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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Conservative Christian Running for Wisconsin Supreme Court Thinks Homosexuality Is Just Like Bestiality

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“The idea that homosexual behavior is different than bestiality as a constitutional matter is unjustifiable,” says Judge Brian Hagedorn.

In 37 states across America state supreme court judges are elected, or appointed and then later have to run to keep their jobs. Either way, the voters get to choose, which many legal experts believe is a very bad idea, because it is.

However, in Wisconsin, hopefully it will be a good idea, just once, come April, when voters can either elect a progressive jurist or a partisan hack who authored former Governor Scott Walker’s highly controversial Budget Repair Bill of 2011. You’ll remember that’s when Walker falsely claimed a state emergency to bust up public sector unions.

Governor Walker turned to his chief legal counsel, Brian Hagedorn, to write that union-busting bill. Hagedorn graduated from an evangelical Christian liberal arts college in 2000 and later went to Northwestern University for his law degree.

In an interview published by his alma mater, Trinity International University, Hagedorn spoke fondly of his “great spiritual growth” at the evangelical college.

“It was a great time spiritually,” Hagedorn said. “There were lots of long prayer walks, lots of time meditating in the chapel, and great relationships built around prayer and accountability.”

When he chose to study law, Hagedorn “decided to pursue this passion at the Northwestern University School of Law, where, working from a Christian worldview, he found himself seeing the legal system through a lens that was different from most of his classmates.”

“The big distinction was that I understood that there was truth, and I knew where it was found,” Hagedorn said. “So I learned to apply the things I had learned at Trinity and engage and challenge my classmates with truth.”

“In 2004, he was awarded a Blackstone Fellowship, which allowed him to study at the Alliance Defense Fund in Phoenix, Arizona, before interning with Americans United for Life in Chicago. He also served as the president of the school’s Federalist Society chapter before graduating in 2006.”

Although Trinity University doesn’t mention it, the Alliance Defending Freedom is an anti-gay hate group, and recently behind many of the court battles in which it is hoping to gain legal protections for Christian bakers and florists so they don’t have to bake cakes or arrange flowers for same-sex couples or LGBT people.

The year before he graduated from Northwestern, Hagedorn kept a blog in which he shared his legal and religious views.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that “Hagedorn twice wrote that a landmark gay rights ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court striking down a Texas anti-sodomy law could lead to the legalization of bestiality, sex with animals, in America.”

“‘The idea that homosexual behavior is different than bestiality as a constitutional matter is unjustifiable,’ he wrote in October 2005.”

“There is no right in our Constitution to have sex with whoever or whatever you want in the privacy of your own home (or barn),” he added.

Yes, Brian Hagedorn’s view is that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, which made sex between two people of the same sex legal, was a “travesty.”

He also shared his view that constitutionally, there’s no difference between, for example, a same-sex couple making love, and a man raping a horse.

Take a look:

Fast forward to today. Brian Hagedorn is now state appeals court Judge Brian Hagedorn.

And Judge Hagedorn’s campaign advisor says voters should elect him to the state supreme court and shouldn’t worry about Hagedorn’s past anti-gay hate, because, “When he put on the robe, Judge Hagedorn took an oath to be impartial and apply the law on every case, and he will always be faithful to that oath and to the people he serves.”

Really? Hagedorn believes that same-sex couples having sex are constitutionally the same as a man or woman engaging in bestiality.

Hagedorn in that 2014 interview, when he was Governor Walker’s chief legal counsel, also made these concerning remarks.

“My faith impacts everything I do in the workplace,” Hagedorn said, “but in that role, one of the difficult things is that I have to say ‘no’ to people, and that’s not always easy.”

Finally, especially if you’re a Wisconsin voter, consider these two last points. First,  this from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Hagedorn has called Planned Parenthood “a ‘wicked organization’ that was more devoted ‘to killing babies than to helping women.’ He said his litmus test for voting in an election was a candidate’s position on abortion.”

Hagedorn said he had committed himself to praying and lobbying to stop abortion. He went on to say his convictions on this issue and others were given to him by God.

“The Lord has laid three fundamental passions on my heart: 1) Protecting the dignity and sanctity of human life, 2) Defending and preserving the institution of marriage, and 3) Promoting racial reconciliation in the church and culture,” he wrote in November 2005.

Second, Hagedorn is running on his religion. On Facebook just two weeks ago he published a post for Religious Freedom Day:

“At its core, religious freedom assumes that all people have the right to hold convictions about the world, and to live those convictions out. Indeed, what could be more important, more essential, more foundational to human freedom, than recognizing each person’s pre-existing natural right to live in light of the purpose of our existence as each person understands it? And what, then, could be more tyrannical than a government that says you cannot?”

“As your Justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, I will stand up for our first freedom,” he concludes.

