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Under Trump’s Conservative Christian CIA Director the Matthew Shepard Foundation Is Out, Tony Perkins Is In

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‘Pompeo Has Consulted With Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council’

President Donald Trump is turning federal government agencies into replicas from the 1950’s, complete with upside down agendas on diversity, and a disturbing injection of far right wing Christian conservatives and their values. For example, there’s Ben Carson. Rick Perry. Betsy DeVos. Jeff Sessions. And Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo is Trump’s Director of the CIA, and according to various reports, he has actively been working to squelch diversity programs while remaking the CIA into a reflection of his personal brand of Christian evangelicalism. 

A former Tea Party Republican U.S. Congressman from Kansas, Pompeo resigned after being re-elected a third time to head the CIA, a position for which he is remarkably unqualified. Under President Barack Obama, Pompeo’s predecessor, John Brennan, had worked at CIA for 25 years, and in the intelligence community for far longer. 

Pompeo has none of that background, (although he did sit on the House Intelligence Committee.)

But he does have strong anti-LGBT and anti-diversity beliefs.

This past summer Judy and Dennis Shepard, who founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation, “had been invited to the CIA to talk about diversity and LGBTQ rights, joining a long line of guest speakers at the covert overseas spy agency including lawmakers, former officials, authors, and celebrities,” as Foreign Policy’s Jenna Mclaughlin reports.

The Matthew Shepard Foundation is named for the late 21-year old whose tragic and horrific 1998 anti-gay murder ultimately led to, under President Obama, a federal hate crimes law bearing his name.

“The schedule was set,” Foreign Policy notes of the speech by the Shepards, “and the details arranged, but in the 11th hour, the senior leadership shut down the event. The seventh floor, where the director’s office sits, had the Shepards’ speech canceled, questioning what value it would bring to the CIA mission.”

The cancelation is now under investigation by the CIA’s Office of General Counsel, and had “left employees disheartened — particularly those invested in the diversity reforms that were emphasized during the tenure of John Brennan, the former CIA director.”

The CIA described the reasons for the cancellation as “materially false,” though confirmed the event had been scheduled. “As we explained to the Shepards, CIA decided on a Pride month event with a national security focus and the event with Senator [Tammy] Baldwin achieved that goal,” an agency spokesperson told FP.

Notably, Director Pompeo did not attend the Pride event.

“Questions about his commitment to diversity continued to dog Pompeo,” Foreign Policy notes.

During his very first all-hands speech to the CIA workforce, Pompeo cheered the officers and analysts, pledging to support them. But on the issue of diversity, Pompeo’s response raised concerns. According to two sources familiar with the speech, he was repeatedly asked about his commitment to diversity. After the third question, he visibly lost his temper. He snapped back, saying he didn’t know what people wanted him to do besides seek out the best person for the job, one source who was present at the speech recalled.

“He didn’t seem to understand the need for a workforce that reflects America,” another source familiar with speech noted.

Director Pompeo is a Christian extremist who as a Congressman said, “Jesus Christ our Savior is truly the only solution for our world.”

He takes part in the White House’s weekly bible study group, led by a right wing extremist pastor whose own ministry declared him “not biblically qualified for spiritual leadership.” The group is sponsored by Vice President Mike Pence. It reportedly meets during business hours.

And he opposes same-sex marriage.

Enter Family Research Council president Tony Perkins.

“As part of an effort to expand chaplain services to CIA employees,” The Washington Post reported last month, “Pompeo has consulted with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled an anti-gay hate group.”

Pompeo in fact has a long history with Tony Perkins. As a Congressman he appeared with Perkins on his daily radio show and on a Family Research Council podcast. He’s spoken at FRC’s annual Values Voter Summit. 

Perkins and Pompeo were among the national co-chairs of candidate Donald Trump’s Pro-Life Coalition.

Pompeo makes no effort to hide his strong Christian identity.

“We will defend our Christian values and American exceptionalism with all our heart,” Pompeo said at a 2015 ‘God and Country’ rally, The New York Times reports.

The battle for those values, he said, is “a never-ending struggle” — never ending, that is, “until the rapture.” 

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OPINION

Former Trump Official Claims Biden Choosing First Black Woman Justice Bars ‘Hispanics, Asians and Gays’

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A highly-controversial former Trump official is claiming President Joe Biden’s promise to seat the first Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court is discriminatory.

Richard Grenell, who served as Trump’s Acting Director of National Intelligence, and as Trump’s  Ambassador to Germany, was seen by at least one lawmaker in Berlin as a “biased propaganda machine.” On Thursday Grenell attacked President Biden by attacking another Democrat, former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart.

