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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

They Were Accused of Sandpapering Raw a Child’s Skin but to Franklin Graham They Are ‘Great Patriots’

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“Dusty stated that Steve then took him and began to sand the initials off his chest… Steve sanded on each side of his chest for at least five minutes… Steve used a very coarse sandpaper to sand off the initials.”

“Dusty told me that the process was very painful, but that he did not cry because he knew that Steve would continue the process for a longer period of time.”

Those quotes are from a 2004 police report republished by The Daily Beast in 2016.

“Steve” is Steve Hammond. “Dusty” is his then-16 year old nephew, who had committed the sin of scratching some initials into his skin. The report does not state what or why, but it does add: “Dusty told me that Steve told him that if the sanding did not remove the initials, that he would fillet the initials off Dusty’s chest.”

The process, which reportedly took place while Dusty’s grandfather, Dwight Hammond, was present, drew blood, naturally, and ten days later the wounds were still raw.

Here’s a photo of the child:

Steve Hammond and Dwight Hammond were pardoned by President Trump Tuesday morning after being convicted of setting fire to tens of thousands of acres of federal lands. One of those fires was set near where federal firefighters slept, threatening to trap them.

The Hammonds’ actions inspired a 41-day siege of federal lands that resulted in the death of one of their own supporters.

Evangelical leader and top Trump supporter Franklin Graham took to Facebook Tuesday afternoon to praise the president “for carrying out justice” and “doing what was right.”

He called Steve and Dwight Hammond “great patriots.”

The Daily Beast report says “that child abuser might be a better description than hero for the two ranchers.”

There’s so much more.

“Dusty told me that in the past several months the discipline has gotten worse and worse,” the police report continued. “Dusty told me that two to three months ago he and Steve had gotten into an argument about how Dusty was doing his chores. Dusty stated that Steve became very upset and charged him. Dusty stated that Steve hit him in the chest with a closed fist, knocking him to the ground. Dusty stated that Steve then took Dusty’s face and rubbed it into the gravel. Dusty stated that this action hurt and made him fearful of Steve.”

The report describes Steve as 35 years old, 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds. The report says that when Dusty was caught with alcohol, Steve had driven him at least 10 miles from the ranch “and made Dusty walk back.”

The report further states that when Dusty was caught with tobacco, “Steve made him eat two cans of Skoal Smokeless tobacco, then again drove him 10 miles from the ranch and made him walk back.”

The Hammonds, for reasons unknown, were not arrested for the abuse of a child.

RELATED: LEGAL EXPERTS FURIOUS OVER TRUMP PARDON OF ARSONISTS WHOSE ACTIONS SPARKED OCCUPATION OF FEDERAL PROPERTY

An expert on anti-government extremists, J.J. McNab, today posted to Twitter background on the Hammonds. She includes these original charges, some of which were later dropped in a plea deal:

Noting the pardon, this is how she describes the Hammonds:

Franklin Graham, on the other hand, thinks they’re “great patriots.”

Image originally via United States District Court

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Hate Group Head Tony Perkins Prays for ‘Conflict’ and ‘Gridlock’ to ‘Settle Upon’ DC if Biden Enacts His Agenda

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Family Research Council President Tony Perkins appeared on the Truth & Liberty Coalition’s livestream program Monday night, where he urged Christians to pray that God will prevent Senate Democrats from eliminating the filibuster and that President Joe Biden’s administration will be stymied by gridlock.

Perkins prayed that Biden’s administration will “be confused” and prevented from enacting its political agenda, which he recently said was “literally from the pit of hell,” taking aim at the administration’s efforts to offer protections for transgender individuals and funding for reproductive health.

