Republicans on an Iowa House panel Monday advanced an anti-LGBTQ bill that is so extreme it would require teachers to notify parents if they plan on even mentioning Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, because he is gay. The bill, sponsored by 13 Republican lawmakers, would force educators to allow parents to opt-out of any instruction that relates to sexual orientation or gender identity.
Opponents note that heterosexuality is also a sexual orientation and the legislation would require teachers to notify parents about any person their lessons might include, the Des Moines Register reports.
The bill’s anti-LGBTQ intention is clear.
“Not all parents want others to teach their children about sexual orientation and gender identity because it, too, involves family religious beliefs about sexuality and sexual ethics,” Rep. Sandy Salmon, a Republican, said Monday, as Southernminn.com reports. “Not all families agree with the viewpoint held by many schools regarding sexual identity issues and they should be allowed to opt out of instruction that contains that.”
The Iowa Association of School Boards opposes the bill, HF 2201.
“What if we’re having a discussion on current events and there’s a presidential candidate — somebody who’s running for the nomination — who’s gay?” Emily Piper, a lobbyist for the association, asked, referring to Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. “Can we not have that conversation in a government class, then, without first notifying the parents and allowing them to withdraw their child from the class?”
One pastor attacked opponents of the bill as not supporting transparency.
“The LGBTQ lifestyle is controversial,” pastor Brad Cranston said. “Not everyone in the state believes there is nothing wrong with these lifestyles. My biblical worldview tells me there is something very definitely wrong. There are many in this state, with no hatred in their heart, who have those sincere beliefs.”
Cranston said parents have the right “to know exactly what the public school, which they are paying with their tax dollars, is teaching their kids.”
Hat tip: Towleroad
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Religious Right Activists Petition Pompeo’s ‘Unalienable Rights’ Commission to ‘Make the Family Great Again’
The commission created by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to reconsider U.S. human rights policy, ostensibly according to the principles of unalienable rights and a particular interpretation of natural law, held its most recent public meeting at the U.S. State Department on Friday, where the Ruth Institute’s Jennifer Roback Morse used the Q&A time to read a statement and submit a petition that urges President Donald Trump and Pompeo to “Make the Family Great Again.” Morse claimed that “the family itself has human rights.” Morse is essentially asking the commission to endorse the idea that the so-called “traditional family” has “fundamental” rights that equal or exceed those of individuals.
When the Commission on Unalienable Rights was created last year, anti-LGBTQ activist Brian Brown called it an “extraordinary opening to push for clear and consistent recognition of the natural family,” adding that it “gives us a forum to challenge American foreign policy that has in the past advanced the extreme agenda of the left that has been cloaked in the language of so-called human rights.”
The Ruth Institute started as a project of Brown’s National Organization for Marriage, so it’s not surprising that Morse shares his view about the potential for the commission to help them advance their anti-equality agenda. Morse’s petition signers include an array of U.S. and international anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ activists, including Gary Bauer, Janice Crouse, Robert George, Mike Huckabee, Alveda King, Rick Scarborough, and Sharon Slater. Among the signers from outside the U.S. is Levan Vasadze, the businessman and anti-LGBTQ activist who hosted the 2016 World Congress of Families global summit in the capital of Georgia, the former Soviet republic.
The petition urges the Commission on Unalienable Rights to “work for recognition of the following fundamental rights”:
- The right of every child to a relationship with his or her natural mother and father except for an unavoidable tragedy.
- The right of every person to know the identity of his or her biological parents.
- The right to life from conception to natural death.
- The right of families to educate their own children in their faith tradition and values without being undermined by the state.
Human rights advocates, LGBTQ-equality activists, and others are concerned that the commission—dominated by conservative academics—was created to provide intellectual justification for bringing human rights advocacy in line with right-wing complaints about human rights “inflation.” And they worry that most commission members aim to put a right-wing interpretation of religious liberty into a top tier of rights that would exclude other rights recognized by the U.S. and the international community since the founding of the United Nations. The commission has been holding monthly public meetings, hearing from speakers expressing a range of views, and taking public questions. Its report is expected sometime this spring.
Pompeo and other Trump administration officials have also spent the past year mobilizing a new “pro-family” coalition of conservative and authoritarian governments designed to resist any international agreements or action by U.N. agencies that recognize reproductive rights, LGBTQ equality (which is deemed to be “anti-family”), and comprehensive sex education.
Morse claimed a few years ago that the goal of “radical feminists” and “sexual revolutionaries” was to expand the power of the state to take control over family life—and that they were using divorce and gay marriage to do it.
The Ruth Institute bills itself as “a global non-profit organization equipping Christians to defend the family and build a civilization of love.” It promotes “those who have walked away from a same sex lifestyle” and other “survivors of the sexual revolution.”
