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Mormon Tabernacle Choir Singer Who Quit Rather Than Perform for Trump Gets the Fox News Treatment

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For Fox News’s Christian Warrior Todd Starnes, Religious Freedom Is Less Important Than Supporting Donald Trump

She didn’t ask others to join her. She didn’t demand a boycott. She didn’t even mention the Mormon Tabernacle Choir by name. She merely resigned from her position as a singer in the famed choir, rather than perform at the inauguration of Donald Trump. And for that she’s getting the Fox News treatment from Todd Starnes, the Christian warrior who would have rushed to Jan Chamberlin’s defense if she had refused to bake a cake, take photographs, or sell flowers for a same-sex couple’s wedding.

In a lengthy Facebook post Chamberlin reprinted her letter of resignation to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, explaining that performing for Trump violates her religious and moral beliefs:

For me, this is a HUGELY moral issue. “ as he died to make men holy, let us live to make free” ( The first time I heard this beautiful piece, I was 11 years old; my brother Jim was singing in Honor Choir. IT”S message sent inspirational electricity through my soul and penetrated every fiber of my being. THIS is Choir’s true message, and we don’t want it lost by giving the opposite message).

James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” This scripture has been resonating with me a lot lately.

I only know I could never “throw roses to Hitler.” And I certainly could never sing for him.

Chamberlin also warns of Trump’s tyranny.

“Tyranny is now on our doorstep; it has been sneaking its way into our lives through stealth. Now it will burst into our homes through storm,” she writes.

“History is repeating itself; the same tactics are being used by Hitler (identify a problem, finding a scapegoat target to blame, and stirring up people with a combination of fanaticism, false promises, and fear, and gathering the funding). I plead with everyone to go back and read the books we all know on these topics and review the films produced to help us learn from these gargantuan crimes so that we will not allow them to be repeated. Evil people prosper when good people stand by and do nothing.”

She adds, “I love you all, and I know the goodness of your hearts, and your desire to go out there and show that we are politically neutral and share good will. That is the image Choir wishes to present and the message they desperately want to send.”

“I also know,” she continues, “looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and facism by singing for this man.”

And Choir’s wonderful image and networking will be severely damaged and that many good people throughout this land and throughout the world already do and will continue to feel betrayed. I believe hereafter our message will not be believed by many that have loved us and adored what we have stood for.

I know that I too feel betrayed.

Naturally, Todd Starnes, who spends the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s writing about the “war on Christmas,” often stirring up trouble for public schools by falsely reporting bans on Christmas cards or why religious-themed plays were canceled. Starnes is often among the first to twist a story to demonize liberals and those who believe in the separation of church and state, and the first to provide a platform for the anti-gay religious right to spew their particular brand of hate that he endorses.

Yet, now we learn that those who oppose Trump, and take a moral and religious stand to do so, are equally on Starnes’ target list.

And Jan Chamberlin has just gotten the Todd Starnes treatment.

In a Fox News column Starnes describes Chamberlin as “distraught,” and her heartfelt explanation merely explaining why she cannot perform for Trump and thus chose to resign, “shrieking” and “hysterics.”

“Ms. Chamberlin’s shrieking,” Starnes concludes, in his uniquely misogynistic manner, “is similar to the hysterics coming from Radio City Music Hall – where several Rockettes pitched a hissy fit over their participation in the inauguration.” 

“For the record, President-elect Trump has never invaded a sovereign nation, nor has exterminated millions of innocent people,” Starnes writes, as if those were Hitler’s only crimes.

“And to compare the next president of the United States to Hitler is not only intellectually dishonest – it’s downright repulsive,” it’s actually not intellectually dishonest, it’s eerily correct when examining Hitler’s rise to power.

“President-elect Trump is no Nazi, Ms. Chamberlin – but your argument is a few notes shy of a stanza,” he finishes. 

In a separate Facebook post, Chamberlin, with a surprising amount of perspective, writes on the fallout from her post.

“Well, let’s see. Today I’ve been called many things, such as bigot, selfish, self righteous, closed minded, and I believe also disrespectful. Also implied comments to question my character. And previously unpatriotic, unfaithful to God and faith, and not a good hard working Choir member.”

I think that’s hilarious!

Shall we get back to the topic at hand, which I believe was standing up for freedom, fighting against tyranny, and standing true to the values and morals we’ve been taught by God.

I am interested in having dialogue on THAT topic and working together to see how we can work together to do that.

 

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Image by Jerry and Pat Donaho via Flickr and a CC license 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Coup Memo’ Think Tank Encouraging ‘Secession-by-Sheriff’ With Latest Project: Report

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A right-wing Claremont Institute is undermining law and order and encouraging secession one county at a time.

The think tank, where coup memo author John Eastman remains a member in good standing, is weaponizing “patriotic law enforcement officers” with its new “Sheriff’s Fellowship” that ties together conservative anger over Black Lives Matter protests, COVID-19 lockdowns and Donald Trump’s election loss to bring so-called “Constitutional Sheriffs” into the mainstream, reported The Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes.

“Our nation’s conservative movement needs a countervailing network of uncorrupted law enforcement officials,” the think tank announced. [We need sheriffs] “not beholden to bureaucratic masters, and whose geographic boundaries, jurisdictional latitude, and — most important — direct connection and responsibility to citizens, places them on the frontlines of the defense of civilization.”

