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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Here’s the Truth About the Shadowy Group Behind the National Prayer Breakfast

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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.

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Love This Guy’: Franklin Graham Praises Mayor for Having ‘A Lot of Guts’ After He Attacked LGBT People

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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.

Related: Franklin Graham’s Astonishing Ungodly Hypocrisy

“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.”

 

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Broadest Protection of Religious Exercise’: Trump’s New Labor Rule Would Allow Massive Discrimination by For-Profit Companies

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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.”

 

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Huckabee Blames ‘Lack of Thought and Prayers’ for Domestic Terror Mass Shootings (Video)

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  • Ignores Daughter’s Complicity in White Supremacy of Trump Administration

  • Says ‘Thoughts and Prayers Are ‘The Only Thing That’s Ever Really Going to Help’

Mike Huckabee showed up on Fox News Monday morning to weigh in on the weekend’s two domestic terror mass shootings that have now left 31 people dead in Texas and Ohio. The twice-former GOP presidential candidate insisted the problem central to mass shootings is “the lack of thought and prayers,” and too little religion – not too many guns, or the racist, white supremacist beliefs of President Donald Trump and the president’s supporters.

“The common denominator in all of this is not the particular weapon,” the NRA-defending Huckabee, who last year after another mass shooting suggested a pencil is just as much an assault weapon as an AR-15, told host Bill Hemmer.

“It’s the hate inside the heart. It’s the loss of morality. It’s that disconnecting from a God who values all people, and who would never let me do that to another person, because I would be basically doing it to God and to myself, to just destroy another human life. That’s just not how we’re hardwired from the Father above,” the former Arkansas Republican governor said, as Media Matters reports.

Separately, on his website Huckabee wrote that “the lack of thought and prayers is probably the single biggest factor in what is behind them,” referring to the weekend’s two domestic terror mass shootings.

“I will keep ignoring the scoffers and saying prayers and urging everyone to join together and do the same,” the twice-former GOP presidential candidate and ordained Baptist minister concluded. “It’s not a meaningless gesture.  It’s the only thing that’s ever really going to help.”

Gov. Huckabee went on to tell Fox News that what “hurts” him “the most,” is not the loss of 31 lives, nor their families, nor the  survivors and their families whose lives are forever changed, but “that we’ve got a lot of our country that are utterly disconnected from any sense of identity with their Creator, and with His love for them, and His love for the people that they hate.”

Huckabee also wholly ignored his own daughter’s complicity in defending and promoting President Trump and his racist, white nationalist, and white supremacist beliefs and agenda. Trump is at the very least in part responsible for the rise in hate crime violence and white supremacist violence, including mass shootings.

Former Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who spent about three years working for the Trump campaign, transition team, and Trump White House, is weighing a run for her father’s former seat.

Watch Gov. Huckabee:

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Mike Huckabee’s Supporters Want Obama ‘Tried For Treason’ For Nominating Gay Man To Lead US Army

 

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