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So, Who Was Really Behind Kim Davis Meeting The Pope?

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Now that the Vatican has distanced itself from Kim Davis, saying it feels a “sense of regret” over the Pope’s meeting with her, who’s to blame for arranging it in the first place? 

This week, after days of obfuscation, the Vatican finally confirmed that Pope Francis did indeed meet with Kim Davis, the Rowan County Clerk who spent six days in jail for refusing to comply with a court order directing her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Today, the Vatican went even further, distancing itself by labeling it a “brief greeting,” and stating the meeting “should not be considered a form of support of her position” by the Pope.

Davis and her current husband, Joe, met with the Pope in secret when they were in Washington, D.C., where Kim received the Cost of Discipleship award from the Family Research Council for denying gay couples their constitutional right to marry. According to Mathew Staver, Kim Davis’s attorney, the invitation to meet with Davis came from the Vatican a week or so before the Pope’s six-day visit to the United States, and not from American Catholic institutions.

Staver’s reliability on this point is questionable. The same day, Tuesday, that he announced Kim Davis met with the Pope, he also falsely claimed that 100,000 Peruvians had come together to pray for Kim Davis. It was later revealed that the picture he posted of the alleged event was actually a photo of a gathering from May 2014.

The New Civil Rights Movement has learned through a source within the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican embassy, that Kim Davis’ meeting with the Pope was arranged – contrary to theories espoused in the media – by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The USCCB is led by President Joseph E. Kurtz, the Archbishop of Louisville, in Davis’ home state of Kentucky, and by the Archdiocese of Washington led by Cardinal Donald Wuerl. Both institutions have actively opposed same-sex marriage. In 2009, Cardinal Wuerl signed the Manhattan Declaration, an ecumenical statement calling on Evangelical, Orthodox, and Catholic Christians to defy laws permitting same-sex marriage and other issues they claim challenge their religious freedom.

The USCCB has ties to organizations designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center, including the Family Research Council and the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM). FRC President Tony Perkins has said about gay people, “They are intolerant. They are hateful. They are vile. They are spiteful.” Perkins also says gay people are “pawns” of the “enemy.” FRC’s Senior Fellow of Legal Studies, Cathy Ruse, was the USCCB chief spokesperson for human life issues for several years. (Full disclosure: Cathy Ruse is a personal friend.) 

Cathy Ruse’s husband, Austin Ruse, is the president and director of C-FAM, and a blogger at the far right website Breitbart. In his most recent constituent email dated October 1, Ruse calls same-sex marriage, “a definition of marriage cooked up in the pits of hell,” and he supports Russian anti-LGBT laws that have led to an increase in violence against gay people in Russia.

Pope Francis’s messages while in the United States were mainly pastoral in nature, caring for the needs of the downtrodden and the less fortunate. Although he was said to be authoritarian and “kind of a jerk” in his first leadership role as the head of the Jesuits in Argentina, Pope Francis evolved into a humble man concerned about those living in poverty, immigrants, and those struggling to find a place in the world. Meeting with a controversial figure such as Kim Davis was out of character for a man who spent the entirety of his trip to the United States avoiding strong statements about American politics, especially on hot-button social issues like same-sex marriage.

Knowing that conservative American Catholic institutions arranged this meeting, and knowing that now the Vatican feels a “sense of regret” over it, arouses suspicion that the reasons behind it were political.

Kim Davis said she felt her meeting with the Pope “kind of validated everything,” but in today’s official statement by the Vatican’s spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi said the Pope’s meeting with Kim Davis “should not be considered a form of support of her position.” 

Davis’ statement is exactly what the anti-LGBT forces in the American Catholic church and other conservative Christians wanted her, and, more importantly, other Christians to feel. The Vatican today refuted that claim. But by showing apparent solidarity between the Pope and Kim Davis, conservative groups are hoping it will push more people to defy the constitutional rights of LGBT people, while these groups strive in the future for the Supreme Court to overturn its marriage ruling. 

The battle for human rights did not end with the Supreme Court decision that marriage is a fundamental right guaranteed under the Constitution. It is raging between those who demand human rights and those who will stop at nothing less than religious totalitarianism. And the end is nowhere in sight.

