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Fox News: ‘Christians Have Officially Become Second-Class Citizens’

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Todd Starnes is getting more exposure over at Fox News. Officially the “host of Fox News & Commentary,” and “heard on hundreds of radio stations,” Starnes is Fox News’ shill for the religious right and anti-gay hate groups. The titles of his articles — opinion pieces that Right Wing Watch says have earned him the title of “serial fabricator” — give a hint of his focus.

A recent sampling:

Do gay rights trump religious rights? Supreme Court won’t hear photog’s case

Mozilla chief learns, if you don’t support gay marriage, you don’t deserve a job

Why does Air Force Academy encourage atheism, prosecute Christianity?

First-grader told to stop talking about Bible

So it should come as no surprise that Starnes now is attacking the City of New York, and by extension, its new progressive mayor Bill de Blasio, with yesterday’s column: “Why is New York City bullying Christians?

A federal appeals panel has ruled that New York City has a right to ban churches from holding worship services in school buildings. In essence, it means Christians have officially become second-class citizens in the nation’s largest city.

Clearly, Starnes has no grasp of the First Amendment and doesn’t understand separation of church and state. He should, especially as a Christian warrior.

The public-school based churches operate at taxpayer expense and actually cost the city money, open them to liability and lawsuits, but the greatest problem is they present our public schools as houses of worship consecrated by the state. That alone should scare any person of faith — or of none.

“This case is about a group of about 160 religious congregations that were dominating public schools across New York City Sunday after Sunday, year after year,” the ACLU of New York said in a statement on the decision. “When a school is converted to a church in this way, it sends a powerful message to students and the community at large that the government favors that particular church. Children who are not part of the favored congregation feel diminished, and both the church members and the community stop seeing the distinction between the church and the school. That hurts kids, that hurts people who aren’t members of the church, and that hurts one of our nation’s most cherished principles.”

Starnes, whose imagination clearly is epic, writes of a dystopian future.

“Left unchallenged, this ruling could have a chilling effect on religious freedom,” he claims. “What’s next? Will Christians be banned from reading their Bible in Central Park? Will congregations be forced to obtain liquor licenses for communion?”

Um, no, that’s just dumb.

But let’s get back to the central premise of Starnes’ op-ed:

New York City is “bullying Christians,” and “Christians have officially become second-class citizens in the nation’s largest city,” Starnes says. Perhaps it’s all fodder for his latest upcoming book, God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.

Really? How? And why is it this only applies to Christians? As Fox News’ religion reporter, doesn’t Starnes have a responsibility to care about people of different faiths? Are there Jewish congregations who worship in NYC schools? Do people who follow the Islamic faith worship in New York City schools as part of this program? Why is to only “Christians [who] have officially become second-class citizens in the nation’s largest city”? Why doesn’t Starnes care about other people of other faiths?

Please, Mr. Starnes, can you explain all this? Because I haven’t a clue what the hell you’re talking about.

Image via Twitter

Previously:

Father Of Child Told To Not Pray Just Happens To Be Publishing Fox News Religion Reporter’s Book

Fox News: Grammys Wedding Of Gay And Straight Couples Was ‘Intolerance, Bigotry And Hatred’

Georgia School: ‘Vicious’ Fox News ‘Christmas Card Censorship’ Report ‘Terrorized’ Us

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BREAKING NEWS

Federal Appeals Court Rules House Can Have Trump’s Tax Returns – Committee Expects Them ‘Immediately’

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A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. ruled Tuesday that the powerful House Ways and Means Committee can be given Donald Trump‘s tax returns.

The decision is “a blow” to the former president,” as CNN reports. It comes after a Trump-appointed lower court judge had ruled against Trump, allowing the House to gain access to the documents Trump has protected for years.

The former president appealed.

READ MORE: Tax Researcher Reveals Ivana Trump Being Buried at Bedminister Gets Her Ex-Husband a Ton of Tax Breaks

The federal appeals court Tuesday morning upheld the lower court’s ruling, granting the House access. Trump can still appeal.

The House Ways and Means Committee was quick to respond, tweeting: “We expect to receive the requested tax returns and audit files immediately.”

This is a breaking news and developing story.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘God Anointed Him’: Christian Right Expert Explains Conservative Outrage After FBI Raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

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Veteran journalist Sarah Posner, who has spent years writing about religion and the Christian right, has an explanation for the outraged response from some Trump supporters over the FBI executing a legal search warrant on Mar-a-Lago.

