‘Harmful to the Global Effort to Protect the Rights of All People and a Waste of Resources’
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday was sent letters signed by hundreds of human rights organizations, activists, and supporters, along with religious and political leaders demanding he abolish his newly-formed anti-LGBTQ and anti-women “Commission on Unalienable Rights.”
Pompeo claimed it was an effort to “provide fresh thinking” about the government’s role in the promotion and advocacy of “natural law and natural rights,” which is right-wing code for anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice. The Secretary chose to head his nascent organization an anti-LGBTQ anti-choice activist, Mary Ann Glendon (photo above, with Pompeo at the launch of the commission.)
The letters sent to Pompeo “accuse the State Department of sidelining rights for women and the LGBTQ community in favor of religious liberty,” NBC News reports.
One letter being sent Tuesday by more than 180 rights groups — including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Disability Rights and the Anti-Defamation League — demands that the commission be abolished. The groups say the commission is being overseen by clergy and scholars “known for extreme positions opposing LGBTQI and reproductive rights,” including some who they say have defended “indefensible human rights violations.”
One of the three letters calls on the Secretary to “immediately disband” his Commission on Unalienable Rights.
Another of the letters, this one from Catholic theologians, was signed by more than 110 people, and calls for the “immediate dismantling of this commission,” NBC News says adding that the “letter adds concern that the commission will be used to downplay the needs of the poor, immigrants and refugees.”
One of the letters, organized by Human Rights First is respectful but scathing. It begins:
We, the undersigned U.S. foreign policy, human rights, civil liberties, social justice, and faith leaders, experts, scholars, and organizations, write to express our deep concern with the Department of State’s recently announced Commission on Unalienable Rights. We object to the Commission’s stated purpose, which we find harmful to the global effort to protect the rights of all people and a waste of resources; the Commission’s make-up, which lacks ideological diversity and appears to reflect a clear interest in limiting human rights, including the rights of women and LGBTQI individuals; and the process by which the Commission came into being and is being administered, which has sidelined human rights experts in the State Department’s own Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL).
Our own @RobBerschinski on today's open letter opposing the State Department's Unalienable Rights Commission: “It’s intellectual top-cover for an effort to restrict the rights of certain people.” pic.twitter.com/EEQTwWPZTu
— Human Rights First (@humanrights1st) July 23, 2019
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‘Final Straw’: Priest Warns Catholic Bishops Parishioners Are Furious Church Is Choosing Trump Over Faithful Biden
Father Edward Beck spoke to CNN on Sunday to explain that the idea by Catholic bishops to punish pro-choice Democrats isn’t going over very well with people who are for or against a woman’s right to choose.
“I had mass this morning, a few of them actually, and unsolicited, I can’t tell you how many people came up to me and were really upset about this,” said Father Beck. “I mean, across the political spectrum. And basically what they were saying was, you had a former president who checked none of the ‘life issue’ boxes for the Catholic church except that he said he would appoint Supreme Court justices that could overturn Roe v. Wade. And that’s all that seemed to matter.”
He also recalled Trump’s photo-op he did with the Bible after peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters were tear-gassed in Lafayette Square. He also recalled the times in which Trump appeared to make fun of Pope Francis.
“And then you have Joe Biden, a practicing Catholic, who is pro-choice, although he says he’s personally opposed to abortion, and people are talking about denying him communion,” Father Beck continued. “The reception of communion — people see it as really based in hypocrisy. I can’t tell you, some said this is the final straw for them. If the bishops go ahead with that, that’s it for them.”
In an editorial, Father Beck characterized the blocking of communion as weaponizing something that is deeply personal and none of the business of the priest. At the same time, there’s an overall concern that the American bishops would support Trump, who was against all Christian beliefs except for the issue of choice.
“I think one of the questions is, are there then other litmus tests about communion?” Father Beck continued. “What about other life issues? What about capital punishment? What about immigration? What about the environment? So, are we supposed to stand in a commune line with a checklist, and are we supposed to decide who is qualified to receive or is it just going to be this one issue?”
He went on to say that the word “communion” itself means “unity,” and he said that the bishops have done nothing but divide people over politics, which the church shouldn’t have any role in.
