William Barr Is Jeff Sessions on Steroids, Coupled With Decades More Experience
Perhaps it comes as no surprise that the man who served as Attorney General in the early 1990’s under President George H.W. Bush would have written an anti-gay and religious call to action, lamenting the civil rights advancements of the 30 years prior, and modern culture which he saw as far too sexually permissive.
Former Attorney General William Barr, who served under the first President Bush, penned a wildly anti-equality, anti-First Amendment, 5000 word treatise published by a Catholic University in 1995 that sounds exactly like it was written by a far right wing religious conservative.
Because it was.
In it, he rails against what he sees as the “increasingly militant, secular age,” the “bigotry” of “a growing hostility toward religion,” and “efforts to marginalize or ‘ghettoize’ orthodox religion.”
He derided the “the steady erosion of the traditional Judeo-Christian moral system,” and “traditional morality.”
Barr is not a fan of the 1960’s.
“It is undeniable that, since the mid-1960s, there has been a steady and mounting assault on traditional values. We have lived through thirty years of permissiveness, the sexual revolution, and the drug culture,” he laments.
All this is leading up to “the most significant feature of contemporary society,” which Barr claims is “the battering that the family has taken.”
Not, say, computers, space travel, modern medicine, greater access to education, or, freedom in general.
In fact, Barr sees “the immense power of mass communications, popular culture, the entertainment industry, academia, and so forth as “barriers to the return of traditional morality.”
“The power and pervasiveness of our high-tech popular culture … fuels the collapse of morality,” he says.
And then there’s this, which should concern every American who cares about the First Amendment and the separation of church and state: “The state no longer sees itself as a moral institution, but a secular one.”
Imagine an Attorney General who would like to “repair” that, and have the federal government act as a moral, or religious institution. We saw a glimpse of that under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. William Barr is Jeff Sessions on steroids, coupled with decades more experience.
Barr continues, attacking what Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern identifies as “DC’s gay nondiscrimination law.”
As of 1995, William Barr did not care for gay people, declaring that DC’s gay nondiscrimination law “dissolves any form of moral consensus in society.”
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) January 14, 2019
“Another example was the effort to apply District of Columbia law to compel Georgetown University to treat homosexual activist groups like any other student group,” Barr writes. “This kind of law dissolves any form of moral consensus in society. There can be no consensus based on moral views in the country, only enforced neutrality.”
Just before that, Barr writes that a “way in which secularists use law as a weapon is to pass laws that affirmatively promote the moral relativist viewpoint. Such laws seek to ratify, or put on an equal plane, conduct that previously was considered immoral.”
Will U.S. Senators on the Judiciary Committee ask Barr this week about his views on marriage, and the rights of minorities, including LGBTQ people?
Barr also cites laws that “are proposed that treat a cohabitating couple exactly as one would a married couple.”
While he doesn’t say it, he clearly could be referring to same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage.
Barr also talks about the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, and throws this bible-based bombshell: “Self-government did not mean the mechanism by which one elected representatives to a legislative body. Self-government referred to the capacity of each individual to restrain and govern themselves.”
He concludes with a call to action, asking, “how can we be confident that the pendulum will swing back?” In other words, how can we take the civil rights advances from the ’60’s on and push them back?
“The real message is that we are going to have to do more than joust around the margins. We must re-enter the fray in an effective way; take the battlefield and enter the struggle, rather than just retire in good order. The key is a return to basics-in a sense, to reassemble the flock,” Barr decides.
And he also calls for “vouchers at the state level and ultimately at the federal level to support parental choice in education,” meaning religious, and especially Catholic education. “We should press at every turn for the inclusion of religious institutions. We need to fight those cases in the states up to the Supreme Court.”
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, now chaired by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will begin hearings on the nomination of William Barr to become the next Attorney General on Tuesday.
Image: William Barr speaking to the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 15, 2005, via Wikimedia
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Religious-Right Attorney Says Companies Offering to Provide Abortion Assistance Are Paying to ‘Kill Your Children’
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?’”
