Billy Graham’s son thinks that Christians, who comprise 70 percent of the U.S. population, all have been forced into the closet.
Franklin Graham is the far-less popular, far-lessÂ charismatic, and far-less optimistic son of the Rev. Billy Graham. His father advised several presidents and held great evangelical “crusades” in stadiums. Franklin Graham posts on Facebook and manages the remainder of his 96-year old father’s affairs.
The younger Graham took a moment out from his daily posting on Facebook of prayers to each member of the U.S. Supreme Court (it’s unknown if the scion is actually Facebook friends with any of the Justices) begging them to, for instance, in the case of his prayer to Justice Alito yesterday, “have wisdom and stand strong for what we know is God’s unchanging truth– Marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman.”
What interrupted him?
A Fox News story about an Air Force General the Military Religious Freedom Foundation apparently wants court-marshaled because he preached the gospel on TV in uniform, a violation of military code.
“Are Christians the only group of people who cannot identify themselves publicly in this country?,” Graham asked on Facebook earlier today. “Are we the only voices who cannot speak?”
Apparently, Graham believes now that the 70 percent of Americans who identify as Christian have all been forced into the closet. Perhaps there will be a Christ-dar sense Graham’s fellow closeted Christians will be forced to develop, or a secret handshake? How will Christians know one another if they are closeted?
“Come on–Whose civil liberties are really being infringed on here?,” Graham demands his followers tell him. “They want to bully Christians into silence.”
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins was quick to tweet Graham’s post:
â€” Tony Perkins (@tperkins) May 18, 2015
Conveniently, Graham is playing right into this past week’s massive Fox News coverage of Kirsten Powers new book,Â The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech.
On Twitter, equality advocates have taken over the Hashtag right-wing activists were using, #TheSilencing, to intelligently mock the perception that liberals are silencing conservatives and Christians.
Those groups, conservatives and Christians,Â have their own top-rated and most-watched cable news channel, Fox News, along with far more right-wing news sites and blogsÂ â€“ funded by right-wing interestsÂ â€“ than liberals ever have had.
Meanwhile, in the majority of states, if LGBT people identify themselves publicly, they can be fired, forced from their homes, bullied, beaten, and ostracized. In almost every state, LGBTQ minors who identify themselves can be forced to undergo harmful and dangerous “conversion” therapy if their parents wish.Â
Image via Facebook
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Radical Right-Wing Paramilitary Group Recruiting Texas Cops for ‘Bloody Civil War’: Report
According to a report from the Star-Telegram, a senior member of the rightwing paramilitary group Oath Keepers who moved to Texas in 2015 is actively recruiting local law enforcement employees while telling them a “bloody civil war” against the U.S. government is on the horizon.
The report states that John D. Shirley, the national director of the Las Vegas-based Oath Keepers finagled himself a job as a county constable in Hood County which provided him with access to other police officers and now he is using his position to recruit.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Oath Keepers organization is “one of the largest radical antigovernment groups in the U.S. today” with, reportedly, thousands of members made up of former law enforcement officials and military veterans.
The Star-Telegram reports that Shirley’s “Oath Keepers of Hood County” drive was scheduled at a local golf course earlier in the week before being canceled by the management because they felt the group had misrepresented itself when they booked the meeting place.
The report notes that Shirley has attempted to allay fears about the group’s intentions despite claims on their own website about a coming “New World order” and antisemitic rhetoric, that goes hand-in-hand with their unyielding defense of gun ownership.
According to Shirley, in column for the online publication Hood County Today, the Oath Keepers are not “anti-government” because, as he wrote, “I am a public servant OF the government,” before adding, “The U.S. Constitution, the document this organization holds as sacrosanct, is the foundational document of our GOVERNMENT.”
The report notes that local law officials say there is no policy that bans police from joining the group which has one local running for sheriff extremely concerned.
According to Vance Keyes of Fort Worth, “I am absolutely concerned about militia groups infiltrating law enforcement. Their presence in policing undermines our obligation and ability to provide impartial justice … free from the thinly veiled, and often outright, racial bias that exist in such organizations.”
He added, “They destroy sincere efforts to strengthen police/community relations in minority communities. Their anti-government rhetoric is also an affront to police professionals that take seriously their obligation to public service and the rule of law.”
You can read more here.
Intelligence Agencies Saw Growing Risk From Coronavirus-Like Outbreak — but Stayed Quiet for Fear of Trump’s Wrath
U.S. intelligence agencies have been warning against the likelihood of a global pandemic — just as coronavirus seems poised to become — but have recently backed down for fear of angering President Donald Trump.
Intelligence analysts assessed in 2017 and 2018 that a pandemic could strain resources and harm the global economy, but they agreed not to release a public warning so far this year because they’re reluctant to discuss intelligence that might displease the president, officials told NBC News.
“We assess that the United States and the world will remain vulnerable to the next flu pandemic or large-scale outbreak of a contagious disease that could lead to massive rates of death and disability, severely affect the world economy, strain international resources, and increase calls on the United States for support,” said the most recent worldwide threat assessment, issued in January 2019 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
But so far this year the leaders of intelligence agencies have agreed not to release their threat assessments publicly, which has prevented Congress from getting public testimony about the implications of the outbreak’s impact on the economy and national security.
The intelligence analysis found that outbreaks are being spread from animals to humans, just as COVID-19 is believed to have originated — and analysts even mentioned a close cousin to the coronavirus strain in one report.
Bill Barr’s DOJ Intervenes to Support Lawsuit Filed by Christian Photographer Refusing to Photograph Same-Sex Weddings
The U.S. Dept. of Justice under Attorney General Bill Barr has intervened in a pre-emptive lawsuit filed by a Kentucky wedding photographer who claims her interpretation of her Christian religion bars her from taking photos of weddings of same-sex couples.
No same-sex couple has ever tried to hire Chelsey Nelson to photograph their nuptials, but her attorneys, the far right wing Alliance Defending Freedom, filed the lawsuit against Louisville city officials anyway, according to the AP. The ADF appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups.
And now the Justice Dept. in a 23-page “statement of interest” says the “Court should find that Plaintiffs have demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits.”
In other words, the DOJ has told the court hearing her case directly that it agrees with the ADF.
The Louisville law bans businesses from discriminating against LGBTQ people. Many legal experts agree that refusing to provide a service to an entire class of people is discrimination, hence the countless laws across the country that protect LGBTQ people and other minorities from being refused services their non-LGBTQ peers regularly pay for and receive without question.
The DOJ, however, in a press release claims the legal statement it filed explains that Nelson “is likely to succeed on her claim that requiring her to photograph weddings against her conscience constitutes government-compelled speech that violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.”
“The First Amendment forbids the government from forcing someone to speak in a manner that violates individual conscience,” said Eric Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The U.S. Department of Justice will continue to protect the right of all persons to exercise their constitutional right to speech and expression.”
The ACLU disagrees, and “filed a brief defending the city, arguing that the Nelson’s intent to offer wedding photography only to heterosexual couples violates the city law.”
The renowned civil rights group calls Nelson’s position “identity-based discrimination.”
The SPLC says the Alliance Defending Freedom “has supported the recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and criminalization abroad; has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has linked homosexuality to pedophilia and claims that a ‘homosexual agenda’ will destroy Christianity and society.”
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