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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Will Senators Ask Trump’s Attorney General Nominee About His History of Anti-Gay and Religious Extremism?

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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.

He did.

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.”

“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 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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