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Christian Parents Demand Schools Teach About GRIDS And Ex-Gay Therapy

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A conservative religious group of parents from the Anoka-Hennepin school district are demanding that schools in that Minnesota suburb, northwest of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, teach students about ex-gay and ex-transgender therapy, teach children that homosexual sex has “medical consequences,” and teach them about “Gay-Related Immunity Deficiency Syndrome.” GRIDS is the name given in 1982 to what is now referred to as AIDS, and has been since 1986.

The parents group, named “PALS,” the Parents Action League, is fighting for the school district to keep its so-called “neutrality” policy, that demands no mention of homosexuality or any LGBT issues — a clear violation of students’ First Amendment rights.

“Brian Lindquist and Mike Skaalerud presented a resolution and list of demands that the Parents Action League wants to the school board to fulfill including incorporating “ex-gay” therapy into the school resources,” Andy Birkey in the Daily Planet reported:

Here’s the full resolution as recited by Lindquist and Skaalerud:

Whereas Anoka Hennepin District 11 has devoted a special section on their website to GLBT issues, training and awareness.

And whereas the theme of school safety is being used as a pretext to advance a much broader agenda, the legitimization of homosexuality and related conduct to impressionable school children

And whereas the Anoka Hennepin school board is considering removing the protective sexual orientation curriculum policy, an action that undermines the academic focus of this district and open the door to pro-homosexual and related conduct materials in the school curriculum thereby exposing students to concepts hostile to there religious faith and/or moral conviction

And whereas school officials would be liable for violating parental rights by subjecting a child to homosexual and related conduct indoctrination

And whereas the Supreme Court in Meyer v Nebraska has held that parents’ right to direct the moral upbringing and education of their children is one of the most fundamental of all rights and a failure to abide by parental rights can result in liability for damages both the the school district

Whereas schools may face liability for intentional and negligent instruction of students who rely upon false and misleading information about sexual conduct and are subsequently harmed.

Whereas as superintendent Dennis Carlson and prevention coordinator Barry Scanlon went on a listening tour visiting the nine GSA clubs in the district January thru May of 2011 and have not conducted a listening tour with students of faith, moral conviction, ex-homosexuals and ex-transgenders

And whereas district 11 has ordered copies of pro-homosexual video “It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Living a Life Worth Living,” edited by Dan Savage for secondary media centers

And whereas legal liability exists for the tort of negligence if it is proved that homosexual activists and organizations were granted access to students under responsibility and that students suffered physical or mental harm.

Therefore be it resolved the Parents Action League in Anoka Hennepin School District 11 demands the following ten actions be taken by our shcool board.

1. A new division within the student support services and a special section on the District 11 website devoted to student of fiath, moral conviction, ex-homosexuals and ex-transgenders.

2. A listening tour by Superintendent Denny Carlson and district prevention coordinator Barry Scanlon with students of faith, moral conviction, ex-homosexuals, and ex-transgenders.

3. That District 11 administrators and staff work closely with pro-family and ex-homosexual and ex-transgender organizations to provide ongoing training to school counselors, school nurses, social workers, school psychologists, prevention specialists, student learning advocates and a number of secondary principals and principals.

4. Provide professional development opportunities in which philosophical, pedogogical, and political assumptions of GLBT advocacy are critically examined.

5. Provide webinars, seminars for all staff on over-coming sexual disorders

6. Provide training on bullying and suicide that protects all students.

7. Provide the history of gay-related immune deficiencies and acquired immune deficiencies and the medical consequences of homosexual acts.

8. That all health classes that address homosexuality be required to provide up-to-date information from the CDC on sexually transmitted diseases and HIV among the groups the CDC designates as men who have sex with men.

9. Provide the following pro-family, ex-homosexual, ex-transgender information and websites to all counselors, school psychologists

classroom teachers [the list was submitted to the board and not spoken at the meeting]

10. Provide pro-family, ex-homosexual and ex-transgender videos to secondary media centers.

[ Emphasis mine.]

Birkey offers an extensive and thorough report of the meeting, and I urge you to read it in full, but I’ll draw your attention to these two startling passages:

Barb Anderson has been the spokesperson for the group. She’s also a researcher for the Minnesota Family Council and has accused LGBT advocacy groups of being responsible for bullying and suicides in the district.

