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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Pompeo State Dept. Homepage Advocates ‘Being a Christian Leader’

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Is separation of church and state dead?

The website of the U.S, Department of State currently features a photograph of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the words, “Being a Christian Leader.”

The link on the State Dept. homepage goes to a video and the text of Pompeo’s speech to the American Association of Christian Counselors in Nashville, Tennessee on October 11.

Secretary Pompeo’s speech focuses on how he leads the Dept. of State as a devout Christian. He says he keeps a Bible open on his desk and refers to it during the day.

That in its self would not be exceptionally disturbing except that Pompeo, an evangelical Christian, has said the Bible “informs everything I do.”

He has said it’s “possible,” when asked if God made Trump president “to help save the Jewish people from the Iranian menace.”

And he has said the wars in the Middle East are a “never-ending struggle” until “the rapture.”

Here’s how The New York Times explained Pompeo’s biblical views just this past March:

Studies show that white evangelicals are much more likely than other Americans to believe that Israel fulfills a biblical prophecy. Known as Christian Zionists, they believe God promised the land to the Jews, and that the gathering of Jews in Israel is foretold in the prophecy of the rapture — the ascent of Christians into the kingdom of God.

Mr. Pompeo talks about the rapture. “We will continue to fight these battles,” he said at a “God and Country Rally” in 2015, because there is a “never-ending struggle” until “the rapture.”

An L.A. Times opinion piece, referring to those remarks, said Pompeo “has his eye on an End Times cleansing.”

The State Dept. advertised Pompeo’s speech and even broadcast it live on the State Dept.’s website:

A few responses via Twitter:

 

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‘As A Christian, I Believe It’s Possible’: Pompeo Strongly Suggests Trump Was Put On Earth To Save The Jews

Confirmed: Trump Is Using the State Dept to Wage War on Legally Married American Same-Sex Families

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Religious Right Activist Ralph Reed: If Christians Don’t Get Trump Re-Elected ‘It Will Be Open Season’ on Churches

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Religious right activist Ralph Reed appeared on Stephen Strang’s podcast yesterday, where he warned that if Christians don’t come out in record numbers to ensure the reelection of President Donald Trump in 2020, they will face wholesale persecution from Democrats and they will deserve it.

Strang claimed that “life as we know it as Christians” would be forever changed if Trump does not win.

“It’s going to be bad news, and Christians have to realize that they cannot be complacent,” he said. “[Trump] is our champion and he has come through on his promises again and again, and we’ve got to get him back into a second term to finish what he’s started and also to stop the other side.”

Reed readily agreed, saying that Trump deserves the support of Christians because of what he has done regarding Israel and the judiciary.

“If the Christian community doesn’t rise up like it never has in modern political history and if we allow, through our inaction, the left to remove this man from the Oval Office, then we will deserve everything that we get,” Reed said. “If they get the White House back, it will be open season on Christian ministries, on churches, the IRS will be able to persecute those faith-based organizations again. They will, under Obamacare, be able to force them to pay for abortion again. They will be able to sue the Little Sisters of the Poor and drag God-fearing nuns into federal court again to make them pay for abortion. That’s what will happen, and if we don’t turn out and vote in the biggest numbers ever, then we deserve it to happen.”

 

This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

New Regulation Would Strip Federal Protections for LGBTQ People from All HHS Programs in Favor of ‘Religious Freedom’

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A proposed new regulation would strip all protections for LGBTQ people from all programs administered by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, and give special rights to entities or programs that are religious or “faith-based.” HHS, under the direction of Secretary Alex Azar, has a budget of $1.2 trillion affecting the health and well-being, directly or indirectly, of nearly every person in the country.

Lambda Legal says the proposed rule “would invite HHS grantees receiving taxpayer funds to discriminate based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion.”

While reportedly drafted to focus on adoption and foster care organizations, the Human Rights Campaign also says the proposed rule would extend far beyond those entities to all programs that receive funding from HHS.

“The Trump-Pence White House has proposed a horrific federal regulation that would permit discrimination across the entire spectrum of HHS programs receiving federal funding,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “This would permit discrimination against LGBTQ people, religious minorities, and women in programs related to foster care, adoption, HIV and STI prevention, youth homelessness, refugee resettlement, elder care programs and more. It is unconscionable that the Trump-Pence administration would prioritize advancing discrimination over the wellbeing of vulnerable people and expect taxpayers to foot the bill for their discriminatory policies. The Trump-Pence White House is relying on the same flawed legal reasoning they’ve used in the past to justify discrimination against LGBTQ people and other communities.”

The Washington Blade, noting the  proposed regulation “will have far-reaching implications,” reports the proposal would “undo an Obama-era policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation among federal grantees.”

Earlier: Texas Teams Up With Far Right Religious Law Firm to Sue for ‘Right’ to Use Foster Agencies That Discriminate Against Gays

According to  the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) the Blade says “the rule will allow anti-trans discrimination in HIV and STI prevention programs, opioid programs, youth homelessness services, health professional training, substance-use recovery programs and other life-saving services.”

“The proposal seeks to gut an Obama-era rule that barred entities receiving money under federal contracts, including adoption agencies, from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.”

HHS is reportedly granting only 30 days for public comment and review.

Developing…

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Trump Hands His Controversial Personal Pastor, a ‘Prosperity Gospel’ Televangelist, an Official White House Job

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President Donald Trump has handed his personal pastor, the controversial prosperity gospel Christian televangelist Paula White-Cain,  an official White House job.

Paula White, as she is also known, will be based in the Office of Public Liaison, which focuses on gaining support from various special interest groups that are a critical part of the President’s base.

White’s “role will be to advise the administration’s Faith and Opportunity Initiative, which Mr. Trump established last year by executive order and which aims to give religious groups more of a voice in government programs devoted to issues like defending religious liberty and fighting poverty,” The New York Times reports.

Although she will be a White House and not a campaign employee, the Times notes the president winning a second term is dependent on religious conservatives, and without their support “his path to re-election would be significantly narrower.”

White, who says she regularly visits the White House several times a week, attended a “laying of hands” on the president prayer event in the Roosevelt Room of White House earlier this week. Other attendees included Trump’s top religious advisors. Among them, Tony Perkins, president of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, and Dr. James Dobson, founder of the FRC and of Focus on the Family, an anti-LGBT organization.

“White has spent the past few years saying some states believe the Bible is ‘hate speech,’ that she had blessed the White House with ‘the superior blood of Jesus,’ that church members should vote Republican, and that opposing the president means opposing God,” Friendly Atheist advises.

Here’s one of White’s recent tweets:

 

Image via Facebook

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