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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

For 21 Years Trump’s Attorney General Nominee Was a Board Director of a Virulently Anti-LGBT Religious Group

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For over two decades President Donald Trump’s nominee to become the next Attorney General was a Director on the Board of Advisors to a virulently anti-LGBT organization. That group has worked to prevent same-sex marriage and equality for LGBT people under the guise of defending religious liberty, and advised on high-profile cases for the religious right.

William Barr served as a Director on the Board of Advisors for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a non-profit legal firm that has worked on pivotal and well-known culture war cases including Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor. Barr, according to his just-completed and released Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire, served for 21 years, from 1994 to 2015, in an uncompensated capacity.

His name appears on the organization’s letterhead, as this image from 2012 shows:

The Becket Fund’s Canterbury Medal is awarded annually. Among its recipients have been Robert P. George, the co-founder of the National Organization For Marriage (NOM), once the religious right’s leader against same-sex marriage. Other recipients have been Chuck Colson, the virulently anti-LGBT evangelical minister best known for his role in Watergate, including being President Nixon’s “hatchet man.” Also, Charles Chaput, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, and Dallin Oaks, one of the heads of the Mormon Church, both anti-LGBT crusaders.

In an article asking, “Who Is Weaponizing Religious Liberty?,” People for the American Way reports the Becket Fund was “dubbed ‘God’s Rottweilers’ in a 2014 Politico story,” and notes that “Becket is also a big player in the religious liberty litigation culture wars.”

RELATED: HOW BAD FOR LGBTQ PEOPLE – AND ALL AMERICANS – IS TRUMP’S PICK FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL? REALLY BAD. THIS BAD.

“Becket’s board includes the Family Research Council’s Kenneth Blackwell, Religious Right mega-funder Sean Fieler, and Robert George, an architect of the Religious Right’s ‘religious liberty’ strategy. Back in 2007, a Becket attorney warned that marriage equality would lead to ‘widespread legal confusion resulting in pervasive church-state conflict and a substantial chilling of religious expression.'”

All that was done during Barr’s tenure.

It’s hard to see how someone with this background could be designated as the nation’s top law enforcement agent in 21st century America, despite having been Attorney General for little over a year under President George H.W. Bush (photo).

If you’re not yet convinced, consider this: From 2004 to 2009 Barr was also a Director for the far right wing Ethics and Public Policy Center. Its founder was rejected for a State Dept. position after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan. Its current president is the attorney who very publicly on social media tried to allege, by name and photo, who – instead of Brett Kavanaugh – attempted to rape Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

Barr has also worked or volunteered with The Federalist Society, an ultra-conservative non-profit that advocates for a “textualist” interpretation of the U.S. Constitution – meaning the Constitution is not a living document, but must be read literally, as it was written, based on the beliefs of the time.

The Federalist Society has hand-picked many if not most of President Trump’s judicial nominees, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

RELATED: TRUMP ANNOUNCES NEW ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE WHO IS CRITICAL OF MUELLER AND WANTS CLINTON TO BE INVESTIGATED

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Final Straw’: Priest Warns Catholic Bishops Parishioners Are Furious Church Is Choosing Trump Over Faithful Biden

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Father Edward Beck spoke to CNN on Sunday to explain that the idea by Catholic bishops to punish pro-choice Democrats isn’t going over very well with people who are for or against a woman’s right to choose.

“I had mass this morning, a few of them actually, and unsolicited, I can’t tell you how many people came up to me and were really upset about this,” said Father Beck. “I mean, across the political spectrum. And basically what they were saying was, you had a former president who checked none of the ‘life issue’ boxes for the Catholic church except that he said he would appoint Supreme Court justices that could overturn Roe v. Wade. And that’s all that seemed to matter.”

He also recalled Trump’s photo-op he did with the Bible after peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters were tear-gassed in Lafayette Square. He also recalled the times in which Trump appeared to make fun of Pope Francis.

“And then you have Joe Biden, a practicing Catholic, who is pro-choice, although he says he’s personally opposed to abortion, and people are talking about denying him communion,” Father Beck continued. “The reception of communion — people see it as really based in hypocrisy. I can’t tell you, some said this is the final straw for them. If the bishops go ahead with that, that’s it for them.”

In an editorial, Father Beck characterized the blocking of communion as weaponizing something that is deeply personal and none of the business of the priest. At the same time, there’s an overall concern that the American bishops would support Trump, who was against all Christian beliefs except for the issue of choice.

“I think one of the questions is, are there then other litmus tests about communion?” Father Beck continued. “What about other life issues? What about capital punishment? What about immigration? What about the environment? So, are we supposed to stand in a commune line with a checklist, and are we supposed to decide who is qualified to receive or is it just going to be this one issue?”

