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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

Christian Nationalist Home-Schooling Podcaster Running for Congress to Bring ‘The Name of God’ Back Into Politics

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Early in 2021, Christian nationalist home-schooling advocate, author, and podcaster Heidi St. John launched a bid for U.S. Congress in Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District. Outraged by incumbent Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s vote to impeach former President Donald Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, St. John decided to try and unseat her in the GOP primary by appealing to MAGA voters, denouncing public libraries as “evil organizations,” and pledging to “be a mom for America.”

Earlier this month, St. John appeared on the “Stand Up For The Truth” podcast, where she sounded Seven Mountains and Christian nationalist themes that have been central to her campaign, describing politics as “a spiritual battle” and vowing to “bring back the name of God into the political sphere.”

“[Politics is] in my blood,” St. John said. “And I think it should be in the blood of every Christ follower. Politics determined policy, and it is policy that has murdered 63 million of our unborn in this country. It is policy that has gotten us into the mess that we are in as a nation, and we need wise people and godly people to ascend to positions of authority in the nation.”

“What we’ve observed over years and years and years is a church deciding to pull itself out of arguably one of the most important aspects of the culture, which is determining our laws and determining the policy that governs the people here,” she continued. “Christians belong in every sphere of influence. We have a command to be strong and courageous. [God] did not say, ‘Be strong and courageous except for in the political sphere, stay out of that one.’ No, we belong in every sphere of influence. We belong in medicine. We belong in entertainment. We belong in education. And we belong in politics.”

“[Christians] should be canvassing, they should be helping clean up the voter rolls, they should be running for positions of authority in every sphere of influence,” St. John added. “We bring back the name of Jesus, we bring back the name of God into the political sphere and we say out loud, ‘What is the biggest problem in our country? We have turned away from God.’”

“This is a spiritual battle,” St. John declared. “We know that we serve the Lord of Heaven’s armies. We serve the creator of the universe, the one who spoke the world into being. He can do anything. And I think he’s calling his people back out of hiding and out of the shadows and into the battle and onto the battlefield.”

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

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Influential Far Right Conservatives Ballistic Over Breyer Retirement: ‘They Must Be Stopped’

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As soon as the news broke that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire at the end of the current session, right-wing activists began declaring that Breyer had been “bullied” into stepping down and therefore Republicans must do everything they can to block whomever President Joe Biden nominates to fill that seat.

Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network and Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch both asserted that Breyer had been forced out of his seat on the court.

Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America declared that Biden must use the vacancy to unify the nation by appointing to the court a “constitutionalist” (which is conservative code for “right-wing ideologue”).

Proclaiming that the Senate is the “our last line of defense against radical leftist SCOTUS justices,” Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel used the opportunity to promote his own campaign.

Rep. Lauren Boebert proclaimed that Biden should take a hint from Breyer and “follow him out the door.”

Right-wing activist Brigitte Gabriel openly asserted that it doesn’t even matter whom Biden nominates, “they must be stopped.”

Right-wing commentator Matt Walsh demanded that the position remain vacant until following the midterm elections in November, insisting that “it would be an assault on our democracy” to confirm any nominee before then.

Taking things a step further, radical Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers called on the U.S. Senate to “filibuster, stall, delay and hold Biden’s Supreme Court pick until 2024.”

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

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Florida Dems Walk Out After DeSantis’ Surgeon General Refuses to Say if Vaccines Work

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Democrats on a Florida state Senate committee walked out of the confirmation hearing of Governor Ron DeSantis’ Surgeon General nominee, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, a far right-wing anti-science extremist after he refused to answer if vaccines are safe and effective, and why the Dept. of Health has stopped publicly posting COVID data.

Ladapo, who has been in the position for months, has ties to an infamous conspiracy theorist doctor who talks about alien DNA, demon sperm, and pushes hydroxychloroquine as a COVID cure.

Asked if the COVID vaccines are effective, Ladapo refused to say “yes” or “no.” The Tallahassee Democrat reported Ladapo’s answers were “long-winded, indirect,” and that he “gave murky answers about his criticism of the Biden administration and his ability to work with the federal government, and whether he had a plan for ending the pandemic in Florida.”

“I would say that, that the, the question is a scientific one and it’s one that is answered with data. So, so, the, the question, the question is informed by data on specific outcomes and specific, specific therapies. So that’s a that’s the, that’s the scientific question.”

The Senator, polite but frustrated, pushed back: “Just a yes or no. Do vaccines work? In fighting against COVID-19? Yes or no?”

Related: DeSantis Vows to Fight FDA After COVID Treatment His Top Donor Invested in Is Found to Not Fight Omicron

“Senator,” replied Ladapo, an anti-vaxxer who opposes testing for the deadly coronavirus. “I just, I as a scientist, you know, I I, I am compelled to answer the scientific question, and I’d be happy to answer any specific scientific question that you have related to vaccines and COVID-19.”

So she tried again.

“Scientifically, does the, do the vaccines work against preventing COVID-19? Yes or no?”

“So, yes or no questions are not that easy to find in science,” Ladapo obfuscated. “So, I will I understand I think I have better clarity about your your question at this point. So what I would say is that the most commonly used vaccines in the United States, which would be the the Pfizer product and the product that was was developed by Moderna have been shown to have relatively high effectiveness for the prevention of hospitalization.”

Later, he was asked why the state has stopped publicly releasing COVID data. He again obfuscated.

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