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Religion: Putting A Halt To The Religious Right’s Anti-Gay Rhetoric



“I wish I could be happy, I try, I try, I try … I just want to feel special to someone.” –Jamie Hubley

On October 14, Jamie Hubley, a gay 15-year-old boy, committed suicide. He struggled with depression and bullying from classmates because he was openly gay. The challenges experienced by this young man are heartbreaking and perhaps better witnessed through his own words or hearing them directly from those who knew him best.

These types of teen suicides painfully remind us that there is an anti-LGBT culture within our societies that isolate many young people from the love they deserve. It’s particularly concerning that the urgency this reality warrants is consistently absent from the religious right, which was further evidenced at the “Values Voter Summit” in Washington this month.

As the day neared for this annual gathering of religious conservatives, my inbox began to fill with press releases, statements and emails from allies across the country. “Boycott Values Voter Summit,” and, “Anti-LGBT Hate Fest?”

The concern was real.

A common chill rippled through civil rights and progressive religious communities across America. Moderate voices speculated about what type of rhetoric would be cooked up and lobed at minority communities this year. Like many Americans, I joined those who condemned the event, which was hosted by two nationally recognized hate groups. In 2010 both the Family Research Council and American Family Association joined over 1000 active hate groups in America, on a list that includes factions of the Ku Klux Klan, black separatist and Neo-Nazi organizations.

But there was something even more troubling about the summit. Why would Republican Party leadership—House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Erik Cantor—appear in such a setting? Why would seven Republican Presidential candidates do the same? The summit promotes hostile anti-LGBT sentiment that in many ways has contributed to a culture of LGBT bullying.

I tuned in to CSPAN’s coverage from my office in New York City. I watched speakers offensively degrade the LGBT community and demonize Muslims as a dangerous other; the rhetoric was sorely absent of any hope for moderation.

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association declared the American President should be a man, that Muslims are not welcomed, and that the LGBTQ community is a threat to American freedom.

Star Parker, a conservative activist, insinuated that the California government was “sick” for trying to combat LGBT teen bullying by helping students learn about the history of Gays and Lesbians in their state.

The speeches went on. The damage continued. But when all was said and done, an important point was evident: this event wasn’t about Christian values— it was about hate.

The Montgomery Alabama-based civil rights organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center, defines these “representatives” of the religious right well: “All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” These groups who claim to represent the religious right contribute to a deadly anti-LGBT culture.

They circulate pamphlets and propaganda that mischaracterize the LGBT community—propaganda that has been thoroughly rejected by relevant institutions. They routinely quote junk science sourced from anti-gay “front organizations” like the “American College of Pediatricians” (ACP) to claim LGBT people are a threat. These front organizations are deeply flawed. For example, the ACP is a tiny 200-member anti-gay organization, which broke away from the 60,000-member American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It broke away because it rejected its parent organization’s support of LGBT rights. Going rogue, they now produce misleading junk science that is solely aligned with political agendas.

These hate groups also rely on similarly flawed research to claim LGBT people suffer from “mental disorders” and that they should undergo “reparative therapy.” Again, relevant scientific institutions, such as the American Psychiatric Association reject such nonsense.

“In the last four decades, ‘reparative’ therapists have not produced any rigorous scientific research to substantiate their claims of cure,” they said. “APA recommends that ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals’ sexual orientation.” The American Psychological Association echoes that “the discipline of psychology is concerned with the well-being of people and groups and therefore with threats to that well-being … Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience.”

Because of this scientific reality, many reparative therapists have come out of the closet to reject and repudiate the flawed practice.

Other “science” and “research” they utilize, continues to be discredited, and every day its irrelevance is being more widely understood. Those outside of this extreme wing are becoming much more conscious of the damage caused by extreme factions of the religious right. Droves of young people are leaving churches that reject the gay and lesbian community. Two-thirds of Americans say there is a harmful connection between messages coming from America’s houses of worship and higher rates of LGBT youth suicides. And most remarkably, Gallup found that a majority of Christians and non-Christians believe that Gay and Lesbian relations are “morally acceptable.”

America’s values are clear. Why then does the religious right continue to dominate the national conversation?

It is time for us to put this nonsense to rest.

