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Poll: Vast Majority Of Americans Blame Churches For Gay Teen Suicides

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Sixty-five percent of Americans — a vast majority — blame churches for “higher rates of suicide among gay and lesbian youth,” such as the suicides that have shocked the country in recent months, according to a new poll just released by The Public Religion Research Institute. The survey also finds that seventy-two percent of Americans believe “messages 
about 
the 
issue 
of 
homosexuality
 coming 
from
 places
 of 
worship 
contribute
 to negative
 views 
of 
gay 
and 
lesbian
 people.” Additionally, forty-three percent of Americans, a plurality, “think 
messages
 on
 the 
issue 
of
 homosexuality 
coming 
from
 America’s
 places 
of 
worship 
are
 generally 

negative.”

The Public Religion Research Institute also reports, “more than 4-in-10 Americans gave religious organizations a “D” (18%) or an “F” (24%). The number of Americans giving places of worship low marks is more than twice as many as give them high marks; Only 5% of Americans give them an “A,” and only 11% give them a “B.”

“Of all religious groups, white evangelicals are most likely to give their own church high marks for handling the issue of homosexuality. Three-quarters of white evangelicals give their church an “A” (48%) or “B” (27%). Among white mainline Protestants and Catholics, only about 4-in-10 give their church an “A” or “B.” Catholics were most likely to give their churches negative marks, with nearly one-third giving their churches a “D” (15%) or an “F” (16%).”

“A majority of Americans agree that messages coming from places of worship about the issue of homosexuality are not positive,” said Daniel Cox, Director of Research for Public Religion Research Institute.  “Americans are six times more likely to say that messages coming from places of worship are negative as they are to say that they are positive.”

It’s important to compare these factual, scientific findings with the assault that radical yet well-publicized and well-funded right-wing religious zealots are making on the issue of the severe and damaging impact religious institutions and “pro-family” groups are having on the youth and teens of America, particularly youths and teens who are homosexual or may questioning their sexuality. Even those who do not self-identify as homosexual, bisexual, or transgender, but are perceived as being LGBTQ, have suffered greatly at the hands of bullies of all ages.

And it’s no wonder the vast majority of Americans “agree that messages coming from places of worship about the issue of homosexuality are not positive.” Consider Minnesota, which is eighty-one percent Christianist. Then consider this, via The American Independent:

“Archbishop John Neinstedt says Minnesota’s bishops will be distributing “more than one million” DVDs across Minnesota just weeks before the [November 2010] election. Part of an orchestrated campaign against same-sex marriage, the DVDs were funded by an anonymous donor and produced by the Knights of Columbus, a group that donates to the National Organization for Marriage, which is also running anti-gay marriage ads in Minnesota. While Neinstedt says the effort isn’t about politics, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy group slammed the new campaign.

“Dennis McGrath, spokesman for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, told the Minnesota Independent that the campaign is titled, “Preserving Marriage in Minnesota.”

“The DVD itself,  “One Man, One Woman – Marriage and the Common Good,” is a hodgepodge of anti–gay marriage arguments including statements by Maggie Gallagher, founder of the National Organization for Marriage, who says gay marriage will be taught in schools if it is legalized.”

Compare the survey findings above with the intersection of Maggie Gallagher’s National Organization for Marriage’s misdeeds in Minnesota, and the murderous rhetoric coming from other radical, well-funded hate groups, including the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which proudly invokes god and religion in its public messaging, including in its weekly emails.

Maggie Gallagher, the Chairwoman of NOM, this week offered an op-ed in the New York Post. Titled, “Don’t blame me for gay teen suicides,” Gallagher, whom many (yours, truly, included,) indeed do blame for gay teen suicides, asks, “Do I have blood on my hands?” She then asks, “Forced sex, childhood sexual abuse, dating violence, early unwed pregnancy, substance abuse — could these be a more important factor in the increased suicide risk of LGBT high schoolers than anything people like me ever said?”