Lockhart served as President Bill Clinton’s White House Press Secretary. On Thursday he tweeted, “Ahead of the midterms, I look forward to watching every Republican Senator oppose the first black woman to the Supreme Court.”

Earlier in the day Grenell posted a similar tweet:

Conservatives, including on the far right which Grenell has been accused of having ties to, have been falsely claiming it’s “racist” to choose a Supreme Court Justice who is Black and a woman.

Those same conservatives are apparently ignorant of the fact that smart presidents, like smart managers, create a Supreme Court team. There’s no such things as “the most qualified,” nor is there any way, any right way, to measure. Presidents, smart presidents, want justices who are young so they can have a decades-long impact on the nation and its future. They want great minds who are able to work behind the scenes to win over their colleagues. And, unlike Republicans, they want justices who have the lived experiences of more and more Americans –because the law is not stagnant, despite what the originalists and textualists falsely claim.

Here’s Grenell, attacking President Biden through Lockhart:

Some responses to Grenell’s tweet:

 

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Christian Nationalist Home-Schooling Podcaster Running for Congress to Bring ‘The Name of God’ Back Into Politics

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Early in 2021, Christian nationalist home-schooling advocate, author, and podcaster Heidi St. John launched a bid for U.S. Congress in Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District. Outraged by incumbent Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s vote to impeach former President Donald Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, St. John decided to try and unseat her in the GOP primary by appealing to MAGA voters, denouncing public libraries as “evil organizations,” and pledging to “be a mom for America.”

Earlier this month, St. John appeared on the “Stand Up For The Truth” podcast, where she sounded Seven Mountains and Christian nationalist themes that have been central to her campaign, describing politics as “a spiritual battle” and vowing to “bring back the name of God into the political sphere.”

“[Politics is] in my blood,” St. John said. “And I think it should be in the blood of every Christ follower. Politics determined policy, and it is policy that has murdered 63 million of our unborn in this country. It is policy that has gotten us into the mess that we are in as a nation, and we need wise people and godly people to ascend to positions of authority in the nation.”

“What we’ve observed over years and years and years is a church deciding to pull itself out of arguably one of the most important aspects of the culture, which is determining our laws and determining the policy that governs the people here,” she continued. “Christians belong in every sphere of influence. We have a command to be strong and courageous. [God] did not say, ‘Be strong and courageous except for in the political sphere, stay out of that one.’ No, we belong in every sphere of influence. We belong in medicine. We belong in entertainment. We belong in education. And we belong in politics.”

“[Christians] should be canvassing, they should be helping clean up the voter rolls, they should be running for positions of authority in every sphere of influence,” St. John added. “We bring back the name of Jesus, we bring back the name of God into the political sphere and we say out loud, ‘What is the biggest problem in our country? We have turned away from God.’”

“This is a spiritual battle,” St. John declared. “We know that we serve the Lord of Heaven’s armies. We serve the creator of the universe, the one who spoke the world into being. He can do anything. And I think he’s calling his people back out of hiding and out of the shadows and into the battle and onto the battlefield.”

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

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'ENGAGED IN A GREAT CIVIL WAR'

Justice Breyer’s Decision to Quote Gettysburg Address and ‘Civil War’ in Retirement Remarks ‘Not by Accident’: Experts

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During his unscripted remarks with President Joe Biden at a White House event Thursday to announce his retirement, Justice Stephen Breyer made very specific mention of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, quoting from the iconic president’s famous Civil War-era speech (video below.)

Bloomberg White House reporter Jennnifer Epstein observed the Justice, who will have served for 28 years on the nation’s highest court, held up a copy of the Constitution at one point as he was speaking.

“Please listen carefully,” NBC News Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss urged. “Not by accident did Justice Breyer, in appearance with President Biden, quote Lincoln saying that the nation was ‘engaged in a great Civil War’ and remind us that the American system is always an experiment whose survival must never be taken for granted.”

Former U.S. Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal calls Breyer’s remarks “brilliant,” and also notes his civil war remarks were not by accident.

Leah Litman, an assistant professor of constitutional law at the University of Michigan observed, “Justice Breyer seems to be … pointedly talking about threats facing the country. and about how future generations will determine and see whether this experiment succeeds.”

The LA Times’ White House reporter Eli Stokols says Justice Breyer was “suggesting America’s still engaged in ‘a civil war’ but expressing optimism that the democratic experiment will endure.”

Watch:

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