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Lawmaker On ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill: ‘Baking A Cake Is Not Persecution’

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Only Jewish Lawmaker In West Virginia House Emotionally Denounces Religious Freedom Restoration Act

The West Virginia House of Delegates on Thursday took up one of dozens of anti-LGBT bills making their way through state legislatures this year. Most in some way try to make discriminating against LGBT people – especially same-sex couples – legal, by letting anyone or any company, corporation, or organization claim to have a “sincerely held religious or moral belief” against same-sex marriage or even LGBT people in general.

The House debate Thursday was contentious. For two hours lawmakers battled with HB  4012, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), even though one supporter of the bill admitted that it “really doesn’t restore anything.”

Several lawmakers took to the floor to explain why the bill was supposedly necessary. 

Republican Delegate John Shott, according to The Register-Herald, “said he was dismayed at a Christmas party last year when a guest there said he had not displayed his Nativity scene this year because he ‘wasn’t sure whether it was legal or not, whether it was going to create any problems or not or whether somebody was going to complain.’ Shott said the party guest ‘just didn’t think it was worth the trouble.'”

“That really caused me to pause,” Shott told his fellow lawmakers. “We really live in a country of hyper-sensitivity. We have really become so paranoid,” he added, at expressing “the devotion that we feel to what is the foundation of this nation, and that’s religion.”

Democratic Delegate Mike Pushkin took to the floor, and in a very respectful and honest speech, explained that he was “offended by the intent” of the bill.

Pushkin said he attended a hearing that detailed that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act “is about protecting a religious minority from undue persecution.”

“I believe I am the only member of a religious minority elected to this body currently,” Pushkin said. “I’m Jewish. Religious freedom is very important to me. If it wasn’t for religious freedom I wouldn’t be here,” he stressed, adding that his family fled “real religious persecution” in Eastern Europe.

EARLIER: Watch: West Virginia Lawmaker Says If Gays Are Allowed Nondiscrimination Protections Pedophiles Will Get Them Too

“In my lifetime I cannot tell you what religious persecution is, because I’m an American, and we do not persecute people in America for religious beliefs, because we have the First Amendment to the Constitution, that’s very well written.”

Asking what the real reason behind the RFRA is, Pushkin concluded it’s because “same-sex marriage is now legal in West Virginia.” He called the bill a “pushback” from people who are “not persecuted, but possibly inconvenienced.”

He offered as an example of religious inconvenience a meeting he had to attend as a state lawmaker on the most holiest of days on the Jewish Calendar, Rosh Hashanah.

“I did my job,” Pushkin said, adding that he was late for religious services. “That was an inconvenience.”

“I didn’t stand on the courthouse steps and cry about it, I didn’t really say much,” he said. “Mike Huckabee didn’t fly into West Virginia and hold my hand on the courthouse steps,” Pushkin said, raising his arm in a manner similar to the now-iconic image of the Baptist preacher standing with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis.

“It was a scheduling problem that interfered with my religious beliefs.”

Pushkin then offered an example of the difference between religious inconvenience and religious persecution.

“Having to bake a cake when you are a professional baker, and having somebody pay you to bake a cake is not discrimination. It could, possibly, be seen as an inconvenience,” Pushkin offered. “But you’re a baker.”

“I don’t see that, really as an inconvenience. It’s somebody choosing to do their job,” he said, then, paused in frustration.

“I guess what I’m trying to say is, baking a cake is not persecution. Getting baked in an oven is persecution,” Pushkin said, clearly alluding to the millions of Jews and other people slaughtered in Nazi Germany.

The West Virginia Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Thursday passed by an overwhelming majority, 72-26. It now moves on to the Senate.

There is a change.org petition you can sign asking the Senate to not vote for hate.

 

Image via Facebook
Video via WV House Democrats

 

 

 

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Susan Collins, Under Fire for Refusing to Support Abortion Rights Bill, Endorses Racist Pro-Trump Ex-Governor

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U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) is under mounting criticism for refusing to support a Democratic bill that would make access to abortion the law of the land, as the U.S. Supreme Court, experts believe, prepares to reverse its historic 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade.

