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



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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Die-Hard MAGA Trump Supporters in Arizona Think ‘It’s Very Possible’ States Will ‘Decertify’ the 2020 Election



Donald Trump’s most recent rally in Arizona brought many opportunities for his supporters to explain why they think the former president will be back in office any day.

Politico spoke to a few MAGA folks on the ground at the event and got their thoughts on what’s next in the Trump movement.

“I hope states decertify the election. I want to hear him say it’s over, we are ready to move on and hold a new election,” Politico cited Ray Kallatsa from Tucson. “I do think it’s possible, very possible.”

His thoughts echo those of pillow mogul Mike Lindell, who spoke to the crowd ahead of the former president. He cited QAnon language.

“Can you feel the storm building? It’s America,” he said using the allusion of “the storm” which is part of the conspiracy group’s messaging.

The storm, “refers to excessive social conflict that is predicted to occur prior to society reaching the point of ‘The Great Awakening,’ explained Murray State University.

See the photos from the event at Politico.

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‘Avalanche of Lies’: Trump’s Arizona Speech Smacked Down by CNN Host



The morning after Donald Trump rehashed all of his complaints about the 2020 presidential election that saw him lose to President Joe Biden and then attacked fellow Republicans, a CNN host dismissed his words as an “avalanche of lies.”

During the speech, the president also asserted that his “Stop the Steal” rally crowd was massive, telling the crowd, “They talk about the people that walked down to the Capitol, They don’t talk about the size of that crowd. I believe it was the largest crowd I’ve ever spoken before, and they were there to protest the election.”

After sharing clips of Trump’s ranting about critics within his own party who aren’t buying into his election lies, host Abby Phillip cut to the chase and also noted the former president’s defense of the Capitol insurrectionists.

“I don’t actually recommend people listen to the avalanche of lies last night,” she stated, “but it’s notable how much effort went into defending these January 6th defendants and saying that they were being held as political prisoners. It’s a window into where this is all headed for Republicans.”

Watch below:


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Sedition Indictments Reveal the DOJ Is Looking Beyond the Jan 6th Insurrection: Former US Attorney



Appearing on MSNBC on Saturday morning, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance explained that a deep reading of the federal seditious conspiracy indictments filed against eleven members of the Oath Keepers revealed that the Department of Justice is looking at more than the Jan 6th insurrection.

Speaking with host Ali Velshi, Vance suggested more indictments are likely to follow.

“One of the keys to understanding this indictment is it doesn’t look at January 6th as just one day,” she began. “The conduct starts shortly after the election and continues to January 6th. We now seemingly have a more firm answer to the direction whether the DOJ is looking at January 6th as a standalone day or is this continuing course of conduct surrounding the big lie.”

“The fact they are looking at the longer spectrum of conduct is good news for people who want to see people who were involved in the day’s events held responsible for all of the efforts to interfere with the election, not just the violence that manifested on January 6th” she continued. “This is prosecutors continuing to move up that ladder of responsibility. They’ve now hit a point with people involved in a definitive way and the violence on that day. The question is whether some of these individuals and other people who have been indicted will decide to cooperate with prosecutors and if they decide to cooperate, what information they may have to share.”

Watch below:


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