Franklin Graham wants to assure the many right wing religious extremists who this week went ballistic over news the Christian chicken chain Chick-fil-A was ending donations to two anti-LGBTQ non-profits that they can rest easy. Chick-fil-A will continue to be as anti-LGBTQ as they please, he says.
Graham told his 8 million Facebook followers that he personally picked up the phone and called Chick-fil-A Chairman, CEO, and president Dan Cathy to get the scoop.
“Dan was very clear that they have not bowed down to anyone’s demands, including the LGBTQ community,” Graham wrote. “They will continue to support whoever they want to support. They haven’t changed who they are or what they believe.”
One of the charitable giving foundations under control of the Chick-fil-A founders’ family, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, says they will no long support the Salvation Army or the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. But the family also controls the Winshape Foundation, and no changes have been announced there.
“Chick-fil-A remains committed to Christian values,” Graham insists, suggesting supporting organizations that work directly to harm LGBTQ people is a Christian value. “Dan Cathy assured me that this isn’t going to change. I hope all those who jumped to the wrong conclusion about them read this.”
Among those who “jumped to the wrong conclusion” are Texas Governor Greg Abbott, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, and former Fox News religion opinionist Todd Starnes.
As he frequently does, Graham also took the time to attack the LGBTQ community, saying, “the gay movement wouldn’t ever be happy with Chick-fil-A unless they were open on Sunday, gave all of their charitable donations to LGBTQ organizations, and flew the rainbow flag over their stores!”
And while that sounds nice, “the gay movement,” as Graham says condescendingly, has never asked for that, nor would anyone expect that.
This is not the first time Chick-fil-A tried to appear as if it would end its support of anti-gay or anti-LGBTQ organizations. In 2012 the company greatly reduced its charitable giving to anti-gay non-profits, but that pause was temporary.
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GOP Governor Is Relying on Citizen’s Prayers to Stop School Shootings and End Opioid Epidemic
Bill Lee is fond of rolling up his sleeves but in a unique move the Tennessee Republican governor has just made his job much easier. Gov. Lee says it’s up to citizens to end school shootings and the opioid epidemic, and to improve results in the state’s schools, by praying.
“If thousands of people offer similar prayers, he believes God will impart his favor on Tennessee,” the AP reports. “The governor’s remarks came during a luncheon at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Nashville headquarters.”
The 60-year old governor who took office in January apparently does not believe enough people in “The Volunteer State” are praying for health care. He has rejected legislation that would expand the state’s Medicare program, but believes that Tennesseans will become more physically active now that he has signed a bill repealing the state’s tax on gyms and health clubs.
Lee also believes that passing a virtual total ban on abortion will help his state’s citizens.
Meanwhile, Friendly Atheist notes that Gov. Lee “held a literal ‘worship’ service on the day of his inauguration,” and “announced that October 10 would be an official day of prayer and fasting across the state.”
Roy Moore Calls for Return to 1960’s Morality: ‘We Had the Pledge of Allegiance” – Now ‘We Have Drag Queens Teaching Kindergarten’
Wanting to take America back to the 60’s and 70’s Moore strings together a ridiculous list depicting a United States that was deeply disturbing.
Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore went on a lengthy, far right wing tirade, telling supporters last week he wants to take the country back to the morality America had in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Moore, who was credibly accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, including child sexual assault, delivered a long list of changes the nation has seen in the past 60 or so years. He lamented that back then the nation had the Pledge of Allegiance (as it still does), but now the country has drag queens teaching kindergarten children – as if that were bad.
““We have got to go back to what we did back in the sixties and seventies back to a moral basis,” Moore told members of the Huntsville Republican Men’s Breakfast group, as the Alabama Political Reporter noted (video below). “We did not have a national healthcare system. You know when Obama passed this thing rising all our costs and business started going down the tube everybody said it was going to be repealed. You never hear anybody in Congress talk about it now.”
“Our indebtedness was $22 trillion. Back in the sixties and seventies it was much lower. It was a sixth of that. Abortion was not legal when I went to Vietnam. It was passed later. It was oked later. We had abortion laws in our country and our state. We did not have same sex marriage. We did not have transgender rights. Sodomy was illegal. These things were just not around when my classmates and I went to West Point and Vietnam,” the 72-year old Moore said, implying somehow that civil rights are to blame for out of control Republican spending over the years.
“Back then there was no mention of socialism,” Moore said. “Today we find socialism on the table in Congress. We have Democrats, the Squad, arguing that we should be a socialist nation. They don’t even understand what happened in Argentina. They don’t understand that we are a great nation because we are based on capitalism and growth,” Moore added, not understanding there are different types of socialism.
