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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

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

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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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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Texas Educators Want to Change ‘Slavery’ to ‘Involuntary Relocation’ After GOP Bans Topics Making Students ‘Feel Discomfort’

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An advisory group of Texas educators has proposed changing the word “slavery” to “involuntary relocation” after the Texas State Board of Education directed them to examine how to implement a new law, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, banning the teaching of topics that would make students “feel discomfort.”

The group, comprised of nine educators, made the proposal for second-grade social studies instruction, but “board members have asked them to reconsider the phrasing, according to the state board’s chair,” The Texas Tribune reports.

State Board of Education Member Aicha Davis told the Tribune, that calling slavery “involuntary relocation” is “not going to be acceptable.”

“Part of the proposed social studies curriculum standards outlines that students should ‘compare journeys to America, including voluntary Irish immigration and involuntary relocation of African people during colonial times,'” the Tribune notes.

Last year in September Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law SB3, which “prohibits teaching certain concepts about race,” The Dallas Morning News reported at the time.

It also “develops a civics training program for teachers,” and “urges educators to teach only that slavery and racism are ‘deviations’ from the founding principles of the United States.”

RELATED: ‘Ghoulish’ Greg Abbott Slammed as a ‘Monster’ for ‘Inhumane’ Response to Deaths of 50 People Locked in Tractor-Trailer

SB3 “establishes that teachers can’t be forced to discuss current controversial topics in their classrooms,” The Washington Post reported last year.

Attorney Imani Gandy, a Senior Editor of Law and Policy for Rewire News Group, responded to the news via Twitter.

This was always the point of the CRT hysteria— to teach white children that slavery was just ‘involuntary relocation’ so they don’t feel bad about what their ancestors did to Black people in this country,” she said. “Classic fascist move.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘QAnon Justice’: Clarence Thomas Under Fire as He Suggests COVID Vaccines Are Derived From Cells of ‘Aborted Children’

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In a dissenting opinion published Friday the nation’s far-right Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, falsely claims that every COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. was “developed using cell lines derived from aborted children.”

As Politico reports, this is not accurate.

Thomas dissented in the Court’s decision to not take up a religious right case filed against New York State’s order requiring all health care workers to be vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus that to date has killed well over one million Americans.

“They object on religious grounds to all available COVID–19 vaccines because they were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children,” Justice Thomas wrote.

No Covid vaccines in the U.S. contain the cells of aborted fetuses,” Politico states. NBC News calls Justice Thomas’ assertion a “debunked claim.”

“Cells obtained from elective abortions decades ago were used in testing during the Covid vaccine development process, a practice that is common in vaccine testing,” Politico notes. There is no human embryonic material in COVID vaccines.

“Justice Thomas has already proven that he is unfit to serve as a Supreme Court Justice,” said U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky on Twitter. “Spreading false information about a lifesaving vaccine is further evidence that he must either resign or be removed.”

Veteran journalist Katie Couric tweeted simply, “This man needs help.”

“The cells are grown in a laboratory and were derived from a few elective abortions performed more than three decades ago,” National Geographic wrote last year in response to the rise in attempts to obtain religious exemptions to the COVID vaccines. “These same cell lines are also used to test and advance our understanding of several routine drugs, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin, and they continue to be used for treatment research in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and hypertension.”

Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali accused Justice Thomas of being “a QAnon Supreme Court Justice.”

Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, both conservatives, joined Justice Thomas’ dissent.

 

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Texas Attorney General Says He’s ‘Willing and Able’ to Defend Law Banning Sodomy if Supreme Court Reverses Ruling

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Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton says he is “willing and able” to defend his state’s law banning sodomy, which was struck down in 2003 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas, should the court revisit it as at least one conservative justice has urged.

Responding to several questions about Lawrence v. Texas Tuesday on News Nation, Paxton said, “look my job is to defend state law and I’ll continue to do that. That is my job under the Constitution and I’m certainly willing and able to do that.”

Attorneys General are not required to defend laws they believe are discriminatory or unconstitutional, as then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in 2014, before the Supreme Court found same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage.

RELATED: Uvalde School Massacre Was God’s Plan Says Texas AG Ken Paxton – ‘Life Is Short’

Asked if he would go even further, perhaps providing a test case for the Supreme Court to test the state’s sodomy ban, Paxton said, “I’d have to take a look at it,” as the Houston Chronicle reports.

“This is all new territory for us so I’d have to how the Legislature was laid out and whether we thought we could defend it. Ultimately, if it’s constitutional, we’re going to go defend it.”

On Friday Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas appeared to target LGBTQ people.

“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Thomas wrote on Friday, as NBC News reports. “Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”

NBC News explains that “Griswold was a 1965 Supreme Court decision that established the right for married couples to buy and use contraceptives. It became the basis for the right to contraception for all couples a few years later. Lawrence was a 2003 Supreme Court decision that established the right for consenting adults to engage in same-sex intimacy. Obergefell was a 2015 Supreme Court decision to establish the right for same-sex couples to be married.”

 

 

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