The Knox County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Deputy who this month has repeatedly preached sermons calling for gay people to be put to death by the state has not and will not be fired. But Tennessee residents can at least be glad he won’t be on active duty anymore.
Grayson Fritts is out on medical leave, and has accepted a form of early retirement, called a voluntary workforce reduction buyout. The buyout had been approved before news of the sermons broke.
Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler, Fritts’ boss, says he did not fire the Bible-thumping hate mongering pastor, who has served as a Sheriff’s Detective for to decades, because he fears a First Amendment lawsuit.
Spangler told Knox News that “we looked at every avenue we could look at without violating anybody’s First Amendment Rights (and) freedom of speech and the best thing for us was what we did. And that’s what we’re sticking with.”
“You can look for the ACLU to look for a lawsuit, you can look for the freedom of speech people to file a lawsuit,” Spangler also said. “They’re all around.”
During a June 2 sermon Pastor Fritts told supporters he’s “sick of sodomy getting crammed down our throats.” This week, on Wednesday, aware of the nationwide outrage, Fritts doubled down, ending his sermon by saying, “Put homos to death.”
And while freedom of religion is an inherent aspect of the First Amendment, so is freedom from religion. And across the country law enforcement officers have been fired when it was determined their public statement have come in conflict with their job responsibilities or ability to equitably do their jobs.
“Obviously, people are upset, and they should be upset,” Spangler told Knox News. “Like I just said, I’m upset. What people say in their pulpit and what they say personally and their beliefs, that’s on them. And a lot of people will either agree or disagree and I think you have a lot of people disagreeing with some of the things said. I can understand that, absolutely.
Here’s Sheriff Spangler speaking with the press on Friday:
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Mark Your Calendar: Schumer Releases Trump Impeachment Schedule
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has just released the schedule for the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump.
The Article of Impeachment will be transmitted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday. That week will focus on the administrative elements of the trial.
The following week, starting February 8, the actual impeachment trial will begin.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had requested a two-week delay, but Schumer and Pelosi did not grant his wish.
CNN’s Jeremy Herb posted the document:
Here’s the impeachment trial schedule — the action will get underway on February 9 pic.twitter.com/JD0swRX8Lq
— Jeremy Herb (@jeremyherb) January 22, 2021
This is a breaking news and developing story.
‘Seditious Conspiracy’: Ethics Complaint Filed Against Rep. Madison Cawthorn, Other GOPers Over Capitol Coup
An ethics complaint has been filed against three Republican members of Congress over their participation in events that led to the violent and deadly January 6 attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol.
Reps. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, and Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona are accused of “a seditious conspiracy to use force to prevent Congress from carrying out its constitutional and statutory duties to count the votes of the Electoral College,” by the Campaign for Accountability, a government ethics watchdog founded by two former members of CREW.
If the House Ethics Office finds any or all of the three Republicans violated federal law, the group is asking for them to be expelled.
Cawthorn spoke at President Trump’s January 6 rally (photo), barely hours before the armed insurrection.
“This crowd has some fight in it,” Cawthorn told Trump’s MAGA supporters. “The Democrats, with all the fraud they have done in this election, the Republicans hiding and not fighting, they are trying to silence your voice. Make no mistake about it, they do not want you to be heard.”
North Carolina’s WLOS reports that “despite his tweets urging ‘millions of patriotic Americans stand for their country,’ Cawthorn said he felt no culpability in what unfolded” the day of the attempted coup.
“I don’t feel I had any responsibility for them attacking the Capitol,” Cawthorn said.
Two days before the domestic terror attack he posted this:
January 6th is fast approaching, the future of this Republic hinges on the actions of a solitary few.
Get ready, the fate of a nation rests on our shoulders, yours and mine. Let’s show Washington that our backbones are made of steel and titanium.
It’s time to fight.
— Madison Cawthorn (@CawthornforNC) January 4, 2021
Gosar and Biggs also bear significant responsibility, according to the lead organizer.
“Far-right activist Ali Alexander, who helped rally Trump’s supporters ahead of Congress’ electoral count, has claimed he planned a rally that preceded the riot with the support of Gosar and Biggs,” The Hill reports, citing an article in The Washington Post.
Pelosi to Transmit Impeachment Article to Senate Monday – Triggering Trial of Trump to Start Next Week
Speaker Nancy Pelosi will transmit the House’s Article of Impeachment against Donald Trump for the incitement of the January 6 insurrection to the Senate on Monday. Once the Senate has received the Article it is constitutionally bound to take it up immediately.
On Thursday Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said his conference would be comfortable with waiting two weeks before beginning the trial of the former president, Donald J. Trump. Speaker Pelosi’s answer to McConnell, in action if not words, was no.
Axios adds that the “Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1 p.m. the day after the article is transmitted.”
Those “ceremonial aspects” of the trial would begin Tuesday, CNN’s Manu Raju reports. “The train is in motion,” he says.
NEWS: Schumer says @SpeakerPelosi has told him the article of impeachment against Trump will be delivered to the Senate on Monday, triggering the start of a trial.
— Nicholas Fandos (@npfandos) January 22, 2021
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