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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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‘Your Client Is a Criminal Defendant’: Judge Denies Trump Request to Skip Trial for SCOTUS

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Barely hours after New York State Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan gave Donald Trump the same set of rules requiring him to appear in court as all other criminal defendants, the ex-president’s attorney requested his client be allowed to skip trial next Thursday to attend the U.S. Supreme Court arguments on his immunity claim.

“If you do not show up there will be an arrest,” Judge Merchan had told Trump Monday at the start of his criminal trial, according to MSNBC’s Jesse Rodriguez. Trump is facing 34 felony charges for falsification of business records related to his alleged attempts to cover up hush money payments in an effort to protect his 2016 presidential campaign.

Judge Merchan had read from the same rules that apply to all defendants, but right at the end of day one of trial Trump attorney Todd Blanche made his request.

MSNBC’s Lisa Rubin reports, “after the potential jurors are gone, the fireworks start after Blanche asks Merchan to allow Trump to attend the SCOTUS argument on presidential immunity next Thursday, 4/25.”

READ MORE: ‘What Will Happen in the Situation Room?’: Trump Appearing to Sleep in Court Fuels Concerns

“The Manhattan DA’s office opposes the request, saying they have accommodated Trump enough,” MSNBC’s Katie Phang adds, citing Rubin’s reporting.

Judge Merchan “acknowledges a Supreme Court argument is a ‘big deal,’ but says that the jury’s time is a big deal too. Blanche says they don’t think they should be here at all, suggesting that the trial never should have been scheduled during campaign season.”

“That comment appeared to trigger Merchan, who asked, voice dripping with incredulity, ‘You don’t think you should be here at all?'” Rubin writes.

“He then softly asks Blanche to move along from that objection, on which he has already ruled. Merchan then got stern, ruling that Trump is not required to be at SCOTUS but is required, by law, to attend his criminal trial here.”

“Your client is a criminal defendant in New York. He is required to be here. He is not required to be in the Supreme Court. I will see him here next week,” Judge Merchan told Blanche, CBS News’ Scott MacFarlane reported.

That was not the only request Trump’s attorneys made to have their client excused from the criminal proceedings.

Lawfare managing editor Tyler McBrien reports, “Blanche says that the campaign has taken pains to schedule events on Wednesdays and asks Merchan if Trump be excused from any hearings that take place on Wednesdays, when the jury is in recess. Merchan says he will take this into consideration.”

READ MORE: ‘Scared to Death’: GOP Ex-Congressman Brings Hammer Down on ‘Weak’ Trump

Blanche also asked Judge Merchan to allow Trump to skip trial to attend his son Barron’s high school graduation. While the judge has yet to rule, Trump told reporters at the end of day one of trial, “it looks like the judge will not let me go to the graduation.”

The judge told Trump, “I cannot rule on those dates at this time.”

But Trump told reporters, “It looks like the judge isn’t going to allow me to escape this scam, it’s a scam trial.”

Watch below or at this link
.

 

 

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‘What Will Happen in the Situation Room?’: Trump Appearing to Sleep in Court Fuels Concerns

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Donald Trump’s apparent sleeping in court on day one of his criminal trial for alleged business fraud related to a cover-up of “hush money” election interference has critics concerned.

While initial reactions to the news largely mocked him as “Sleepy Don,” or “Drowsy Don,” political and legal experts are wondering if the 77-year old ex-president would be able to stay awake during times of crisis, when an alert president would be critical to the nation’s security.

The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman, the longtime “Trump whisperer,” reported the ex-president “seemed alternately irritated and exhausted Monday morning,” “appeared to nod off a few times, his mouth going slack and his head drooping onto his chest.” She added the ex-president’s attorney “passed him notes for several minutes before Mr. Trump appeared to jolt awake and notice them.”

READ MORE: ‘Staged Photo Op’ of Trump With Black Chick-fil-A Patrons Was ‘True Retail Politics’ Says Fox News

Haberman followed up her Times article with a CNN appearance detailing more of what she saw. The Guardian‘s Victoria Bekiempis, MSNBC’s Katie Phang, and others also reported Trump was seen nodding off.

Critics raised concerns that question Trump’s ability to perform the duties of President.

“If Trump is too old and weak to stay awake at his own criminal trial, what do you think will happen in the Situation Room?” asked former senior advisor to President Barack Obama Dan Pfeiffer.

Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch invoked Hillary Clinton’s famous “3 AM phone call” ad from the 2008 campaign, and wrote:

“2008: Which candidate can handle the 3 a.m. phone call?

2024: Which candidate can handle the 3 p.m. phone call?”

Several also noted that Clinton, the former U.S. Secretary of State, testified for 11 hours on live television before a congressional committee and did not fall asleep. Some also noted that President Joe Biden sat for a five-hour deposition with Special Consul Robert Hur and did not fall asleep.

READ MORE: ‘Not a Good Start’: Judge Slams Trump’s ‘Offensive’ Recusal Claims as a ‘Loose End’

Calling it “simply incredible,” professor of law, MSNBC/NBC News legal contributor and former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance asked, “If he can’t keep his eyes open when his own liberty is at stake, why would Americans have confidence he’s capable of focus when our country’s interests require sound presidential leadership?”

MSNBC contributor Brian Tyler Cohen commented, “To be clear, ‘Sleepy Joe’ is awake and criss-crossing the country, while Trump is literally asleep at his own criminal trial.”

Former journalist Jennifer Schultz observed, “Moment of truth for all the legacy media outlets who hyped the Biden age stories. Now we have actual evidence of the other candidate falling asleep at a critical time.”

 

Image via Shutterstock

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Fox Personality’s Tweet Called ‘Jury Tampering’ by US Congressman

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A Fox personality and Fox News contributor’s social media post on Monday is raising eyebrows, as one U.S. Congressman calls it “jury tampering” and a legal expert suggests it could be “conspiring to commit jury tampering.”

Clay Travis is an attorney and the founder of the conservative “sports and American culture” website Outkick, which was purchased by Fox Corporation in 2021.

His Fox News bio calls him “the founder of the fastest-growing national multimedia platform,” and, “One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry,” who “provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics.”

READ MORE: ‘Not a Good Start’: Judge Slams Trump’s ‘Offensive’ Recusal Claims as a ‘Loose End’

On Monday, Travis’ account on X, formerly Twitter, displayed a post that reads: “If you’re a Trump supporter in New York City who is a part of the jury pool, do everything you can to get seated on the jury and then refuse to convict as a matter of principle, dooming the case via hung jury. It’s the most patriotic thing you could possibly do.”

“Jury tampering. That’s what they do. *It’s a felony,” wrote U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) in response.

National security attorney Bradley Moss weighed in, writing, “Clay is arguably conspiring to commit jury tampering here by encouraging someone to deliberately engage in jury nullification. Not a wise move by Clay.”

Former federal and state prosecutor Ron Filipkowski, now the editor-in-chief of MediasTouch, wrote simply, “This is MAGA.”

READ MORE: ‘Scared to Death’: GOP Ex-Congressman Brings Hammer Down on ‘Weak’ Trump

Sirius XM host Dean Obeidallah, also an attorney, commented, “Hoping Manhattan DA is aware of this attempted jury tampering by Fox News regular Clay Travis.” He also wrote: “This is the exact type of juror tampering I knew Trumpers would engage in. Next Clay will tell Trumpers to bribe jurors or witnesses. MAGA is a cancer!”

Travis, responding to Congressman Swalwell, denied the allegation:

“This isn’t jury tampering you imbecile. I would nullify if I were seated on this jury as a matter of principle. I think all Americans with a comprehension of basic justice should do the same.”

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