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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

On National Day of Prayer Trump Calls for Prayer ‘Activities’ in ‘Work, Schools, and Homes’

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President Donald Trump has issued a proclamation declaring today the National Day of Prayer, and unlike his predecessor, he once again is making the day all about religion.

In his last National Day of Prayer proclamation, President Barack Obama wrote that America “was founded on the idea of religious freedom, and we have long upheld the belief that how we pray and whether we pray are matters reserved for an individual’s own conscience.”

President Trump instead is urging Americans to pray, even in “work, schools, and homes.”

“I encourage all Americans to observe this day, reflecting on the blessings our Nation has received and the importance of prayer, with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities in their houses of worship, communities, and places of work, schools, and homes,” he says in today’s proclamation.

It’s very much in keeping with Trump’s extreme nationalism, which includes an embrace of, as he has said, “one God.”

“Imagine what our country could accomplish if we started working together as one people, under one God, saluting one flag,” Trump said in 2016.

Trump did not attend church services this mornings as he did last year on the morning of the National Day of Prayer, but he will hold a ceremony at the White House slated to begin at 11 AM. You can watch below:

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘We Need to Go All the Way’: GOP Lawmaker Brags Her ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill ‘Goes Further’ Than Florida’s But Not Far Enough

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A far right Republican state lawmaker in Pennsylvania who has worked to get prayer into schools is pushing a “Don’t Say Gay” bill and bragging that it goes even “further” than Florida’s, but wants it to be even broader.

Republican state Rep. Stephanie Borowicz denies her legislation is a “Don’t Say Gay” bill, but as PennLive reports it states public and charter schools “may not offer instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity to a student in kindergarten through fifth grade.”

Rep. Borowicz admits that although her bill expands on Florida’s which technically bans discussion of LGBTQ issues until after third grade, she wants it to be even more broad.

“It is patterned after the Florida bill, but mine goes further,” she said. “It really needs to be protected up through 12th grade, we need to go all the way.”

She does not state what “it” is.

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PennLive reports Borowicz supports similar legislation, Senate Bill 1278, “which would allow schools to be sued for material that is ‘not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate’ at any grade level.”

The Pennsylvania Republican Party’s gubernatorial nominee, Christian nationalist Doug Mastriano, also supports the “Don’t Say Gay” bills.

Like other state’s bills, the language is intentionally broad and undefined, which experts say is intentional to create fear among teachers to steer clear away from any issue that might come near to the ban.

“Asked what sort of communication would constitute ‘instruction’ under the bill, Borowicz said, ‘I’m not going to get into the details of all that.'”

Last week when announcing her new anti-LGBTQ bill, Rep. Borowicz called for the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education to resign, “because LGBTQ-inclusive curricula and other resources were featured on the Pennsylvania Department of Education site,” WITF reports.

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“Everything from gender neutral days and classrooms, from 3rd to 12th grade to a tutorial on gender pronouns and instructions for teachers to ask before making false assumptions about someone’s gender identity,” Borowicz said.

Borowicz, who was first elected in 2018, she is the first woman and only the second Republican to hold that seat.

“The mission of keeping my word to the people of the 76th Legislative District starts immediately,” she said upon being sworn in.

Borowicz’s bio frequently mentions she was the “president of a nonprofit organization,” while rarely explaining what that nonprofit was.

In 2018 Borowicz “said it was for Make A Stand USA, an organization she and her sister created to get prayer gatherings at schools in 2010. She said it was her sister who paid for it and no money was made for the one event it sponsored. Two years later, she said, it was disbanded,” The Record Online reported.

Rep. Borowicz is a big fan of prayer, but the ways she has used it has caused outrage, even among her follow House colleagues.

Months after she was sworn in, an newly elected state representative, who is Muslim, was sworn in.

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Borowicz delivered the House’s invocation that day, and by the time it was over she had mentioned “Jesus” thirteen times. She was accused of weaponizing pray and Islamophobia and antisemitism.

“God forgive us — Jesus — we’ve lost sight of you, we’ve forgotten you, God, in our country, and we’re asking you to forgive us, Jesus,”Borowicz said, as HuffPost reported.

“She also prayed for President Donald Trump and thanked the president for ‘unequivocally’ supporting Israel.”

“I claim all these things in the powerful, mighty name of Jesus, the one who, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess, Jesus, that you are Lord, in Jesus’ name,” she also proclaimed.

Think Biblically reports she also said, “thank you for this honor, Jesus. God, for those who came before us like George Washington at Valley Forge and Abraham Lincoln who sought after you at Gettysburg, Jesus, and the founding fathers in Independence Hall, Jesus, that sought after you and fasted and prayed for this nation to be founded on your principles and your words and your truths.”

“Jesus, I thank you for this privilege, Lord, of letting me pray, God, that I Jesus am your ambassador here today. Standing here, representing you — the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Great I Am, the one who is coming back again, the one who came died and rose again on the third day,” she prayed.

Watch Rep. Borowicz’s prayer below or at this link.