Senator Collins, who repeatedly claims to be pro-choice, is being criticized after years of supporting then-President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees at every level of the federal judiciary, including two of his three Supreme Court picks.

According to the progressive group Suit Up Maine, Collins voted to confirm of 208 of Trump’s judicial nominees. She voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, but against Amy Coney Barrett, reportedly because she felt the vote should not take place so close to an election. But Collins did vote to put Barrett on the federal bench in 2017.

The anger against Collins on social media has been palpable Wednesday, but it may be about to get worse.

According to NBC News affiliate News Center Maine, Collins just endorsed former Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage for a third term. LePage was term-limited after two consecutive terms, but announced in April he is running once again.

For those who don’t remember, LePage is a Trump acolyte known for making outrageous and vulgar remarks, is anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ, and pro-death penalty. He opposes legalization of marijuana, opposes renewable energy, supports “school choice,” opposes ObamaCare, wants to reduce the number of hospitals in the state, and has made racist remarks.

Related –
Gov. Paul LePage: I’m Not Racist, You C*cksucker, But People of Color are “The Enemy”

This was Gov. LePage in 2016:

“As Maine recovers from the pandemic, Paul is the best candidate to grow our economy,” Collins said Wednesday in a pre-recorded video endorsing LePage, who once called himself “Baby Trump.”

The outpouring of outrage against Collins is tremendous.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Busted: Steve Bannon Admits He Helped Plot Jan. 6 Trump Rally to ‘Kill Biden Presidency in the Crib’

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Conservative broadcaster Steve Bannon admitted on Wednesday that he had plotted with President Donald Trump to “kill the Biden presidency in the crib” ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

During his Warroom broadcast, Bannon played clips of journalist Robert Costa and Bob Woodward explaining how events unfolded prior to the Jan. 6 riot.

“You look at January 5th, we discovered that Steve Bannon, the former White House strategist, was there at the Willard Hotel blocks from the White House with Rudy Giuliani, having an almost war-room-type meeting with other Trump allies the eve before the January 6th insurrection,” Costa recently explained to MSNBC. “And Bannon had actually been in close touch with President Trump for days before January 6th. Based on our reporting, he privately told President Trump to have a reckoning on January 6th. And he said to the president, it’s time to kill the Biden presidency in the crib.”

Bannon seemed proud to confirm that the conversation had taken place.

“Yeah, because his legitimacy,” Bannon said of Biden. “42% of the American people think that Biden did not win the presidency legitimately.”

“It killed itself,” he continued. “Just look at what this illegitimate regime is doing. It killed itself. OK? But we told you from the very beginning, just expose it, just expose it, never back down, never give up and this thing will implode.”

Watch the video below from Real America’s Voice.

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Far Right Pastor Says There Are More Gays Than Ever Before Thanks to a ‘Demonic Spirit That’s Come After Our Seed’

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A right wing mega-church pastor who falsely claims Donald Trump won re-election “by about 80 million votes” says more Christian children than ever before identify as LGBTQ, making clear he believes that is bad.

Pastor Kent Christmas, who shares his ministry with his wife Candy, appeared on stage before thousands of his followers and declared, “never have Christians’ children been more taken over by homosexuality, than they are right now,” as Right Wing Watch reports (video below).

The vast majority of Americans support same-sex marriage and equal rights and responsibilities for LGBTQ people.

Christmas blamed a “demonic spirit that comes after our seed” for the increase in people who identify as LGBTQ.

“If I asked each and every one of you to stand that has a son, daughter, or a niece or a nephew, or a brother or sister, that is gay, half of you would stand up in this building, because it is a demonic spirit that’s come after our seed and the church that God has raised it up in this hour is going to have authority over that.”

In 2018 Christmas acknowledged his son is gay, and said, “I know that he wasn’t born that way.”

He claims his son is no longer gay, and is now married with a wife and children.

“I watched the Holy Ghost deliver him and set him free,” Christmas said.

Last year a study published by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that “non-transgender LGB people who experienced conversion therapy were almost twice as likely to think about suicide and to attempt suicide compared to their peers who hadn’t experienced conversion therapy.”

It goes on to reveal that more than eight out of ten Americans who were subjected to dangerous conversion therapy “received it from a religious leader.”

Watch:

 

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