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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘I Have Stood Against Same-Sex Marriage’: Roy Moore Is Running for the US Senate on a Platform of God, Guns, and Gays

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Roy Moore, the former Alabama chief justice who lost his 2017 bid for the U.S. Senate, is back on the ballot, and he’s urging Republican primary voters to keep in mind that “I have stood … against the removal of God from society—and the Ten Commandments—and I have stood against same-sex marriage and for traditional marriage.”

That statement came near the end of a 40-minute interview Moore gave to Birmingham’s WTVM-TV, a broadcast affiliate of NBC, which posted the video on Monday. While the interviewer questioned Moore on a wide range of policy areas, Moore’s answers repeatedly pointed back to the nation’s “moral problem.” And the answer to the nation’s moral problem, he said, is having the country and its schools turn back to God. The interview included echoes of a speech he made last fall to the Huntsville Republican Men’s Group, when he said America needed to return to the days when abortion and sodomy were illegal and public schools had morning “devotionals.”

In response to a question about gun violence, Moore argued that “gun violence is not a proper term” because people, not guns, are responsible for violence. And stricter gun laws, he said, are not the solution to the nation’s moral problem.

“Congress has never been good on moral problems, if you will, and solving those moral problems is very simple,” Moore said. “You turn back to the God and the basis of religion upon which this nation was founded.” In answering a question about safety and security in the nation’s schools, he said, “Well, one thing they should do is teach the laws of God.”

Moore also emphasized his states’ rights view of the Constitution, saying it is not the business of the federal government to make schools secure or oversee the elimination of discrimination in schools in areas like discipline and hiring. “I think the segregation issues have been addressed,” he declared.

On environmental protection, Moore said clean air and water are being taken care of “privately” and by the states. “Environmental protection is just another way for the big government to interfere,” he added.

Moore also said that state trial judges’ interpretation of federal constitutional issues is just as authoritative as rulings of federal appeals courts.

Moore, who has argued that faithful Muslims are not fit to serve in Congress, blamed divisiveness on the country’s lack of acknowledgment of God:

Divisiveness is a big problem in our society. We need to go back to the recognition that we’re one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. We forget when we forget God and exclude God from the conversation, you take away, and you create divisiveness. Hatred, divisiveness, that comes from a lack of realization that you’re created by an Almighty God.

When we’re a nation that thinks we can’t acknowledge God, we forget what we’re founded upon. We forget the meaning of the First Amendment. And certainly we need to go back to that.

When asked by the interviewer the things on which he would not compromise, Moore said, “I will not compromise on the acknowledgment of God. I think the courts started making law. This same-sex marriage is not a law made by our Constitution or by our legislature. It was made by courts. And courts have no business making law.”

At times, it sounded as if Moore envisioned himself in an even higher office than the U.S. Senate. In talking about his military experience, Moore said, “you need somebody with military experience in command—or in charge of the Senate. You need somebody that’s gone through these things.” The other candidates in the Senate race have not served in a war, Moore said. “I’ve been trained as a military leader – a highly regarded military leader. And that’s one of the chief jobs as the president.”

Moore is clearly still angry about his 2017 loss, which he attributed to a “disinformation campaign” that he said amounted to federal government interference in his race. He likened sexual misconduct allegations against him to those made against Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh, a comparison he has made before. He called on the New York Times and Washington Post to release their copies of an “after-action report” on “Project Birmingham”—a group that reportedly spread misinformation in the 2017 Alabama Senate election—repeating a call he made last April.

Moore also appears to be bitter about his treatment at the hands of Republican leaders who distanced themselves from his 2017 campaign, portraying their refusal to back him as stealing the election:

I can win. They know I can win. In fact, I did win, until Richard Shelby came out and put out that people should not go to the polls and vote or should vote for another candidate. Over 22,000 voted for another candidate besides the Democrat, and I lost by less than 21,000. So it was ridiculous. They stole the election then, and they’re still trying to steal the election by keeping me out of Washington. I have opposed the establishment, and they do not like it. And they have vowed to keep me out.

Regarding election security in general, he said the biggest threat to voters is “letting illegals have drivers’ licenses.”

Moore said he opposed the impeachment of President Donald Trump, and he treaded lightly when asked about Trump tweeting last year that Moore probably couldn’t win the Senate race. He suggested that Trump was being pressured by Washington insiders. “They’re driving the president because they have the power in the Senate to remove him,” Moore said.  (It was one of a couple indicators that the interview was conducted before the Senate impeachment trial.) “And he’s subject to forces up there in Washington, and with all deference to the president, I can win.”

