The U.S. State Dept. on Thursday quietly published a notice in the Federal Register announcing it creating a new commission to provide “fresh thinking” about “natural law and natural rights,” which is the religious right’s code for anti-LGBTQ.
The “Commission on Unalienable Rights” will “provide fresh thinking about human rights discourse where such discourse has departed from our nation’s founding principles of natural law and natural rights,” the notice states.
Politico reports human rights activists are “surprised,” and “privately said they worry that talk of the ‘nation’s founding principles’ and ‘natural law’ are coded signals of plans to focus less on protecting women and LGBT people.”
In fact, Christian extremists, anti-gay hate groups, and other factions of the religious right often argue against LGBT civil rights, including same-sex marriage, as violations of “natural law.”
The newly-formed Commission on Unalienable Rights will directly advise Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It appears it may be headed by his Director of Policy Planning, Kiron Skinner, whose name appears at the bottom of the notice.
Pompeo is a far right religious extremist who has openly stated the function of politics is to “fight these battles” because there is a “never-ending struggle” until “the rapture,” as The New York Times has reported. He has also said the Bible “informs everything I do.”
Skinner is a highly-accomplished and noted scholar who recently caused an international stir. Professor Skinner at a public forum on national security told attendees that America’s upcoming competition with China would be especially bitter, as Foreign Policy reported, because, she said, “it’s the first time that we will have a great-power competitor that is not Caucasian.”
The Trump administration has a horrific record on human rights here in the U.S. and internationally. At home, Trump has now rolled back or rescinded every protection for transgender people codified under President Barack Obama, including but not limited to evicting transgender Americans from the U.S. Armed Forces. He and has administration are working to remove hard-won protections across the board for LGBTQ people and women. Internationally, the President repeatedly praises and protects dictators who are responsible for the murder of their own people. Just one example: Trump’s claim that he and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un “fell in love.”
But Trump has also prioritized defending, promoting, and even creating special rights for Christian conservatives over U.S. law and over decades of U.S. foreign policy.
The Commission on Unalienable Rights appears to be the next step in the process.
Image by U.S. Dept. of State via Flickr
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Franklin Graham Is Behind NYC’s Central Park COVID-19 Field Hospital – Volunteers Asked to ‘Support’ Anti-LGBTQ Beliefs
NY State Senator Warns Graham to Not Discriminate
North Carolina’s infamous anti-LGBTQ activist, Franklin Graham, a religious extremist who is closely tied to President Donald Trump, is behind the emergency COVID-19 field hospital in New York City’s Central Park. Graham founded and runs the evangelical ministry Samaritan’s Purse, whose mission is neither healthcare nor disaster relief, but “to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
It’s unclear how a far right wing anti-LGBTQ Christian evangelical organization was allowed to build a 68-bed field unit that will be managed by a top New York City hospital, Mount Sinai, which has Jewish roots and whose president is openly gay – both of which violate Graham’s mission.
The New York Times once described Samaritan’s Purse as an “American evangelical relief group that is using private donations and United States government money to help victims of two earthquakes,” and reported it “has blurred the line between church and state as its volunteers preach, pray and seek converts among people desperate for help.”
Graham wants only Christian medical staff, including doctors, to work in his field hospital.
If you are a Christian doctor, nurse, paramedic, or other medical professional interested in serving COVID-19 patients in our @SamaritansPurse Emergency Field Hospital in NYC, please visit https://t.co/EEw1jNtrrk. pic.twitter.com/5i7EeKxLDi
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) March 29, 2020
According to Samaritan’s Purse, volunteers are asked to support Graham’s extreme anti-LGBTQ beliefs.
“The primary mission of Samaritan’s Purse is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we seek volunteers who have the same mindset. We ask that volunteers review our Statement of Faith and agree to support the ministry guidelines of Samaritan’s Purse.”
His Statement of Faith includes this belief:
“We believe God’s plan for human sexuality is to be expressed only within the context of marriage, that God created man and woman as unique biological persons made to complete each other. God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female.”
New York State Senator Brad Hoylman on Monday warned Graham to not discriminate.
You know those medical tents being constructed in Central Park?
They’re being set up by notorious anti-gay bigot Franklin Graham.
Mr. Graham must promise to treat EVERY patient with dignity and respect. pic.twitter.com/9ynZ4jHvrU
— Senator Brad Hoylman (@bradhoylman) March 30, 2020
Graham has also sent his “mobile ministry center” to NYC.