“We just need to continue to pray,” Perkins said. “Pray that the Lord would prohibit them from [eliminating the filibuster]. Look, we need God. We need God to move on our behalf. We need to repent as a nation of the stuff that’s being pushed through. Just look at what the Biden administration has pushed through, and we’re not even talking to legislation yet, but the whole transgender agenda we mentioned a few moments ago, he’s put that onto the military, he’s put it onto elementary and secondary schools, he’s put it on our colleges. Look at the issue of abortion; not just the repeal, the overturning of the Mexico City policy that prohibits [reproductive health] funding in foreign policy, but even the Hyde Amendment that was eliminated in the coronavirus relief bill, the $2 trillion and all the money that’s going to flow to Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics. This is atrocious, and we need to be praying that God would move in our country.”

“I pray for God’s blessing on Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, [that] they yield themselves to him, praying that he would turn their hearts as he does the rivers of water,” Perkins added. “But if they refuse the truth and go against the truth, I pray that they would be confused, they would have conflict, and gridlock would settle upon Washington D.C.”

 

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

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Montana GOP Lawmakers Pass Discriminatory Anti-LGBTQ ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill

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Lawmakers in the Montana House and Senate have passed a “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” bill that will allow any person or business to discriminate against anyone for any reason if not doing so would violate their religious beliefs.

House Democrats supported an amendment that would not allow the law to be used to discriminate but Republicans refused to support it.

“Do not make me NOT do what my God tells me I have to do,” Republican Rep. John Fuller, opposing the amendment, said during Thursday’s debate, the AP reports.

“The LGBTQ community opposes the bill, arguing it could lead to challenges against ordinances in several cities that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression,” the AP adds. “The Montana Human Rights Act does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”

The Human Rights Campaign says the bill is “similar” to the “religious freedom” bill then-Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law, causing nationwide outrage.

“This bill is so sweeping and so dangerous that under it, LGBTQ Montanans could be denied access to PREP and PEP and other life-saving medications by pharmacies,” HRC said via Twitter.

News outlets are falsely comparing the Montana legislation to the federal law of the same name. The federal law does not affix personhood status to corporations, organizations, or businesses, and does not directly support anti-LGBT discrimination – the Montana law does, stating:

“Person” means any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious institution, estate, trust, foundation, or other legal entity.

Democrats tried to stop the bill’s passage but were unsuccessful.

“This bill would allow a family therapist to refuse to help an unwed mother. It would allow a pharmacist to refuse to prescribe HIV medications or oral contraceptive pills,” said state Democratic Rep. Laurie Bishop, Montana Free Press reports. “… I just ask you, that as you consider this legislation, that you’d not only think about that which you want to protect, I understand that, but rather, I ask you to consider how others might use this legislation in ways that you do not intend.”

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte (photo) is expected to sign the bill into law.

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Third Time’s the Charm? Anti-LGBTQ Lawmaker One Step Closer to Making the Bible the Official State Book of Tennessee

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The third time may be the charm for Tennessee Republican state Rep. Jerry Sexton, a former pastor who is one step closer to realizing his dream of making the Christian bible the official state book of Tennessee. On Monday the House voted 55-28 in favor of a resolution to do just that.

During debate, Sexton essentially said he does not believe in separation of church and state:

Rep. Sexton has been working since at least 2015 to accomplish his goal. Governor Bill Haslam, a Republican, vetoed the bill when it passed in 2016.

But now Sexton believes he may have found a way to convince his colleagues to support his bill.

“Nashville is the top publisher of Bibles in the nation, he says,” according to Tennessee Lookout, “and Tennessee’s culture is based largely on the Bible and the nation’s Judeo-Christian founding.”

Rep. Sexton is opposed to LGBTQ people. In 2019 he co-sponsored the “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act,” which would have declared the Supreme Court case that found same-sex couples have a right to marry as “void.” It it had been signed into law it would have cost the state $8.5 billion.

That same year he co-sponsored an anti-LGBTQ “license to discriminate” bill. In 2017 he co-sponsored a bill allowing businesses to engage in anti-LGBTQ discrimination against their own employees and others.

Last year, in opposing the removal of a Confederate statue, Sexton told lawmakers, “It was not against the law to own slaves back then.”

“Who knows, maybe some of us will be slaves one of these days. Laws change.”

 

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