There is a growing community of LGBT-inclusive Christians and non-Christian allies, working each day to promote welcome in faith settings and put their LGBT inclusive faith into action by taking to the streets, the polling booths and the airwaves. Just this week, more than 900 Methodists in Connecticut and New York vowed to defy their denomination’s ban on gay marriage and make weddings available to all.

These inclusive Christian voices are putting the religious right on notice: while their voice of hate may be loud, our voice of love will be louder.

Joseph Ward is the Director of Believe Out Loud, an online network that empowers Christians to work for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, and a writer on religion and LGBT equality issues. Follow him on Twitter @JosephWardIII..

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Fox Host Says Democrats Don’t Believe in Heaven So They Play ‘Hard’ to ‘Perfect’ Earth



Fox News host Rachel Campos-Duffy blamed the differences between Republicans and Democrats on religious beliefs about Heaven.

On Sunday’s Fox & Friends program, co-host Pete Hegseth argued religion was liberating because people could realize they aren’t perfect. A video clip of the moment was shared on social media.

“It changes the way you look even at politics,” Campos-Duffy agreed. “And sometimes, you know, we look at how hard on the left they play. They really play for keeps. They play in a way that’s very, you know, a lot of times conservatives look at it and go, why don’t we play as hard as them?”

The Fox News host said Democrats were trying to perfect the Earth because they did not believe in Heaven.

“Well, for them, where we live right now, this place, Earth is it,” she opined. “So everything’s on the line here for them. They think, as you said, they can perfect this Earth. Those of us who have faith don’t believe that. And we believe how we act here determines where we go after. And so we had to behave.”

“And so even in politics, we don’t, you know, we act within those moral limits,” Campos-Duffy insisted. “And you know, the ends justify the means is sort of the rules for radicals. That’s not how Christians act.”

Watch the video below from Fox News or at the link.


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Extremist Group Targets Florida High School’s Yearbook Over Inclusion of LGBTQ Students Section



The publication of a Florida high school yearbook that included an LGBTQ section has drawn rebuke from a conservative group, The Orlando Sentinel reports.

Lyman High School’s 256-page yearbook includes two pages that highlight the school’s LGBTQ students and features gender identity terms such as “genderfluid” and “nonbinary.”

The Seminole County Public Schools in response to the criticism is offering to issue refunds or reprint the yearbook without the LGBTQ section that the conservative Seminole County Moms for Liberty claims is offensive.

“They shouldn’t have any sexual definitions in a yearbook,” the group’s chapter chair Jessica Tillmann told The Sentinel.

“This is a yearbook that goes to every student as young as 14.”

The school’s yearbook is stirring controversy for a second straight year after the district in 2022 considered putting stickers over photos of a student walkout protesting the so-called “don’t say gay” law, the report said.

The Sentinel’s Skyler Swisher reports that “An LGBTQ+ section in this year’s yearbook includes a picture of members of the student’s Gay-Straight Alliance, definitions of key LGBTQ+ terms, a passage on the evolution of pronouns and a profile of a student who advocates for the LGBTQ+ community.”

Danielle Pomeranz, the school yearbook’s faculty advisor, isn’t on board with the district’s decision to remove the LGBTQ content.

“They are definitions,” Pomeranz told The Sentinel.

“They are not teaching anything about sex at all. … Nobody is teaching anybody about sex acts. It is ridiculous.”

Pomeranz has since resigned from her position in the district, citing in part the Sunshine State’s political climate and an unsupportive district, the report said.

“We’ve always had the LGBTQ+ spread in there,” she said.

“Our job as journalists and members of the yearbook staff is to provide coverage of the entire school and that includes all of the communities, including the LGBTQ+ community.”

Read the full article here.

Image via Shutterstock

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‘No Longer the Lord’s Chicken’: ‘Christian Woman’ Says She’s ‘Grieving’ Over ‘Woke’ Chick-fil-A Hiring a Diversity Officer



A self-described “Christian woman” who is a contributor to the far-right wing students organization Turning Point USA, is being widely mocked for posting a video attacking Chick-fil-A over claims the conservative, privately-owned, faith-based fast food restaurant chain recently hired a diversity officer.