 

Image by Jeffrey Bruno/US Papal Visit via Flickr and a CC license

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Invasion’: Texas Lt. Gov. Likens Border Crossings to Attack on Pearl Harbor – ‘These People Are a Danger to America’

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Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, a far-right Republican, is comparing migrants crossing the border into Texas to Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that killed 2335 people. He is calling it an “invasion” and says that gives the state the right to “put hands on people.”

Patrick, who because of Texas’ unique structure is more powerful than the governor, told Fox News on Tuesday, “we are being invaded, and if we’re being invaded under the constitution I think that gives us the power to put hands on people and send them back. Put hands on people and send them back,” he said repeatedly.

“These people are a danger to America,” Patrick said in a rant. It was unclear if he was referring to migrants or President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The Lt. Governor, who has hawked the racist “great replacement theoryrepeatedly, and used the term “invasionrepeatedly, told Fox News that Texas is now spending $4 billion annually on the border, while Texas National Guardsmen and Texas Rangers complain of being called up to serve, having to abandon their regular jobs, for no apparent reason.

RELATED: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Blames ‘Video Game Industry’ for El Paso White Supremacist Terrorism: ‘We’ve Always Had Guns’

“This is the biggest danger we have, to your family,” Patrick says of the fentanyl crossing the border. “It’s all on Biden,” he claimed.

Last week Texas Governor Greg Abbott drew extensive criticism for using the deaths of more than 50 migrants packed into an 18-wheel tractor-trailer as a political opportunity to attack President Biden. Even some conservatives attacked Abbott for his inhumane remarks..

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

7th Victim of July 4th Mass Shooting Dies

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Seven people have now died as a result of a gunman opening fire from a rooftop into an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois.

The latest victim succumbed to their injuries Tuesday afternoon, NBC 5 Chicago reported. Authorities have not identified all the victims, but have said five of those who died were adults. Another 46 people were wounded.

Police on Tuesday announced that the shooter fired at least 70 rounds into the crowd, using a “high-powered rifle” that is “similar” to a AR-15. They also revealed the suspected gunman planned the attack for weeks, purchased his weapons legally, disguised himself by wearing women’s attire to “conceal his facial tattoos and  his identity,” and to “help him during the escape.” He then walked to his mother’s house after the shooting.

Law enforcement Monday evening arrested Robert Crimo, who they say is a “person of interest,” but he has not been charged.

“There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community,” Illinois Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures. There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they leave behind. Please know that our state grieves with you, that MK and I grieve with you.”

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CRIME

Giuliani, Graham, Eastman, Others Tied to Trump Subpoenaed by Grand Jury in Georgia Criminal Election Investigation

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Rudy Giuliani, Lindsey Graham, John Eastman, Jenna Ellis, and several others including Cleta Mitchell have been subpoenaed by a Fulton County special grand jury convened to investigate possible criminal actions or interference in Georgia’s 2020 elections.

Giuliani, Eastman, Ellis, and Mitchell, along with Kenneth Chesbro, are all members of Donald Trump’s legal team or advised the former president “on strategies for overturning Democrat Joe Biden’s wins in Georgia and other swing states,” and are now being subpoenaed, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Senator Graham (R-SC) has publicly admitted to contacting the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Also subpoenaed is attorney and podcast host Jacki Pick Deason.

“The 23-person special grand jury has heard testimony in recent weeks from a parade of witnesses, including some who had direct contact with Trump and his associates. But Tuesday’s subpoenas are the closest jurors have gotten to the inner circle of the former president,” the Journal-Constitution adds.

Eastman, the infamous author of the “coup memo,” is a former law professor and the current chairman of the anti-LGBTQ group National Organization For Marriage (NOM), which has never disavowed his actions.

“A federal judge in March,” the AJC adds, “argued that ‘it is more likely than not that President Trump and Dr. Eastman dishonestly conspired to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.'”

In the days after the November 2020 election, The Washington Post reported, Sen. Graham “questioned Raffensperger about the state’s signature-matching law and whether political bias could have prompted poll workers to accept ballots with nonmatching signatures, according to Raffensperger. Graham also asked whether Raffensperger had the power to toss all mail ballots in counties found to have higher rates of nonmatching signatures, Raffensperger said.”

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