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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Spiritual Warfare’: First Family Honors Dozens of Top Anti-Gay Activists at White House ‘State Dinner’

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President Donald Trump, along with the First Lady and First Daughter, Monday evening paid tribute to about 100 of the nation’s most prominent Evangelicals – many of whom also happen to be some of the nation’s top anti-LGBT activists. Also present were Vice President and Mrs. Pence, Kellyanne Conway, and Sarah Sanders.

While the White House did not publish a list of attendees, in his speech the president specifically thanked anti-gay hate group leader Tony Perkins along with anti-LGBT activists Franklin Graham, Paula White, Alveda King, Jerry Falwell, Darrell Scott, megachurch pastor and Fox News pundit Robert Jeffress, Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Ralph Reed, and Focus On The Family founder James Dobson.

Also in attendance, as documented in news reports and in photos posted to social media, were Eric Metaxas, Greg Laurie, and Gary Bauer. Bauer served before Perkins as the president of the Family Research Council.

Metaxas posted several photos to Twitter:

Member of Trump’s Evangelical leadership advisory board Johnnie Moore also posted photos, including one showing Ivanka Trump and another showing Jared Kushner at the dinner:

Religion reporter and pundit David Brody of Pat Robertson’s CBN notes the President and First Lady were presented with a Bible signed by over 100 Evangelicals, thanking them for “the price you have paid to walk in the high calling.”

And Michele Bachmann was part of the evening’s festivities:

Megachurch Ppstor Jim Garlow, who has spent decades attacking LGBT people, is seen here posing with Ivanka Trump:

Here’s how Garlow talks about LGBT people:

Brody breaks the facade of “Javanka’s” supposed liberal and pro-equality beliefs, writing, “Don’t underestimate the role that Ivanka and Jared have played in the evangelical orbit. It’s been substantial. Evangelical leaders close to the WH have embraced them fully.”

And here’s Franklin Graham, another Evangelical who has spent decades attacking LGBT people and actively working to oppose their rights:

“We need to maintain our vigilance in the upcoming days,” Graham told attendees. “The concern is that this is a spiritual warfare, this is a battle and ultimately battle is won on our knees.”

 

Image: Dan Scavino/Twitter

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Franklin Graham’s Central Park COVID-19 Field Hospital Delays Opening as Controversy Rages and Quality of Care Concerns Grow

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Franklin Graham’s 68-bed COVID-19 field hospital is now mired in controversy as concerns grow about exactly how his Samaritan’s Purse Christian fundamentalist ministry came to set up shop in Manhattan’s historic Central Park, what their actual mission is, and if they will not discriminate. The 14-tent project was due to take in patients after a tour by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday, but both events have been delayed. Local officials are expressing concerns about Graham’s group’s intentions, their ability and desire to treat all patients equally, and the quality of care New Yorkers are expected to receive.

Graham is a far right wing religious extremist who has spent decades attacking LGBTQ people and same-sex marriage. He is closely tied to President Donald Trump, who praised the tent city mission on Tuesday.

“Franklin Graham is an extraordinary person. And Samaritan’s Purse has been, like so many others, has been amazing. And so fast. They did it so fast. He’s been doing that for a long time but I think people are really seeing what they have done,” Trump said.

Samaritan’s Purse uses only Christian staff, including doctors. Graham specifically called for only Christian medical professionals to work in his Central Park project. All are asked to sign his Statement of Faith that includes anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion declarations.

The City of New York originally said Samaritan’s Purse would operate the field hospital jointly with Mount Sinai Hospital. That is not the case. The prestigious medical center will be providing patients but no oversight.

Related: Franklin Graham Is Behind NYC’s Central Park COVID-19 Field Hospital – Volunteers Asked to ‘Support’ Anti-LGBTQ Beliefs

“The Hospital personnel are not Mount Sinai employees but paid staff of Samaritan’s Purse,” Lucia Lee, the Senior Director of Media & Public Affairs at Mount Sinai Health System told Gothamist.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who initially praised Samaritan’s Purse, now says he has concerns.

De Blasio says the City will monitor the field hospital, but “told reporters on Tuesday that he was assured the group will act in a manner ‘truly consistent with the values and the laws of New York City.’ He said he spoke personally with Mount Sinai CEO Dr. Ken Davis, who told him Samaritan’s Purse had signed a written pledge to treat all patients equally.”

