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Karen Pence Is Campaigning for a Candidate Who Longs for the Days When It Was a Crime to Be Gay



Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, spent time this week in North Carolina campaigning for Mark Harris, a right-wing pastor who upset incumbent Rep. Robert Pittinger in the GOP primary in May.

Karen Pence was seemingly brought in to help Harris deal with fallout from recent controversy over comments Harris had made about women, such as emphasizing Bible verses requiring women to submit to their husbands and questioning whether women having careers is “healthy” for society. WFAE reported that “Pence came to Charlotte as the guest of the Women for Mark Harris Bus Tour,” which kicked off at the University of North Carolina’s Charlotte campus on Monday morning.

“I’m here because this race is so important,” Pence said at the rally, emphasizing Harris’s support for President Trump’s agenda. “The road to the majority leads right through North Carolina. This seat, this race, it is critical to keeping the majority in Congress.”

Harris is a member of the Family Research Council’s “Watchmen on the Wall” network who wants to push his extreme opposition to abortion rights and LGBT equality into law. One of his “staunchest supporters,” according to the Christian Broadcasting Network, is Christian nationalist David Lane, who has made it a priority to recruit conservative evangelical pastors to run for office.

As we noted after his primary win:

Not surprisingly, Harris has a track record of opposing LGBTQ equality and abortion rights. Harris was an ally of the anti-LGBTQ Benham brothers in opposition to a Charlotte nondiscrimination law, and he was a driving force behind the campaign that put a ban on same-sex couples getting married into the state constitution; his First Baptist Church contributed more than $50,000 to the campaign. Harris, who says being gay is “a choice,” has said the anti-equality amendment was not about discrimination but about “standing up for the values and principles that have been a part of the fabric of American society.”

… He has praised new state-level restrictions on abortion and called for conservative Supreme Court justices who will revisit Roe v Wade so that the law can recognize that “life begins with conception” and  extend legal protections to the “unborn.”

In August, Media Matters unearthed video of Harris bemoaning, “We have watched in one generation where homosexuality was once criminalized to now we see the criminalization of Christianity.”

Media Matters has also reported on Harris’s Islamophobia, including his signing of a statement that falsely claimed that “all terror groups … have 100% Muslim membership” and asserted that “terrorist entities are not aberrations of Islam, they are the very essence of it.”

“We need good men like Mark Harris in Congress to keep the country moving ahead,” said Pence.

Just before she spoke at the rally, Pence did a brief interview with anti-LGBTQ personality Elizabeth Johnston—aka Activist Mommy. Johnston asked if “the pro-life issue” was a motivating factor for Pence to campaign for Harris.  “Absolutely,” said Pence, saying that she and her husband told their children the first time he ran for Congress the told their children, “We’re running to save the babies.”

Johnston followed up with her own declaration to the camera, saying, “I am here today because Mark Harris looked me in the eye, and he assured me that he wanted to see an end to the bloodshed, an end to the murder of babies through abortion, and he said, ‘No exceptions.’ And I said, ‘That is a man I can get behind.’

Among the other rally speakers was academic-turned-Religious Right activist Carol Swain, who said she believed Harris would fight for “the values and principles that made our nation great.” Swain said that Christians “have an obligation to Christ,” adding, “And I believe that God is doing a new thing in this nation, and that He’s raising up godly men and women to serve in office, men and women, and Mark has answered the call.”

“It is a God mission that we are on,” said Christian TV host Donica Hudson. “Mark Harris operates through the only worldview that I personally will ever vote for,” she declared, saying that worldview is based on love and unity, “the sanctity of human life,” and “the value of biblical traditional marriage,” and “parental rights.” She also praised Harris for being a “constitutionalist.”

Tami Fitzgerald of the North Carolina Values Coalition announced the group’s endorsement for Harris. “Mark Harris supports raising children in families with a mom and a dad,” she said, declaring that there are “no family values” in the Democratic Party platform.

Debbie Meadows, wife of Rep. Mark Meadows, chair of the right-wing Freedom Caucus, said Harris has a “spine of steel” and won’t be like one of the people who “fold like a cheap suit” when they get to Washington. Said Meadows, “Mark Harris will be the same man in Washington that he has been for decades here in the Charlotte area.”

