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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

Franklin Graham Is Behind NYC’s Central Park COVID-19 Field Hospital – Volunteers Asked to ‘Support’ Anti-LGBTQ Beliefs

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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.

Gothamist notes that Graham has “a track record of using humanitarian missions to proselytize an evangelical agenda.”

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.

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.

Graham has also sent his “mobile ministry center” to NYC.

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Read Our Bibles’: Coronavirus Press Briefing Goes Off the Rails as My Pillow Founder Showers Religious Praise on Trump

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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.”

Watch:

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Trump’s Cabinet Bible Study Leader Teamed Up With A Prayer Warrior to Pray Against ‘Evil Pork’ in Coronavirus Bill

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“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.”

Related: Trump Cabinet Bible Study Leader Blames Coronavirus on Gay People and Environmentalists

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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