Morse’s statement at the State Department was promoted by One News Now, a news arm of the American Family Association.
This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
‘Jesus Was Not a Socialist!’ Fox News Panel Explodes Over Jesus Christ’s Political Views
Conservative religious pundits on Fox News recoiled in outrage on Sunday after a left-leaning guest suggested that Jesus Christ was “more of a socialist” than a capitalist.
During a Fox & Friends segment designed to cast doubt on the faith or Democratic presidential candidates, evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress argued that socialism is “antithetical to Christianity.”
But St. Paul Reverend Dee Dawkins-Haigler reminded the other panelists that scriptures seemed to point to what people now call socialism.
“We believe in things like, what did you do to the least of them?” Dawkins-Haigler explained. “You fed the hungry, you clothed the naked, you went to see those who are in prison.”
“You do not have to be a socialist to be a Christian!” Jeffress shot back. “Socialism is antithetical to Christianity and if they nominate Bernie Sanders, they are not going to be able to attract any faith voters.”
“I totally disagree,” Dawkins-Haigler retorted. “People would have said that Jesus was more of a socialist than anybody we’re talking about today.”
The remarks stopped Fox News host Pete Hegseth cold.
“Why was Jesus a socialist?” he exclaimed.
“Because Jesus did not sit with the establishment, he overturned tables of the tax collectors, he sat with people who were lepers,” Dawkins-Haigler explained. “He made sure he healed people who people thought should not have been healed.”
“So we have to be very careful how we use this language and try to take ownership of who God is,” she added.
“That’s a big claim,” Hegseth interrupted again, giving the floor to Jeffress.
“No! Jesus was not a socialist!” Jeffress opined. “He said render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar’s and to God the things that are God’s. He was compassionate. Church is to be compassionate, but you don’t have to believe in socialism, which is nothing but communism light and is absolutely is opposed to everything that is Christian.”
Watch the video below from Fox News.
Christian Nationalist Wants $22 Million to Win Top 2020 Battleground States – and Eradicate Separation of Church and State
Christian nationalist political operative David Lane is seeking $22 million for a campaign to boost conservative Christian turnout in 10 battleground states—Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, and Iowa—this year. In a column published by Charisma, Lane claims that his American Renewal Project increased “Christian turnout” by 5 to 7 percent in half a dozen key states in 2016.
Lane has a much bigger vision than just helping put President Donald Trump back in the White House. Lane views politics as spiritual warfare necessary to defeat secularists and pagans and make America the Christian nation he says it was founded to be. He teaches that the U.S. has a national mandate to promote the Christian faith and calls the separation of church and state a lie.
In recent years, Lane has recruited conservative pastors to run for office and mobilize their congregations as election volunteers. In his new column in Charisma, he imagines hundreds of conservative evangelical pastors running for office in the next few election cycles, “triggering a third great awakening” and “bringing about a full-impact collision between the two rival religions in America of Christianity and secularism.”
“Since each worldview is expansive and evangelistic, there will be no reconciliation of opposites with God; one will ultimately end in the eradication of the other,” Lane adds.
As Right Wing Watch has noted repeatedly over the years, Lane’s divisive Christian nationalist extremism hasn’t prevented Republican officials at all levels from embracing him and supporting his work. They don’t seem to be bothered by his anti-LGBTQ extremism either; he once urged conservative Christians to prepare for martyrdom in their fight to “save the nation from the pagan onslaught” of marriage equality and legal abortion. As a presidential candidate in 2016, Donald Trump attended one of Lane’s organizing events in Florida.
Here’s some more background on Lane from Right Wing Watch reporting in 2018, when Lane teamed up with California-based dominionists to try to “turn California around”:
Lane, who declared in 2013 that “Christians must be retrained to war for the Soul of America,” has been organizing events since the mid-1990s to encourage conservative evangelical pastors to preach more about politics, to get their congregants more politically engaged, and to run for office. Lane’s “pastors and pews” events have functioned as matchmakers between right-wing politicians and tens of thousands of pastors; and his Issachar trainings have encouraged pastors to run for office themselves.
Lane preaches that the U.S. has a divine mission to glorify God and advance the Christian faith, and he has called the separation of church and state a “lie” and a “fabricated whopper” designed to stop “Christian America—the moral majority—from imposing moral government on pagan public schools, pagan higher learning and pagan media.” He has complained that there was “not a peep from the Christian Church” in response to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, when the church “should have initiated riots, revolution, and repentance.”
Among the Republican congressional candidates running with Lane’s support are Bethel worship leader Sean Feucht in Northern California and Young Kim, who is running again in California’s Orange County after narrowly losing in 2018.
This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
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