Radical religious-right activist Mat Staver accuses companies that will provide coverage to employees who may now need to travel out of state to obtain an abortion of treating their employees like “slave labor.” pic.twitter.com/MSLw9cYBsR
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) June 30, 2022
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
‘Lied’: Gorsuch Blasted After Photos Expose His Claims in High School Coach Praying Case Are a ‘Flat Out, Knowing Lie’
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.
This is what Gorsuch calls a “quiet personal prayer” at the 50-yard-line at the end of games. He uses the word “quiet” 14 times in his decision, as though the coach was merely whispering under his breath and not leading a religious service every player felt obligated to attend. pic.twitter.com/P1Ubar0oHT
— Paul Waldman (@paulwaldman1) June 27, 2022
“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:
Justice Gorsuch characterizes as “private prayer” a public high school football coach’s kneeling praise to God on the 50-yard line immediately after each game.
They aren’t even trying to use reason anymore. https://t.co/XLzG2d57Bm
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) June 27, 2022
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.”
We know that Gorsuch’s characterization of the facts is inaccurate because we have photographic evidence. Here is a picture of the incident that Gorsuch described as a “short, private, personal prayer.” pic.twitter.com/kArxrbKLO4
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) June 27, 2022
On Twitter Millhiser adds that Gorsuch’s own opinion debunks his own opinion:
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) June 27, 2022
Don Moynihan, a professor at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy:
Generally, a person seeking a “short, private, personal prayer” as Gorsuch claimed does not go on national television and employ a lawyer to announce the whereabouts and timing of his next prayer session. (Via @imillhiser) https://t.co/ekp7UljaYQ pic.twitter.com/LFThwa99Sx
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) June 27, 2022
Here’s noted political scientist Norman Ornstein:
A flat out, knowing lie by Gorsuch. Joined by five others who also know it was a lie. Beyond shameful. Making a mockery of the Court. https://t.co/khiC6WC5rY
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) June 27, 2022
Others also felt it necessary to correct the facts in the case:
Furthermore, let’s please call Gorsuch’s assertions what they were: demonstrably false. A lower court judge found the claimant’s case rested on factual distortions. And the photos in Sotomayor’s dissent further reveal the distortions upon which the Court’s decision rests. 2/2
— Rob Kirkpatrick (@wrappedupinboox) June 27, 2022
The biggest problem with the ruling is that Gorsuch repeatedly misstates the facts. He repeatedly calls it a “quiet & personal prayer.” It wasn’t. The coach didn’t pray alone. He invited others to join him. He was leading others in prayer. That’s not a “quiet & personal prayer.”
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) June 27, 2022
Flatly false. Parents said that their children felt compelled.
Lying about the facts when they are there to read in the record does not help your case. Unless you are making it to proven liars like Alito and Gorsuch.
— (((DMCohen))) 🇺🇦 (@DMCohen4) June 27, 2022
One saving grace (no pun intended) from the praying football coach case is that, since Gorsuch just lied about the set of facts, it’ll be really easy to overturn* should any coach actually do what the coach did, instead of the fantasy coach Gorsuch ruled on.
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) June 27, 2022
if a Muslim walked out to the fifty yard line and led a prayer service, Justice Gorsuch would shit his fucking pants
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) June 27, 2022
In the SCOTUS opinion released today, the majority based their decision on a pretend scenario it created rather than the facts of the situation that actually took place.
It matters that SCOTUS is literally making things up to justify its rulings. https://t.co/WMF4aBjl5d
— Leah McElrath 🏳️🌈 (@leahmcelrath) June 27, 2022
Watch: Full 11 Minute Documentary Video of Insurrection Shown by Jan. 6 Committee in Primetime Hearing
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.
Final 20 seconds:
The final 20 seconds of the 1/6 Committee’s stunning video of violent insurrectionists at the Capitol:
“These were great people … The love in the air, I’ve never seen anything like it.” — Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/SxZ1crKby4
— The Recount (@therecount) June 10, 2022
The Committee posted the video to Twitter. This appears to be slightly shorter:
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 10, 2022
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