 

Image via Facebook
Hat tip: Joe.My.God.

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘Christian Nationalist’ Declaration Is ‘Alarming’ Says Religious Liberty Executive

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Far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia set off yet another controversy when, during a Saturday, July 23 interview conducted at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Florida, she proudly described herself as a “Christian nationalist” and urged the Republican Party to openly embrace an ideology of “Christian nationalism.” One of the people who is calling Greene out is Amanda Tyler, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC) and the main organizer for Christians Against Christian Nationalism.

Greene told Taylor Hanson of the right-wing Next News Network, “We need to be the party of nationalism, and I’m a Christian. And I say it proudly: We should be Christian nationalists. When Republicans learn to represent most of the people that vote for them, then we will be the party that continues to grow without having to chase down certain identities or chase down certain segments of people.”

In an op-ed published by CNN’s website on July 28, Tyler lays out some reasons why she finds Greene’s “Christian nationalist” talk incredibly dangerous.

“For years, I have been closely tracking Christian nationalism and sounding the alarm about it,” Hanson explains. “Greene’s recent comments mark an alarming shift in the public conversation about Christian nationalism. Until recently, the public figures who most embrace Christian nationalism in their rhetoric and policies have either denied its existence or claimed that those of us who are calling it out are engaging in name-calling. But Greene is evidently reading from a different script now, explicitly embracing the identity as her own and urging others to join her.”

Tyler continues, “She is not alone in doing so. Greene’s embrace of Christian nationalism follows closely after troubling remarks from Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert: ‘The church is supposed to direct the government, the government is not supposed to direct the church,’ she said at a church two days before her primary election and victory in late June. ‘I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk.'”

Tyler describes Christian nationalism as “a political ideology and cultural framework that merges Christian and American identities, distorting both the Christian faith and America’s promise of religious freedom.”

“Though not new, Christian nationalism has been exploited in recent years by politicians like former President Donald Trump to further an ‘us vs. them’ mentality and send a message that only Christians can be ‘real’ Americans,” Tyler observes. “Growing support for Christian nationalism comes at a time when the political ideology behind it poses increasingly urgent threats to American democracy and to religious freedom. Perhaps the most chilling example of Christian nationalism came on the most public of world stages, from some Trump supporters during the January 6 insurrection.”

On February 9, BJC published a disturbing report that details the role Christian nationalism played in the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

“I care about dismantling Christian nationalism both because I’m a practicing Christian and because I’m a patriotic American,” Tyler writes. “And no, those identities are not the same. As Christians, we can’t allow Greene, Boebert or Trump to distort our faith without a fight.”

Watch Greene’s July 23 interview with Next News Network below:

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Nikki Haley Hints at White House Run During Christian Conference Held by Pastor With ‘Record of Anti-Semitic Statements’

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Nikki Haley has been called “a moderate Republican who is likely to run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024.” While some disagree, calling her “an extremist on Israel, Iran, and human rights,” being painted as a moderate has been beneficial to her career.

As South Carolina’s governor she took her time before agreeing to have the Confederate flag removed from flying on a flagpole by the State Capitol, but ensured it had a place inside. She served as Donald Trump‘s U.S. Ambassador to the UN but at times ensured a perception of distance between them, like criticizing Russia when Trump refused.

And she promised that she would not run against Trump.

That promise appears to have had a limited shelf life.

Monday night, Haley headlined the Christians United for Israel Summit, a conference held by CUFI’s founder, John Hagee, a well-known far-right extremist evangelical pastor.

After her speech Haley took to Twitter to imply not only a White House run, but that she will be the next President.

READ MORE: ‘Calls for Pelosi to Become President’: Nikki Haley Again Mocked – This Time for Demanding Biden and Harris Resign

Attacking any potential Biden deal to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, a deal her former boss once exited, Haley tweeted: “And if this president signs any sort of deal, I’ll make you a promise… The next President will shred it – on her first day in office.”

That tweet catapulted her to “trending” on Twitter.

In recent years in opinion pages from CBS News to Religion News Service to Haaretz, Hagee has been blasted for antisemitic remarks.

READ MORE: ‘Republican Pinball Machine’ Nikki Haley Blasted for ‘Whitewashing’ Racism So She Can Ride Trump’s Coattails

He’s been called “a Muslim-hating, antisemitic, annexationist extremist,” who is “no friend of Israel.”

His Christians United for Israel summit, the same one Haley headlined, in 2008 was called “Rapture Ready” by The Nation’s Max Blumenthal, who warned of Hagee’s “long record of anti-Semitic statements.”

In 2019 Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb wrote: “Anyone who actually listens to CUFI’s leader, the Rev. John Hagee, will be horrified at the meeting’s toxic blend of anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia and sexism.”