Ever obtuse, Gallagher has yet to come to the realization that people are forced into risky behaviors out of desperation. And the root cause of that desperation often is in the words, and the campaign of hate, that is Maggie Gallagher.

New York Magazine agrees, and responds:

“[W]hen Maggie Gallagher put[s] out ads comparing gay marriage to a terrifying oncoming storm as part of a campaign to maintain legal inequality, it provides more evidence to young, confused gay kids that what they are is not as good as what other kids are. (Incidentally, it provides bullies with the same justification.) She’s not just opposed to gay marriage. She’s working as hard as she can to create an environment that delegitimizes the gay lifestyle, claiming that it “takes away freedom” from other people and threatens America’s very way of life.”

Then there is the extreme right-wing homophobic columnist obsessed with homosexuality, Mike Adams, who in Townhall satirically writes of “a wave of [eight] recent suicides involving Christians who have been harassed by homosexual activists.” He ends the piece with a retort.

“These eight cases are all true except for one thing: The Christians who were bullied by gays and gay activists are all still alive. Not a single one has committed suicide. That is because they have centered their lives around Jesus Christ, rather than their sexual identity. And no amount of bullying can change my mind about that.”

Suicide, whether gay or straight, is never funny. Nor is it to be used as a satirical vehicle to twist into a misguided point.

But make no mistake. These are just two examples this week of countless ones throughout the years.

Sadly, it’s getting worse.

Already, many reputable organizations have gone on record with their belief that organizations such as Gallagher’s NOM are merely storefronts for the vast wealth that is the Mormon Church. Others see the hand of other Christianist Churches in so-called “pro-family” organizations such as Focus on the Family, the Alliance Defense Fund, the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, and other anti-gay hate groups.

Fortunately, the one thing we can all trust is the common-sense of the American people, who know a scam and a hate-monger when they see it. They have identified the Church in America as the leading cause of the anti-gay bias and bullying that has driven countless LGBTQ youths and teens to suicide.

There is blood on the hands of Maggie Gallagher, and the Church; the blood of gay teens who succumbed to suicide — teens literally bullied to death. And America — sixty-five percent of America –  knows it.


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News

Florida’s Rubio Challenged Over His Past Opposition to Disaster Relief — and Gets Fact-Checked

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With Florida reeling from the massive amount of damage — estimated in the billions — inflicted by Hurricane Ian, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) was asked by CNN host Dana Bash how to reconcile his request for financial help from the federal government given his opposition to similar requests from other states following a natural disaster.

In a rare appearance on CNN, Rubio tried to explain away his complaints about other funding bills by stating he felt they were larded with pork-barrel projects that he didn’t feel were justified.

“Senator, you wrote a letter Friday to the Senate Appropriations Committee asking for disaster relief dollars for desperately needed resources to rebuild Florida communities,” host Bash began. “After Hurricane Sandy hit northeastern states in 2012, you voted no on the $50 billion relief package.”

“I know you supported a smaller version,” she continued. “But why should other senators vote for relief for your state when you didn’t vote for a package to help theirs?”

RELATED: Florida GOP senator cornered on CNN over delayed evacuation order before Hurricane Ian hit

“Oh, I’ve always voted for hurricane and disaster relief,” the Florida Republican protested. “I’ve even voted for it without pay-fors. What I didn’t vote for in Sandy is because they included a roof for a museum in Washington, d.c., for fisheries in Alaska. It had been loaded up with things that had nothing to do with disaster relief.”

“I would never put out there we should use a disaster relief package for Florida as a way to pay for all kinds of other things people want around the country,” he continued. “So I think that’s that’s the key at moments like this. In Sandy, unfortunately, they loaded it up, they really did, with a bunch of things that had nothing to do with Sandy. I voted for every disaster relief package especially that’s clean and I’ll continue to do so. When it comes to Florida, we’ll do that again and make sure the package is clean and doesn’t have stuff for other people in there.”

“I read the congressional research report and the roof was damaged.” Bash corrected him. “In any event, my question is about the future. Are you telling me that if Hurricane Ian relief contains anything that smells like pork, you’ll vote no?”

