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BUYING FOR BIGOTRY: Christian Group Releases Rankings Of Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice Companies

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Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby Earn Highest Scores On Inaugural ‘Faith Equality Index’

A conservative Christian group has taken a page out of the Human Rights Campaign’s playbook, releasing a ranking of corporations that are most hostile to LGBT and reproductive rights. 

Not surprisingly, Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby received the highest scores on the inaugural Faith Equality Index, put out earlier this month by a group called Faith Driven Consumer, which is encouraging people to “buycott” companies that don’t share their “biblical worldview.” 

“Just in time for the busy Christmas shopping season — we launched our ground-breaking new scoring system rating major brands on their relative faith-compatibility,” Faith Driven Consumer said in a news release. “It’s important for everyone to understand what we are asking Corporate America to do — acknowledge us on equal footing with the other groups they embrace and celebrate.”

According to The Washington Times, the Faith Equality Index is a response to HRC’s Corporate Equality Index and Buying For Workplace Equality guide, which for more than a decade have rated companies based on LGBT-inclusive policies and procedures. Using the hashtag #AddUsIn, Faith Driven Consumer is even attempting to co-opt the LGBT “rainbow of diversity.” 

“In a marketplace that celebrates diversity, the Faith Equality Index focuses major brands on the newest color in their rainbow, Faith Driven Consumers,” Faith Driven Consumer founder Chris Stone said in a statement. “Like every community, Faith Driven Consumers expect to be welcomed by the companies they do business with and work for.”

LOOK: Twitter Mocks Gun Toting Christian Pastor For Viral Protest Of Starbucks Red Cups That ‘Hate Jesus’

Faith Driven Consumer claims to represent 41 million Christian consumers who spend $2 trillion annually.

Earlier his year, Faith Driven Consumer led campaigns to return Phil Robertson to “Duck Dynasty,” get SunTrust Bank to reverse a decision to fire the Benham brothers, and protest Houston officials’ decision to subpoena pastors’ sermons in defending the city’s Equal Rights Ordinance.

The group also got involved in the controversy over “religious freedom” laws in Arkansas and Indiana that aimed to give businesses a “license to discriminate” against LGBT people. 

“We are disappointed by the misleading and inflammatory nature of many people’s comments in reaction to recent events surrounding Indiana’s religious freedom law,” Stone said in March. “Such language presents an obstacle to the important issue of achieving universal equality in our culture and in the marketplace.”

The Faith Equality Index rates more than 300 companies based on 14 criteria, and lists the ratings alongside their scores on HRC’s CEI, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility’s Corporate Inclusion Index (CII), Black Enterprise’s Best 40 list for African-American diversity and Diversity Inc.’s Top 50 ranking for diversity. 

Criteria for the Faith Equality Index include: 

  • Use of the word “Christmas” in seasonal advertising
  • Respect for, acknowledgment of, and compatibility with a comprehensive pro-life view on abortion, embryonic stem cell research and euthanasia — either by supporting these positions publicly, financially or with in-kind resources equal, at minimum, to support given alternative positions, or remaining silent and neutral on these issues 
  • Proactive public support for legislative, regulatory, and/or judicial protections for religious liberty including freedom of speech, association and expression
  • Respect for, acknowledgement of, and compatibility with biblical teaching on sexuality, gender, marriage and family — either by supporting these positions publicly, financially or with in-kind resources equal, at minimum, to support given alternative positions, or remaining silent and neutral on these issues
  • Promote or support wholesome images in marketing and culture while refraining from the promotion or support of pornography, sexual immorality or the sexual exploitation of individuals, as viewed through a biblical lens 

Here are the seven companies that received the highest scores on the Faith Equality Index: 

  • Chick-fil-A: 63 
  • Hobby Lobby: 62 
  • Interstate Batteries: 61 
  • Tyson Foods: 60 
  • Cracker Barrel: 53 
  • Walmart: 51 
  • Thrivent Financial: 50 

And here are the 10 that received the lowest scores:   

  • Bank of America: 11
  • Unilever: 11
  • DirecTV: 14
  • Expedia: 15
  • Nationwide: 16
  • Pfizer: 16
  • Microsoft: 17
  • AT&T: 17
  • Apple: 19
  • T-Mobile: 19

Chick-fil-A is, of course, is well-known for its outspoken opposition to same-sex marriage, although the Faith Equality Index doesn’t appear to take into account a franchisee’s recent decision to sponsor an LGBT Christian film festival. Hobby Lobby, meanwhile, was the lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act. 