At Monday night’s board meeting, she accused the LGBT community of indoctrinating the students of the district.

“On Dec. 25th, on the front page of the Star Tribune, the pro-homosexual media once again held up the St. Paul school district as an example of how the districts should deal with GLBT issues. In St. Paul, the fear of the gay agenda coming into the schools is now a thing of the past. Well, that’s exactly right. There’s no reason to fear it coming in because its so entrenched in their schools that parents have given up all hope of getting it out.”

She said that the “gay agenda” was trying to force Christians into the closet.

Tiffany Strabala blasted the Anoka Hennepin teachers union head Julie Blaha for saying that students are not “controversial issues” and that identities should not the subject of policies like the neutrality policy.

“The idea that same-sex attraction and volitional same sex acts constitute an identity that should be valued is a subjective and arguable belief it is not a fact,” said Strabala.

The Anoka-Hennepin school district, which lies in Representative Michele Bachmann’s congressional district, has one of the highest student suicide rates in the country. Justin Aaberg is one notable student from the Anoka-Hennepin school district who succumbed to suicide, at the age of 15. Others include Lance Lundsten, and Haylee Fentress and Paige Moravetz.

The district has been designated a “suicide contagion area.” Shockingly, despite all evidence to the contrary, the school district claims six, not nine suicides from within its district were recorded over a two-year period, and now even rejects the term “suicide contagion area” entirely, actually apologizing for having used it recently.

Studies prove that youth and teens who live in conservative regions are far more-likely to attempt suicide than those who do not.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Principal Ordered Librarian to Take Down Holocaust Survivor’s Famous Quote Just Days Before Holocaust Remembrance Day

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A Pennsylvania principal drew criticism last week after telling a Bucks County school librarian to take down posters with a famous quote by Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Peace Prize winning human rights activist, professor, and Holocaust survivor, just days before Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Central Bucks School District reportedly has ties to an organization that appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups.

Despite being under investigation by the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Office of Civil Rights after an ACLU complaint, the Central Bucks School District earlier this month voted 6-3 to pass “a contentious policy that bans teachers from engaging in ‘advocacy activities’ and displaying inclusive symbols like Pride flags in their classrooms,” WHYY reported earlier this month.

Citing that new rule, known as Policy 321, the school principal told Central Bucks High School South librarian Matt Pecic to take down four posters that displayed Wiesel’s famous quote from his 1986 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, WHYY reports.

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented,” Wiesel said.

READ MORE: $1 Billion Campaign From Group ‘Linked to Staunchly Conservative Causes’ Will Try to ‘Redeem Jesus’ Brand’ in Super Bowl Ads

The principal reportedly told Pecic if he did not comply human resources would have to get involved. Pecic, who has worked for the school district for three decades, met with the principal accompanied by his union representative.

“If I didn’t take it down, I knew there would be consequences that could impact me,” Pecic said. “It’s a horrible feeling. And you feel like you have to do something that you don’t agree with.”

Making the issue even more difficult, “Pecic’s ninth-grade daughter, a Central Bucks student at Holicong Middle School, originally emailed him the quote,” WHYY reports.

“This is where I get choked up,” Pecic said. “She said that ‘this quote reminds me of you.’”

Pecic describes himself as someone who often speaks up, “if I disagree with something, especially if I think it’s not for the benefit of students, I will say something.”

On Thursday, after uproar from the community, the district stepped in and allowed the posters with Wiesel’s quote to be put back up.

READ MORE: Trump-Aligned Christian Nationalist Group ‘Taps Into Unholy Well’ That Threatens Democracy

“We regret that the decision was made to remove it,” the district said in a statement, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported,  “and in a manner that promotes not only the importance of the novel, but continued awareness and education surrounding the Holocaust and its National Day of Remembrance this coming Friday. The district apologizes for any hurt or concerns this has caused, particularly for those in the Jewish community.”

The Central Bucks School District hired a public relations firm, Devine + Partners, at the cost of $15,000 a month, “in an attempt to repair strained public relations and improve the school district’s image,” The Buck’s County Herald reported last summer.