“Sure. I’ll fight against it having pork in it– that’s the key,” he responded.

Watch below or at the link:

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Thinly-Veiled Incitement to Violence and Overt Racism’: Trump’s Truth Social Post Sparks Outrage

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Donald Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” but on Friday night took his social media approach to his Truth Social website.

Trump accused Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of having a “death wish” after a government shutdown was averted.

“Must immediately seek help and advise (sic) from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!” he said of Elaine Chao, who served in his cabinet for four years as Secretary of Transportation.

Trump’s post generated outrage online.

“Nothing to see here,” conservative lawyer George Conway tweeted. “Just a former president of the United States seeking to incite violence against the minority leader of the United States Senate and launching a racist verbal attack on the leader’s wife.”

Former federal prosecutor Shanlon Wu wrote, “Donald Trump using blatant racist tactics in his desperate attacks on McConnell by trying to ridicule Asian American former Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao’s name calling her ‘Coco Chow’ — [McConnell] and [GOP] should call him out and reject his racist hate — will they do it?”

“Hardly shocking that Trump would threaten Mitch McConnell by capitalizing the words ‘death wish’ — dog whistle invitation to Trump’s extremist supporters — same Trump who believed his own VP Pence deserved to be lynched by the angry Jan. 6 mob Trump incited to violence,” Wu added.

Janai Nelson, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, wrote, “I double dare all major media outlets to call this what it is: thinly-veiled incitement to violence and overt racism.”

Podcaster Fred Wellman said, “Elaine Chao was Trump’s Secretary of Transportation for 4 years and he just called her the ridiculously racist nickname ‘Coco Chow.’ Yes…you are a racist if you still support this broken *sshole.”

Jonah Goldberg, the editor-in-chief of The Dispatch, wrote, “Look, I think the gross bigotry, stupidity, dishonesty, and demagoguery of this is obvious on so many levels and I’m embarrassed for the country. But, because no one else will, I feel I have to point out he also misspelled advice.”

 

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News

Republicans suggest defunding Veteran Affairs even though it helps 9 million vets

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Republican legislators are starting to suggest defunding the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the office founded in 1989 to assist with veteran needs. The VA assists with getting veterans mental and physical healthcare, educational opportunities, community support, and other everyday housing and living needs.

An Arizona legislator, captured on video participating in a mock congressional hearing, said he supported shutting down the department.

“That’s sort of what I’m thinking because … I hear no good stories. I had zero in my district,” the legislator said in a video posted by the far-right watchdog group Patriot Takes. “So I guess it’s a matter of us leading the fight to defund it.”

A second video, posted by the same account, showed Republican Florida Representative Matt Gaetz advocating for defunding the VA while speaking at an event held by FreedomWorks, a conservative and libertarian advocacy group.

“This is my question to the group. Is it savable? Why not abolish the VA, take all of the money that we are otherwise spending and go to an any willing provider system inside of our communities?” Gaetz says in the video. “And then, if people get bad care, they can vote with their feet and you don’t have a two-tier system of healthcare in this country with our veterans and then with everyone else.”

Generally speaking, Republican policies favor the privatization of all government functions, thinking that a “small government,” “free-market,” “for-profit” privatization provided by a corporation can solve any market ill.

In reality, if entire communities are deprived of VA access, U.S. military veterans will be left largely on their own to get their life needs met after military service. Those who lack money or transportation won’t be able to “vote with their feet” and find a local care provider to handle their specific issues… they’ll either have to spend massive amounts to get such essential care or just go without.

In late July, 41 Senate Republicans voted against a bill aimed at protecting veterans exposed to toxic materials during their military service. The legislation would have expanded care to 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. It would have also added 23 toxic and burn pit exposure-related illnesses to the VA database, Newsweek reported.

After massive blowback, Senate Republicans re-voted on the bill and helped it pass.

Patriot Takes posted the video hoping that it would encourage veterans and military members to vote in the upcoming mid-term elections.

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