“Just because our faith is personal, doesn’t mean it’s private,” says new video.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are now equating one-man, one-woman marriage with freedom, and claiming the government is “penalizing Catholic institutions because of their faith.” In “Made for Freedom,” a video released TuesdayÂ as part of the USCCB’s “Marriage: Unique for a Reason” campaign, the Catholic Bishops depict wistful and beleaguered Catholics lamenting the public and governmental acceptance of same-sex marriage, and voicing fears that expressing anti-gay beliefs will see them branded as hateful and prejudiced.
Arguing that Catholics should be able to discriminate in public, Heritage Foundation’s anti-gay spokesperson Ryan T. Anderson says in the video that the “most important thing now is to protect the freedom to be faithful in the public square.” He goes on to insist that Catholic institutions (which receive state and/or federal funding) “shouldn’t be penalized because of their faith, because of their beliefs.”
But much of the video features anti-gay attorney Kellie Fiedorek with the Christian legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom. The ADF is one of two faith-based groups responsible for many of the anti-LGBT bills currently flooding state legislatures.
“As an attorney, I represent a number of clients who are being punished and coerced by the government to change their views on marriage,” Fiedorek notes.Â “We’re seeing this happen to florists, to bakers, to photographers, we’re seeing this happen to judges and to clerks who are authorized to solemnize weddings and have a religious objection to doing so.” Similar fears have prompted bills in several states that would restrict LGBT equality by offering legal protections to organizations that refuse service to LGBT people on religious grounds.
“The implications of the redefinition of marriage for religious freedom are vast,” says Fiedorek. “I think that the short term effects we will see will first come in the attempt to silence people of faith, or people that hold a conviction that marriage is something sacred, something special, they will be silenced. Whether that’s by the government, or simply out of fear.”
Some are shown struggling to figure out how to express themselves in a world where restricting LGBT equality is now seen as discriminatory. “I’ve been really surprised that just saying that it takes a man and a woman to create a child, that a child deserves a mom and a dad, is viewed by some as hate speech. As if acknowledging where a child comes from is discrimination,” says one man, adding that he thinks the government shouldn’t be “imposing a monolithic secularism.”Â
Many on the religious right see civil equality and public acceptance of LGBT people as a threat to religious liberty and demand the government protect their right to discriminate.
“If in any way shape or form, you disagree with the prevailing narrative about what is appropriate in terms of sexuality, same-sex marriage, even a hint of it, it sort of takes the air out of the room,” saysÂ Gloria Purvis. “People begin to think you’re closed minded, you’re a bigot, and you’re hateful.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center sees things differently. In a statement on their website regarding the use of religion as a means of discrimination, they said, “Religious liberty is a cherished constitutional value, enshrined in the First Amendment. But, as earlier efforts to offer biblical justification for slavery and Jim Crow segregation have taught us, religious liberty should not be used as an excuse to discriminate.”
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Justice Clarence Thomas Believes Media Criticism of Decisions ‘Jeopardizes Any Faith’ in the Supreme Court
Justice Clarence Thomas complained about the harsh criticism the Supreme Court has received since allowing a controversial anti-abortion law to go into effect in Texas.
Thomas delivered the 2021 Tocqueville Lecture at the University of Notre Dame on Thursday, where he complained about media criticism, The Washington Post reported.
“I think the media makes it sound as though you are just always going right to your personal preference. So if they think you are anti-abortion or something personally, they think that’s the way you always will come out. They think you’re for this or for that. They think you become like a politician,” Thomas said.
“That’s a problem. You’re going to jeopardize any faith in the legal institutions,” he said.
A second Post report on the speech noted Thomas’ remarks on the ongoing mistrust of the court.
“The court was thought to be the least dangerous branch and we may have become the most dangerous,” Thomas said. “And I think that’s problematic.”
The newspaper noted the lecture was interrupted by protesters who yelled, “I still believe Anita Hill.”
‘Genius’ Madison Cawthorn Mocked for Claiming the Constitution Prohibits Airlines From Requiring Vaccinations
U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn is once again being mocked, this time for yet again not understanding the very basics of American democracy.
On Thursday the Republican from North Carolina claimed it is “illegal” and unconstitutional for airlines to require passengers to be vaccinated, because “you actually have a constitutionally protected right to free, unrestricted travel within the United States.”