He went on to say that the word “communion” itself means “unity,” and he said that the bishops have done nothing but divide people over politics, which the church shouldn’t have any role in.

“In fairness to them, there’s no document done yet,” the priest explained. “So, it’s going to be now drafted and we’ll see in November what it actually says. Maybe there will be nothing about the reception of communion of President Biden or anybody else. Maybe it will be kind of an exhortation on the Eucharist. We just don’t know. But remember, it has to pass two-thirds at that meeting to get approval of the bishops. And then Pope Francis has to approve it as well. And this is a pope who has said the Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect. It’s medicine and nourishment for the weak. So, I don’t know if I’m going to see Pope Francis approving a document that might exclude people from receiving communion based on these cultural hot-button issues.”

Biden has long talked openly about his faith and how important it has been through the many tragedies in his life. Most recently, Biden wore his late son’s rosary around his wrist. He also frequently flies home to attend services at his home church where his son, former wife and baby daughter are all buried.

See the discussion in the video below:

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

US Catholic Bishops Move Toward Denying Biden Communion in Political Decision Violating Vatican Direction

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops overwhelmingly voted on Friday to move toward chastising President Joe Biden, a devout Catholic, for his policies supporting and defending a woman’s right to choose an abortion. It is the first official step toward denying the U.S. President communion. Biden personally opposes abortion but believes it should be a safe, protected, and legal right, which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled.

The Bishops voted 168-55 to create a “teaching document,” as NBC News reports, to serve as a “rebuke” of Biden and other Catholic politicians who support abortion. The Roman Catholic Church opposes the move.

“The Vatican has warned conservative American bishops to hit the brakes on their push to deny communion to politicians supportive of abortion rights — including President Biden, a faithful churchgoer and the first Roman Catholic to occupy the Oval Office in 60 years,” The New York Times reported Monday, suggesting the U.S. Bishops’ move is just as much a political gesture as a religious rebuke.

“Some leading bishops, whose priorities clearly aligned with former President Donald J. Trump, now want to reassert the centrality of opposition to abortion in the Catholic faith and lay down a hard line — especially with a liberal Catholic in the Oval Office.”

The Times reports the push to go after President Biden is being led by Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles (photo), the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“The focus of this proposed teaching document,” Archbishop Gomez wrote in a memo, “is on how best to help people to understand the beauty and the mystery of the Eucharist as the center of their Christian lives.”

But the Times noted the Vatican does not want “to use access to the Eucharist as a political weapon,” Antonio Spadaro, a Jesuit priest and close ally of Francis, said.

Conservative American bishops were demanding “a strong rebuke of Biden,” NBC notes, “because of his recent actions protecting and expanding abortion access, while opponents warned that such action would portray the bishops as a partisan force during a time of bitter political divisions across the country.”

 

Image of USCCB President José Horacio Gómez by Prayitno via Wikimedia and a CC license

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Christian ‘Prophet’ Calls Support for Trump a Measure of Loyalty to God

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QAnon conspiracy theorist and supposed “prophet” Johnny Enlow appeared on the Elijah Streams YouTube channel Friday, where he claimed that continuing to believe that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election and is still the legitimate president of the United States is a test of one’s true commitment to God.

Enlow, who is among the various self-proclaimed “prophets” who guaranteed that Trump would win the 2020 election and still refuse to accept that their prophecies were wrong, actually declared that it is not enough for Christians to simply worship God, but rather they must also recognize that Trump has been anointed by God and therefore continue to support him.

“I call it the ‘Trump Test,’” Enlow said. “It’s a biblical precedent that it’s not sufficient just to say, ‘Hey, I worship God, I’m totally sold out to God or to Jesus.’ There’s this thing going around the body of Christ—and there’s a good part of it, and there’s a bad part of it—’Well, I’m so tired of everything. I just want it to be all about Jesus and all about God and devotion to Jesus, devotion about God.’ You won’t find the time in history where you didn’t have to also figure out who to be aligned and connected with.”

Enlow said that God uses his prophets to let the rest of the church know who has been anointed to serve as leaders, such as Moses and King David. Enlow warned that those who don’t follow God’s chosen leaders, like Trump in this case, are “going to come under the judgment for not recognizing it.”

“If you go against God’s person that he’s using, his instrument,” Enlow explained, “even if you think you have 100 percent devotion to God, it’s going to cost you. … This is a line in the sand, this ‘Trump Test.’”

Enlow claimed that the Christian leaders and ministries currently experiencing great outpourings of God’s blessings are those “who didn’t back off Trump.”

 

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

 

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