Starbucks, currently under fire from right-wingers for its Christmas-less coffee cups, received a score of 27 on the Faith Equality Index, including five out of five points for the use of the word “Christmas” in seasonal advertising. (Again, no word on whether Faith Driven Consumer will be lowering the company’s score.) 

As for Interstate Batteries and Cracker Barrel, one columnist writes: “So, if you identify as a Christian it may be time to mentally prepare to find a car battery or hunk of cheese under your Christmas tree.” 

Needless to say, that would be better than the lump of coal people deserve if they allow prejudice against the LGBT community, women and religious minorities to motivate their shopping decisions. 

 

Image via Facebook 

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NOT EVEN CLOSE

Sean Spicer Bitterly Complains the Press Is Treating Jen Psaki Better Than They Did Him

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As part of a deep dive into the growing popularity of White House press secretary Jen Psaki who has a legion of admirers on social media due to her handling of press, former Donald Trump press secretary Sean Spicer complained to the New York Times that she has gotten a free pass from the media that he never got.

According to the report, even Peter Doocy of Fox News had high praise for Psaki despite his almost daily battles with Psaki that have become widely shared on Twitter and evening newscasts.

“It never feels like I’m getting smacked down or vice versa,” Doocy admitted. “I understand why it looks like that, some of the ways that stuff gets clipped, but it doesn’t feel like that in the room.”

He added, “When I got back from my wedding she made a point to tell everybody in the briefing room that I just got married. That’s a transcript I can print out and show to my kids one day.”

As for Spicer, who eventually resigned following combative press conferences that were famously mocked on Saturday Night Live — with actor Melissa McCarthy portraying a bullying and manic Spicer — he thinks he was held to a higher standard than the current press secretary.

“‘I walked into the lion’s den every day — she walks into a bunch of kittens,'” Sean Spicer, Mr. Trump’s first press secretary and now the 6 p.m. anchor on Newsmax, said in an interview,” the Times’ Michael Grynbaum wrote.

Spicer also took exception to Psaki taking a dig at him during a press conference after President Joe Biden asked him to resign from the board of the United States Military Academy when she was asked about his performance in her job as well as appearances by Kellyanne Conway defending Donald Trump.

Psaki replied, “I will let others evaluate whether they think Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer and others were qualified.”

That led Spicer to complain, “Jen chose to stand and question my qualifications and services to this country. Once she did that, the gloves were off.”

You can read more here.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

GOP Gov. Kristi Noem Won’t Make Kids Wear Masks in Schools But She Is Trying to Make Them Pray

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South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem refuses to mandate masks for schoolchildren and teachers but she’s trying to make students pray in public. Gov. Noem, who is widely expected to run for president in 2024, has let the coronavirus run rampant in her state of just 886,667 people – a population so small New York City’s is ten times larger. And yet coronavirus is running rampant in South Dakota, which ranks number eight in the nation for coronavirus cases per capita.

Governor Noem just made clear she does not see herself as a government or political leader, but as a religious one. Speaking to Real America’s Voice personality David Brody, Noem declared she will bring back prayer in schools (even though voluntary prayer has always been legal) and thinks political leaders are supposed to “minister” to their constituents.

Complaining that the actions other government leaders are taking “are not biblical,” Noem says they are supposed to “line up with God,” which is false.

“I think that it’s really time for all of us to look at the actions of our leaders and see if they line up with the word of God,” Noem said, “see if they’re biblical and if they really are following through on those actions that God’s called us to do to protect people, to serve people, and to really minister to them.”