Image by Mike Pence via Twitter

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

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‘Can You Imagine a Group of Black Men Walking Around With Masks and Guns?’: Gun Rally Sparks Questions of Racism and Privilege



It’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and for several hours now countless mostly white, mostly male pro-gun, anti-gun control activists have been marching throughout the streets of Richmond, Virginia, claiming to merely be exercising their Second Amendment rights. Many appear to be dressed in military garb, including camouflage, masks, and donning various types of firearms over their shoulders or at their side.

Some Virginians have been so concerned about the possibility of violence that Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency and banned guns from the capitol. His ban survived a state supreme court challenge. Some say the ban does not appear to have been enforced.

Thousands are marching, including some white nationalists, far-right militia members, anti-government extremists, and neo-Nazis. As NBC News reports, members of some of those groups from across the country have been planning on attending.

To get a sense of scale here’s a photo from an ABC reporter:

Many online noted the reception from pro-gun advocates might be far different if the activists were Black instead of white, given the nation’s history – and that of Virginia.

The Virginia Mercury’s Ned Oliver posted this video at 7:35 AM:

One social media user asked, “Can you imagine a group of black men walking around with masks and guns?”

Government ethics expert Walter Shaub offers this insight.

Days ago President Trump essentially endorsed the rally in a tweet and then did so again minutes ago.

Some are asking questions like, “Imagine if Black folks just decided to have a ‘gun rally’ like this.”

Take a look at these responses from social media users.


Image: Screenshot via Twitter

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Anti-Abortion Activist Group Launches Massive $52 Million Campaign to Re-Elect Trump and GOP Senate



Groups dedicated to eliminating abortion as a legal choice for American women are doing everything they can to reelect President Donald Trump and Republicans in the U.S. Senate. The Susan B. Anthony List and its Women Speak Out super PAC are launching a $52 million campaign effort on behalf of Trump and Republican senators, Politico reported Friday, so that they can continue their ideological takeover of the federal courts and move toward their goal of criminalizing abortion.

The plan will include advertising and field organizing in nine critical states and will use the anti-choice movement’s deceptive “infanticide” messaging to convince voters who consider themselves pro-choice “but see extreme positions like support for late-term abortion, infanticide and abortion activists posing as federal judges as a bridge too far,” according to an SBA memo obtained by Politico.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, has loudly praised the Trump administration’s anti-choice policies, its attacks on Planned Parenthood, and its expansion of the “global gag rule” that denies women in poor countries access to potentially lifesaving information. But she has called Trump’s judicial nominations “the most important thing.”

In the first year of Trump’s presidency, Dannenfelser joined dominionists Lou Engle and Cindy Jacobs for a political prayer rally on the national mall. As Right Wing Watch reported, “Participants had been told to pray in advance for God to ‘remove’ or reform four more Supreme Court justices to clear the way for Trump to appoint more anti-choice justices. Engle took up that ‘reform or resign’ prayer from the stage, saying ‘we have a three-year window for a massive shift.’” That same rally encouraged women to forgive their abusers as “an act of spiritual warfare” against the spirit of angry feminism.

Dannenfelser has come a long way from the early days of the 2016 campaign, when she was among a group of activists who urged voters to pick anyone but Trump because they were “disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women, in particular.”

Image: Marjorie Dannenfelser stands to President Trump’s right after he signed a Resolution to make it easier to target reproductive health care providers. Official White House Photo by Myles Cullen via Flickr.

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

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Former GOP Candidate for Governor: ‘If I Had My Way We Would Be Executing Abortionists’



On today’s episode of the “Pass The Salt Live” webcast, host Dave Daubenmire interviewed Trumploving radical right-wing activist Scott Lively, who used the opportunity to declare that abortion providers should be put to death.

“If I had my way, we would be executing abortionists after trial,” Lively said. “They are committing mass murder and if we truly had a just justice system, they would be tried and they would be executed for what they’re doing. That is how serious the problem is.”

Lively added that he wanted to “make absolutely clear” that he was not calling for vigilante justice, but rather the creation of a justice system that operates according to the dictates of biblical law whereby the testimony of two witnesses is required in order to put someone to death.


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

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