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) March 31, 2020
‘Read Our Bibles’: Coronavirus Press Briefing Goes Off the Rails as My Pillow Founder Showers Religious Praise on Trump
For weeks President Donald Trump has been holding daily campaign and pep rallies masquerading as public service coronavirus press briefings, but Monday’s event went even further off the rails as the President invited business leaders to push their products and efforts to address the nation’s dire medical and supply shortages and virus mitigation efforts.
One of the president’s invited guests, the 58-year old Christian conservative founder of the My Pillow company, took full advantage of the presidential podium in the Rose Garden to advance his religious and political agenda.
“God gave us grace on November 8, 2016, to change the course we were on,” Mike Lindell, declaring Trump’s election as being from God, said to the nation during the nationally-televised program. “God had been taken out of our schools and lives, a nation had turned its back on God. I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the word. Read our Bibles and spend time with our families.”
“Our president gave us so much hope just a few short months ago we had the best economy, the lowest unemployment, and wages going up. It was amazing. With our great president, vice president, and this administration and all the great people in the country praying daily, we will get through this and back to a place that’s stronger and safer than ever,” Lindell declared.
Trump told reporters he did not know Lindell was going to do that “but he’s a friend of mine.”
The President also praised Lindell, saying: “Boy do you sell those pillows.”
The My Pillow guy Mike Lindell says this: “God gave us grace on November 8, 2016, to change the course we were on. God had been taken out of our schools & lives, a nation had turned its back on God. I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the word. Read our Bible” pic.twitter.com/tRdlubE08u
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 30, 2020
Trump’s Cabinet Bible Study Leader Teamed Up With A Prayer Warrior to Pray Against ‘Evil Pork’ in Coronavirus Bill
“You are a holy, righteous God who reigns, and all the evil darts that the secularist journalists, etc., would like to use to poke at us would be thwarted.”
Dave Kubal, who runs the pro-Trump prayer warrior group Intercessors for America, hosted congressional and Cabinet Bible study teacher Ralph Drollinger on a special prayer call Wednesday afternoon. During call, which took place amid congressional wrangling over legislation to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, Drollinger denounced efforts by members of Congress with an “evil secular mindset” to include what he called “evil pork” in the legislation.
Drollinger teaches members of Congress and President Donald Trump’s cabinet, and public officials around the country and the world, that the Bible instructs them to embrace right-wing policies that align with his very conservative interpretation of scripture. He teaches that legislators who do not share his particular conservative Christian worldview cannot be counted on to do the right thing because, he has written, “the longer a person rejects Christ, the greater his depravity becomes.”
Drollinger expressed hope that God would use the virus in a way that would cause people to turn to God and bring about a revival. But he was concerned that economic relief provisions in the legislation might include such generous unemployment benefits that it would be an “impetus to slothfulness.” That would be “antithetical to free-market capitalism,” he said, which he teaches is the economic system favored by God.
Drollinger and Kubal took turns reflecting and praying. Drollinger urged that the final legislation would not include provisions that would erase “internal mechanisms” for “every man in America to get up and provide for himself and his household.” Kubal led prayer against “the increase of government” and for the protection of free-market capitalism.
They both prayed that during the final hours of legislative debate on a stimulus package, God would empower and lift up members of Congress who shared their biblical worldview and shame the promoters of “evil pork.”
After dispensing with prayers for the coronavirus legislation, the two discussed Drollinger’s recent written Bible study in which he, in his trademark pedantic fashion, discussed whether the coronavirus epidemic is a sign that America is under God’s judgment.
Drollinger is not one to shy away from criticizing other religious leaders, even conservative Christians, who don’t interpret the Bible exactly as he does. On the IFA call, he dismissed evangelical churches that avoid teaching about God’s wrath in favor of “cotton candy” messages. But he also derided preachers talking about the virus as God’s judgment on America for dispensing “cliché evangelicalism.”
On the IFA call, Drollinger suggested that what public officials are dealing with now is how to tamp down the “consequential wrath” that he described as the result of the Chinese government’s irresponsibility. He said Christian lawmakers understand their job, and that he has “all the confidence in the world” in Trump.
Drollinger prayed that the pandemic would drive more elected leaders to see their need for biblical wisdom and into the kind of Bible studies that his Capitol Ministries provides, and that there would be “a groundswell of believers coming to office, converted in office, and growing in office.”
Drollinger also prayed that “the secularists, even those secularists that are on this call peeping in right now, would be confounded by the fact that you are a holy, righteous God who reigns, and all the evil darts that the secularist journalists, etc., would like to use to poke at us would be thwarted.”
This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished by permission.
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