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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Mike Pompeo Talks About the Rapture Inside the CIA

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Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo has talked about “the Rapture” inside the CIA, in public settings, and views politics as a “struggle” mankind must endure until the Rapture comes. Currently the CIA Director, Pompeo’s nomination was almost sidelined Monday night as one Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was absent. After some begging by the Republican chairman Pompeo’s nomination was narrowly reported out as approved.

“Pompeo’s specific brand of evangelical Christianity, with its insistence on seeing Muslim-Christian relations as an apocalyptic holy war, makes him an unnerving choice for such a senior foreign policy position,” Vox reported last month.

“During his tenure as CIA director, and before that as a member of the House of Representatives, Pompeo has consistently used language that casts the war on terrorism as a cosmic divine battle of good and evil. He’s referred to Islamic terrorists as destined to ‘continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior is truly the only solution for our world.'”

(For those unfamiliar with the Rapture, Vox offers this brief explanation: “The rapture is a distinctively American fringe theology that says Christians will be taken up, or “raptured,” into heaven at the onset of the end times.”)

“Sources inside the CIA told Foreign Policy that Pompeo’s speeches within the CIA are no less loaded with explicitly religious language,” Vox added.

There’s more.

Slate’s Michelle Goldberg in January described Pompeo as “a man who appears to view American foreign policy as a vehicle for holy war.”

“To worship our lord and celebrate our nation at the same place is not only our right, it is our duty,” Pompeo told parishioners in 2015, as Goldberg reported.

She continues: “Pompeo’s speech was a mishmash of domestic culture war callouts and dark warnings about the danger of radical Islam. He cited an inflammatory prayer that a pastor named the Rev. Joe Wright once delivered before the Kansas State Legislature: ‘America had worshipped other Gods and called it multiculturalism. We’d endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.’ He lamented government efforts to ‘rip faith from our schools’ and then segued immediately into a discussion of the jihadi threat: ‘This evil is all around us.’ Pompeo concluded by describing politics as “a never-ending struggle … until the rapture.'”

Let’s look at that last part again.

Politics is “a never-ending struggle … until the rapture.”

Here’s a short clip of that remark:

How exactly would a Secretary of State Pompeo be perceived in non-Christian majority nations, or in nations that don’t believe in placing church over state?

And according to Ken Klippenstein at the TYT Network, Pompeo does not keep his extremist religious beliefs to himself in the workplace.

Pompeo, Klippenstein wrote on Monday, “allegedly has brought Rapture theology into the CIA. Michael Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation—a watchdog group on issues of religious freedom in the military and intelligence community—told TYT that Pompeo has talked about the Rapture at the CIA during his tenure as director there.”

Weinstein told TYT his group has received complaints from CIA personnel about Pompeo’s introduction of overtly religious behavior into the workplace, including Rapture references. “He is intolerant of anyone who isn’t a fundamentalist Christian,” Weinstein said. “The people that worked under him at the CIA that came to us were never confused—they never had time to be confused. They were shocked and then they were scared shitless.” The CIA did not respond to a request for comment from Pompeo.

That is the mindset of the man about to become America’s chief diplomat and representative to the world.

RELATED STORIES:

SECRETARY OF STATE NOMINEE MIKE POMPEO JUST TOLD THE SENATE HE OPPOSES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE – WON’T TALK ABOUT GAY SEX

‘GOD IS A CAPITALIST’: PREACHER HOLDING TRUMP CABINET WEEKLY BIBLE STUDIES PROMOTES CHRISTIAN EXTREMISM

POMPEO PROMISES ‘DIVERSE’ WORKFORCE BUT CAN’T EVEN MENTION THE GROUPS HE’S HARMED THE MOST

 

Image: Screenshot via YouTube

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Love This Guy’: Franklin Graham Praises Mayor for Having ‘A Lot of Guts’ After He Attacked LGBT People

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Evangelical empire scion Franklin Graham has made attacking LGBTQ people a core principle of his self-styled “ministry,” aka Facebook. After New Jersey Mayor Alfonso Cirulli delivered an 11-minute anti-gay screed during a township committee meeting Graham took to social media to praise the Republican for calling the LGBTQ community “an affront to almighty God.”

“Love this guy—he’s got a lot of guts!” Graham told his nearly 8 million followers on Facebook.

Mayor Cirulli told elected town officials he opposes the state’s new law that requires schools to teach students about the contributions LGBTQ people have made to society.

