the) separation of church and state ..." Klan doctrine is not a good way to interpret the U.S. Constitution.
Sears is coauthor of a book entitled The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today. He doesn't just oppose gay rights -- he believes the "gay agenda" threatens Christians' right to worship:
The homosexual activist movement is driving an agenda that will severely limit the ability to live and preach the uncensored gospel, whether it is in the boardroom, classroom, halls of government, private organizations and even in places of worship....
Radical homosexual activists will use their financial and political clout to silence people of faith and the gospel. If God's people and God's church do not take a clear, uncompromised stand, the result will be that with each passing generation the freedom to live and practice Christian faith and the traditional family will become more restricted and become a remnant of history.
And while James Dobson apparently doesn't believe SpongeBob SquarePants is gay (he just denounced a pro-tolerance cartoon SpongeBob appeared in), Sears does:
Sears comes off looking a tad paranoid in The Homosexual Agenda. He tends to see gay conspiracies everywhere. In the book, he asserts that the zany 1959 comedy film "Some Like It Hot," in which two musicians dress as women and join an all-female band to hide from mobsters, promotes cross dressing. Sears also speculates that the popular cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants is gay. (To make the case, Sears cites a Wall Street Journal article that notes that SpongeBob often holds hands with his friend Patrick, a pink starfish.)
That's from an article at the Web site of Americans United for Separation of Church & State, which adds that Jeffrey J. Ventrella, a top ADF official,
is, like Sears, no fan of gay people. During a Feb. 24 debate on gay rights at Rice University, Ventrella veered into rhetorical excess.
"For that organ that was designed to be the font of new life," he said, "to be placed in that cavity which was designed to eliminate waste -- what that tells us is that, philosophically, death has swallowed life."
According to Houston Voice, Ventrella's statement "prompted shocked outbursts and laughter from the crowd."
Whew. Thanks for sharing, dude.
Another Americans United article notes ADF's apparent ties to Reconstructionism:
Reconstructionists are the most extreme manifestation of the Religious Right in America. They advocate a society anchored in "biblical law" and would literally base U.S. law on the legal code of the Old Testament. In their ideal society, offenses like blasphemy, fornication, "witchcraft," homosexuality, worshipping "false gods" and incorrigible juvenile delinquency would merit the death penalty....
Reconstructionists have appeared at the ADF's Blackstone [Fellowship] events and continue to do so. Past Blackstone speakers include George Grant, a leading Reconstructionist theorist known for his extreme views. In his 1993 book Legislating Immorality, the Tennessee-based Grant laments the fact that legal codes calling for the death penalty for gay people have been abolished.
Gary DeMar, a Georgia-based Reconstructionist who endorsed the idea of the death penalty for gays in his 1987 book The Ruler of Nations: Biblical Principles for Government, spoke at a previous ADF seminar and is scheduled to appear at this year's Blackstone event, which takes place this month.
Jeffery J. Ventrella, the ADF's senior vice president of strategic training and coordinator of the Blackstone program, has published several articles in The Chalcedon Report, the leading Reconstructionist journal.... Ventrella, who describes himself as an "ordained Ruling Elder in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church" in his ADF bio, also teaches classes at Bahnsen Theological Seminary, a correspondence school in Placentia, Calif., named after the late Greg Bahnsen, one of the key architects of the Reconstructionist movement.
Nice to see these guys are working for the government, isn't it?