“Our education system, that is something that really gets me, because back when I was in school in 1965, we had prayer in school,” Moore lamented. “We had prayer before our football games. The Ten Commandments could be displayed in school up until 1980. In 1980 when the Supreme Court outlawed it. They said if posted copies of the Ten Commandment have any affect at all it would cause children to read them. Meditate on that perhaps to venerate and obey them and this is impermissible under the Establishment Clause? I am going to tell you that it’s not impermissible to view the law upon which our nation is founded.”
Moore was removed twice from his elected position as the State’s Supreme Court chief justice. The first time it was over his refusal to remove from public property a monument of the Ten Commandments he had installed.
“We had the Pledge of Allegiance,” Moore continued. “We said the Pledge of Allegiance. We had morning devotionals. I know most of you in here over the age of sixty probably remember days like that. We are continually under attack from atheists and secular humanists who want to take those laws from us.”
“We have drag queens teaching kindergarten children in this state and this community,” Moore decried, adding that “in Huntsville in Mobile they taught kids and they dress them up in drag.”
“Where does this come from? Gender identity is being taught in California to young kids and parents have no choice but to let their kids be taught that.”
“The U.N. You don’t hear any talk about the U.N.,” Moore said. “In our backyard we have an organization in our backyard that intends to take away our rights. They hire kids to go out and protest our economic conditions. We have got to wake up. They don’t stand for us and we are maintaining them.”
It is unclear why Moore thinks the United Nations “intends” to take away Americans’ civil rights, or how they even could.
“When I went to school the Constitution was highly regarded,” Moore said, despite having lost his job over refusing to respect the Constitution. “Now we have kids who undermine our Constitution and impeach our President simply because they do not like his politics. That is not constitutional, and we should know that.”
There are no children who are impeaching President Donald Trump, nor could there be. The people’s duly-elected representatives are engaged in a thoughtful investigation into this president’s abuses of the rule of law and unconstitutional acts, which are mandated by the Constitution.
Watch a portion of Moore’s remarks (begins at the (1:42 mark):
Hat tip: Joe.My.God.
‘We Will Stand for the Freedom of Religion’: Pence Brags Trump to Allow Adoption Agencies ‘Right’ to Ban LGBTQ Parents
Vice President Mike Pence this week attended a federal government event during which he bragged about the Trump administration’s latest attack on LGBTQ people. The vice president (video below) heralded a fast-tracked proposed policy from the Dept. of Health and Human Services that would reverse an Obama-era rule barring discrimination by adoption and foster care agencies against LGBTQ people and same-sex couples.
The proposed rollback of that rule is expected to go into effect in just a few weeks, granting government protection to religious, faith-based, or any other adoption organization that wishes to claim a moral opposition to LGBTQ people from facing a loss of federal funding.
“We will stand for the freedom of religion and we will stand with faith-based organizations to support adoption,” Vice President Pence told supporters at an HHS event Tuesday, as he pounded his fists on the podium, to cheers.
“I couldn’t be more proud that at President Trump’s direction and with the strong support of leaders across foster care, adoption, and our faith communities, we’ve taken decisive action,” Pence bragged.
That “decisive action” literally reduces the pool of prospective parents for large numbers of children who don’t have parents or homes.
“More than 100,000 foster children are awaiting adoption, according to government data, but a constellation of religious agencies refuse to consider same-sex parents when placing these children,” NBC News reports. “Shortly before the end of his second term, President Barack Obama changed nondiscrimination rules governing adoption agencies to expand the definition of groups protected against discrimination to include LGBTQ people. Trump’s proposed rule change will undo that.”
In fact, same-sex couples have far higher rates of adopting and fostering children than their different-sex couple peers.
“A 2018 report from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that 1 in 5 of the estimated 114,000 same-sex couples raising children in the United States are raising adopted or foster children — significantly higher than the 3 percent of heterosexual couples doing so.”
The latest discriminatory HHS rule Vice President Pence bragged about comes from Roger Severino, HHS’s Director of the Office of Civil Rights. Severino is known as a “radical” anti-LGBTQ religious right activist who previously served as CEO and counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a religious right non-profit that opposes separation of church and state. He also once served as the Director of the DeVos family’s Center for Religion and Civil Society in the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity.
Watch Vice President Pence (video may be slow to load):
Hat tip: Towleroad
Video via Washington Blade/Facebook
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