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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Liberty University’s Falkirk Center Fellows Promote ‘Stolen Election’ Falsehoods and COVID Conspiracy Theories, for Jesus

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Liberty University’s Falkirk Center celebrated its one-year anniversary this week. The Center describes its purpose as “educating, inspiring, and mobilizing Christians in the battle to preserve American liberty and rally citizens in an effort to shape government policies, national institutions, and American society through a Biblical worldview.”

Like its bullying co-founders Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Charlie Kirk, the Center takes an aggressive posture in defense of a Christian nationalist vision and in opposition to secularism. “I don’t care what the winds of wokeism tell us,” said Executive Director Ryan Helfenbein in an article on Liberty’s website. “We don’t just want to be an organization that barks; we want to be an organization that bites.”

“The function and the moral mission of the Falkirk Center is to go on the offense in the name of Christian principles and in the name of exceptional, God-given American liberties,” says the Center’s website. “Accomplishing this end requires more than adding noise to the echo chamber. It requires an army of bold ambassadors equipped with Biblical and Constitutional knowledge to speak truth to believers and unbelievers alike in every professional field and public forum.”

The leaders of Falkirk’s “army of bold ambassadors” are its fellows, who include:

  • Kirk, head of right-wing youth organizing group Turning Point USA and a vocal ally of Christian nationalist and dominionist religious-right leaders. Kirk recently tweeted, “There is more evidence of systemic voter fraud in America than ‘systemic racism’ yet which one do you think Democrats are more worried about?” He has portrayed public health restrictions on church gatherings as a Democratic plot against Christianity.
  • Sebastian Gorka, a Steve Bannon acolyte, pugnacious right-wing pundit, and former Trump White House aide.
  • Eric Metaxas, author and pundit and promoter of pro-Trump conspiracy theories who will emcee a right-wing rally on the National Mall Dec. 12.
  • Jenna Ellis, an attorney for Trump and the Trump campaign who has been joined at the hip with Rudy Giuliani as they press false and unsubstantiated claims that have been tossed out of one court after another; as special counsel to the religious-right Thomas More Law Center, she has represented churches defying COVID-19-related public health restrictions.
  • David Brat, former member of Congress from Virginia.
  • Darrell Harrison, a podcaster and dean of social media at Grace to You, a ministry of controversial outspoken evangelist John MacArthur.
  • Virgil Walker, a pastor and seminary student who co-hosts Harrison’s “Just Thinking” podcast.
  • David Harris, Jr., a right-wing social media figure who is on the board of Black Voices for Trump and Candace Owens’ BLEXIT.
  • Erika Frantzve, a model, podcast host, “social entrepreneur,” and Liberty University doctoral student who recently became engaged to Kirk.

Among the first-year accomplishments cited by the Falkirk Center was its day-long “faith summit” called “Get Louder,” which featured Christian Reconstructionist Gary DeMar as a speaker on a panel moderated by Metaxas.

The celebratory post, written by Liberty communications staffer Logan Smith, mentioned that “Falkirk Podcast” guests have included Trump lawyer and national punchline Giuliani and Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis, who teaches that genuine Christians must adhere to a belief in a literal six-day Creation and a universe that is thousands of years old.

It also placed the Falkirk Center firmly on the side of right-wing evangelicals who believe that conversations about social justice and racism within the church are dangerous, evil, and enemies of the Gospel. The article quotes a Liberty University parent praising Falkirk for “drawing attention to leftist thinking that is attacking the Church.”

“The Falkirk Center fills a need deeply felt during this time of increasing wokeness and social justice inside the church, calling Christians and pastors to return to the true doctrine of God’s Word,” said Grant May, one of a growing number of Falkirk Center ambassadors from across the country, according to the Liberty blog post. “The center has inspired and encouraged me during the rising fad of cultural Christianity to truly dive into the Word and remember what Christ’s commands for the Church were, not modern-day pastors’ advice on how to be culturally relevant.”

The post also celebrates that the Falkirk Center “has consistently encouraged churches and pastors to defy” pandemic “lockdown orders.”

The anniversary blog post included no mention of the Falkirk Center’s co-founder Jerry Falwell, Jr., the university’s disgraced former president. The Falkirk moniker is a fusion of Falwell’s name and that of cofounder Charlie Kirk, who heads the right-wing youth organizing project Turning Point USA, as well as a reference to the battle of Falkirk, memorialized in the movie Braveheart.