Devine + Partners was hired to help after “a series of executive decisions made by the Central Bucks School District, most of which appear targeted towards the LGBTQ+ student body.”

“This includes the removal of Pride Flags in the classroom, under the justification that they were political symbols, and as such, not fit for the classroom. It also includes only allowing students to attend Human Growth and Development classes that matched with their assigned genders at birth, and pausing said classes shortly after they began, effectively outing these students to their teachers and peers.”

READ MORE: McCarthy Sat for an Interview With Trump Jr. – One Bragged About an ‘Illegal’ Act, One Wished His Dad Would ‘Show Some’ Love

WHYY is a separate report notes on Monday that the Central Bucks School District has ties to an anti-LGBTQ hate group, the Family Research Council.

The district is currently reviewing five books after rolling out a new, harsh policy “which aims to keep books that a yet-to-be-determined group might deem ‘inappropriate’ for unspecified ‘sexualized content’ out of school libraries,” WHYY reported in July.

“Recent updates to the policy were reviewed by a conservative Christian law firm, Independence Law Center, as first reported by the Bucks County Courier Times,” WHYY adds. “The Independence Law Center is the legal arm of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, which is a statewide branch of the national organization Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ Christian nationalist group designated as an extremist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

Earlier this month NBC 10 Philadelphia reported on the passage of Policy 321 by the school board. Watch below or at this link.

 

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Criminal Charges Against Trump Possible as Manhattan DA Presents Grand Jury With Evidence in Hush Money Probe

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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has empaneled a special grand jury and prosecutors are now presenting evidence against Donald Trump in their revived investigation into hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and one other woman during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Calling it “a dramatic escalation of an inquiry that once appeared to have reached a dead end,” The New York Times reports the Manhattan DA is “laying the groundwork for potential criminal charges against the former president in the coming months,” and says it “a clear signal” that Bragg “is nearing a decision about whether to charge Mr. Trump.”

Among the witnesses testifying is David Pecker, “the former publisher of The National Enquirer, the tabloid that helped broker the deal” with Daniels.

READ MORE: $1 Billion Campaign From Group ‘Linked to Staunchly Conservative Causes’ Will Try to ‘Redeem Jesus’ Brand’ in Super Bowl Ads

Prosecutors have also contacted members of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and have subpoenaed phone records and other documents that could provide evidence.

But The Times notes that a “conviction is not a sure thing, in part because a case could hinge on showing that Mr. Trump and his company falsified records to hide the payout from voters days before the 2016 election, a low-level felony charge that would be based on a largely untested legal theory. The case would also rely on the testimony of Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former fixer who made the payment and who himself pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the hush money in 2018.”

Cohen broke with Trump and in 2016, “made the extraordinary admission in court on Tuesday that Mr. Trump had directed him to arrange payments to two women during the 2016 campaign to keep them from speaking publicly about affairs they said they had with Mr. Trump,” The Times reported in 2018.

The payments were made “for the principal purpose of influencing the election” for president in 2016, Cohen testified.

He was sentenced to 36 months in prison.

“Days before then-President Donald Trump left the White House, federal prosecutors in New York discussed whether to potentially charge Trump with campaign finance crimes once he was out of office,” CNN reported on Friday, citing a new book from CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig.

But they “decided to not seek an indictment of Trump for several reasons, Honig writes, including the political ramifications and the fact that Trump’s other scandals, such as efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and the January 6, 2021, insurrection, ‘made the campaign finance violations seem somehow trivial and outdated by comparison.'”

Award-winning journalist and author Brian Karem tweeted: “As someone who worked extensively with [Michael Cohen] on the book ‘Revenge’ I can say this: Facts show that the MOST dangerous criminal case against Donald Trump could be made by the Manhattan D.A.”

Read The Times’ full report here.

This article has been updated to include Brian Karem’s tweet.

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$1 Billion Campaign From Group ‘Linked to Staunchly Conservative Causes’ Will Try to ‘Redeem Jesus’ Brand’ in Super Bowl Ads

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From electric vehicles to cosmetics, and even the word “mummy,” there is a lot of rebranding going on.