Protecting, serving, and ministering – but not in the fight against the deadly pandemic.

“We’ve seen our society, our culture, degrade, as we’ve removed God out of our lives, and people become what they spend their time doing,” Noem declared. “When I was growing up, we spent every Sunday morning, every night, every Wednesday night in church, we were our church, family was a part of our life, we read the Bible every day as a family together, and spent time with each other, recognizing that we were created to serve others.”

Again, Noem makes clear she does not believe serving and protecting others has anything to do with COVID-19.

“I don’t know families do that as much anymore and those biblical values are learned, in the family, And they’re learned in church when the doors are open so people can be there and be taught.”

“We in South Dakota, have decided to take action to really stand for biblical principles. We had a bill that was passed during legislative session two years ago that put the the motto ‘In God We Trust’ in every single school building it is displayed. Now in every K-12 school building in the state of South Dakota.

“I have legislation that we’ll be proposing this year that will allow us to pray in schools, again, I really believe that focusing on those foundational biblical principles that teach us that every life has value every person has a purpose will recenter our kids and help us really heal this division that we see taking over our country.”

MSNBC’s Steve Benen notes, “given that the United States is a democracy, and not a theocracy, officials’ actions are supposed to line up with the Constitution and the rule of law, not how some people interpret scripture.”

“What the governor seemed to be suggesting, however, isn’t a system in which students pray on their own,” he adds, “but one in which school officials intervene in children’s religious lives. In the United States, that’s not legal: As my friends at Americans United for Separation of Church and State recently explained, ‘The South Dakota Supreme Court struck down mandatory recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in the state’s public schools in 1929. The U.S. Supreme Court invalidated school-sponsored prayer and Bible reading in public schools in 1962 and ’63.'”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Architect of Texas Abortion Ban Also Criticized ‘Court-Invented Rights to Homosexual Behavior and Same-Sex Marriage’

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The architect of what is now Texas law, Governor Greg Abbott‘s “heartbeat” legislation that bans all abortion after six weeks, attacked the constitutional rights of same-sex couples to marriage, and sex between persons of the same sex, in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court this past summer. In that brief he also called same-sex marriage a “judicial concoction,” and argued that women should merely abstain from sexual intercourse as a method to “control their reproductive lives.”

Former Texas solicitor general and Federalist Society member Jonathan Mitchell, The Guardian reports, “who played a pivotal role in designing the legal framework of the state’s near-total abortion ban, also argued on behalf of anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life that women would still be able to terminate pregnancies if Roe was overturned by traveling to ‘wealthy pro-abortion’ states like California and New York with the help of ‘taxpayer subsidies.'”

“Women can ‘control their reproductive lives’ without access to abortion; they can do so by refraining from sexual intercourse,” Mitchell wrote in the brief. “One can imagine a scenario in which a woman has chosen to engage in unprotected (or insufficiently protected) sexual intercourse on the assumption that an abortion will be available to her later. But when this court announces the overruling of Roe, that individual can simply change their behavior in response to the court’s decision if she no longer wants to take the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.”

“In the same brief, which calls for Roe to be overturned,” The Guardian adds, “Mitchell and co-counsel Adam Mortara, an anti-abortion activist and lawyer who clerked for the supreme court justice Clarence Thomas, said such a decision could open the door for other ‘lawless’ rights and protections to be reversed, including the right to have gay sex and the right to same-sex marriage.”

In their July, 2021 Supreme Court amicus brief, Mitchell and Mortara also call “interracial marriage” one of several “supposed constitutional ‘rights’ that have no basis in constitutional text or historical practice.” Among them, “court-imposed ‘substantive due process’ rights whose textual and historical provenance are equally dubious.”

On same-sex marriage and sex their opinion was devastatingly ruthless.

“The news is not as good for those who hope to preserve the court-invented rights to homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage,” the amicus brief reads. “These ‘rights,’ like the right to abortion from Roe, are judicial concoctions, and there is no other source of law that can be invoked to salvage their existence.”

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