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Christian Adoption Agencies Caught Refusing Same-Sex Parents – and Now Taxpayer Funds Are Being Halted

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Religious Groups Use Needy Children as Pawns

Two Christian adoption agencies in Philadelphia are under attack – and under review – after being caught with policies refusing same-sex couples and LGBT people from adopting children in their care. In the last year alone the City of Philadelphia has paid them a total of $3 million to care for the children in need of loving homes. Those payments are now on hold and an investigation into both agencies is underway.

Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services are bth refusing to alter their policies, insisting same-sex marriage is not in keeping with their religious beliefs, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“This has been our practice throughout our nearly 75 years of operation and is based on our adherence to what we believe to be foundational Biblical principles,” a spokesman for Bethany Christian Services told the Inquirer. 

“Catholic Social Services is, at its core, an institution founded on faith-based principles,” a spokesman for the Philadelphia Archdiocese said. “The Catholic Church does not endorse same-sex unions, based upon deeply held religious beliefs and principles. As such, CSS would not be able to consider foster care placement within the context of a same-sex union.” 

In years past anti-gay activists and the Catholic Church have falsely claimed Boston’s Catholic Social Services adoption agency was “forced” to shut its doors in 2006 because it refused to allow LGBT people adopt. In reality, its board members voted to allow LGBT people to adopt, but it chose to close rather than allow same-sex parents adopt. 

Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services says it was unaware of the policies of the two agencies, and Mayor Jim Kenney tells WHYY he was surprised the groups have been allowed to discriminate.

“I think that two women or two men that happen to love each other or are married to each other who pass all the background checks and the financial circumstances and have a nice home should be able to welcome a foster child into their home.”

He added, “we cannot use taxpayer dollars to fund organizations that discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation or because of their same-sex marriage status.”

The ACLU is calling the refusal of the faith-based agencies to work with LGBT people “a tragedy for the kids of Philadelphia.” Mary Catherine Roper, the Pennsylvania’s ACLU’s deputy legal director also says giving taxpayer funds to agencies refusing LGBT parents might be unconstitutional.

“A government doesn’t get to use a contractor to implement religious programs and when you start saying, ‘We’re running this as a religious program such that we won’t take you because you don’t fit our religious view,’ then the city is paying for a religious program, and that’s a problem under the First Amendment.”

Philadelphia’s Catholic Archdiocese is headed by the virulently anti-gay Archbishop Charles Chaput (photo). He has claimed same-sex marriage stops children from knowing parents love them. In 2015 he made parents sign a “Catholic identity” loyalty oath.

Image by HazteOir.org via Flickr and a CC license

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Franklin Graham Cries ‘Discrimination’ as UK Venues Ban Him Over His ‘Divisive’ Anti-LGBTQ Extremism

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Franklin Graham‘s planned tour of the UK has run in to a snag: It appears few in the UK want him there. The far right evangelical Christian leader with strong ties to President Donald Trump had announced a UK tour starting in June, but as word spread venues started canceling on him, or pulled out of negotiations. At issue: Graham’s anti-LGBTQ extremism.

ACC Liverpool, a convention center adjacent to the John Lennon Peace Monument has blocked Graham, calling him “divisive” and saying he is “incompatible” with their values.

“Over the past few days we have been made aware of a number of statements which we consider to be incompatible with our values,” the ACC Liverpool said in a statement, as The Guardian reports. “In light of this we can no longer reconcile the balance between freedom of speech and the divisive impact this event is having in our city. We have informed the organizers of the event that the booking will no longer be fulfilled.”

The mayor of Liverpool supports the decision:

A London venue has also backed out of negotiations in the wake of “an All Out petition calling on The O2 to refuse to host Graham, with the petition gaining more than 8,500 signatures by early Tuesday morning,” Newsweek reports.

Graham is accusing his UK opponents of discrimination – while falsely suggesting all Christians support him and his beliefs.

“We feel that we are being discriminated against because of our religious beliefs,” Graham said. “Cancelling venue contracts based on the demands of one very vocal group, without consideration for the views and rights of the Christians who contracted for the venue, including the views of thousands of other Christians who support it and who would be negatively impacted, does far more to harm and divide society than simply letting the events go on as planned.”

