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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

Religious-Right Attorney Says Companies Offering to Provide Abortion Assistance Are Paying to ‘Kill Your Children’

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In the wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and reversing 50 years of precedent by eliminating the constitutional right to abortion, dozens of companies announced that they could provide coverage or reimbursements to employees who may now need to travel out of state to obtain an abortion.

Appearing on VCY America’s “Crosstalk” program Tuesday, religious-right legal activist Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel likened those companies to those who cooperated with the Nazis in Germany during World War II and accused them of treating their employees like “slave labor.”

“These employers say they will give money to the mothers in order for the mothers to kill their children so you won’t miss any time off from work rather than give you time off from work, which is what’s required by federal law,” Staver said. “They don’t want to give you the time to be a mother. They don’t want you to be away from the place of work. They would rather kill your children—pay you to do so—so you could jump back into the workplace and you can go through their eight-hour day or however long they’re going put you at the at the wheel so that they can make a profit.”

“That’s the despicable nature of what’s happening,” he continued. “Women and others across the country ought to just really cry out and say, ‘You despicable companies!  You’re paying to kill the children of these mothers so that you can continue their slave labor and continue your profits off of them.”

“These companies and the states that go down this road, they will not be blessed,” Staver warned. “They will ultimately be complicit with the shedding of innocent blood, and we’ll look back on those companies just like we look back on some of the things that happened during Nazi Germany and say, ‘Shame on you. How in the world did this ever happen?’”

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

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Lied’: Gorsuch Blasted After Photos Expose His Claims in High School Coach Praying Case Are a ‘Flat Out, Knowing Lie’

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Many people from legal experts to court watchers to journalists to ordinary Americans on social media are criticizing Justice Neil Gorsuch for his majority opinion in a decision siding with a former high school football coach. That coach sued after the school district ordered him to stop praying after every game at the 50-yard line. Justice Gorsuch’s opinion, as many are noticing, appears to be based on facts that are false. Several are accusing Gorsuch of just plain lying.

Justice Gorsuch claimed the coach’s First Amendment rights were violated, and that he was merely engaging in “quiet personal prayer” as he knelt.

Gorsuch uses the word “quiet” 14 times, as The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman notes.

“Joseph Kennedy lost his job as a high school football coach because he knelt at midfield after games to offer a quiet prayer of thanks,” Justice Gorsuch writes as he begins his majority opinion. “Mr. Kennedy prayed during a period when school employees were free to speak with a friend, call for a reservation at a restaurant, check email, or attend to other personal matters. He offered his prayers quietly while his students were otherwise occupied. Still, the Bremerton School District disciplined him anyway. It did so because it thought anything less could lead a reasonable observer to conclude (mistakenly) that it endorsed Mr. Kennedy’s religious beliefs. That reasoning was misguided.”

“The contested exercise here does not involve leading prayers with the team,” Gorsuch continues (despite photos that appear to suggest otherwise), “the District disciplined Mr. Kennedy only for his decision to persist in praying quietly without his students after three games in October 2015.”

These are the photos of Coach Kennedy that Justice Sonia Sotomayor included in her dissent:

“They aren’t even trying to use reason anymore,” former U.S. Attorney Barb McQuade laments:

And Vox’s Ian Millhiser makes clear what just happened: “The Supreme Court hands the religious right a big victory by lying about the facts of a case.”

Calling the decision “a big victory for the religious right,” Millhiser writes that’s “only because Gorsuch misrepresents the facts of the case.”

On Twitter Millhiser adds that Gorsuch’s own opinion debunks his own opinion:

Don Moynihan, a professor at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy:

Here’s noted political scientist Norman Ornstein:

Others also felt it necessary to correct the facts in the case:

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Watch: Full 11 Minute Documentary Video of Insurrection Shown by Jan. 6 Committee in Primetime Hearing

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The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack showed to America as part of its first primetime hearing an eleven-minute video from British documentary filmmaker Nick Quested.

Quested “was embedded with the Proud Boys for a significant period of time leading up to January 6 and is considered a firsthand fact witness because of the amount of time he spent with the group,” CNN has reported.

News organization The Recount posted Quisted’s documentary to YouTube (embedded below.) They call it “shocking footage from the Capitol insurrection,” and note the “final 20 seconds are chilling.”

Those final seconds, it’s important to note, include a shot of a Trump flag and a Christian flag (screenshot above). The insurrection, as Rolling Stone and other groups have stated, is tied to the far Christian right.

Watch:

Final 20 seconds:

UPDATE:
The Committee posted the video to Twitter. This appears to be slightly shorter:

 

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