That last part has a tiny shred of truth to it. Just not in the way Congressman Cawthorn thinks.
Constitutional scholar Madison Cawthorn says it would be illegal for airlines to require vaccines because, “you actually have a constitutionally protected right to free, unrestricted travel within the United States.” pic.twitter.com/CgzrUy7wU0
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) September 16, 2021
Anyone could take a minute to come up with arguments why his claim is false, including that anyone driving a car is required to have a driver’s license and insurance, and wear a seat belt.
The freshman Congressman was quickly mocked:
Ya think the Founding Fathers signed up for Frequent Flyer miles?
— Lori Kramer (@lorikramer58) September 16, 2021
And your body patted down.
— annned (@flowerpowernan) September 16, 2021
Little known fact: James Madison was the author of the Free Airline Travel Clause of the Constitution. Talk about foresight. https://t.co/7y3zthr00E
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) September 16, 2021
I do remember reading that the Founding Father’s said everyone should fly freely. I’m still unsure if they meant airlines should be free or we should all get high. Anyway, I’m sure a genius like Cawthorn will clear it up for me
— Becky-lou-lou 💉💉 (@ruatwitt) September 16, 2021
Next up from Cawthorn: why do airlines charge for seats because the Constitution guarantees free travel.
— REDACTED Human Scum/hand washer/mask wearer (@mrshellwinger) September 16, 2021
So airlines having been illegally charging “air fare” for decades? Thank God Cawthorn broke open this scandal!
— Nancy Rutman (@NRutman) September 16, 2021
Even if you have a constitutional right to fly on a privately owned & operated airline (you don’t), that right is subject to reasonable regulation by both the private owner & a regulating govt agency. As long as the reg has a reasonable basis, it is valid.
Cawthorn is an idiot.
— King Clip-on Tie (@RichardClip) September 16, 2021
29 Months Later Bill Barr’s Super Secret Russia Special Counsel Files His Second Indictment – for Alleged Lying
In April of 2019 then-Attorney General Bill Barr ordered the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut to open and lead an investigation into Russia – not into how Russia has been attacking the United States via cyber warfare, undermining Americans’ trust in American institutions, and using social media to do it, but into whether or not the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been warranted in opening an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, including its investigation of Donald Trump.
On Thursday, 29 months after Barr first appointed John Durham (photo, right) to lead that super-secret investigation, 11 months after Barr secretly turned Durham into a special counsel to ensure the investigation would continue past his and Trump’s tenure, and after spending untold millions of taxpayer dollars, the Dept. of Justice has announced Durham has obtained a second indictment.
“A prominent cybersecurity lawyer was indicted on a charge of lying to the F.B.I. five years ago during a meeting about Donald J. Trump and Russia, the Justice Department announced on Thursday,” The New York Times reports.
The lawyer, Michael Sussmann, “of the law firm Perkins Coie, which has deep ties to the Democratic Party — is accused of making a false statement about his client at the meeting.”
Mr. Sussmann’s defense lawyers have denied the accusation, saying that he did not make a false statement, that the evidence he did is weak and that who he was representing was not a material fact in any case. They have vowed to fight any charge in court.
At issue is who was Sussman working for when he “relayed concerns by cybersecurity researchers who believed that unusual internet data might be evidence of a covert communications channel between computer servers associated with the Trump Organization and with Alfa Bank, a Kremlin-linked Russian financial institution.”
Apparently not at issue is if the Trump Organization or campaign had a secret communications channel to a Kremlin-linked organization.
Frequent viewers of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow are likely familiar with her reporting on Alfa Bank, including this segment from October 2018:
Durham has not obtained any indictment against anyone in Russia, any Russian operatives, any Trump Organization or campaign official, or anyone who may have been involved in Russia’s attack on the United States.
The only other indictment Durham has obtained from his two-plus year investigation? The Times in 2019 reported on a “low-level” FBI lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, who “altered an email that officials used to prepare to seek court approval to renew the wiretap,” on Carter Page, a Trump campaign advisor.
One expert calls the indictment “weak.”
I don't think Durham is politically motivated, but this seems weak and hardly justifies his long investigation. Also a good reminder about the peril of talking to the FBI.
WaPo: Indictment issued. https://t.co/AYAUSodiMs
— Ross Garber (@rossgarber) September 16, 2021
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