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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

SCOTUS to Hear Major LGBTQ Case, With Barrett – Designed to Give Christians Special Rights to Discriminate

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Just one day after 2020’s historic Election Day, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear a landmark case seeking to revoke non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, along with minority religious groups like Jews and Muslims. The case could hand Christians special rights to discriminate. It relies on overturning a 30-year precedent, something Justice Amy Coney Barrett has said she is not opposed to doing.

The case, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, involves Catholic Social Services (CSS) of Philadelphia, which lost in a unanimous Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, but appealed to the Supreme Court.

The City of Philadelphia notified Catholic Social Services in 2018 that it would no longer send children to them to be fostered or adopted because of the religious group’s refusal to place children in homes headed by same-sex couples or LGBTQ people.

With the loss of placements comes a loss of taxpayer funds. CSS isn’t banned from continuing to adhere to its policies or religious beliefs, it just won’t be able to use children the City of Philadelphia was sending them as tools to continue its discriminatory practices.

“In court papers, the group has argued that Philadelphia’s moves unlawfully targeted its right to exercise its religion, which is protected under the First Amendment,” CNBC reports. “Philadelphia, on the other hand, has said it is entitled to enforce anti-discrimination policies in order to protect LGBT residents. The city says it is not hostile to religion, noting that its policies apply evenly to religious and secular government contractors.”

Circuit Judge Thomas Ambro, writing for the court, said CSS failed to show that the city was motivated by anything other than “sincere opposition to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”

Should the heavily-conservative majority Supreme Court overturn the Third Circuit Court’s unanimous ruling, it likely would also need to overturn precedent from a 1990 SCOTUS case, Employment Division v. Smith, which CSS is asking the Court to do.

CSS is represented by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a multi-million dollar non-profit.

The Becket Fund calls discriminating against same-sex families and LGBTQ people, “Making room for diversity.”

The group has had success at the Supreme Court before, notably in the infamous 2014 Hobby Lobby anti-abortion case.

Image: Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks via Flickr 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Trump Guts Protections for LGBTQ Workers and Expands Religious Orgs’ Ability to Discriminate in Final Weeks

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As time speeds to the end of the Donald Trump presidency the administration is moving fast to expand the ability of faith-based institutions to discriminate against LGBTQ people. The Dept. of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has just finalized a rule gutting protections for LGBTQ people who work for federal contractors, including allowing religious institutions to discriminate against LGBTQ people, as The Washington Blade reports.

President Barack Obama codified the protections via a set of executive orders in 2014.

The Dept. of Labor is headed by Eugene Scalia (photo), who has a long record of attacking the civil rights of American workers. He is the son of the infamously anti-LGBTQ Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia.

“It is hard to overstate the harm that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is visiting on LGBTQ people, women, religious minorities, and others with the sledgehammer it is taking to federal nondiscrimination protections,” Lambda Legal Director of Law and Policy Jennifer Pizer said in a statement. “For nearly 80 years, it has been a core American principle that seeking and receiving federal tax dollars to do work for the American people means promising not to discriminate against one’s own workers with those funds.  This new rule uses religion to create an essentially limitless exemption allowing taxpayer-funded contractors to impose their religious beliefs on their employees without regard to the resulting harms, such as unfair job terms, invasive proselytizing and other harassment that make job settings unbearable for workers targeted on religious grounds.”

Nearly 4 million American workers are employed by federal contractors.

“Within its final weeks, the Trump-Pence administration has chosen to prioritize gutting existing protections for LGBTQ people, women and religious minorities,” Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David also said in a statement. “This lame-duck action by the administration is blatantly offensive, unnecessary and simply unacceptable. Since taking office, the administration has worked around the clock to dehumanize and demean LGBTQ people all while misrepresenting the law to justify creating a license to discriminate against people including  on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.”

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘I’m Doing the Right Thing for God’: Jenna Ellis Says Jesus Christ Wants Her to Overturn the Election

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Jenna Ellis, an attorney for President Donald Trump, on Monday explained that she had religious reasons for trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

During an interview on Fox Business, Ellis was asked how she maintains a positive attitude amid setbacks in court and Rudy Giuliani’s COVID-19 diagnosis.

“You know, my life is in service and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ,” Ellis said. “And so whatever anybody else says really doesn’t bother me. I hope that I can be a light and inspiration to everyone else that no matter what anyone else says about you, it’s all about just who you are as a person and made in the image of God and in Christ.”

“And that’s ultimately at the end of the day, as long as I know that I’m pursuing truth and I’m doing the right thing for God and my country, that’s all that matters,” she added. “So that’s what gives me my optimism and my hope.”

Watch the video below from Fox Business.

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Believe in Divine Immunity’: Trump-Supporting Megachurch Pastor Tells Congregation Not to Take COVID Vaccine

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Guillermo Maldonado, the Florida megachurch pastor and self-declared apostle who hosted President Donald Trump at an election rally earlier this year, told his congregation not to take the soon-to-be available vaccine for the COVID-19 virus because it is part of a plan to prepare people to accept the biblical Mark of the Beast.

Maldonado, who mocked members of his own congregation for staying away from church in the early days of the pandemic, used his Sunday sermon to warn that the COVID-19 vaccine will “alter your DNA” as globalists set about “preparing the structure for the Antichrist.”

“People, I want you to look at me,” Maldonado said, as he frequently switched between speaking English and Spanish. “That is exactly what is happening with COVID-19. They’re preparing the structure for the Antichrist. How? The vaccine. They’re gonna demand for you to have the vaccine in your passport, otherwise you will not be able to travel. Because they are preparing the way.”

“The vaccines, they are made to alter your DNA,” he continued. “They are made to track you down. Do not [take] the vaccine. Believe in the blood of Jesus. Believe in divine immunity.”

 

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

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