A controversial Tennessee District Attorney is now facing an official state investigation after leaked audio exposed him bragging about refusing to recognize same-sex spouses as legally married, and doing so based on his religious beliefs. Those beliefs, Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott claimed, mean he doesn’t have to use the law to protect LGBT people.
The state Court’s Board of Professional Responsibility is now investigating Northcott, the Tennessean reports.
Northcott, in a 2018 speech to pastors bragged that his God does not recognize the marriages of legally-wed same-sex couples. He explained that since “there’s no marriage to protect,” he does not use domestic violence laws to protect victims in those cases.
“Well the reason where I came down in my evaluation was the reason that there’s extra punishment on domestic violence is to recognize and protect the sanctity of marriage,” Northcott told attendees at the Chafer Theological Seminary Pastor’s Conference. “And I said, ‘There’s no marriage to protect.’ So I don’t prosecute them as domestics,” meaning, domestic violence cases.
Northcott has also attacked Muslims in Facebook posts, calling Islam “an evil belief system,” a “growing threat,” and likening it to the Ku Klux Klan or white supremacist hate groups.
“I will not be cowered into pretending that their belief system is legitimate or one of peace,” Northcott wrote.
Last week, in light of the revelations, over 200 Nashville lawyers called for the state to conduct an ethics investigation.
In late May the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed a complaint with the state board over Northcott’s anti-Islam remarks. CAIR received a letter Friday indicating an investigation has been opened.
The Tennessee Holler was the first to report on both sets of remarks by Northcott.
Northcott reportedly has said he will not resign.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
‘Love This Guy’: Franklin Graham Praises Mayor for Having ‘A Lot of Guts’ After He Attacked LGBT People
Evangelical empire scion Franklin Graham has made attacking LGBTQ people a core principle of his self-styled “ministry,” aka Facebook. After New Jersey Mayor Alfonso Cirulli delivered an 11-minute anti-gay screed during a township committee meeting Graham took to social media to praise the Republican for calling the LGBTQ community “an affront to almighty God.”
“Love this guy—he’s got a lot of guts!” Graham told his nearly 8 million followers on Facebook.
Mayor Cirulli told elected town officials he opposes the state’s new law that requires schools to teach students about the contributions LGBTQ people have made to society.
“We’ve crossed over the line into absurdity,” Cirulli said. And he urged residents to vote state lawmakers out, saying, “no group has a right to force others to comply with their beliefs, deprive them of their First Amendment rights, and strip them of their parents of how to morally raise their children.”
Graham totally agreed.
“In the world we live in,” Graham wrote, “the truth of God’s Word many times isn’t received well. But that shouldn’t stop us from standing with God’s teachings from the Bible. Pray for Mayor Cirulli—and pray that this state mandate will be reversed.”
Graham has been preaching his version of the anti-gay gospel for years, but in recent times many have grown sick and tired of his ministry of hate.
After telling Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg to “repent” or suffer “eternal damnation” for marrying his husband, Graham’s hometown newspaper’s editorial board made clear where it stands.
“It’s been a little while since Franklin Graham offered up a shovel of moral manure,” The Charlotte Observer’s editorial board wrote in “The gloriously growing irrelevance of Franklin Graham.”
They called his attack on Buttigieg “a typically ripe bite of bigotry from Graham,” and said his “perspective on homosexuality has been pushed to the fringe.”
‘Broadest Protection of Religious Exercise’: Trump’s New Labor Rule Would Allow Massive Discrimination by For-Profit Companies
President Donald Trump’s Labor Department on Wednesday announced a new rule that not only would codify the “right” to discriminate into practice, but would help corporations do so. The new rule applies to federal contractors, who employ up to one quarter of all employees. As NCRM reported earlier, it would allow any company, corporation, or organization with a federal contract that claims it is either religious or faith-based or follows any sort of belief system – so-called “religion-exercising organizations” – to discriminate based on those beliefs.