Hours after the news broke, Florida Republican state representative Anthony Sabatini called for “an emergency legislative session” to “Sever all ties with DOJ immediately” over the FBI executing a legal search warrant of Trump’s home. “Any FBI agent conducting law enforcement functions outside the purview of our State should be arrested upon sight,” he wrote, apparently unaware of the U.S. Constitution.

Tuesday night Trump supporters formed a small convoy driving outside Mar-a-Lago, some with Trump banners, Trump flags, or the American flag, – even one vehicle painted with the American flag – to show their support for the former president who might be facing legal consequences, as video from NBC 6 reporter Cristian Benavides shows.

READ MORE: ‘This Is a National Security Issue’: Former FBI Agents Note Key Details About ‘Raid’ on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

“The GOP position is that Trump is above the law,” writes The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent. “That’s what the GOP position on Trump was throughout his presidency, and that’s what it is now. Say it that way. Don’t let Republicans get away with using fake outrage to obscure this fundamental reality.”

Posner has written two books on the Christian Right including “UNHOLY: How White Christian Nationalists Powered the Trump Presidency, And the Devastating Legacy They Left Behind.”

In response to Sargent’s remarks she advises: “Remember too that much of Trump’s base believes that God anointed him, that it’s God’s will that he be back in the White House. And that they need to engage in ‘spiritual warfare’ with ‘demonic’ enemies of Trump — keep this in mind as right-wing influencers call for civil war.”

READ MORE: IRS Under Trump Allowed a Decades-Old Influential Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group to Change Its Tax Status and Become a Church

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Monday night tweeted, “The FBI is raiding President Trump’s home in Maralago! This is the rogue behavior of communist countries, NOT the United States of America!!! These are the type of things that happen in countries during civil war. The political persecution MUST STOP!!!”

Tuesday morning CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan posted a graph and noted the “big spike in tweets referencing ‘civil war’ right after the news of the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago broke last night.”

Dr. Caroline Orr Bueno posted an image of a large number of tweets that mention civil war and other related calls, including: “I already bought my ammo,” “Civil war! Pick up arms, people!” “Civil War 2.0 just kicked off,” “Let’s do the war,” and “One step closer to a kinetic civil war.”

 

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News

‘This Is a National Security Issue’: Former FBI Agents Note Key Details About ‘Raid’ on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

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Two former FBI agents are weighing in on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s execution of a search warrant Monday at the Florida residence of Donald Trump, the former President, which he called a “raid.”

“This is a nat sec/CI issue,” tweeted Asha Rangappa Tuesday morning, meaning national security and counterintelligence. Rangappa is an attorney, former FBI special agent, senior lecturer at Yale, and CNN commentator.

She was pointing to a tweet by another former FBI special agent, James Harris.

READ MORE: ‘Coverup of Treason’: Trump-Appointed IG, Under Investigation, Knew of Missing Secret Service and DHS Texts Far Earlier

Harris has an extensive bio, highlights of which include his role at FBI HQ Cyber Division as a Program Manager and then Unit Chief (Acting), FBI Senior Liaison Officer to DHS Cybersecurity and Communications, and FBI Assistant Section Chief of the Counterterrorism Internet Operations Section. Earlier in his FBI career he says he “built up the largest Federal Cybercrime Task Force in the US.”

Harris points to this section of a CNN article published Tuesday morning, written by seven CNN reporters:

“In early June, a handful of investigators made a rare visit to the property seeking more information about potentially classified material from Trump’s time in the White House that had been taken to Florida. The four investigators, including Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterintelligence and export control section at the Justice Department, sat down with two of Trump’s attorneys, Bobb and Evan Corcoran, according to a source present for the meeting.”

READ MORE: Trump’s Legal Team Now in ‘Direct Communication’ With DOJ Officials About J6 Criminal Investigation: Report

Harris on Twitter highlights this sentence: “The four investigators, including Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterintelligence and export control section at the Justice Department…”

He tweets: “All you ‘outraged’ GOPers better cool your jets. You might be walking your rhetoric back really fast when you figure out what this seems to be. The devil is in the details.”

In January the National Archives was forced to transport from Mar-a-Lago 15 cartons of documents and other items that, according to the Presidential Records Act and the National Archives, should have been turned over to the Archives.

The FBI’s execution of the search warrant and reports that they left with a large quantity of documents suggests Trump might not have turned over everything taken from the White House.

Rangappa earlier Tuesday tweeted: “Ask yourself: What kind of info makes its way to the WH, and specifically to the president? —> HIGH LEVEL SECRETS. PDB stuff. Defense info. These aren’t low-level diplomatic cables or overclassified State Dept. correspondence. Just saying.”

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