“We’ve crossed over the line into absurdity,” Cirulli said. And he urged residents to vote state lawmakers out, saying, “no group has a right to force others to comply with their beliefs, deprive them of their First Amendment rights, and strip them of their parents of how to morally raise their children.”

Graham totally agreed.

Related: Franklin Graham’s Astonishing Ungodly Hypocrisy

“In the world we live in,” Graham wrote, “the truth of God’s Word many times isn’t received well. But that shouldn’t stop us from standing with God’s teachings from the Bible. Pray for Mayor Cirulli—and pray that this state mandate will be reversed.”

Graham has been preaching his version of the anti-gay gospel for years, but in recent times many have grown sick and tired of his ministry of hate.

After telling Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg to “repent” or suffer “eternal damnation” for marrying his husband, Graham’s hometown newspaper’s editorial board made clear where it stands.

“It’s been a little while since Franklin Graham offered up a shovel of moral manure,” The Charlotte Observer’s editorial board wrote in “The gloriously growing irrelevance of Franklin Graham.”

They called his attack on Buttigieg “a typically ripe bite of bigotry from Graham,” and said his “perspective on homosexuality has been pushed to the fringe.”

 

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Broadest Protection of Religious Exercise’: Trump’s New Labor Rule Would Allow Massive Discrimination by For-Profit Companies

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President Donald Trump’s Labor Department on Wednesday announced a new rule that not only would codify the “right” to discriminate into practice, but would help corporations do so. The new rule applies to federal contractors, who employ up to one quarter of all employees. As NCRM reported earlier, it would allow any company, corporation, or organization with a federal contract that claims it is either religious or faith-based or follows any sort of belief system – so-called “religion-exercising organizations” – to discriminate based on those beliefs.

The word “religion” appears 241 times in the 46-page draft document.

The draft rule says “religious employers can condition employment on acceptance of or adherence
to religious tenets,” and “should be construed to provide the broadest protection of religious exercise permitted by the Constitution and other laws.”

The ACLU calls it ” taxpayer-funded discrimination in the name of religion. Period.”

Buzzfeed calls it “Trump’s latest move to let religious people sidestep civil rights policies,” and says it allows federal contractors to “cite religious objections as a valid reason to discriminate against their workers on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, LGBTQ status, and other characteristics.”

The new rule would not apply only to, say, churches, Catholic hospitals, or even a privately-held company like Hobby Lobby – if Hobby Lobby were a federal contractor. It would allow discrimination at literally any federal contractor that can show it has a “religious purpose,” but makes clear: “This need not be the contractor’s only purpose.”

The National Center for Transgender Equality says the new rule “would allow federal contractors to apply for broad exemptions to civil rights law after engaging in discriminatory behavior, including firing or refusing to hire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It could also lead to federal contractors refusing to hire women or unmarried workers who are pregnant or parents, or even discrimination on the basis of race.”

 

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Here’s the Truth About the Shadowy Group Behind the National Prayer Breakfast

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The National Prayer Breakfast is a relatively uncontroversial affair these days. Presidents from both parties make a habit of attending it, and giving simple speeches about what their faith means to them, and leaders from around the world join them.

But a new Netflix documentary miniseries, “The Family”, explores the shadowy group known as the Fellowship, which originally set it up in 1935.

The Fellowship began as a secretive fraternity of evangelical men, first organized under the leadership of a man named Abraham Veride, who was attempting to gather business leaders to thwart union drives. It evolved into what Rolling Stone described as a “secret theocracy” used by powerful Christian men to influence politics worldwide. Its members include Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Vice President Mike Pence is also reported to have ties to it.

The group has stringent rules against sex and dating, and there is an undercurrent of homophobia — but also simultaneously homoeroticism. “[There’s] a lot of that uneasy joking about masculinity and the potential for it and, at the same time, this desire for intimacy that becomes really challenging for people who have a theological and ideological opposition to that,” said Jeff Sharlet, an author who has written extensively on the Fellowship.

They also have had ties to current and former authoritarians around the world who have committed atrocities in their home countries, for the sake of advancing a conservative religious agenda — including the late former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

“In the face of all these dictators, they don’t say anything at all,” Sharlet said. “They don’t ask any accountability.”

Yet despite this group’s broad reach in world affairs, it has attracted little public scrutiny, because it operates with scrupulous secrecy. A secrecy that the Netflix series seeks to dissipate.

You can read more here.

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