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Watch: Lesbian Lawmaker Slams Anti-Gay Colleagues, Reminds Them, ‘We’re Not A Church’

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“My Jesus is different,” says State Rep. Celia Israel, who happens to be a lesbian, taking a swipe at her anti-gay colleagues in epic fashion in a new documentary about the role of religion in the Texas Legislature.

 

“Everyone in Texas is made in the image of God, and because everyone is made in the image of God, that is serious business, it’s almost like representing God, and who would want to blow that opportunity?” –GOP state Rep. James White

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God and Governing,” produced by The Texas Tribune, could just as easily be an episode of The Daily Show, featuring right-wing lawmakers discussing how their faith (read: conservative Christianity) influences their views on the issues of guns, abortion, gay marriage and education. 

But Israel, who’s Catholic herself and became the state’s first out lesbian lawmaker in 2014, rejects the notion that the Lone Star State should be a theocracy.  

“The way we get things done here is not by reading the Bible, it’s by reading the rules of the floor of the House of Representatives,” Israel says. “All of this is not of God. All of this is a manmade institution that’s designed to do good things. For me, this is a secular environment. We’re not a church. We’re in the Texas State Capitol trying to do good things.

“When someone is introducing anti-gay legislation and you happen to be gay, it’s hard not to take it personally,” Israel says later. “I’m doing the best I can to not let these issues be personal and respect their view, but I was raised a different way, and my Jesus is different.” 

The comments of Israel and other Democrats are presented in response to numerous Republicans who indicate their personal theologies are paramount when it comes to lawmaking. Although four percent of Texans are Jewish or Muslim, and one in five are nonbelievers, all but four of the state lawmakers who responded to the Tribune said they’re Christian. (Texas has 150 representatives and 31 senators).

And while only three percent of Texans believe guns, abortion or same-sex marriage are the most important issues facing the state, the Legislature spent much of this year’s session focused on those topics, with religion more prominent at the Capitol than at any other time in recent memory. 

“Everyone in Texas is made in the image of God, and because everyone is made in the image of God, that is serious business, it’s almost like representing God, and who would want to blow that opportunity?” GOP state Rep. James White declares. 

“A lot of times I look at as a fight for limited government, bringing government down so that God can be bigger, that there’s more of a role for the church,” says Rep. Jonathan Stickland, one of the state’s most prominent Tea Partiers.  

GOP Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick indicates those views stretch to the highest levels of state government.    

“Despite what anyone would want to say in the media, or anyone in the outside world to try to spin for their own purpose, we are still a Christian nation, and there are some people who want us to deny that,” Patrick says. 

And to Patrick and others, “a Christian nation” clearly shouldn’t allow same-sex marriage. 

Texas lawmakers introduced more than 20 anti-LGBT bills in this year’s session, but all were defeated, largely due to opposition from the state’s chamber of commerce. And based on the Tribune‘s interviews with right-wing lawmakers, it wasn’t due to any lack of homophobic fervor on their part. 

“I don’t look at homosexuality any different than I would at an adulterer, a pornographer, those who are caught up in those lifestyles or bondage,” says Sen. Charles Perry, the author of a bill aimed at undermining the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell. “We all have our demons to slay, but to be in that lifestyle and say I’m a self-professing Christian with no expectation of turning away, that’s a direct violation of the Christian faith. This is a lifestyle and a choice and a decision, rather than an actual right that is granted to our pursuit of happiness.” 

Others told the Tribune they oppose same-sex marriage because they believe the institution was created by God, not government.  

“I do believe it’s revealed in the scripture that marriage is between one man and one women, but I also believe it’s revealed in nature, and so I don’t think it’s government’s right or responsibility to define marriage, but to recognize it,” says GOP Rep. David Simpson. 

Simpson delivers another gem when the subject turns to sex education. During this year’s session, lawmakers unsuccessfully attempted to divert $3 million from HIV/AIDS prevention to abstinence-only education, resulting in a hilarious exchange on the House floor.

“If you’re going to talk about sex and marriage and intercourse, it’s best done with one’s parents in the privacy of one’s home, not when your hormones are really growling and moving in the classroom,” Simpson says. “I remember that when I was in seventh grade, and you know, that’s just so unnatural.” 

Watch the full special below. 

 

Image: Screenshot via The Texas Tribune/YouTube

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Putin’s ‘Iron Doll’ Says Russia ‘Will Have to Think Whether to Re-Install’ Trump ‘Again’: Report

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A political commentator and television host on Russian state TV appears to have suggested Russia installed Donald Trump as president in 2016, attempted to do so in 2020, and has yet to decide whether or not to do so again.