 

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

Image: Charlie Kirk interviews President Donald Trump, 2019

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Georgia Republicans Push Bill Banning All Government Mandates of ‘Any Vaccination’ Including in Public Schools

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Georgia Senate Republicans are pushing a bill that would end any requirements for any vaccinations by any state or local government agency or office in the Peach State, including vaccines for children entering public school.

The bill also bans any government agency from requiring private companies or entities from requiring any proof of any vaccination.

The bill, SB 345, was filed on January 14 with five original co-sponsors. It now has 17, including state Senator Jeff Mullis, whose campaign website prominently features photos of him with former Vice President Mike Pence, and former President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump, Jr.

“No agency shall require proof of any vaccination of any person as a condition of providing any service or access to any facility, issuing any license, permit, or other type of authorization, or performing any duty of such agency,” the bill’s text reads in part.

Georgia State Law law professor Anthony Michael Kreis posted Georgia’s school vaccine requirements, suggesting those would be optional were the bill to become law.

The CDC recommends a list of about 17 different vaccines children should have before entering school. The list includes inoculations against diseases, often deadly, including Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, Diphtheria, tetanus, & acellular pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Pneumococcal conjugate, Inactivated poliovirus, Influenza, Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Varicella, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, diphtheria, & acellular pertussis, Human papillomavirus, Meningococcal, Meningococcal B, and Pneumococcal polysaccharide.

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Democratic Congressman Says Tucker Carlson’s Viewers ‘Upset We’re Not Siding With Russia’

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As tensions heat up between the United States and Russia over Vladimir Putin’s unlawful attacks on Ukraine one Democratic Congressman says he’s getting calls from Fox News viewers who think the U.S. should side with Russia.

“My office is now getting calls from folks who say they watch Tucker Carlson and are upset that we’re not siding with Russia in its threats to invade Ukraine, and who want me to support Russia’s ‘reasonable’ positions,” writes Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ).

For nearly three years during the Obama administration, Malinowski served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. He now sits on the House’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Committee on Homeland Security, and Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism.

For years Tucker Carlson has been advancing Russian propaganda, as he did here in November of 2019, only to be forced to walk back his comments later that same evening.

U.S. Naval War College professor Tom Nichols weighed in on Rep. Malinowski’s remarks, observing “Republicans are the Russia Party now.”

“For years,” adds political commentator Jared Yates Sexton, “the American Right has been drawing together with Putinist illiberalism’s antidemocratic, Christian theocratic, white supremacist construction. The divide we have in this country breaks down along these lines. None of this is a surprise or accidental.”

“We’ve been trying to tell you for years now this was happening. The Republican Party and its growing authoritarianism sides with Putin, Orbán, and illiberalism everywhere,” he continues. “It’s an international movement and this Ukraine situation only makes that more clear.”

Propaganda and political warfare historian  and former NATO civilian official Mark R. Jacobson adds: “This is exactly how Russian disinformation/subversion works – they put out a talking point to advance their foreign policy goals & a set of perfidious pundits parrot the point.”

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Matt Gaetz Casually Throws in a Homophobic Slur During Interview With Steve Bannon (Video)

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U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) used a homophobic slur in an interview with former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon while supporting Newt Gingrich’s attack on Democrats.

Gingrich promised Republicans will throw members of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack in jail, after a week of multiple bombshell revelations culminating with House investigators receiving a massive number of Trump White House documents the former president tried for months to block.

“Newt’s right, we are going to take power,” said Gaetz, who reportedly is under DOJ investigation for alleged child sex trafficking, having sex with an under-aged teen, and obstruction of justice.

“And when we do, it’s not going to be the days of Paul Ryan and Trey Gowdy, where the Republicans go limp-wristed where they lose their backbone and fail to send a single subpoena,” the Florida Republican Congressman said, throwing in a homophobic slur that is used to depict weakness.

“No, it’s going to be the days of Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene and you know what, we’re going to get answers, real answers about what happened in the election,” he said, before continuing to spin far right-wing conspiracy theories.

“Answers about the Wuhan Institute of Virology and certainly answers about a Department of Justice and a national security apparatus that has gone totally off the rails,” he claimed. “They have become the enforcement wing of the Democratic Party. The entire country knows it. And you know what we need? Honest, fair, real application of the laws in our country,” he said, after endorsing the imprisonment of political opponents.

 

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