The plan sounds a lot like the Constitutional Sheriffs movement, which has infiltrated law enforcement agencies around the country with specious claims borrowed from the sovereign citizen movement that places the county sheriff as the “highest legitimate law enforcement” in the U.S. and claims they have authority to determine which laws are constitutional.

“Think of it as militias with badges, guns, and formal law enforcement powers,” Sykes wrote. “Or, if you like, secession-by-sheriff.”

Trump and his administration encouraged the sheriffs’ movement and openly backed leading figures such as Arizona’s Joe Arpaio and Wisconsin’s David Clarke, and former attorney general Jeff Sessions praised the “Anglo-Saxon heritage” of the office — which the Claremont Institute also did in a recent fundraising letter.

“The current revolution against the American regime, involving as it does both crime and political malfeasance, requires a coordinated response from patriotic law enforcement officers,” the letter reads. “Sheriffs are appropriate for this response. Since their beginnings as ‘shire-reeves’ (‘county watchmen’) centuries ago in England, sheriffs have been intimately connected with, and answerable to, the people of their “shires” and therefore the first layer of protection, and last line of defense, for the people’s rights.”

Another Arizona sheriff, Pinal County’s Mark Lamb, has emerged as a leading figure among militia-minded right-wing sheriffs who are loyal to Trump and supportive of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

“If Claremont gets its way, there will be sheriffs like Joe Arpaio, David Clarke, and Mark Lamb all across the country,” Sykes wrote. “You are not worried nearly enough about what that might mean.”

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CRIME

Josh Duggar Dealt Another Blow as Judge Refuses to Suppress Video Evidence in His Child Porn Case

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Josh Duggar was dealt yet another blow on Monday, after a judge refused his attorneys’ request to suppress video evidence in his bombshell child pornography case.

Duggar, once a darling of the religious right, an executive for an anti-LGBTQ hate group, and a “19 Kids and Counting” reality TV star, was arrested by U.S. Marshals and charged with two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was involved in the investigation.

“In Mr. Duggar’s case, he has not shown that federal agents acted with reckless disregard for proper procedure,” U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks said Monday in denying attorneys’ requests, as the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports. “And he certainly has not shown that the agents acted in bad faith. Moreover, Mr. Duggar cannot show he was prejudiced by any delay; the devices remained in law enforcement’s safe keeping throughout this time period, and the probable cause warranting the initial seizure of the devices remained viable through the date of indictment.”

In 2015 news broke that Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter when he was a teenager, according to his parents.

Just three weeks ago the judge refused nearly all of Duggar’s attorneys’ requests, including dismissal of all charges.

His attorneys have tried to get photographs that include the 33-year old Arkansas native’s hands and feet suppressed, and even tried to have the case dismissed because the head of the Department of Homeland Security at the time of the investigation under then-President Donald Trump was, according to a federal judge, “unlawfully” appointed.

Trial is scheduled to begin November 30.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Glenn Youngkin Brags About Support From Opponents of LGBTQ Equality Just Weeks Ahead of Virginia Election

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Republican Glenn Youngkin is continuing to rally anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ extremists in his bid to become Virginia’s next governor. Most Virginians support legal equality, including marriage equality, and most Virginians believe abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances, but Youngkin continues to seek and tout endorsements from groups that oppose LGBTQ equality and want to make abortion illegal. Youngkin has told activists that he will go “on offense” against reproductive choice once elected, and he has refused to say whether he supports marriage equality.

In a press release dated Oct. 8, Youngkin boasted about endorsements from the Family Research Council’s political arm, the Virginia Society for Human Life PAC, and longtime anti-abortion and anti-equality activist Penny Nance, head of Concerned Women for America.

FRC supports “total abortion bans” that criminalize abortion at all stages. The organization has been designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and has long promoted anti-Muslim bigotry. None of that kept Youngkin from agreeing to speak at FRC’s annual conference for religious-right activists earlier this month, where speakers delivered Christian nationalist and bigoted messages. Delivering his own speech, Youngkin urged the activists, “Lock arms with me!”

A Youngkin campaign press release touting the latest endorsements included a long quote from FRC’s Tony Perkins smearing the Democratic nominee as a threat to religious freedom and claiming that Youngkin “understands the values that are important to Virginians.”

Nance has devoted much of her professional life to making abortion illegal and worked tirelessly to help former President Donald Trump pack the Supreme Court and other federal courts with like-minded judges. She spearheaded a $500,000 campaign backing the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Nance is also a strident opponent of LGBTQ equality, even opposingreauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act because CWA claimed it would create “new protections for homosexuals.” When the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated at a gay couple’s wedding, Nance sent an email with the subject line, “Ruth Traitor Ginsburg.”

Even though Virginians soundly rejected Trump, Nance claimed that the Trump-endorsed Youngkin will “uphold the values of Virginians.”

The Virginia Society for Human Life is an affiliate of National Right to Life, which supports abortion bans, including the recent extreme Texas law that bans abortion as early as six weeks and is now being challenged in federal courts. In September, Youngkin’s campaign touted National Right to Life’s endorsement, along with that of the anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List.

 

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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