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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Parents Lose Custody of One-Year Old Infant After Telling Court a Toy Lion Was Their Lawyer — and Jesus

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A couple has lost custody of their one-year-old child after claiming their attorney was Jesus Christ — who spoke to them through a stuffed lion toy.

Metro reported that the unnamed couple lost their custody hearing in British Columbia after refusing legal assistance from the government, instead opting to conduct cross-examinations themselves — though they claimed during those interviews, Christ was speaking through them.

The couple reportedly spoke “in tongues” during the duration of the trial, and argued that their judge was discriminating against them on religious grounds when their daughter was taken out of their custody when she was just a month old.

“The court was told that when the woman found out she was pregnant, she told a social worker that her husband had choked her to stop her crying, tied her hands and mouth with tape and occasionally beat her,” the report noted.

Not long after the baby was born, the couple was arrested for causing a disturbance after they attempted to “purge churches of demonic influences.” Police later discovered that the child — who the mother at one point tried to legally rename “Jesus JoyOfTheLord” — had had no medical tests or vaccines.

The infant has been placed in protective legal custody, a move Metro noted could result in her being permanently adopted.

 

Image by Steve Hardy via Flickr and a CC license

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News

Lone Dissenter Calls Texas Supreme Court Transgender Ruling ‘Cruel, Unconstitutional’

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texas supreme court

The lone justice to dissent called the Texas Supreme Court ruling to uphold the ban on gender-affirming care for minors “cruel” and “unconstitutional” Friday.

The Texas Supreme Court, currently made up of all Republican justices, decided 8-1 to uphold a ban on providing gender-affirming care, including puberty blockers, to transgender people under the age of 18. The Court said that it did “not attempt to identify the most appropriate treatment for a child suffering from gender dysphoria,” claiming it to be a “complicated question” for doctors and legislators.

The Court ruled that even though “fit parents have a fundamental interest in directing the care, custody, and control of their children free from government interference,” that interest is bound by “the Legislature’s authority to regulate the practice of medicine.”

READ MORE: Republican Gov. Mike DeWine Vetoes Anti-Trans Bill After Talking to Families With Trans Kids

“[W]e conclude the Legislature made a permissible, rational policy choice to limit the types of available medical procedures for children, particularly in light of the relative nascency of both gender dysphoria and its various modes of treatment and the Legislature’s express constitutional authority to regulate the practice of medicine,” Justice Rebeca Aizpuru Huddle wrote.

Justice Debra Lehrmann, the only justice to dissent, was clear in her disagreement. She wrote that the decision means “the State can usurp parental authority to follow a physician’s advice regarding their own children’s medical needs.” Lehrmann identified that gender-affirming care can be “lifesaving.”

She also mocked the idea that the Court’s ruling didn’t “deprive children diagnosed with gender dysphoria of appropriate treatment.” Lehrmann pointed out that by upholding the law, it “effectively forecloses all medical treatment options that are currently available to these children … under the guise that depriving parents of access to these treatments is no different than prohibiting parents from allowing their children to get tattoos.”

“The law is not only cruel—it is unconstitutional,” she wrote, calling the ban a “hatchet, not a scalpel.”

Lehrmann also put the lie to the claims by anti-LGBTQ activists that surgery is common for transgender minors.

“Indeed, the leading medical associations in this field do not recommend surgical intervention before adulthood. Without a doubt, the removal of a young child’s genitalia is something that neither the conventional medical community nor conscientious parents would condone,” she wrote. “Moreover, medical experts do not recommend that any medical intervention … be undertaken before the onset of puberty.”

Lehrmann is correct. Prior to puberty, transgender care is basically limited to social changes. For example, wearing gender-affirming clothing and using appropriate pronouns, according to Advocates for Trans Equality.

Puberty blockers can be prescribed for those who are starting puberty. Puberty blockers are safe, according to Cedars-Sinai, and are not only used for transgender youth. A common purpose is to stop precocious puberty, which affects 1 in 5,000 children, including children as young as 6. For both transgender youth and kids going through precocious puberty, puberty blockers are known to improve patients’ mental health, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Puberty blockers are also fully reversible. However, in terms of trans youth, a study published in The Lancet found that 98% of those on puberty blockers went on hormone replacement therapy upon turning 18. But even for those few teens who realize after being on puberty blockers that they aren’t trans, all they have to do is stop taking them, and their puberty will progress as normal.

 

 

 

 

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BIGOTRY

Rep. Tim Walberg Tells Uganda to ‘Stand Firm’ on ‘Kill The Gays’ Law Ted Cruz Called ‘Horrific’

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Tim Walberg Uganda Kill The Gays Law

Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI) delivered a speech in Uganda to defend the country’s President Yoweri Museveni and the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023, better known as the “Kill the Gays” law.

