Republican Party members in Tarrant County, Texas will be voting Thursday on a motion to remove their vice chairman, Dr. Shahid Shafi, who is Muslim, because he’s Muslim. Shafi (photo) is a trauma surgeon who also serves as a city council member.
Dorrie O’Brien is a precinct chair and by the look of her Facebook page, appears to be an anti-Islam extremist. She’s “leading the charge” to oust Shafi, The Texas Tribune reports. O’Brien has pushed for the vote to be by secret ballot, presumably to protect Republicans who don’t want to be seen as bigoted, despite being bigoted. According to her Facebook page, she has just won that key battle.
“We don’t think he’s suitable as a practicing Muslim to be vice chair because he’d be the representative for ALL Republicans in Tarrant County,” O’Brien wrote just before 6PM on New Year’s Eve in a post on Facebook. She added, “not ALL Republicans in Tarrant County think Islam is safe or acceptable in the U.S., in Tarrant County, and in the TCGOP.”
O’Brien also claims “there are big questions surrounding exactly where Dr. Shafi’s loyalties lie, vis a vis Democrat and Republican policies.”
In a more recent Facebook post, dated Wednesday O’Brien mocks Dr. Shafi as “the Islamic Gandhi” while labeling him as “not a suitable person” to serve as vice chair. She tells her supporters voting Shafi out is “doing your civic duty.” And she says their opponents are “demeaning you by saying you’re a bigot. You’re a hater. I know you’re not. You know you’re not.”
The Texas Tribune notes that “several prominent Texas Republicans have rallied behind Shafi,” including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.
Here’s Dr. Shafi with Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott in 2017:
Image, top, via Facebook
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Iowa Anti-LGBTQ Bill Is So Extreme It Would Require Teachers to Notify Parents if They Are Going to Talk About Pete Buttigieg
Republicans on an Iowa House panel Monday advanced an anti-LGBTQ bill that is so extreme it would require teachers to notify parents if they plan on even mentioning Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, because he is gay. The bill, sponsored by 13 Republican lawmakers, would force educators to allow parents to opt-out of any instruction that relates to sexual orientation or gender identity.
Opponents note that heterosexuality is also a sexual orientation and the legislation would require teachers to notify parents about any person their lessons might include, the Des Moines Register reports.
The bill’s anti-LGBTQ intention is clear.
“Not all parents want others to teach their children about sexual orientation and gender identity because it, too, involves family religious beliefs about sexuality and sexual ethics,” Rep. Sandy Salmon, a Republican, said Monday, as Southernminn.com reports. “Not all families agree with the viewpoint held by many schools regarding sexual identity issues and they should be allowed to opt out of instruction that contains that.”
The Iowa Association of School Boards opposes the bill, HF 2201.
“What if we’re having a discussion on current events and there’s a presidential candidate — somebody who’s running for the nomination — who’s gay?” Emily Piper, a lobbyist for the association, asked, referring to Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. “Can we not have that conversation in a government class, then, without first notifying the parents and allowing them to withdraw their child from the class?”
One pastor attacked opponents of the bill as not supporting transparency.
“The LGBTQ lifestyle is controversial,” pastor Brad Cranston said. “Not everyone in the state believes there is nothing wrong with these lifestyles. My biblical worldview tells me there is something very definitely wrong. There are many in this state, with no hatred in their heart, who have those sincere beliefs.”
Cranston said parents have the right “to know exactly what the public school, which they are paying with their tax dollars, is teaching their kids.”
Hat tip: Towleroad
Christian Nationalist Wants $22 Million to Win Top 2020 Battleground States – and Eradicate Separation of Church and State
Christian nationalist political operative David Lane is seeking $22 million for a campaign to boost conservative Christian turnout in 10 battleground states—Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, and Iowa—this year. In a column published by Charisma, Lane claims that his American Renewal Project increased “Christian turnout” by 5 to 7 percent in half a dozen key states in 2016.
Lane has a much bigger vision than just helping put President Donald Trump back in the White House. Lane views politics as spiritual warfare necessary to defeat secularists and pagans and make America the Christian nation he says it was founded to be. He teaches that the U.S. has a national mandate to promote the Christian faith and calls the separation of church and state a lie.
In recent years, Lane has recruited conservative pastors to run for office and mobilize their congregations as election volunteers. In his new column in Charisma, he imagines hundreds of conservative evangelical pastors running for office in the next few election cycles, “triggering a third great awakening” and “bringing about a full-impact collision between the two rival religions in America of Christianity and secularism.”
“Since each worldview is expansive and evangelistic, there will be no reconciliation of opposites with God; one will ultimately end in the eradication of the other,” Lane adds.
