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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

New Trump Appointee Says US Is in the Grips of a ‘Homo-Empire’ Pushing a ‘Tyrannical LGBT Agenda’

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This story was originally published by ProPublica.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

A new Trump appointee to the United States’ foreign aid agency has a history of online posts denouncing liberal democracy and has said that the country is in the clutches of a “homo-empire” that pushes a “tyrannical LGBT agenda.”

In one post, Merritt Corrigan, who recently took up a position as deputy White House liaison at the U.S. Agency for International Development, wrote: “Liberal democracy is little more than a front for the war being waged against us by those who fundamentally despise not only our way of life, but life itself.”

Corrigan’s new position in the Trump administration, confirmed by two officials, has not been previously reported.

Corrigan previously worked for the Hungarian Embassy in the United States and tweeted that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is “the shining champion of Western civilization,” Politico reported last year. An embassy spokesman, Béla Gedeon, said Corrigan left her position there in mid-April.

Orban, a far-right politician, has cracked down on civil society, academic freedom and other liberties. USAID has recently partnered with Hungary to help Christians in Iraq, a pairing that some career USAID officials said they found unsettling.

Asked about Corrigan’s writing, acting USAID spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala said the agency has a “zero-tolerance policy of any form of discrimination or harassment based on gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or any other possible distinguishing characteristic that can define any of us.”

“All employees are held to the highest of standards and are expected to treat one another with dignity and respect. Period,” she said. “This includes political appointees, civil servants, foreign service officers and contractors.”

Corrigan did not respond to emails asking about her past comments.

Politico reported last year that Corrigan wrote on her Twitter account that “our homo-empire couldn’t tolerate even one commercial enterprise not in full submission to the tyrannical LGBT agenda.” Corrigan’s Twitter account is now private.

In October, Corrigan wrote an op-ed in The Conservative Woman, a London publication, decrying “the false song of feminism” and calling for women to take up traditional roles of mother, wife and homemaker.

“A woman today is expected by society to come to marriage and motherhood in physical and spiritual decline, if ever,” she wrote. “This is the life women have been offered by those who would rather us toil away as isolated economic units for faceless corporations, far from the natural pleasures of the domestic, far from the guardianship of a loving husband, and far from the life-giving experience of motherhood.”

Corrigan’s biography on the website described her as a “conservative political strategist.” She was on the payroll of the Republican National Committee between 2016 and 2018, according to campaign finance records.

Her stated positions put her directly at odds with the stated goals of her new employer. USAID uses a “liberal democracy index” as one of its metrics in deciding whether a country is self-reliant, and it has an entire office dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment. The agency’s website says it is working for a world in which LGBT people are “respected and able to live with dignity, free from discrimination, persecution, and violence.”

Beirne Roose-Snyder, director of public policy at the Center for Health and Gender Equity, said, “An appointee who eschews gender equality, meaningful democracy and LGBTI rights cannot possibly fulfill the mission of USAID.”

Corrigan’s appointment is the latest example of the Trump administration bringing in officials to USAID whose stated views put them at odds with the agenda the agency says it promotes.

USAID’s new deputy chief of staff, Bethany Kozma, was previously an anti-transgender activist who wrote in 2016 that transgender girls are boys “claiming gender confusion.” Kozma was formerly a senior adviser for women’s empowerment at the agency.

And last week, The Washington Post reported that a Tea Party activist with a history of making and sharing anti-Islamic comments on his personal social media profiles would be the agency’s new religious freedom adviser. News of the appointment sparked criticism from Muslim groups in the U.S. and the Anti-Defamation League.

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

DOJ Unveils Proposal That Would Make It Harder for Twitter and Facebook to Block Trump’s Dangerous Posts

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The U.S. Dept. of Justice has released a draft of its proposal to change federal law, making it harder – and possibly illegal – for tech companies and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to remove, delete, or otherwise block or interfere with content it deems dangerous or objectionable.

President Donald Trump for years has falsely claimed tech giants are censoring conservatives and giving preferential treatment to liberals. Recently, Twitter and even Facebook have appended warning or information labels to some of his more dangerous posts, and in rare cases removed them – as they have done for years to other users.

Attorney General Barr has been working to alter Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects websites and their owners from liability over content they host – such as readers’ comments – and allows them to make decisions as to what they remove or block based on what those sites and platforms consider objectionable.

Calling Barr’s draft “a rare, legislative proposal,” The Washington Post reports were it to become law, it would allow the federal government to “police” website owners and tech companies’ actions.

“For years, President Trump and other top Republicans have attacked tech giants including Facebook, Google and Twitter for censoring conservatives online, something the U.S. government now may have the ability to police if the Justice Department’s proposal were to become law.”

For example, yesterday nine of the top 10 posts on Facebook were from Republicans or far right conservatives.

“The White House,” the Washington Post continues, “has offered little proof for its claims, and tech companies strongly deny them — while Democratic lawmakers contend the administration should focus instead on hate speech, extremism and election disinformation that spreads virally on the Internet.”

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Conservative Christian Pollster Calls for Imprinting a Biblical Worldview on Kids 15 to 18 Months Old

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Conservative Christian pollster George Barna told Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and “Washington Watch” listeners on Tuesday that “spiritual deficiency” in the United States was to blame for its “collapse.”