Russia “will have to think whether to re-install him again as the American president. We haven’t decided yet,” declared Olga Skabeyeva, known as the “Iron Doll of Putin TV” due to her criticism of the Russian president’s opponents.

The Daily Beast’s Julia Davis, who is the creator of the Russian Media Monitor, posted the video to Twitter, as Mediaite reported.

RELATED: Five Years Ago Trump Secretly Celebrated Firing FBI Director, Gave Russians Classified Intel Inside the Oval Office

“The other day, Trump promised to destroy the Russian Federation,” Skabeyeva says, according to subtitles in the video Davis posted. “To destroy Putin’s hegemony, as he put it.” Skabeyeva suggested Trump might lose Putin’s support as a result.

Citing her “recent remarks about the onset of ‘World War III,'” that “raised eyebrows across the world,” Insider in April called Skabeyeva “one of Russian state media’s most prominent propagandists.”

A 158-page bipartisan and unanimous report published by the Republican majority Senate Intelligence Committee in 2020 revealed that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election to help Donald Trump win the White House.

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Trump Endorsed Pro-Gun GOP Nominee Apologizes After Urging People to ‘Move On’ Hours After July 4 Mass Shooting

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The far-right pro-gun Republican nominee for governor of Illinois has apologized “if” his remarks, telling people to “move on” from the Highland Park Independence Day massacre that left six people dead and dozens wounded, “diminished the pain being felt across our state.”

Darren Bailey, a GOP state lawmaker who won his party’s nomination and is endorsed by Donald Trump, turned the horrific July 4 shooting into a campaign event.

Surrounded by supporters holding signs featuring his logo and others that said, “Fire Pritzker” – the current governor and his Democratic opponent – Bailey posted a Facebook live video saying, “we’re just going to take a moment and pray for the families [inaudible] pray for the law enforcement and even the organizers of this parade.”

“The shooter is still at large so let’s pray for justice to prevail, and then let’s move on and let’s celebrate the independence of this nation. We know the mission,” he said. “We have got to get corruption and evil out of our government.”

Insider adds that in Bailey’s video he also linked the Highland Park mass shooting to the “tough weekend in Chicago.” Highland Park is about 30 miles from Chicago. Fox News and right-wing media often focus on gun violence in that city, despite the fact that less than half the illegal guns used in crimes in Chicago come from Illinois.

“My intent was to pray for the victims and those affected by today’s tragedy and for the shooter to be caught and prosecuted without further loss,” Bailey said in a statement, Insider reports. “I apologize if in any way we diminished the pain being felt across our state today.”

In April Bailey held a fundraiser to “win one of these great guns” and “help fuel our movement to reform Springfield and restore Illinois.”

In December Bailey, who has called “guns and hunting” a “family tradition,” tweeted out an article in which he is quoted saying, “I will die on my porch before I give up my guns.”

 

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News

‘This Is a Business’: New Footage of Trump Family Emerges From Jan. 6 Investigation

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Newly revealed video footage shows how close British filmmaker Alex Holder got to the Trump family in the lead-up to the January 6th insurrection.

The family allowed Holder to gain exclusive access to them and the former president’s inner circle in the period between the 2020 election and the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and Politico obtained a new trailer for the upcoming documentary “Unprecedented,” which will stream on the Discovery+ network.

“Ivanka frets about a line on her dress, and jokes about covering it with a pet roaming about. ‘Can I borrow your dog?’ she asks her makeup artist,” Politico reported. “Jared nervously repositions his tie and asks, ‘Is that okay?’ Don Jr., seen at a rally, screams, ‘We will make liberals cry again!’ Eric is caught on a phone call, mysteriously saying, ‘For the sake of this country, we’re going to get these guys.'”

Those mundane moments build up to Jan. 6, and the film shows Donald Trump encouraging his supporters to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, and Holder’s photographer joins the throng.

READ MORE: Robert Crimo III’s family noticed nothing amiss, but social media posts painted a darker picture

“We’ve got to get the roaches out, all of them,” a Trump supporter yells to the photographer.

The documentary crew also recorded scenes from the ensuing attack, and Holder has turned over the raw footage to the House select committee investigating the riot.

“Gaining power is easy,” the narrator says in the trailer. “Surrendering it is not.”

Watch the video below or at this link.

 

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