“We’re going to send people over from the Mayor’s Office to monitor,” de Blasio said. “I am very concerned that this is done right. But if it is done right, we need all the help we can get.”

Graham claims “Samaritan’s Purse has been asked to help in New York as the state and their medical infrastructure has been overwhelmed by the coronavirus.”

But U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney told NBC News,  “We sent out a call for help, and they responded.”

Meanwhile, experts are expressing concerns and criticism.

Samaritan’s Purse “is a dangerous religious propaganda machine that uses international medical aid to further their agenda,” Jacklyn Grace Lacey, a medical anthropologist who has closely tracked the Ebola response, told Gothamist. “The medical care they provide is dangerously sub-standard.”

She added that the optics of the group setting up a facility in such an iconic location as Central Park were not a coincidence.

“The Graham family is well trained in how to create a spectacle,” Lacey said. “I am tremendously concerned they will hurt far more of our fellow New Yorkers than they will help.”

Samaritan’s Purse’s goal is quite clear. Its primary mission is not healthcare.

“The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ,” the organization says, adding: “The primary mission of Samaritan’s Purse is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we seek volunteers who have the same mindset.”

The group for decades has been accused of using disasters to convert victims to Christianity.

 

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Franklin Graham Is Behind NYC’s Central Park COVID-19 Field Hospital – Volunteers Asked to ‘Support’ Anti-LGBTQ Beliefs

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NY State Senator Warns Graham to Not Discriminate

North Carolina’s infamous anti-LGBTQ activist, Franklin Graham, a religious extremist who is closely tied to President Donald Trump, is behind the emergency COVID-19 field hospital in New York City’s Central Park. Graham founded and runs the evangelical ministry Samaritan’s Purse, whose mission is neither healthcare nor disaster relief, but “to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

It’s unclear how a far right wing anti-LGBTQ Christian evangelical organization was allowed to build a 68-bed field unit that will be managed by a top New York City hospital, Mount Sinai, which has Jewish roots and whose president is openly gay – both of which violate Graham’s mission.

Gothamist notes that Graham has “a track record of using humanitarian missions to proselytize an evangelical agenda.”

The New York Times once described Samaritan’s Purse as an “American evangelical relief group that is using private donations and United States government money to help victims of two earthquakes,” and reported it “has blurred the line between church and state as its volunteers preach, pray and seek converts among people desperate for help.”

Graham wants only Christian medical staff, including doctors, to work in his field hospital.

According to Samaritan’s Purse, volunteers are asked to support Graham’s extreme anti-LGBTQ beliefs.

“The primary mission of Samaritan’s Purse is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we seek volunteers who have the same mindset. We ask that volunteers review our Statement of Faith and agree to support the ministry guidelines of Samaritan’s Purse.”

His Statement of Faith includes this belief:

“We believe God’s plan for human sexuality is to be expressed only within the context of marriage, that God created man and woman as unique biological persons made to complete each other. God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female.”

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman on Monday warned Graham to not discriminate.

Graham has also sent his “mobile ministry center” to NYC.

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Read Our Bibles’: Coronavirus Press Briefing Goes Off the Rails as My Pillow Founder Showers Religious Praise on Trump

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For weeks President Donald Trump has been holding daily campaign and pep rallies masquerading as public service coronavirus press briefings, but Monday’s event went even further off the rails as the President invited business leaders to push their products and efforts to address the nation’s dire medical and supply shortages and virus mitigation efforts.

One of the president’s invited guests, the 58-year old Christian conservative founder of the My Pillow company, took full advantage of the presidential podium in the Rose Garden to advance his religious and political agenda.

“God gave us grace on November 8, 2016, to change the course we were on,” Mike Lindell, declaring Trump’s election as being from God, said to the nation during the nationally-televised program. “God had been taken out of our schools and lives, a nation had turned its back on God. I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the word. Read our Bibles and spend time with our families.”

“Our president gave us so much hope just a few short months ago we had the best economy, the lowest unemployment, and wages going up. It was amazing. With our great president, vice president, and this administration and all the great people in the country praying daily, we will get through this and back to a place that’s stronger and safer than ever,” Lindell declared.

Trump told reporters he did not know Lindell was going to do that “but he’s a friend of mine.”

The President also praised Lindell, saying: “Boy do you sell those pillows.”

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