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Church That Canceled Funeral Of Gay Man Flooded With Hundreds Of Negative Reviews

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A small Tampa, Florida church canceled a funeral because the man who was to be buried was gay. It took less than one day for them to be flooded with hundreds of negative reviews.

Americans were shocked and stunned this morning when they read — here at The New Civil Rights Movement, at Bilerico, the Huffington Post, even Gawker, and other LGBT and progressive news sites — that a Florida pastor actually canceled the funeral of a 42-year old man because he was gay.

Worse, the church called the man’s mother the day of the wake — she was standing at her son’s coffin when the phone rang — to tell her that she had less than 24 hours to find another place to hold the funeral. The pastor told local news reporters that they made the call after parishioners read in the newspaper that Julie Atwood’s son, Julion Evans, was married to Kendall Capers – a man. 

UPDATE: Pastor Who Canceled Gay Man’s Funeral Remains Unrepentant: ‘My Family Is Doing Fine’

“I’m not trying to condemn anyone’s lifestyle, but at the same time, I am a man of God, and I have to stand up for my principles,” Pastor Jenkins told reporters.

The church, New Hope Missionary Baptist, took down most of their website, including their contact information.

Meanwhile, those who felt anger and outrage took to social media to express themselves.

On Twitter, even at 10 PM Friday night, several angry tweets per minute were still flowing.

Screen_Shot_2014-08-08_at_10.36.11_PM.jpgOn Facebook, aside from flooding news feeds, the vocally outraged dug up the church’s Facebook page — it does not appear on their website — and left literally hundreds of scathing reviews and comments.

As of this writing, there are 222 one-star reviews and seemingly hundreds of negative comments — about 20 per hour were being posted Friday night.

A sampling:

“Right-wing Christians like these kinds of ‘Christians’ claim there’s a war on Christians in this country. There isn’t a so-called war, but if there were it would be because of actions exhibited by these kinds of churches.”

“Well, you are a shining example of why I no longer believe in God…if a loving God existed, He would not allow people like you to use His name to harm others.”

“In Timothy 2:8 we read: ‘I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.’ Which is why you also don’t allow funeral arrangements for women with braided hear or who wear jewelry. Am I right?”

“The pastor of this church isn’t standing on principles he is standing on judgment and bigotry. I ask him to contemplate and meditate on this question… Would Jesus approve of this? Would this be the actions of the Savior? I think you need to bow in front of the Lord and pray… pray for true guidance from Jesus. This family chose this church for a reason so where is the compassion of community? If I were a member of this congregation I would find a new church.”

Screen_Shot_2014-08-08_at_10.39.04_PM.jpg“Jesus would have conducted the service and provided comfort to the family and the husband in their time of grief. I am not a Christian, but you have to walk the talk. I am reminded of the time that Jesus came across a group of people who were stoning a prostitute, Jesus said – he who hath cast no sin shall cast the first stone and the crowd slunk away. As a man of god you may be close to sinless – until this decision.”

“And this is the cancer within your religion. You teach only hate. And praise yourself for doing so.”

“I think you may have forgotten Matthew 24:40. When did Jesus EVER turn his back on someone in need? The way you treated that bereaved family, you treated Jesus himself.”

“Someone in your congregation just wrote back to me, ‘Compassion has nothing to do with biblical principles.’ Wow. Well, turning your back on a man’s funeral is certainly a great example of that, now, isn’t it?”

“I am deeply saddened to see God’s message to the world distorted in this way. Dear, dear Pastor Jenkins…We look to you to teach us of God’s love, mercy, and compassion, not complete and shameful intolerance. Even if your church does preach against a gay lifestyle, is there no place in your heart for God’s mercy, forgiveness, and compassion? Do you refuse to conduct funeral services for people who break other of what you understand to be God’s laws and rules? Really? Do you really do that? Refuse funeral services for those you know to be what you consider sinners? Would that not include everyone in your congregation who is not perfect in God’s eyes?

“I am so saddened by this; so saddened to see God utterly misrepresented in this way.”

Shame on you for cancelling that young gay man’s funeral. I’m sure God would be so proud of you for being so judgemental. And organized religion wonders why so many people are slipping away?”

 

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Florida Republican Levies ‘Threat’ Against Biden Over Guns After Being Investigated for Cyberintimidation

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Florida State Representative Randy Fine, a Republican from Brevard County, Wednesday morning posted what some say appears to be a threat against President Joe Biden. Tuesday evening the President addressed the nation just hours after 19 second, third, and fourth-grade school children and two teachers were massacred in one of the nation’s worst mass shootings.

“We as a nation have to ask when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby. When in God’s name do we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?” President Biden implored Americans as he spoke barely more than one hour after landing at the White House after a five-day Asia trip.

Early Tuesday morning Rep. Fine tweeted: “I have news for the embarrassment that claims to be our President — try to take our guns and you’ll learn why the Second Amendment was written in the first place.”

Some online are seeing that as an apparent threat.

“This sounds like a threat against the President,” one Twitter user wrote.

“Is this a threat Randy?” asked another.

Several reported the tweet to Twitter Safety, and more responded by tweeting it to the FBI and Secret Service.