Bowing to anger from right-wingers and conservative commentators, M&M’s decided to rebrand the decades-old multi-colored candies after outrage over its latest addition, purple, and its new “spokescandy,” also named “Purple.”

“Roughly a year ago, Mars Wrigley updated the look of its M&M’s characters, announcing an initiative to make the mascots fit a ‘more dynamic, progressive world.’ As part of these changes, the company introduced new designs of some of M&M’s characters and wrote weirdly elaborate backstories for others. Most notably, the company made the green M&M less ‘sexy’ by shortening her legs and replacing her high-heeled boots with sneakers,” Vox Media’s Polygon reported last week.

Fox News personality Tucker Carlson infamously has waged war on the “woke” spokescandies, declaring at one point, “M&M’s will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous.”

Fast forward to now: Actress and comedian Maya Rudolph is their new spokesperson, although the “spokescandies,” perhaps after some additional rebranding, will be returning in a new ad on Super Bowl Sunday.

Which brings us to the rebranding of another icon: Jesus Christ.

He too will be part of the Super Bowl Sunday ads.

READ MORE: Trump-Aligned Christian Nationalist Group ‘Taps Into Unholy Well’ That Threatens Democracy

Over the next three years a $1 billion mostly-dark-money campaign – which reportedly will include funds from billionaire right wing anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ funder David Green, the founder of Hobby Lobby – will promote Jesus in ads, including during the Super Bowl on February 12. Those two Super Bowl ads to “to redeem Jesus’ brand” will cost $20 million, Religion News Service reports.

The campaign to promote Jesus includes $100 million in ads declaring “He Gets Us,” from “the Servant Foundation, an Overland Park, Kansas, nonprofit that does business as The Signatry,” RNS adds.

The “donors backing the campaign have until recently remained anonymous — in early 2022, organizers only told Religion News Service that funding came from ‘like-minded families who desire to see the Jesus of the Bible represented in today’s culture with the same relevance and impact He had 2000 years ago.'”

But the full list of donors remains unknown.

“Jason Vanderground, president of Haven, a branding firm based in Grand Haven, Michigan, that is working on the ‘He Gets Us’ campaign, confirmed that the Greens are one of the major funders, among a variety of donors and families who have gotten behind it.”

READ MORE: Pelosi Attack Video Release Leads to Criticism of Musk, Right Wingers Who ‘Trafficked in Homophobic Conspiracy Nonsense’

In a Washington Post interview last year, Vanderground “said Christians see their faith as the greatest love story, but those outside the faith see Christians as a hate group.”

But rather than try to convince self-identified followers of Christ to act as Jesus would want, right-wing interests are spending $1 billion to convince others of what Christianity is supposed to be about.

“Our research shows that many people’s only exposure to Jesus is through Christians who reflect him imperfectly, and too often in ways that create a distorted or incomplete picture of his radical compassion and love for others,” Vanderground told The Washington Post. “We believe it’s more important now than ever for the real, authentic Jesus to be represented in the public marketplace as he is in the Bible.”

Some are not impressed, and are more-or-less asking, “What would Jesus do?”

“They are latching on to this touchy-feely, conveniently vague, designer Jesus,” podcaster, author, and secular activist Seth Andrews told RNS. Andrews “poses the question of what Jesus would think of the amount of money spent on the ads. Would he prefer that the money be spent on ministering to people’s physical needs or making the world a better place?”

READ MORE: McCarthy Sat for an Interview With Trump Jr. – One Bragged About an ‘Illegal’ Act, One Wished His Dad Would ‘Show Some’ Love

“Or would he say, no, go ahead and spend $100 million to tell everybody how great I am?”

On-air, CNN said, “at first blush, it can all read like a stand against radical right-wing politics and related divisiveness,” but adds that “some are calling this a ‘right-wing stunt for politics.'”

“‘He Gets Us’ is funded by anonymous donors acting through a Kansas non-profit linked to staunchly conservative causes,” CNN’s report (video below) notes, saying it “raises alarms for some skeptics.”

Watch CNN’s report below or at this link.

Image: Romolo Tavani/Shutterstock

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