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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

Watch Live: Trump to Announce ‘Big Action’ to Promote Public School Prayer

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President Donald Trump is promising “big action” that will promote school prayer, at a 2 PM White House event Thursday, “Guidance on Constitutional Prayer in Public Schools.” Thursday is also Religious Freedom Day.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that praying in school is legal, but promotion of prayer or religion in public schools is illegal. The administration has not released details of its plan, but has a long track record now of instituting unconstitutional or illegal policies and then fighting lawsuits in court. Trump’s Muslim travel ban, and co-opting of Defense Dept. funds to build his border wall are just two examples.

“We think this is going to be another Christian nationalist attempt to redefine – really, weaponize – religious liberty,” Elizabeth Cavell, Freedom From Religion Foundation’s associate counsel, says.

Just three days into the new year President Trump made the inflammatory “big action” promise to Christians evangelical supporters at a Florida megachurch.

“We will not allow faithful Americans to be bullied by the hard left,” Trump said, as Time reported. “Very soon, I’ll be taking action to safeguard students’ and teachers’ First Amendment rights to pray in our schools. We’re doing a big action, Attorney General Bill Barr.”

“They want to take that right, can you believe it?” Trump told the attendees at the El Rey Jesus Church in Miami.

In fact, no one is trying to “take that right,” but the Supreme Court has been crystal clear on what is, and is not, constitutional when it comes to prayer in schools.

Some may try to use whatever support for school prayer the President and Attorney General Bill Barr offer as an opportunity to attack LGBTQ students or even teachers or administration officials.

Trump is known for making big promises, including to the conservative evangelical community, and getting them to believe his claims, however false. He spent years attacking the Johnson Amendment, which bans faith-based entities from supporting political candidates. He claimed, “I’ve gotten rid of the Johnson Amendment.” That’s false.

Instead, he signed an executive order directing the IRS to exercise maximum discretion in enforcing tax laws for religious organizations, including churches, under the Johnson Amendment.

But evangelicals believed his falsehoods.

You can watch Trump’s 2 PM event at C-SPAN.

NCRM will embed the White House live video feed when it become available.

UPDATE: 2:25 PM –

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Kill the Gays’ Pastor Suggests Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Is Demonically Possessed and ‘Needs Jesus’

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Radical right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson declared on his radio program yesterday that Time magazine’s decision to name climate change activist Greta Thunberg as 2019’s Person of the Year is a sign of “the unraveling of the Western world.”

Swanson, who normally uses his radio program to declare that the proper biblical punishment for homosexuality is death, seized on the fact that Thunberg has Asperger’s syndrome, and suggested that she is demonically possessed and in need of Jesus.

“She’s psychologically disturbed,” Swanson said, likening her to the young boy in Mark 9 who was healed by Jesus after being possessed by a demonic spirit.

“I have to say there is something very disturbing about the appearance of and the presentation of this Greta Thunberg,” Swanson commented. “The other demonic spirits are using her to lead the world wherever it’s going.”

“Friends, if this isn’t a quintessential demonstration of the death of the West, or what an entire empire, what multiple empires, look like at the verge of collapsing, this is it,” he added. “It’s ridiculous. On the one hand, we want to be compassionate with Greta. I truly believe that Greta needs Jesus and short of her coming to Christ, I don’t know what is going to happen to this young lady. It is sad to see her in the condition that she is in.”

RELATED STORIES:

Cruz: I Had No Idea The ‘Kill The Gays’ Pastor Who Hosted A Conference I Spoke At Was So Anti-Gay

US Senate Candidate Repeatedly Appears With Pastor Who Says Gays Are ‘Worthy of Death’

GOP Lawmaker Withdraws From ‘Kill the Gays’ Pastor’s Conference After NCRM Inquiry

 

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

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

GOP Governor Is Relying on Citizen’s Prayers to Stop School Shootings and End Opioid Epidemic

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Bill Lee is fond of rolling up his sleeves but in a unique move the Tennessee Republican governor has just made his job much easier. Gov. Lee says it’s up to citizens to end school shootings and the opioid epidemic, and to improve results in the state’s schools, by praying.

“If thousands of people offer similar prayers, he believes God will impart his favor on Tennessee,” the AP reports. “The governor’s remarks came during a luncheon at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Nashville headquarters.”

The 60-year old governor who took office in January apparently does not believe enough people in “The Volunteer State” are praying for health care. He has rejected legislation that would expand the state’s Medicare program, but believes that Tennesseans will become more physically active now that he has signed a bill repealing the state’s tax on gyms and health clubs.

Lee also believes that passing a virtual total ban on abortion will help his state’s citizens.

Meanwhile, Friendly Atheist notes that Gov. Lee “held a literal ‘worship’ service on the day of his inauguration,” and “announced that October 10 would be an official day of prayer and fasting across the state.”

 

 

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