 

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Religious University Shutters All Student Clubs Rather Than Recognize One LGBTQ Group – Despite Supreme Court Order

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From Accounting to Zoology, undergrads at New York City’s Yeshiva University can pick and choose from 87 student organizations to join and engage with fellow students. There’s the Alexander Hamilton Society, the College Diabetes Network, Engineering Club, Jewish Activism Club, Rubik’s Cube Club, Skiing + Snowboarding Club, College Democrats, and College Republicans, but there is not an LGBTQ club.

Nor will there be, if Yeshiva University has its way. And as of Friday at 12:24 PM, there are effectively no longer 87 other clubs, at least for now.

Rather than accept a U.S. Supreme Court decision that ordered the 136-year old private Orthodox Jewish university, chartered by the State of New York, to follow a state court’s ruling which directed it to recognize its LGBTQ students’ organization, Yeshiva University administrators via email announced to its students, “the university will hold off on all undergraduate club activities while it immediately takes steps to follow the roadmap provided by the US Supreme Court to protect YU’s religious freedom.”

In other words, all clubs are effectively shuttered, for now.

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“Yeshiva University is putting all club activities on hold while it presses on w[ith] its quest for constitutional protection from recognizing the club,” reports The Economist’s Steven Mazie, who covers the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Yeshiva University suspends all clubs, which students pay for, as it tries to block its Pride club,” reports The Times of Israel editor Luke Tress.

Calling it “the latest escalation in the Orthodox Jewish school’s attempt to avoid recognizing an LGBTQ campus group,” The Forward reports, “Yeshiva University announced Friday it was suspending all student clubs.”

The email to students, The Forward adds, “did not state how long the suspension would last, though the holiday period generally referred to as the chaggim does not end this year until the middle of October.”

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“The YU Commentator, the student newspaper of the YU boys’ campus, reported Friday that anonymous administration sources said university officials were considering dissolving all clubs and student organizations to avoid recognizing the YU Pride Alliance as an official campus club,” The Forward adds.

Yeshiva University argues recognizing the LGBTQ students’ group would violate it religious beliefs and Jewish law.

Legal experts suggest if Yeshiva again brings its case, this far-right Supreme Court will grant its request to not recognize its LGBTQ students’ club.

 

Image via Shutterstock

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Seize the Power’: Christian Nationalist Doug Mastriano Prayed MAGA Would ‘Rise Up’ Against the Gov’t on 1/6 (Video)

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Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano just two weeks before the 2021 insurrection was video taped leading a group in prayer, asking God that the MAGA movement would overthrow the federal government, praying they would “seize the power” and “rise up” on January 6.

Mastriano, increasingly described as a “white Christian nationalist” as his views become more public, is a Pennsylvania state senator who first took office in 2019. He was an Army Colonel, and holds three Masters degrees and a PhD.

Despite his extensive education, Mastriano believes the Constitution does not provide for a separation of church and state, and has promoted QAnon and 9/11 conspiracy theories, as well as Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” that the presidential election was stolen by Joe Biden.

“Seated before a Revolutionary War flag with the motto ‘An Appeal to Heaven,'” Rolling Stone reports, Mastriano “spoke of the nation’s founding in biblical terms: ‘We remember 1776, our Declaration of Independence, speaking God’s Truth and Word over what would become the United States of America.’ He tied Pennsylvania to God’s divine plan, from the Battle of Gettysbug to the fate of Flight 93, which crashed after a ‘strong Christian man’ confronted Islamist hijackers on 9/11, with the cry, ‘Let’s roll!'”

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“We’re surrounded by wickedness and fear, and dithering, and inaction,” Mastriano also says in that December 20, 2020 two-minute video, posted by Heartland Signal (below). “But that’s not our problem. Our problem is following Your lead.”

“God we come up before you in Jesus name and we remember the promises of old and we know we overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony and not loving our lives unto death,” he says in the beginning off the clip.”

“I pray that… we’ll seize the power that we had given to us by the Constitution, and as well by You, providentially. I pray for the leaders also in the federal government, God, on the Sixth of January that they will rise up with boldness.”

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In July, The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent said Mastriano is “essentially a White Christian nationalist, and pretty open about his desire to bring White Christian nationalism to his understanding (if that’s the right word for it) of how democracy should function.”

“Mastriano,” Sargent continued, “is also running for governor of Pennsylvania on an explicit willingness to subvert future election results — I should say, on an explicit willingness to use the power of the governor’s office to subvert future election results.”

The clip closes with Mastriano saying, “we’ll fight this good fight for freedom. God we stand on the testimony of shoulders of giants I pray God that we will not waver in this time of need when our republic needs us most.”

“God you’re calling forth modern day Esthers and Gideons and I pray that you’ll give us the courage to do so.”
“We think about our elected officials in Pennsylvania who’ve been weak and feckless and we’ve handed over our power to a governor who disregards the freedoms of this Republic, I pray that we’ll take responsibility, we’ll seize the power that we have given to us by the Constitution and as well by you, providentially.”

“I pray for the leaders and also in the federal government guard on the sixth of January that they’ll rise up with boldness you’ll bless these letters that President Trump asked me this morning to send to Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy outlining the fraud in Pennsylvania, and this will embolden them and stand firm and disregard what has happened in Pennsylvania until we have an investigation.”

“God we pray truth will go forth in victory as your truth will go marching on in Jesus name.”

Watch below or at this link.

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