The word “religion” appears 241 times in the 46-page draft document.
The draft rule says “religious employers can condition employment on acceptance of or adherence
to religious tenets,” and “should be construed to provide the broadest protection of religious exercise permitted by the Constitution and other laws.”
The ACLU calls it ” taxpayer-funded discrimination in the name of religion. Period.”
Buzzfeed calls it “Trump’s latest move to let religious people sidestep civil rights policies,” and says it allows federal contractors to “cite religious objections as a valid reason to discriminate against their workers on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, LGBTQ status, and other characteristics.”
The new rule would not apply only to, say, churches, Catholic hospitals, or even a privately-held company like Hobby Lobby – if Hobby Lobby were a federal contractor. It would allow discrimination at literally any federal contractor that can show it has a “religious purpose,” but makes clear: “This need not be the contractor’s only purpose.”
The National Center for Transgender Equality says the new rule “would allow federal contractors to apply for broad exemptions to civil rights law after engaging in discriminatory behavior, including firing or refusing to hire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It could also lead to federal contractors refusing to hire women or unmarried workers who are pregnant or parents, or even discrimination on the basis of race.”
Here’s the Truth About the Shadowy Group Behind the National Prayer Breakfast
The National Prayer Breakfast is a relatively uncontroversial affair these days. Presidents from both parties make a habit of attending it, and giving simple speeches about what their faith means to them, and leaders from around the world join them.
But a new Netflix documentary miniseries, “The Family”, explores the shadowy group known as the Fellowship, which originally set it up in 1935.
The Fellowship began as a secretive fraternity of evangelical men, first organized under the leadership of a man named Abraham Veride, who was attempting to gather business leaders to thwart union drives. It evolved into what Rolling Stone described as a “secret theocracy” used by powerful Christian men to influence politics worldwide. Its members include Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Vice President Mike Pence is also reported to have ties to it.
The group has stringent rules against sex and dating, and there is an undercurrent of homophobia — but also simultaneously homoeroticism. “[There’s] a lot of that uneasy joking about masculinity and the potential for it and, at the same time, this desire for intimacy that becomes really challenging for people who have a theological and ideological opposition to that,” said Jeff Sharlet, an author who has written extensively on the Fellowship.
They also have had ties to current and former authoritarians around the world who have committed atrocities in their home countries, for the sake of advancing a conservative religious agenda — including the late former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
“In the face of all these dictators, they don’t say anything at all,” Sharlet said. “They don’t ask any accountability.”
Yet despite this group’s broad reach in world affairs, it has attracted little public scrutiny, because it operates with scrupulous secrecy. A secrecy that the Netflix series seeks to dissipate.
You can read more here.
- AMERICA IN CRISIS2 days ago
The DOJ Just Emailed Immigration Judges a White Nationalist Website Blog Post With Anti-Semitic Attacks on Immigration Judges
- News1 day ago
Internet Responds to Death of Billionaire Conservative Activist David Koch by Reminding Everyone What He Stood For
- GUNS GUNS GUNS AND MORE GUNS1 day ago
Kids on Grade School Cheerleading Team Asked to Sell Assault Rifle Raffle Tickets – or Pay $100 ‘Opt-Out Fee’
- 'VERY FINE PEOPLE'1 day ago
Republican Who Compares Gay People to Rapists and Warns They May ‘Harm’ Kids Running to Unseat Democratic Senator
- BIGOTRY1 day ago
Trump Administration Urges US Supreme Court to Declare Firing a Worker for Being Gay Is Legal
- AMERICAN IDIOT1 day ago
#Iherebyorder: Internet Explodes in Mockery Over Trump’s Insane China Meltdown
- AMERICAN IDIOT24 hours ago
‘A Monumental Fraud and Failure’: Trump Had a Plan to ‘Blow Up’ the G7 and Give the ‘Middle Finger’ to Our Allies: Report
- News1 day ago
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Completed More Cancer Treatment