Walberg traveled to Uganda in October to attend a national prayer breakfast organized by the Fellowship Foundation, also known as The Family, which also covered the cost of his trip, according to TYT. In the speech, transcribed by the blog Take Care Tim, he told the attendees to “stand firm” in the face of criticism.

“Whose side do we want to be on? God’s side. Not the World Bank, not the United States of America necessarily, not the UN. God’s side,” Walberg said. “I think as we go on here, it says, ‘So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.’ – Who’s gonna do that? God is gonna do that. Your esteemed President, his excellency, President Museveni needs a nation that stands with him and says, though the rest of the world is pushing back on you, though there are other major countries that are trying to get into you and ultimately change you, stand firm. Stand firm.”

READ MORE: Mike Johnson Once Agreed to Speak at ‘Kill the Gays’ Pastor’s Conference – Until an NCRM Report

Walberg made it clear he knew his view would be unpopular in the United States.

“Now, this will probably get back to the national media in the United States, and I expect some pushback, but I’m not gonna give in to them. … I know that your President is a warrior. I like that about him. We’re in a battle, folks. We are in a battle,” he said.

Though Uganda has had homophobia enshrined in its legal code since it was a British protectorate, the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 is a drastic escalation. Previously, homosexuality was punished with life in prison, according to the Advocate. The new law allows the death penalty for those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality.” It also bans “promotion of homosexuality,” much like Russia bans queer “propaganda”.

The law is so draconian that Republican Senator Ted Cruz—no ally to the queer communitycondemned it. In May, shortly after Museveni signed the law, Cruz called the law “horrific” on X, formerly Twitter.

This Uganda law is horrific & wrong. Any law criminalizing homosexuality or imposing the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ is grotesque & an abomination. ALL civilized nations should join together in condemning this human rights abuse. #LGBTQ,” Cruz tweeted.

Attempts to pass a similar bill to the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 started in 2014, with a bill also called the “Kill the Gays” law. That form of the bill was built by anti-LGBTQ activist Scott Lively, who previously claimed then-President Barack Obama was secretly gay.

While it didn’t go into effect then, the bill and ones like it kept popping up on Uganda’s parliamentary agenda. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden threatened to cut nearly $1 billion in annual aid to Uganda if the bill passed.

A previous version of this story credited Salon with the initial reporting; Salon had republished the article from TYT. The sourcing has been corrected; NCRM regrets the error.

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

If States Start Designating ‘Christian History Month’ You Can Thank This Far Right Christian Nationalist Group

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When the National Association of Christian Lawmakers held its annual conference at Liberty University last month, the event featured a “para-legislative session” at which state legislators and religious-right activists proposed and discussed various resolutions and sample legislation.

Among the speakers at the session was Allan Parker, president of religious-right organization The Justice Foundation, who urged the lawmakers in attendance to return to their states and introduce resolutions declaring the month of June to be “Christian History Month.”

“I think people are feeling it’s time for Christian History Month,” Parker said. “I hadn’t thought about when but I’m going to suggest June because it’s also Celebrate Life Month. The life of this nation was founded on a Christian worldview [and] if we preach all this and teach it in June, we’ll be ready for the Fourth of July with a true understanding of what it means.”

“You have the authority to create celebratory months and recognize things,” Parker reminded the gathered lawmakers.

Parker’s comments make it clear that religious-right leaders would use any state-designated “Christian History Month” as an official vehicle for promoting false and exclusionary Christian nationalist versions of American history, the kind promoted relentlessly by right-wing activists like David Barton, his son Tim, and pastors like Jackson Lahmeyer and Jack Hibbs.

The NACL was founded by unabashed Christian nationalist and former Arkansas state senator Jason Rapert, who is quite open about his intention to do everything that he can to ensure that Christians who share his far-right worldviewtake authority” over every aspect of this nation.

Christian nationalists like Rapert believe that the country was founded as an explicitly Christian nation and that right-wing Christians must do everything they can to keep it that way, including making laws align with their particular religious and political worldview, one that is not shared by many Americans and even many Christians.Via the National Association for Christian Lawmakers, Rapert is putting this talk into action, using his organization advance so-called “biblical” legislation in statehouses throughout the country that would roll back abortion rights and the rights of LGBTQ Americans, defund public libraries that offer LGBTQ-friendly materials, and now perhaps push states or localities to honor Christian History Month.

It is surely no coincidence that LGBTQ Pride Month is already celebrated in June in the United States, a fact that drawn increasingly hostile responses this year from anti-equality activists as right-wing political leaders have escalated their rhetoric targeting LGBTQ people and their supporters.

 

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

Image via Shutterstock

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