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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

New Analysis Breaks Down GOP’s Flawed Response to the Mar-a-Lago Search

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Republican lawmakers are reportedly at an impasse on whether or not they should be defending former President Donald Trump amid his latest flurry of legal woes. The party is also facing challenges with navigating some lawmakers’ critical assessments of law enforcement over the Trump investigation.

A new analysis is breaking down Republicans’ seemingly flawed response and how it underscores the cracks in the political party’s foundation.

According to Axios, the analysis comes shortly after documents released on Friday, August 12, offered details about the search which reportedly involved “highly classified materials believed stored in violation of the law at the ex-president’s private residence.”

Prior to the release of those documents, Republicans serving on the House Intelligence Committee participated in a press conference where they continued to criticize the investigation, describing it as being politically motivated.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) scrutinized the investigation deeming it a “complete abuse” of authority as she suggested it was being conducted because the former president is considered to be “Joe Biden’s most likeliest political opponent in 2024.”

However, some Republicans on the committee have offered a more leveled approach to the situation. Per The New York Times, “Trump allies have told top Republicans to tone down their criticism of the Justice Department ‘because it is possible that more damaging information related to the search will become public.'”

“It’s incumbent upon everybody to act in a way that’s becoming of the office they hold,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), a former FBI agent, “And that’s not casting judgment on anything until you know all the facts.”

Others have attempted to defend the former president. Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said, “You can say nuclear weapons, but there are things that are highly, highly classified, there are things that are not extremely classified.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is now selling merchandise on her website in support of a call to “defund the FBI” while Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) tweeted, “I will support a complete dismantling and elimination of the democrat brown shirts known as the FBI.”

 

Image: Elise Stefanik with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago via Facebook

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Boebert’s Mic Cut After Going Over Time and Refusing to End Lie-Filled Rant

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U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) refused to end her remarks attacking popular Democratic legislation known as the Inflation Reduction Act, and after being repeatedly warned – four times – she was over time as she ranted and delivered falsehoods on the House floor her microphone was finally cut.

Congresswoman Boebert, part of the far-right fringe that has taken over the Republican Party, yelled and wagged her finger as she spread misinformation.

In an ironic twist the pro-gun activist and former owner of Shooters Grill angrily – and falsely – claimed the bill mandates the hiring of 87,000 armed IRS agents.

“What are we doing here? What are we passing this so-called Inflation Reduction Act if inflation is at zero percent?” she asked.

READ MORE: Here’s How Lauren Boebert Is Defending Screaming at Biden as He Addressed Veterans With Burn-Pit Cancer

Inflation in fact for the month of July was flat, coming in at zero percent, which brought the annual inflation rate down from 9.1% to 8.5%.

“Well in fact it’s the inflation enhancement act,” Boebert, a spreader of conspiracy theories falsely argued, calling it “just another con game by the Democrats,” which also is false.

She then went on to claim the IRS would have more “armed agents” than the Defense Dept.

READ MORE: ‘It’s So Gross’: NY Times Blasted for Negative Reporting on Biden by ‘Blindered Horse-Race Analysts’

After being warned four times she had gone over time her mic was cut, but she was subsequently granted additional time.

The Colorado Congresswoman, a pro-gun extremist, went on to lie that the Inflation Reduction Act “hires 87,000 IRS agents and they are armed and the job description tells them that they need to be required to carry a firearm and expect to use deadly force if necessary,” she shouted, calling it “armed robbery.”

The bill will enable the IRS to hire new employees, but nowhere near 87,000. Only a tiny fraction, about 300, would be armed, and not for nefarious purposes like “armed robbery.”

“Though the job is really about sniffing out income and accounting irregularities to build legal cases,” CBS News reports, “one of the potential duties is ‘conduct[ing] or participat[ing] in surveillance, armed escorts, dignitary protection, undercover operations, execution of search and arrest warrants, seizures, etc.,’ the job listing states.”

Boebert began by calling “supporters of this legislation insane,” falsely implied the Inflation Reduction Act increases taxes on ordinary middle-class Americans, while mocking “Green New Deal initiatives.”

Seconds after her “armed robbery” remarks Boebert again ran into overtime. Her mic was cut after the second warning.

Kentucky Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth, who spoke immediately after her, blasted the Colorado Congresswoman.

Watch below or at this link:

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Right-Wing Dark-Money Group Gives Trump Timely Political Cover With $1 Million Attack on Merrick Garland

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Just days after FBI agents carried out a search warrant for secret documents wrongly being held at former President Donald Trump’s Florida home, a right-wing dark-money group that helped secure a far-right majority on the Supreme Court launched a $1 million digital and cable ad campaign attacking Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The Judicial Crisis Network has been at the core of the massive and secretly funded dark-money campaign by right-wing funders and groups like the Federalist Society to secure ideological domination of the Supreme Court and federal judiciary. The group backed former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s abuse of power to prevent the Senate from considering former President Barack Obama’s nomination of Garland to the Supreme Court, and then spent tens of millionspromoting confirmation of Trump’s nominees. More recently, JCN led attacks on the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and dishonest smears against several of President Joe Biden’s Justice Department nominees.

The new JCN ad seeks to undermine Garland’s credibility, accusing him of “cowering to the woke mob.” A press release announcing the ad buy claimed that Garland has “consistently bowed to the radical left’s agenda.” In a statement, the group’s president Carrie Severino repeated a false right-wing talking point accusing Garland of “calling concerned parents ‘domestic terrorists.’”

The ad also claims that Garland has betrayed his former judicial colleague Brett Kavanaugh by not stopping activists from protesting outside the Supreme Court justice’s home. As CNN noted, the rarely enforced law that JCN and right-wing politicians are demanding Garland use against protesters could also be interpreted to forbid the kind of protests at the Supreme Court that anti-abortion groups mobilized for years. The JCN ad notably does not mention that Garland supportedrecent legislation to beef up security for Supreme Court justices and their families.

Right-wing media outlets have given JCN’s campaign a boost, with Fox News reporting JCN’s assertion that the Garland ad is part of a broader $10 million campaign attacking Democrats over the court that will include “paid advertising, earned media, research, grassroots activity, and a coalition enterprise.”

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

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