“Hagee and his more than 5 million followers believe that the establishment of Israel in 1948 and its subsequent military occupation and colonization of Palestinian and other Arab lands are the fulfillment of biblical prophecy and the necessary precursors to the return of Jesus Christ and the coming of the apocalypse.”

Indeed, Hagee has allegedly claimed Hitler was a descendent of “accursed, genocidally murderous half-breed Jews,” while blaming them for their own persecution – including for the Holocaust – while reportedly attacking Hitler as “a spiritual leader in the Catholic Church.”

Monday night, Haley praised Pastor Hagee, whose remarks have been so toxic Republican presidential nominee John McCain in 2008 was forced to renounce Hagee’s endorsement.

READ MORE: Nikki Haley Tries to Stop National Outrage: It Was Other People Who Saw Confederate Flag as ‘Service, Sacrifice, Heritage’

Religion News Service in 2008 reported that “Hagee drew the ire of the nation’s largest Jewish movement for a 1990s sermon that reportedly suggested that God used Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust as part of a divine plan to have Jews return to Israel.”

CNN reported Hagee’s remarks that forced McCain to renounce his endorsement included saying, “God says in Jeremiah 16: ‘Behold, I will bring them the Jewish people again unto their land that I gave to their fathers. … Behold, I will send for many fishers, and after will I send for many hunters. And they the hunters shall hunt them.’ That would be the Jews. … Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone who comes with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter.”

Haley Monday night declared “America and Israel’s best days are yet to come!” as she thanked Pastor Hagee for inviting her to speak.

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Former Trump White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany to Keynote Anti-LGBTQ Dominionist Event

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Kayleigh McEnany, a White House press secretary under former President Donald Trump, is scheduled to speak Saturday at an event hosted by Ché Ahn, a California-based pastor and leader of the dominionist New Apostolic Reformation. “Reforming California: Taking a Stand for Life, Liberty & Family” will also feature dominionist Dutch Sheets.

McEnany’s appearance with Ahn and Sheets reflects to degree to which Pentecostal dominionists achieved unprecedented access to power during the Trump administration.

“A battle is raging for the soul of America,” declares a promotional video for the event, which repeats right-wing complaints about LGBTQ issues being taught in public schools.

NAR leaders seek to “transform” entire nations through spiritual revival and political activism to bring government policies into alignment with their biblical worldview. “Reforming California” is being sponsored by Revive California, one of the political organizations affiliated with Ahn’s Harvest International Ministry. In 2020, he launched 1RACE4LIFE, a group that asks people to pledge to vote for only anti-abortion and anti-maarriage-equality candidates. Revive California’s website includes a five-step vision that defines reformation this way: “Activate every believer to vote biblically, and learn how to run for local, state or national office.”

Ahn was an energetic supporter of Trump and the former president’s false claims to have won the 2020 presidential election. Before the election, Ahn described it as a crucial moment in the battle for the soul of America. On the eve of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters hoping to derail the peaceful transfer of power, Ahn spoke at a rally in D.C. where Christian nationalism and conspiracy theories mingled with threats of violence. Ahn told the crowd they would “change history,” adding, “I believe that this week we’re going to throw Jezebel out and Jehu’s gonna rise up, and we’re gonna rule and reign through President Trump and under the lordship of Jesus Christ,” he said.

Sheets, another NAR leader who has long taught that the church—the ekklesia—is meant to be a governing body legislating God’s will on Earth, was also a big Trump booster. In 2018, he and other NAR leaders gathered 1,300 prayer warriors at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel to call on God to remove pro-choice Supreme Court justices and destroy Trump’s enemies. The following year, Sheets helped Trump aide Paula White launch the One Voice Prayer Movement, a thinly disguised campaign operation to maintain strong evangelical support for Trump.

In the weeks after the 2020 election, Sheets waged “spiritual warfare” against what he called a demonic plot to steal the election from Trump. During one prayer session he declared, “As Christ’s ekklesia on the Earth, we have been delegated his supreme authority to declare into the spiritual realm what is lawful and what is unlawful, forbidden and allowed. …  We decree the next four years of Donald John Trump’s presidency will see the fruit of God’s divine reset in America.”

Revive California’s advisory board includes other leaders associated with NAR and dominionist Pentecostalism. Among the advisory board members: Bill Johnson, the longtime leader of the controversial Northern California megachurch Bethel, which has international reach through its School of Supernatural Ministry and its music label; Shannon Grove, a California state Senator and the minority leader of state Senate; Samuel Rodriguez, head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; religious right activists Jim Garlow and his wife Rosemary Garlow; Dran Reese, president of The Salt & Light Council, which encourages and equips conservative churches to get more involved in politics; Tony Kim, the U.S. director of Ahn’s Harvest International Ministry; and others.

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

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