As Right Wing Watch has noted repeatedly over the years, Lane’s divisive Christian nationalist extremism hasn’t prevented Republican officials at all levels from embracing him and supporting his work. They don’t seem to be bothered by his anti-LGBTQ extremism either; he once urged conservative Christians to prepare for martyrdom in their fight to “save the nation from the pagan onslaught” of marriage equality and legal abortion. As a presidential candidate in 2016, Donald Trump attended one of Lane’s organizing events in Florida.
Here’s some more background on Lane from Right Wing Watch reporting in 2018, when Lane teamed up with California-based dominionists to try to “turn California around”:
Lane, who declared in 2013 that “Christians must be retrained to war for the Soul of America,” has been organizing events since the mid-1990s to encourage conservative evangelical pastors to preach more about politics, to get their congregants more politically engaged, and to run for office. Lane’s “pastors and pews” events have functioned as matchmakers between right-wing politicians and tens of thousands of pastors; and his Issachar trainings have encouraged pastors to run for office themselves.
Lane preaches that the U.S. has a divine mission to glorify God and advance the Christian faith, and he has called the separation of church and state a “lie” and a “fabricated whopper” designed to stop “Christian America—the moral majority—from imposing moral government on pagan public schools, pagan higher learning and pagan media.” He has complained that there was “not a peep from the Christian Church” in response to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, when the church “should have initiated riots, revolution, and repentance.”
Among the Republican congressional candidates running with Lane’s support are Bethel worship leader Sean Feucht in Northern California and Young Kim, who is running again in California’s Orange County after narrowly losing in 2018.
This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
South Dakota Lawmaker Pushing Bills to Ban Same-Sex Marriage and Make Getting Divorced More Difficult
Attacking Entire LGBTQ Community
One South Dakota Republican state legislator is pushing several bills he has authored that would attack the entire LGBTQ community, and make it harder for anyone, regardless of who they married, to get divorced.
South Dakota state Rep. Tony Randolph‘s HB 1215 would make it illegal for two people of the same gender to marry. It would also ban benefits from being given to existing married same-sex couples, ban protections for LGBTQ people, ban any recognition of transgender people, ban conversion therapy, and even ban “drag queen storytime.”
One line in Rep. Randolph’s bill exposes what he thinks of LGBTQ people, looping them in with “zoophilia.”
The bill says: “The state may not enforce, endorse, or favor policies that” “Condone or affirm homosexual, transgender, zoophilia, objectophilia, polygamy, or sexual orientation doctrines.”
The policy director for the ACLU of South Dakota calls it “the legislative version of ‘saying the quiet part out loud.'”:
HB 1215 is the legislative version of “saying the quiet part out loud.” It lays bear what’s really happening in South Dakota. We are seeing an all out assault on the LGBTQ and two spirit communities. pic.twitter.com/p3evbiMO7d
— Libby Skarin (@LibbySkarin) January 31, 2020
Transgender advocate and triathlete Chris Mosier weighs in:
The #SDleg is out of control – lawmakers there have a clear agenda to attack, suppress, and remove LGBTQ+ people from South Dakota. HB1215 is the latest.
— The Chris Mosier (@TheChrisMosier) January 30, 2020
Rep. Randolph is not satisfied attacking just LGBTQ people. He’s also trying to make it harder for anyone in South Dakota to divorce.
HB 1158 would eliminate “irreconcilable differences” as a legal reason for filing for divorce. It would also swap “Conviction of felony” with a new reason: “Criminal conviction that resulted in incarceration.”
Last week a bill supported but not authored by Rep. Randolph easily passed through the South Dakota House.
HB 1057 would make it illegal for physicians to perform gender confirmation surgery on transgender youth or teens, and even make it illegal to prescribe hormones to them.
It would also legally define “sex” as “the biological state of being female or male, based on sex organs, chromosomes, and endogenous hormone profiles.”
Randolph is also the author of legislation that would make sex education “opt-in,” requiring parental approval before students are allowed to attend. HB 1162 would also direct that South Dakota sex education classes “Stress the importance and benefits of abstinence from all sexual activity before marriage,” “Stress the importance of fidelity after marriage for preventing certain communicable diseases and strengthen the bond between spouses,” and “Communicate that sexual abstinence is the only effective method of eliminating the risk of unplanned or out-of-wedlock pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases.”
That bill would also make sex education classes extremely ineffective:
“Sexual abstinence programs may not include models of instruction, based on risk reduction, encouraging or promote or provide instruction on the use of contraceptives products or methods. Materials and instruction may not be excessively graphic or explicit and may not include explicit descriptions of sexual activity that encourage erotic, lewd, or obscene behavior.”
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