During a conversation about conservative evangelicals’ influence on national politics, Perkins said that he perceived that the most important thing for like-minded churches to be doing was not necessarily to be discussing political issues, but to be “developing the biblical worldview” in ​the United States.

“If we develop the biblical worldview, helping them become integrated disciples, the pieces fall in place, do they not?” Perkins asked Barna.

“Absolutely,” Barna replied. “That’s why one of the things I’m advocating is that America has a profound spiritual deficiency and that’s what’s produced the worldview crisis that’s responsible for the collapse of American society in many ways. If we clean up that worldview issue, everything else is going to fall into place. That’s really the key domino on the board. And so if we get that right, we’re going to fix a lot of things at once.”

On pseudo-historian David Barton’s ​“WallBuilders Live​” radio show Wednesday,​ Barna continued his argument and said Americans must start imprinting the proper “worldview” on children 15 to 18 months old.

“It really does start with our children,” Barna said. “We know that a worldview, no matter which one it is, a person’s worldview is going to start developing at 15 to 18 months of age, and it will be almost fully formed by the time they reach the age of 13, might be reshaped and refined a little bit during the teens and 20s.”

“By the time they hit 30, and what we found is that most people will die believing what they believe at age 13. So we really do have to invest heavily in our children, be very intentional and strategic about that,” Barna said. “It’s got to come from the family, as well as the church. But we have to pay attention to the fact that the culture of America is the biggest shaper of people’s worldview right now. So, we’ve got to turn that around us..”

At the 2017 Values Voter Summit, Barna portrayed the 2016 election as a “Christians vs. non-Christians election” and declared, “God did a miracle for us.”

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

Image: Screenshot via YouTube

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

An Anti-LGBTQ Billionaire and Roy Moore Donor Has Been Bankrolling a Popular Right Wing Pro-Trump Anti-LGBTQ Site: NYT

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The Federalist is a right wing, anti-LGBTQ website whose leaders can be seen on Fox News and the Sunday talk shows.

People for years have been wondering who funds it. Up until now no one knew.

The site’s co-founder Ben Domenech resigned after just three days from The Washington Post over previous plagiarism allegations. He happens to be married to The View’s Meghan McCain, and was a frequent guest on CBS’s Face the Nation. Earlier, his work was removed from Huffington Post, The Washington Examiner, and The San Francisco Examiner after reportedly being paid tens of thousands of dollars to write about the government of Malaysia.

Domenech’s senior editor, Mollie Hemingway, was an anti-Trump conservative who used to call then-candidate Donald Trump “a demagogue with no real solutions for anything at all,” and  labeled Trump’s whining “ineffectual and impotent.”

Today, she’s among his biggest fans.

In response to its very non-transparent backing, The Federalist has even found a way to make money off the question. For $24.95 you, too, can join in the “fun.”

The site is devoted to “owning the libs” and attacking Trump’s critics while advancing the President’s agenda.

But it would seem not just the President’s agenda.

Back in 2014 Media Matters called it “an outlet for often-rabid anti-LGBT talking points.”

And now we know, thanks to The New York Times, that one of The Federalist’s “major backers is Dick Uihlein, the Midwestern packing supply magnate and Trump donor who has a history of giving to combative, hard-right candidates, like Roy S. Moore of Alabama.”

Blue Virginia calls Uihlein “Roy Moore’s #1 donor and anti-LGBTQ bankroller.”

Moore, of course, is the twice-former, twice booted Alabama Supreme Court chief justice who became the twice-failed GOP U.S. Senate candidate. Uihlein supported him even after the multiple, credible accusations of rape and harassment came out against him.

And The Federalist even published an op-ed basically defending Moore, the Times notes.

“The Federalist ran an opinion piece that defended men who dated young women as a practice with a long history that was ‘not without some merit if one wants to raise a large family.'”

Dick Uihlein and his wife have donated millions to GOP and conservative candidates and their super PACs, including “roughly $26 million” during the 2018 election cycle – and that was just the first half of the year, according to The Times.

“Uihlein dumped as much as $17 million” in 2018 into a GOP candidate, Leah Vukmir, who tried to unseat Wisconsin Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, INTO’s Nico Lang reported.  The candidate was a “right-wing extremist” who had “a staunch record of opposing queer and trans rights.”

Not only did she have “‘close ties’ to the Family Research Council,” she “favored Russia’s anti-gay ‘propaganda’ law, and backed Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ bill.”

The Federalist appears to echo Uihlein’s anti-LGBTQ agenda, running headlines like “Supreme Court Ridiculously Demands Everyone Pretend Sex Differences Don’t Exist,” “Why Pete Buttigieg Is The Most Destructive Candidate For Christianity,” “Donald Trump Has Done Far More For Gay People Than The Stonewall Democrats,” “4 Times LGBT Media Turned Coronavirus Coverage Into Attacks On Christians,” “Transgenderism’s War On Women Betrays Left’s Claims To Champion Our Rights,” “The Queer Movement Wants To Convert Christians, Not Coexist,” and on, and on, and on.

How much The Federalist receives from Uihlein is not publicly known.

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