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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

DeVos Stops Enforcing Rule Upholding Church and State Separation–Opens Door to Taxpayers Funding Religious Orgs

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Cites SCOTUS Decision About Paving Playground of Religious School to Declare Portions of Federal Law ‘Unconstitutional’

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has announced she will no longer enforce the provision of federal law that bans religious organizations from being funded with taxpayer dollars for secular projects.

DeVos is citing a 2017 Supreme Court decision that ruled a Missouri Lutheran church-run school could not be barred from having taxpayers pay for repaving its playground under a local ordinance that made it ineligible solely due to separation of church and state policies.

The Education Secretary, in an official notice to Congress, now appears to be turning that ruling on its head.

“The law calls for students in public and private schools to receive ‘equitable services,’ such as special education, tutoring or mentoring, and allows districts to hire contractors to deliver those services,” The New York Times explains.

The Washington Post adds, “school districts are now open to contract with religious organizations,” although “the services they provide must be ‘secular, neutral and non-ideological.'”

The education reporter for US News, a right-leaning news site, says, “DeVos blurs church-state boundaries” with her new rule.

Indeed, DeVos is claiming that the provisions of the federal laws she is now refusing to enforce are “discrimination against religious organizations.”

“The Trinity Lutheran decision reaffirmed the long-understood intent of the First Amendment to not restrict the free exercise of religion,” DeVos said. “Those seeking to provide high-quality educational services to students and teachers should not be discriminated against simply based on the religious character of their organization.”

On Twitter DeVos says her decision to not enforce federal law shows “this Admin’s commitment to protecting the #FirstAmendment.”

Some are sounding the alarm.

“Just look at what happens when Christian ministries are brought in to teach public school sex education classes or host assemblies encouraging kids not to do drugs,” Friendly Atheist warns. “On paper, there’s nothing inappropriate happening, but there are countless stories about how misinformation is spread by Christian abstinence-only advocates and how secular daytime assemblies are used to advertise very religious nighttime assemblies.”

RELATED STORIES:

IN MAJOR DECISION US SUPREME COURT ALLOWS SOME STATE FUNDING OF RELIGION

CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL AFFIRMS RIGHT TO TELL STUDENTS BEING GAY IS ‘INTRINSICALLY SINFUL’

WATCH: STUDENT WHO ‘FELT THE NEED’ TO POST BIBLE VERSES TO ‘HEAL’ LGBTQ CLASSMATES UPSET OVER SUSPENSION

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Trump Guts Protections for LGBTQ Workers and Expands Religious Orgs’ Ability to Discriminate in Final Weeks

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As time speeds to the end of the Donald Trump presidency the administration is moving fast to expand the ability of faith-based institutions to discriminate against LGBTQ people. The Dept. of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has just finalized a rule gutting protections for LGBTQ people who work for federal contractors, including allowing religious institutions to discriminate against LGBTQ people, as The Washington Blade reports.

President Barack Obama codified the protections via a set of executive orders in 2014.

The Dept. of Labor is headed by Eugene Scalia (photo), who has a long record of attacking the civil rights of American workers. He is the son of the infamously anti-LGBTQ Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia.

“It is hard to overstate the harm that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is visiting on LGBTQ people, women, religious minorities, and others with the sledgehammer it is taking to federal nondiscrimination protections,” Lambda Legal Director of Law and Policy Jennifer Pizer said in a statement. “For nearly 80 years, it has been a core American principle that seeking and receiving federal tax dollars to do work for the American people means promising not to discriminate against one’s own workers with those funds.  This new rule uses religion to create an essentially limitless exemption allowing taxpayer-funded contractors to impose their religious beliefs on their employees without regard to the resulting harms, such as unfair job terms, invasive proselytizing and other harassment that make job settings unbearable for workers targeted on religious grounds.”

Nearly 4 million American workers are employed by federal contractors.

“Within its final weeks, the Trump-Pence administration has chosen to prioritize gutting existing protections for LGBTQ people, women and religious minorities,” Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David also said in a statement. “This lame-duck action by the administration is blatantly offensive, unnecessary and simply unacceptable. Since taking office, the administration has worked around the clock to dehumanize and demean LGBTQ people all while misrepresenting the law to justify creating a license to discriminate against people including  on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.”

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘I’m Doing the Right Thing for God’: Jenna Ellis Says Jesus Christ Wants Her to Overturn the Election

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Jenna Ellis, an attorney for President Donald Trump, on Monday explained that she had religious reasons for trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

During an interview on Fox Business, Ellis was asked how she maintains a positive attitude amid setbacks in court and Rudy Giuliani’s COVID-19 diagnosis.

“You know, my life is in service and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ,” Ellis said. “And so whatever anybody else says really doesn’t bother me. I hope that I can be a light and inspiration to everyone else that no matter what anyone else says about you, it’s all about just who you are as a person and made in the image of God and in Christ.”

“And that’s ultimately at the end of the day, as long as I know that I’m pursuing truth and I’m doing the right thing for God and my country, that’s all that matters,” she added. “So that’s what gives me my optimism and my hope.”

Watch the video below from Fox Business.

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Believe in Divine Immunity’: Trump-Supporting Megachurch Pastor Tells Congregation Not to Take COVID Vaccine

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Guillermo Maldonado, the Florida megachurch pastor and self-declared apostle who hosted President Donald Trump at an election rally earlier this year, told his congregation not to take the soon-to-be available vaccine for the COVID-19 virus because it is part of a plan to prepare people to accept the biblical Mark of the Beast.

Maldonado, who mocked members of his own congregation for staying away from church in the early days of the pandemic, used his Sunday sermon to warn that the COVID-19 vaccine will “alter your DNA” as globalists set about “preparing the structure for the Antichrist.”

“People, I want you to look at me,” Maldonado said, as he frequently switched between speaking English and Spanish. “That is exactly what is happening with COVID-19. They’re preparing the structure for the Antichrist. How? The vaccine. They’re gonna demand for you to have the vaccine in your passport, otherwise you will not be able to travel. Because they are preparing the way.”

“The vaccines, they are made to alter your DNA,” he continued. “They are made to track you down. Do not [take] the vaccine. Believe in the blood of Jesus. Believe in divine immunity.”

 

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

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