An anti-gay North Carolina activist pastor is working to get churches to fly the Christian flag over the U.S. flag to protest same-sex marriage.
Pastor Rit Varriale is a long-time anti-gay activist. In addition to running the Elizabeth Baptist ChurchÂ in Shelby, North Carolina, he runs God Before Government, a group he created to further his cause of flying the Christian flag above the American flag, to protest same-sex marriage and the government’s support of the rights of LGBT people.
InÂ 2012 VarrialeÂ delivered a “Prayer for the North Carolina General Assembly.” Speaking before the state senate, PastorÂ Varriale announced, “silence is no longer an option for the 21stÂ century Church,” and told them “issues of constitutionality and human rights should be adjudicated by public consensus”Â â€“ meaning, North Carolina voters should decide same-sex marriage.
“Following the Supreme Courtâ€™s gay marriage ruling,” The Blaze reports,Â Varriale said “that he believes gays and lesbians have been more willing to fight for their cause than Christians have.”
â€œThe reality is, they have been willing to sacrifice more and be more bold for their cause than the church of Jesus Christ for serving God, and thatâ€™s got to change,â€Â he said.
On Sunday, as the pastor explained in a YouTube video, he had installed a flag pole at his church for the sole purpose of flying the Christian flag over the American flag, protesting the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality.
“A message to the Supreme Court,” he says in the video. “You’ve tried to tell us that you will coerce us to violate our religious convictions? No, I don’t think so. We will obey God before we obey anything else.”
But in an appearance on Fox News “Fox & Friends” today, surprisingly, he didn’t get the warmest welcome.
Varriale has been interviewed by local North Carolina news media, and this morning appeared on Fox & Friends, but managed to downplay his fight against same-sex marriage.Â
Yesterday he was interviewed by Family Research Council presidentÂ Tony Perkins, and the Baptist Press.
“Varriale is among an increasing number of pastors who believe government is trying to coerce Christians to live in ways that violate Scripture,” Baptist Press reports.
“They use different justifications for it, like anti-discrimination laws,” Varriale said. “Christians are being coerced to serve the government before they serve God. That is something we can’t stand for.”
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Re-Election Campaign Spokesperson Pushes Mt. Rushmore Meme That Adds Trump to Monument of Famous Four Presidents
Would adding President Donald Trump to the famous Mt. Rushmore monument to four of America’s greatest president’s make it better?
A spokesperson and Trump re-election campaign “Rapid Response” official seems to think so.
Just hours before President Trump is set to travel to South Dakota’s famous 60-foot tall 80-year old carving, Abigail Marone posted a widely-circulated meme of the 45th President’s image, not only added to Mt. Rushmore, but in front of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln.
Washington Post national political reporter Michael Scherer says “Democrats think the continued ego gratification of Trump is one of the best things they have going for them.”
This is being pushed out by Trump advisers today. Democrats think the continued ego gratification of Trump is one of the best things they have going for them. My story on how “I alone can fix it” no longer means the same thing amid Covid with @ToluseO https://t.co/7PXDhykK4e https://t.co/0e7SDO3f8M
— michaelscherer (@michaelscherer) July 3, 2020
The President traveling to South Dakota for a fireworks show he forced to have happen despite experts warning about the pollution of local drinking water and possible wildfires it could cause is one more addition to the long list of Trump ego gratification items.
Meanwhile, this Twitter user offered up an appropriate (fact check: true) response.
Since the sculptor who created Mount Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum, was a member of the KKK and avowed anti-Semite, you’re more accurate than you dreamed. https://t.co/XkFb586d8V
— George Kaplan (@GeorgeKaplan8) July 3, 2020
Image via Wikimedia
Right Now Trump Is at His Virginia Golf Club – It’s His 365th Day at One of His Properties Since Becoming President
Friday, July 3, 2020.
9:52 AM ET.
“The President’s motorcade arrived at Trump National Golf Club, in Sterling, VA,” the White House press pool reports.
To greet him were “a woman near the entrance holding a ‘Trump is a Traitor’ sign and separately a man giving the motorcade a thumbs up.”
While today is a federal holiday to observe Independence Day, many Americans are working, and many Americans – 11% as of Thursday’s report – would like to be but are unemployed.
Today marks the President’s 365th day at a Trump-owned property since he was sworn in on January 20, 2017. It’s also his 273rd day at one of his golf resorts, according to CNN’s Jim Sciutto.
More than 45 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The Wall Street Journal reports “the U.S. labor market is operating with about 15 million fewer jobs than in February.”
After the golf outing, which is not listed on the official White House schedule, President Donald Trump and First lady Melania Trump will leave the White House at 4:45 PM ET for what will essentially be a 12-hour round trip journey to preside over 1 hour and 50 minutes of fireworks at South Dakota’s Mt. Rushmore.
Across the country 2.8 million people have been infected with coronavirus, 131,544 people have died. America ranks 27th in per capita testing. The U.S. also ranks first in total cases and total deaths (number 1 is worst,) and ninth in per capita deaths (number 1 is worst.)
One former Mt. Rushmore official, citing risk of wildfire – which is why fireworks have been halted in recent years, until today at the President’s insistence – called holding the event “insane.”
Trump’s Official Day Starts at 4:45 PM Today So He Can Travel to Mt. Rushmore for a Fireworks Show Denounced as ‘Insane’
President Donald Trump today is living the dream. Actually, living a dream he’s had for at least two years: to preside over fireworks at Mt. Rushmore, the iconic 80-year old national monument to four of America’s greatest presidents.
The first item on the President’s White House schedule is a 4:45 PM ET departure for what will be more than four hours of travel via Marine One, Air Force One, and presumably some form of government ground transportation to the the Black Hills of Keystone, South Dakota, the home of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The First Lady is expected to accompany the President.
The fireworks celebration begins at 8:10 PM Mountain Time, 10:10 PM ET.
At 9:50 MT the President and First Lady will begin their trip back to Washington D.C. They are scheduled to arrive at the White House at 4:25 AM ET.
Environmental experts and former officials who oversaw Mt. Rushmore, a U.S. National Park, have cautioned against holding fireworks in July, citing concerns over brush fires and contamination of drinking water.
“I think it’s insane to explode fireworks over flammable material and ponderosa pine vegetation,” Bill Gabbert, a former National Park Service fire management officer, told The Washington Post. Gabbert oversaw Mount Rushmore and six other national parks for three years.
Cheryl Schreier, superintendent at Mount Rushmore National Park between 2010 and 2019, told the Post it’s a “bad idea based on the wildland fire risk, the impact to the water quality of the memorial, the fact that is going to occur during a pandemic without social distancing guidelines and the emergency evacuation issues.”
7500 tickets were reportedly given out.
“Fireworks shows,” the Post’s report also noted, “had been held at the memorial between 1998 and 2009, until U.S. Geological Survey scientists determined the activities left high levels of a toxic chemical called perchlorate in drinking water used by the 3 million people who visit the memorial annually.”
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