He also called it “wrong for venue managers and local officials to make a decision that disadvantages Christians,” as if all LGBTQ people are not Christian.

Graham, who says Satan is behind LGBTQ advocacy, had more strong words in response to the lockout, in an open “letter to the LGBTQ community in the UK.”

“The rub, I think, comes in whether God defines homosexuality as sin. The answer is yes,” he told his 8 million Facebook followers. “But God goes even further than that, to say that we are all sinners—myself included. The Bible says that every human being is guilty of sin and in need of forgiveness and cleansing. The penalty of sin is spiritual death—separation from God for eternity.”

“I invite everyone in the LGBTQ community to come and hear for yourselves the Gospel messages that I will be bringing from God’s Word, the Bible. You are absolutely welcome,” he claimed.

 

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TAKING THE BAIT

Trump Attacks CNN’s Don Lemon for Laughing as Rick Wilson Mocks President Who ‘Couldn’t Find Ukraine on a Map’ (Video)

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In the wee hours of the morning, just past midnight, President Donald Trump launched an attack against CNN’s Don Lemon, calling him “the dumbest man on television (with terrible ratings!).”

In a segment on Lemon’s show from Saturday, Lemon laughed so hard at Republican strategist and Never-Trumper Rick Wilson that at one point he banged his head on his desk.

It was too much for the thin-skinned Leader of the Free World.

Wilson was talking about Mike Pompeo’s egregious attack on an NPR reporter, who he lied about by claiming she “lied twice” and accusing her of agreeing his Ukraine remarks were off the record, when she did not – which emails prove. After the interview the Secretary of State forced her to identify Ukraine on an unmarked map. A two-decade veteran of covering the State Dept., and with a masters in European studies from Cambridge, the reporter had no trouble pointing to the country on a map.

Pompeo, Wilson said, “also knows deep in his heart that Donald Trump couldn’t find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter ‘U’ and a picture of an actual crane on a map.”

Wilson called Trump’s base “the credulous boomer rube demo that wants to think that ‘Donald Trump’s the smart one and y’all elitists are dumb,'” he said in a mocking drawl.

“‘You elitists with your geography, and your maps, and your reading,'” NY Times and CNN contributor Wajahat Ali added, also mocking Trump’s base.

“‘Your math and your reading,'” Wilson chimed in.

“‘Yeah, your reading, your geography, knowing other countries, sipping your latte,'” Ali added, continuing to mock Trump’s base.

Trump furiously tweeted out his attack:

Interestingly, Trump went after Lemon, who was only laughing – and not Wilson or Ali, who were the ones really mocking him.

About two hours after Trump posted his attack, Ali revealed, “Friends are now concerned about my safety.”

 

 

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SAYING THE QUIET PART OUT LOUD

GOP Senator Accidentally Admits Real Reason Trump Targeted Biden in His Ukraine Extortion Scheme

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In a press conference with reporters on Monday, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) gave the game away by implying she hopes that President Donald Trump’s scheme to dig up foreign dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden successfully sinks his candidacy and causes him to lose the Democratic caucuses in her state.

“Iowa caucuses are this next Monday evening. And I’m really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Democratic caucus goers. Will they be supporting Vice President Biden at this point?”

The remarks came after White House lawyers spent hours trying to change the subject from Trump’s attempts to extort the president of Ukraine with military aid, to the conspiracy theory surrounding Biden’s son’s work in Ukraine that he had been demanding they pursue.

“Senator Ernst just said the quiet part out loud: Republicans are terrified that Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee, defeat Donald Trump, and help progressives gain seats in the House and take the Senate,” Biden spokesperson Andrew Bates said. “Donald Trump himself was so afraid of running against Joe Biden that he became the only president in American history who tried to force a foreign country to lie on behalf of his struggling re-election campaign. We are in a battle for the soul of this nation, and the GOP can’t stop revealing that Vice President Biden is the best candidate to win it.”

Watch below:

 

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