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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Republican Religious Extremist Who Sponsored Anti-Gay First Amendment Defense Act Loses Primary

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U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, the anti-gay religious extremist who announced he would retire from Congress at the end of this term to run for governor, lost the Republican gubernatorial primary Tuesday night. Now, he will not become a governor, and will not be a U.S. Congressman next year.

A founding member of the uber-conservative House Freedom Caucus, Labrador’s greatest claim to fame was sponsoring the federal “First Amendment Defense Act.”

FADA, in its original form, would have “protected” any person, group, organization, company, or corporation that claimed to have a sincerely held religious belief about LGBT people, same-sex couples, and marriage, from obeying laws designed to provide protection in those areas to LGBT people and other minorities.

But it didn’t end there.

The legislation was so broad, if it had become law a pharmacist could refuse to provide contraception to a woman, on the basis of their personal religious or moral beliefs.

It never made it to the House floor.

In 2016 NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, made a big push to get Republicans to support the bill. Their efforts failed.

In 2017 Labrador reintroduced the bill, but was forced to alter its language after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision, which made same-sex marriage a constitutional right.

After Labrador introduced the new bill, which effectively was forced to also protect those who support marriage equality, anti-gay hate groups bolted, dropping their support, because it didn’t target LGBT people.

There is a companion bill in the Senate, sponsored by another far right wing religious extremist, Senator Mike Lee of Utah.

In 2017 Labrador came under fire for telling constituents at a town hall, “nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.”

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

GOP Gov. Kristi Noem Won’t Make Kids Wear Masks in Schools But She Is Trying to Make Them Pray

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South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem refuses to mandate masks for schoolchildren and teachers but she’s trying to make students pray in public. Gov. Noem, who is widely expected to run for president in 2024, has let the coronavirus run rampant in her state of just 886,667 people – a population so small New York City’s is ten times larger. And yet coronavirus is running rampant in South Dakota, which ranks number eight in the nation for coronavirus cases per capita.

Governor Noem just made clear she does not see herself as a government or political leader, but as a religious one. Speaking to Real America’s Voice personality David Brody, Noem declared she will bring back prayer in schools (even though voluntary prayer has always been legal) and thinks political leaders are supposed to “minister” to their constituents.

Complaining that the actions other government leaders are taking “are not biblical,” Noem says they are supposed to “line up with God,” which is false.

“I think that it’s really time for all of us to look at the actions of our leaders and see if they line up with the word of God,” Noem said, “see if they’re biblical and if they really are following through on those actions that God’s called us to do to protect people, to serve people, and to really minister to them.”

Protecting, serving, and ministering – but not in the fight against the deadly pandemic.

“We’ve seen our society, our culture, degrade, as we’ve removed God out of our lives, and people become what they spend their time doing,” Noem declared. “When I was growing up, we spent every Sunday morning, every night, every Wednesday night in church, we were our church, family was a part of our life, we read the Bible every day as a family together, and spent time with each other, recognizing that we were created to serve others.”

Again, Noem makes clear she does not believe serving and protecting others has anything to do with COVID-19.

“I don’t know families do that as much anymore and those biblical values are learned, in the family, And they’re learned in church when the doors are open so people can be there and be taught.”

“We in South Dakota, have decided to take action to really stand for biblical principles. We had a bill that was passed during legislative session two years ago that put the the motto ‘In God We Trust’ in every single school building it is displayed. Now in every K-12 school building in the state of South Dakota.

“I have legislation that we’ll be proposing this year that will allow us to pray in schools, again, I really believe that focusing on those foundational biblical principles that teach us that every life has value every person has a purpose will recenter our kids and help us really heal this division that we see taking over our country.”

MSNBC’s Steve Benen notes, “given that the United States is a democracy, and not a theocracy, officials’ actions are supposed to line up with the Constitution and the rule of law, not how some people interpret scripture.”

“What the governor seemed to be suggesting, however, isn’t a system in which students pray on their own,” he adds, “but one in which school officials intervene in children’s religious lives. In the United States, that’s not legal: As my friends at Americans United for Separation of Church and State recently explained, ‘The South Dakota Supreme Court struck down mandatory recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in the state’s public schools in 1929. The U.S. Supreme Court invalidated school-sponsored prayer and Bible reading in public schools in 1962 and ’63.'”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Architect of Texas Abortion Ban Also Criticized ‘Court-Invented Rights to Homosexual Behavior and Same-Sex Marriage’

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The architect of what is now Texas law, Governor Greg Abbott‘s “heartbeat” legislation that bans all abortion after six weeks, attacked the constitutional rights of same-sex couples to marriage, and sex between persons of the same sex, in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court this past summer. In that brief he also called same-sex marriage a “judicial concoction,” and argued that women should merely abstain from sexual intercourse as a method to “control their reproductive lives.”

Former Texas solicitor general and Federalist Society member Jonathan Mitchell, The Guardian reports, “who played a pivotal role in designing the legal framework of the state’s near-total abortion ban, also argued on behalf of anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life that women would still be able to terminate pregnancies if Roe was overturned by traveling to ‘wealthy pro-abortion’ states like California and New York with the help of ‘taxpayer subsidies.'”