It’s worth remembering that while much of the Republican establishment wanted nothing to do with Moore, religious-right groups and right-wing activists rallied around his 2017 campaignpouring money into last-minute ads and traveling to Alabama to hold a press conference backing Moore and attacking his critics. After Moore lost the 2017 race, Trump-promoting “prophet” Lance Wallnau criticized Christian voters for “giving the devil a free pass” by not supporting Moore and warned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, “You’re going down.”

Right Wing Watch noted in November:

For the record, it was Moore’s unorthodox view of the Constitution—notably his refusal as a state judge to abide by federal court rulings on church-state issues and marriage equality—that got him ousted twice as the state’s chief justice. Moore has been supported by Christian nationalists and embraced by some of the country’s most extreme anti-abortion activists.

One of the primary funders of Moore’s political career has been Michael Peroutka, a Christian Reconstructionist and neo-Confederate activist. Peroutka has also been a backer of Moore protégé and current Alabama Chief Justice Tom Parker, who has called on state courts to actively push the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.

Recent polling puts Moore far back in the crowded primary race, in which former senator and attorney general Jeff Sessions is favored to win the opportunity to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones. The primary will be held on March 3.

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

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Mike Pence: Americans Have No Right to ‘Freedom From Religion’

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Former Vice President Mike Pence claimed during a Wednesday appearance on Fox Business that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution does not protect Americans from having other people’s faiths forced upon them.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” it states.

In fact, there are no references to a supreme being anywhere in the Constitution, because the Founding Fathers were adamantly opposed to centralized religious power as well as requiring individuals to subscribe to any particular denomination.

READ MORE: ‘God’s gonna cut you down’: How Republicans conspire with churches for power

The concept of separation of church and state was sacrosanct to men like President Thomas Jefferson, who wrote in his 1776 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom that “setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time” and that “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.”

Jefferson’s condemnation of forced faith in the document was unambiguous, further affirming that “no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”

President James Madison, in whose hand the Constitution was penned, concurred with Jefferson.

“The settled opinion here is that religion is essentially distinct from Civil Government, and exempt from its cognizance; that a connexion between them is injurious to both; that there are causes in the human breast, which ensure the perpetuity of religion without the aid of the law,” Madison explained in an 1819 letter, noting that “a legal establishment of religion without a toleration could not be thought of, and with toleration, is no security for public quiet and harmony, but rather a source itself of discord and animosity.”

READ MORE: White men refusing to share power is a silver stake piercing the heart of American democracy

Benjamin Franklin took it one step further, arguing in 1780 that any religion that seeks to impose itself is simply “bad.”

Yet Pence and host Larry Kudlow share an interpretation that strays wildly from what Jefferson, Franklin, and Madison clearly spelled out more than two centuries ago.

“These lefties want to scrap religion, Mike Pence, and I think it’s a terrible mistake,” Kudlow griped.

“Well, the radical left believes that the freedom of religion is the freedom from religion. But it’s nothing the American founders ever thought of or generations of Americans fought to defend,” Pence said.

As mentioned, that statement is completely false. Jefferson even concluded in his treatise that “such act will be an infringement of natural right.”

But Pence was not finished. He also suggested that the Supreme Court’s right-wing supermajority has a duty to side with one faith over another. Today, that means the GOP’s embrace of Christian nationalism.

“You know, I said today here in Houston that the source of our nation’s greatness has always been our faith in God, our freedom, and our vast natural resources. And the good news is, that after four years of the Trump-Pence administration, I’m confident that we have a pro-religious freedom majority on the Supreme Court of the United States. And I’m confident that come Election Day, November the 8th, you’re gonna see that freedom majority around the country turn out and vote pro-freedom majorities in the House, and in the Senate, and in statehouses around the country,” Pence said. “So stay tuned, Larry. Help is on the way.”

Watch below or at this link.

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Florida Father Sues School for ‘Proselytizing’ in Favor of ‘Homosexual Lifestyles’ Under DeSantis Don’t Say Gay Law

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A West Palm Beach dad is suing his son’s public school district under Florida Governor Ron DeSantis‘ “Don’t Say Gay” law, claiming a teacher posted two rainbow pride flags and “proselytized” in favor of “homosexual lifestyles,” which he claims are against his religious beliefs.

“Dr. Francisco Deliu’s 12-year-old son is in seventh grade at Emerald Cove Middle School,” which is part of the Palm Beach County School District, WPTV reports. He is suing the school district, the school board, the school, its principal, and the teacher.