“So I’m grieving,” the video, apparently by Morgonn McMichael (below), begins. “It’s lunchtime. I’m here with Aubrey. And we really wanted some Chick-fil-A but because they decided to hire a diversity, equity and inclusion corporate position, and also bow down to the woke lord because their ESG scores, and also I found out do you know their chicken is funded by BlackRock and Vanguard? Yeah their farms, they use Tyson and this other farm, BlackRock and Vanguard funded chicken.”

If you think that’s a mouthful just wait, there’s more.

“Chick-fil-A,” Morgonn continues, “you are no longer the Lord’s chicken. You’re actually the woke chicken and I’m really upset about it as a Christian woman. All we wanted was some good fried chicken so now we’re gonna go to Cane’s, we’re going to try it out.”

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Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is a Louisiana-based fast food restaurant with 600 locations in the U.S. and Western Asia.

“This is really difficult because there’s a Chick-fil-A is across the street. Now eating chicken fingers instead of chicken nuggets. I know, first world Christian woman problems, but no one will ever understand the love that I had for Chick-fil-A.”

“You know, we’re taking this boycott Chick-fil-A thing seriously, and it’s really difficult.”

The video was posted to Twitter by the anonymous group PatriotTakes, which has been described as a liberal political action committee. It quickly went viral, garnering over 2 million views in just eight hours. Late Friday afternoon Morgonn tweeted, “sarcasm and satire are things the left doesn’t seem to understand.”

For those who don’t know, Turning Point USA, a far-right Christian nationalist organization, was founded by the ultra-MAGA Charlie Kirk, now a member of the highly-secretive Council for National Policy.

CNP’s membership list also includes former Trump attorney, ally, and advisor Cleta Mitchell, and Ginni Thomas.

“CNP members range from the leaders of the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, to the Southern Poverty Law Center designated anti-LGBTQ hate groups Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom,” Documented reported last year.

Turning Point USA was in the news last week after Rolling Stone reported: “Charlie Kirk’s TPUSA Teamed Up With a Registered Sex Offender.”

Meanwhile, over at TPUSA, Morgonn McMichael’s bio says she is “a Gen Z social media influencer from Texas whose effort to empower and inspire America’s next generation of young conservative female leaders through patriotic online video content has amassed over 100,000 unique social media impressions every week on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and more.”

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“Morgonn has dedicated the last year promoting freedom of speech, religious liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government both online and across TPUSA campus chapters. Morgonn has also reached tens of thousands of viewers of all ages with her articles and appearances on Newsmax, Real America’s Voice, OAN, and Breitbart, offering insightful cultural commentary into the most pressing issues concerning young conservatives today.”

Apparently, Chick-fil-A’s diversity officer (more on that next) is one of “the most pressing issues concerning young conservatives today.”

Morgonn did claim Chick-fil-A “decided to hire a diversity, equity and inclusion” officer.

Well, stunningly, the company – long known for its hate-filled attacks on same-sex marriage – did, over a year ago.

A USA Today fact check found Chick-fil-A hired Erick McReynolds, its vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, more than a year and a half ago. The company even has a DEI page featuring him on its corporate website.

PatriotTakes also tweeted, “TPUSA Contributor Morgonn, who is now calling for a boycott of Chick-fil-a, previously said, Cancel culture is toxic’ and ‘needs to be canceled.'”

As some social media users pointed out, Cane’s Chicken Fingers is very pro-LGBTQ.

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“Since its inception in the early 2000s, Raising Cane’s has been a strong supporter of the LGBT community,” San Diego Gay & Lesbian News (SDGLN) reported in November. “The chicken chain was one of the first companies to offer domestic partner benefits to its employees and has been a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. In 2015, Raising Cane’s was named one of the best places to work for LGBT Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.”

In response to Morgonn’s video, Mississippi Free Press editor Ashton Pittman posted this screenshot from a Raising Cane’s tweet:

Over at TPUSA, Morgonn has written content including a piece titled, “Disney’s Male Employee in a Dress Sparks Outrage,” that begins, “At Disney, anyone can be a princess — even a grown man.”

Also, “Disney in Decline: Company Loses Billions Due to Woke Agenda.”

Noted actor and activist George Takei weighed in, tweeting simply, “They’ve lost their goddamned minds.”

Watch Morgonn below or at this link.

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