“In fairness to them, there’s no document done yet,” the priest explained. “So, it’s going to be now drafted and we’ll see in November what it actually says. Maybe there will be nothing about the reception of communion of President Biden or anybody else. Maybe it will be kind of an exhortation on the Eucharist. We just don’t know. But remember, it has to pass two-thirds at that meeting to get approval of the bishops. And then Pope Francis has to approve it as well. And this is a pope who has said the Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect. It’s medicine and nourishment for the weak. So, I don’t know if I’m going to see Pope Francis approving a document that might exclude people from receiving communion based on these cultural hot-button issues.”
Biden has long talked openly about his faith and how important it has been through the many tragedies in his life. Most recently, Biden wore his late son’s rosary around his wrist. He also frequently flies home to attend services at his home church where his son, former wife and baby daughter are all buried.
See the discussion in the video below:
US Catholic Bishops Move Toward Denying Biden Communion in Political Decision Violating Vatican Direction
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops overwhelmingly voted on Friday to move toward chastising President Joe Biden, a devout Catholic, for his policies supporting and defending a woman’s right to choose an abortion. It is the first official step toward denying the U.S. President communion. Biden personally opposes abortion but believes it should be a safe, protected, and legal right, which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled.
The Bishops voted 168-55 to create a “teaching document,” as NBC News reports, to serve as a “rebuke” of Biden and other Catholic politicians who support abortion. The Roman Catholic Church opposes the move.
“The Vatican has warned conservative American bishops to hit the brakes on their push to deny communion to politicians supportive of abortion rights — including President Biden, a faithful churchgoer and the first Roman Catholic to occupy the Oval Office in 60 years,” The New York Times reported Monday, suggesting the U.S. Bishops’ move is just as much a political gesture as a religious rebuke.
“Some leading bishops, whose priorities clearly aligned with former President Donald J. Trump, now want to reassert the centrality of opposition to abortion in the Catholic faith and lay down a hard line — especially with a liberal Catholic in the Oval Office.”
The Times reports the push to go after President Biden is being led by Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles (photo), the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“The focus of this proposed teaching document,” Archbishop Gomez wrote in a memo, “is on how best to help people to understand the beauty and the mystery of the Eucharist as the center of their Christian lives.”
But the Times noted the Vatican does not want “to use access to the Eucharist as a political weapon,” Antonio Spadaro, a Jesuit priest and close ally of Francis, said.
Conservative American bishops were demanding “a strong rebuke of Biden,” NBC notes, “because of his recent actions protecting and expanding abortion access, while opponents warned that such action would portray the bishops as a partisan force during a time of bitter political divisions across the country.”
Christian ‘Prophet’ Calls Support for Trump a Measure of Loyalty to God
QAnon conspiracy theorist and supposed “prophet” Johnny Enlow appeared on the Elijah Streams YouTube channel Friday, where he claimed that continuing to believe that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election and is still the legitimate president of the United States is a test of one’s true commitment to God.
Enlow, who is among the various self-proclaimed “prophets” who guaranteed that Trump would win the 2020 election and still refuse to accept that their prophecies were wrong, actually declared that it is not enough for Christians to simply worship God, but rather they must also recognize that Trump has been anointed by God and therefore continue to support him.
“I call it the ‘Trump Test,’” Enlow said. “It’s a biblical precedent that it’s not sufficient just to say, ‘Hey, I worship God, I’m totally sold out to God or to Jesus.’ There’s this thing going around the body of Christ—and there’s a good part of it, and there’s a bad part of it—’Well, I’m so tired of everything. I just want it to be all about Jesus and all about God and devotion to Jesus, devotion about God.’ You won’t find the time in history where you didn’t have to also figure out who to be aligned and connected with.”
Enlow said that God uses his prophets to let the rest of the church know who has been anointed to serve as leaders, such as Moses and King David. Enlow warned that those who don’t follow God’s chosen leaders, like Trump in this case, are “going to come under the judgment for not recognizing it.”
“If you go against God’s person that he’s using, his instrument,” Enlow explained, “even if you think you have 100 percent devotion to God, it’s going to cost you. … This is a line in the sand, this ‘Trump Test.’”
Enlow claimed that the Christian leaders and ministries currently experiencing great outpourings of God’s blessings are those “who didn’t back off Trump.”
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
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