The lawsuit claims the father’s “substantive human rights” and “due process rights” were violated. It says he learned from his son “that his school is expressly and/or implicitly advocating for homosexuality as an alternative way of life. He disagrees and complains. The school dismisses his concerns without reasons. He takes the matter to the superior authorities. They ignore his grievances entirely. Meanwhile, his boy’s education suffers.”

READ MORE: Who Are The 33 House Republicans Sponsoring the Vigilante Federal ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill?

WPTV reports that “Deliu’s lawsuit claimed Emerald Cove Middle School is trying to ‘mold his child’s mind without his consent,’ adding that ‘there is no lawful authority that permits the Teacher, Principal, School, District and/or Board to teach, discuss or otherwise educate the students, including Dr. Deliu’s son, about gay pride, homosexuality or the like but especially not in a computer science course.'”

“Deliu claimed the teacher’s actions are a violation of Florida’s ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights ‘law, which was passed and went into effect in 2021.”

The lawsuit describes him as a “a married man who was baptized in, throughout his lifetime held and currently holds Christian-Orthodox religious beliefs. He is originally from Romania and was given refugee status in the United States of America in 1980 on the grounds of religious and political persecution by the Communist Ceaușescu regime.”

“Dr Deliu and his son are both born, baptized and practicing Orthodox Christians. Their religion considers homosexuality a sin. Their sincere and genuine beliefs are that homosexuality is not in accordance with their Bible. Dr Deliu is a libertarian who lives by a ‘live and let live creed. He respects the rights of others, but also demands they not encroach upon his rights. He is against government intrusion upon his rights, especially in terms of how to raise his son,” the lawsuit reads.

READ MORE: DeSantis Repeatedly Told a Story to Defend His ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law. It’s Not True: CNN

“Dr Deliu’s son was born in New Zealand and exclusively went to various private schools in New Zealand and Romania until the family returned to the United States of America in 2020 because of breaches of their human rights in Romania due to the Covid-19 lockdowns, mask, social distancing and vaccine mandates.”

The lawsuit even laments that although his son “was a straight-A student in the 4th quarter…the school failed to give out any honor roll awards.”

READ MORE: Watch: DeSantis Discusses and Signs ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill While Surrounded by Young Children

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Watch: A Man Said LGBTQ People ‘Deserve Death’ at a School Board Meeting – No One Stopped Him

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A man addressed the Conway, Arkansas school board Tuesday night, launching into a Christian Bible-based diatribe that included his claim that LGBTQ people “deserve death.” There were LGBTQ people, including students, in the audience. There were also police officers.

No one, not the school board member, not the police, interrupted him, told him his remarks were inappropriate, violent, or even asked him to stop speaking.

And it appears no one stood up for the LGBTQ students forced to hear a man with a microphone saying they “deserve death.”

In fact, as the video below shows, the school board president thanked him when he was done.

READ MORE: ‘Doesn’t Get to Tell the County What They Can Read’: Lawmaker Blasts Christian in Viral Video Attacking LGBTQ Library Books

“God gave them over to a depraved mind so that they do what they should not be doing,” the unidentified man can be heard saying. “They invent ways of doing evil. But let me remind you that those who do such things deserve death.”

“The LGBT community, not only continues to do these very things, but also approves of those who practice them,” he adds.

On social media a woman who says she filmed the man’s biblical call for death writes, “I was actually the one videoing. There were cops in all areas of the room ready to remove anyone. The person who spoke after this man was a 10th grade student who is transgender. Many of us wanted to cause a scene but felt our presence was needed for the upcoming speakers.”

Dr. Anne J. Goldberg, a professor, posted video (below) showing the man who said LGBTQ people “deserve death.” In her video he also says God loves everyone “even” LGBTQ people.

READ MORE: Board of Florida’s Largest School District Overwhelmingly Votes Against LGBTQ History Month Amid ‘Indoctrination’ Claims

“Tonight,” she writes, “I watched my school board ban two books about trans kids (against a committee recommendation) and enact two discriminatory policies against trans kids. I heard a member of my community say that LGBTQ folks ‘deserved death’ for their actions. No one on the board objected.”

“Ultimately,” The Arkansas Times reports, “the board did exactly what everyone expected: It unanimously approved a bathroom ban that could effectively out transgender students, and then voted to remove two books — both about transgender youths — from a school library, despite a committee’s recommendation otherwise.”

The Daily Beast adds that Arkansas GOP state Sen. Jason Rapert “made an appearance and spoke in favor of the bans.”

Rapert has compared LGBTQ activists to “Nazis.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

 

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