One user whose bio says she is an Internet Safety Expert tweeted “18 U.S.C. §871(a).” That is the federal law for ‘Threats against President and successors to the Presidency.”

Rep. Fine has been investigated but not prosecuted for cyberintimidation, among other allegations.

In February, “prosecutors announced that after an exhaustive investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and a thorough review by Chief Assistant State Attorney Stacey Salmons …, no criminal charges would be filed in allegations leveled at State Representative Randy Fine by Brevard County School Board Member Jennifer Jenkins, and Publisher Robert Burns,” the Florida State Attorney’s Office stated.

“Jenkins and Burns alleged that between July and August of 2021, Fine had committed the offenses of Corruption by Threat Against a Public Servant; Cyberintimidation by Publication; Stalking; Residency Qualification Violations; Campaign Finance Violations; and Voter Fraud (Oct. 2019 – Nov. 2020).”

The State Attorney’s Office declined to file charges against Fine, but State Attorney Phil Archer added: “Although no criminal charges are being filed, I am concerned that the continued use of heated rhetoric on social media and public statements by both sides, could produce a volatile and dangerous escalation we should all seek to avoid.”

 

 

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Top Texas Republicans Resist Gun Control and Push for More Armed Teachers and Police at Schools in Wake of Uvalde Shooting

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Top Texas Republicans resist gun control and push for more armed teachers and police at schools in wake of Uvalde shooting” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.

In the hours after a gunman killed more than 20 people at a South Texas elementary school Tuesday, the state’s top Republicans sought to immediately squelch the possibility of gun control measures in the wake of yet another mass shooting.

As the death toll mounted from the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde and President Joe Biden vowed to push for stricter gun laws, Texas Republicans made it clear that any kind of gun restriction in response to the tragedy was off the table.

“Inevitably when there’s a murder of this kind, you see politicians try to politicize it, you see Democrats and a lot of folks in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens,” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “That doesn’t work. It’s not effective. It doesn’t prevent crime.”

In an appearance on the far-right television network Newsmax, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton quickly dismissed the notion of enacting restrictions on firearms — reasoning that shooters wouldn’t follow the law anyway.

“I’d much rather have law-abiding citizens armed and trained so that they can respond when something like this happens because it’s not going to be the last time,” Paxton said.

Meanwhile, Biden called for a renewed push to reform the nation’s gun laws in the wake of the shooting during a nationwide address Tuesday evening.

“We as a nation have to ask: When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name do we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?” Biden said.

In the wake of mass shootings at Santa Fe High School in 2018 and a Walmart in El Paso in 2019, Texas Republicans vowed to take steps to prevent similar killing sprees in the future and passed laws that cover issues like identifying potentially dangerous students, training school employees to deal with emergencies and giving teachers more access to guns.

But in gun-friendly Texas, any laws restricting access to firearms have been a nonstarter. Instead, state legislators have expanded access to firearms — including with a law allowing residents to carry guns without a permit.

On Tuesday, Republican officials revived ideas to stop future mass shooters — arming teachers and school administrators, putting more police officers on campus and limiting entryways to school buildings.

“We have to harden these targets so that no one can get in ever except through one entrance,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told Tucker Carlson in an appearance on Fox News. “Maybe that would help. Maybe that would stop someone.”

Gov. Greg Abbott, Cruz and former President Donald Trump are scheduled to talk in Houston on Friday at the National Rifle Association’s 2022 annual meeting. Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Abbott’s Democratic opponent in this year’s gubernatorial race, called on Abbott to skip the convention and tell the NRA to take the convention elsewhere.

“Governor Abbott, if you have any decency, you will immediately withdraw from this weekend’s NRA convention and urge them to hold it anywhere but Texas,” O’Rourke tweeted Tuesday night.

Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2022/05/24/texas-republicans-uvalde-gun-control/.

The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.

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Biden: ‘When in God’s Name Are We Going to Stand Up to the Gun Lobby?’

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President Joe Biden arrived at the White House at 7:18 PM ET Tuesday evening after a five day trip to Asia. About 75 minutes later he stood before television cameras in the Roosevelt Room and asked America, “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?”

As the President made his way on Air Force One back to the United States he was confronted with the news that multiple elementary school children – first reported as two, then 14, and now 18 – along with at least one teacher, had been gunned down in yet another mass shooting, this time at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

“I’d hoped, when I became president, I would not have to do this again. Another massacre at a Texas elementary school. Beautiful, innocent second, third, fourth graders,” President Biden, clearly emotional and choked up, announced. “As a nation, we have to ask: When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When, in God’s name, will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?”

Just ten days earlier a gunman, an avowed white supremacist and antisemite, shot and killed 10 Black people in a local Buffalo grocery store.

“I am sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage,” he said. “For God’s sake, we have to have the courage to stand up to the industry.”

President Biden added, “if an 18-year-old can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons, it’s just wrong. What in God’s name do you need an assault weapon for except to kill someone? Deer aren’t running through the forests with kevlar vests on, for God’s sake. It’s just sick.”

“Why are we willing to live with this carnage?”

 

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