“Women can ‘control their reproductive lives’ without access to abortion; they can do so by refraining from sexual intercourse,” Mitchell wrote in the brief. “One can imagine a scenario in which a woman has chosen to engage in unprotected (or insufficiently protected) sexual intercourse on the assumption that an abortion will be available to her later. But when this court announces the overruling of Roe, that individual can simply change their behavior in response to the court’s decision if she no longer wants to take the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.”

“In the same brief, which calls for Roe to be overturned,” The Guardian adds, “Mitchell and co-counsel Adam Mortara, an anti-abortion activist and lawyer who clerked for the supreme court justice Clarence Thomas, said such a decision could open the door for other ‘lawless’ rights and protections to be reversed, including the right to have gay sex and the right to same-sex marriage.”

In their July, 2021 Supreme Court amicus brief, Mitchell and Mortara also call “interracial marriage” one of several “supposed constitutional ‘rights’ that have no basis in constitutional text or historical practice.” Among them, “court-imposed ‘substantive due process’ rights whose textual and historical provenance are equally dubious.”

On same-sex marriage and sex their opinion was devastatingly ruthless.

“The news is not as good for those who hope to preserve the court-invented rights to homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage,” the amicus brief reads. “These ‘rights,’ like the right to abortion from Roe, are judicial concoctions, and there is no other source of law that can be invoked to salvage their existence.”

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Texas Lt. Gov. Warns Dems Are Allowing in Immigrants for ‘Silent Revolution’ – Mirroring Language of Far-Right Extremists

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Dan Patrick warns Democrats are allowing in immigrants for “silent revolution,” mirroring language of far-right extremists” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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Denouncing the thousands of Haitian asylum-seekers who are camped out under a South Texas bridge as an “invasion,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick accused Democrats of allowing their entry into the country for political gain.

“[Democrats] are allowing this year probably 2 million [immigrants], that’s who we apprehended, maybe another million, into this country,” Patrick said on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show. “At least in 18 years even if they all don’t become citizens before then and can vote, in 18 years if every one of them has two or three children, you’re talking about millions and millions and millions of new voters and they will thank the Democrats and Biden for bringing them here. Who do you think they’re going to vote for?”

He said President Joe Biden and Democrats had begun a “silent revolution” to take over the country by winning over the votes of migrants.

“This is trying to take over our country without firing a shot,” he added.

Patrick’s rhetoric mirrors a far-right theory started in France known as the Great Replacement, which says that elites are replacing white populations with nonwhite populations through mass migration and demographic growth. These writings influenced the worst mass shooting of Hispanics in recent U.S. history in El Paso in 2019. The shooter, who killed 23 people and injured 23 others, ranted about a Hispanic invasion and told police he came to the city to kill Mexicans.

Patrick has repeatedly called the increase of migrants at the border an “invasion” throughout the year.

State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, who leads the House Democratic Caucus said blasted Patrick for his comments.

“These comments are not only vile, they are incendiary and dangerous,” Turner said on Twitter. “Leaders have a responsibility to not incite with their words & actions – Patrick fails that test, again.”

Patrick, a two-term Republican, was responding on Thursday to the thousands of asylum-seeking migrants — most of them from Haiti — who are waiting under an international bridge in Del Rio. The Caribbean country experienced a 7.2 magnitude earthquake last month that destroyed thousands of homes.

State and federal government butted heads on how to handle the migrants’ arrival, with Gov. Greg Abbott backpedaling on an order to close the ports of entry after U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the agency had not asked the state to do so. Abbott has blamed the Biden administration for the increase of migrants on the border this year.

Patrick told Ingraham the state received a “call for help” from U.S. Border Patrol, which led Abbott to order the closure of the ports of entry. A Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said the agency had no information on Abbott’s decision to close the ports.

“Then we found out that Border Patrol did not have permission from Homeland Security or the president, and so they came out and said ‘No, we didn’t say we needed any help. We didn’t say that,'” Patrick said. “Someone in the administration flip-flopped on the issue, Texas did not take a back step.”

Patrick urged Republican-led states to tell the White House they were being “invaded,” adding that Democrat-led states did not care.

“This is not authorized by the state of Texas,” he said. “It’s not welcome by the state of Texas or any other Republican state that I know and they’re not invited.”

Patrick invoked Article IV of the Constitution, which guarantees states protection from invasion.

“What’s a republican form of government? It’s defined as a government that focuses on citizens running their government,” he said. “We now will have illegals in this country denying citizens the right to run our government. Because our government, our representatives that we elect, can’t even stop them from coming.”

“This is denying us our government that’s run by our citizens with illegals who are here who are going to take our education, our health care, all [of it],” he said. “This is selling out our country.”

Join us Sept. 20-25 at the 2021 Texas Tribune Festival. Tickets are on sale now for this multi-day celebration of big, bold ideas about politics, public policy and the day’s news, curated by The Texas Tribune’s award-winning journalists. Learn more.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2021/09/17/texas-dan-patrick-immigrants-democrats-haitians/.

The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.

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