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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

‘We Warned You’: Jenna Ellis Destroyed by Legal Expert for Comparing Herself and Giuliani to Atticus Finch

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Former Trump personal and campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis is getting blowback from at least one top legal expert after she falsely compared herself and her colleague, Rudy Giuliani, to fictional hero attorney Atticus Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and to founding father John Adams.

“No, you are not John Adams. You are not Atticus Finch. Competent lawyers warned you to stay away from the election lawsuits,” said top national security attorney Bradley Moss. “We warned you loyalty to a conspiratorial client [doesn’t] override ethical obligations to the court. It’s on you.”

Ellis, in video posted by Right Wing Watch (below), claimed that she and Giuliani were merely “advocating” for “politically inconvenient candidates” like Trump, which is provably false.

Giuliani, according to numerous news reports, wasn’t defending Trump so much as he was traveling the world trying to dig up dirt on Joe Biden to help Trump win re-election. When that didn’t work Giuliani (and Ellis) promoted false election “fraud” narratives, which is not advocacy for a client.

“It used to be that if you represented the politically inconvenient candidates or the, the politically inconvenient, people I mean look at ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ you know, it was like you were you were lauded as a defense attorney, like John Adams, you know, who represented people who deserve a defense,” Ellis said.

“This has such an impact on the future of America,” Ellis continued, “because if we tell lawyers that in order to advocate for a client, that means that necessarily you have to subscribe to their position, you will be you will be liable for your bar license essentially based on not only the merit of their case but the outcome, then we won’t have advocates anymore in the United States.”

Again, that is not a reality-based response to what she and Giuliani were doing.

Moss, meanwhile, was far from the only attorney criticizing Ellis.

Former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), Richard Signorelli, commented, “Jenna is lucky she wasn’t given any actual lawyerly responsibilities.”

Atlanta appellate attorney Andrew Fleischman weighed in, saying, “It’s good for people to get due process before being convicted of things. It’s bad to file dozens of frivolous, dishonest lawsuits. That’s the distinction.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Trump’s MAGA Supporters Chant Profanities Within ‘Clear’ Earshot of Young Kids Biden Was Talking to Outdoors

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Trump’s MAGA supporters were out in full force Friday afternoon, chanting “F**k Biden,” waving flags with the same slogan, along with ones that falsely claim “Trump won,” as President Joe Biden spoke with young children outside a Connecticut child development center.

“Around 50 more Trump supporters,” according to the White House press pool, “gathered a street away from the center. They chanted ‘F*** Joe Biden. He’s not our president.’ They also shouted ‘traitors’ as a coda while we walked inside.”

Minutes later the press pool reported President Biden “entered the playground at 1:25, greeted by some gregarious children. One gave him a hug, as he kneeled to talk. Another, wearing an American flag t-shirt, pointed out parts of the playground.”

But then, confirmation that the Trump supporters’ profanity could be heard by the young children and the President.

“From the playground the pool could still hear protesters chanting from the curb outside. More expletives. More yelling,” the pool reports.

NBC News White House Correspondent Mike Memoli also confirms:

President Biden later made televised remarks promoting his “Build Back Better” agenda, and talking about how improvements to infrastructure will help young children.

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

LISTEN: Texas Schools Official Tells Teachers They Must Offer ‘Other Perspectives’ When Teaching the Holocaust

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A Southlake, Texas school official is under fire after telling teachers if they have a book in the classroom about the Holocaust they must also  teach “other perspectives.”

“Just try to remember the concepts of [House Bill] 3979,” Gina Peddy, the executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Carroll Independent School District, said in a training session Friday, as the recording (below) from NBC News shows.

“And make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives,” she told teachers in a training session on the new law.

“How do you oppose the Holocaust?” one teacher asked.

“Believe me,” Peddy said. “That’s come up.”

At issue is a new Texas state ordinance drafted and rushed into law after parents complained about books teaching about racism.

“The training came four days after the Carroll school board, responding to a parent’s complaint, voted to reprimand a fourth grade teacher who had kept an anti-racism book in her classroom,” NBC News reports.

“Teachers are literally afraid that we’re going to be punished for having books in our classes,” one elementary school teacher told NBC News. “There are no children’s books that show the ‘opposing perspective’ of the Holocaust or the ‘opposing perspective’ of slavery. Are we supposed to get rid of all of the books on those subjects?”

Conservatives across the nation have been attacking and threatening school boards over the nearly non-existent teaching of Critical Race Theory, and are demanding all teaching about racism end.

The debate in Southlake over which books should be allowed in schools is part of a broader national movement led by parents opposed to lessons on racism, history and LGBTQ issues that some conservatives have falsely branded as critical race theory. A group of Southlake parents has been fighting for more than a year to block new diversity and inclusion programs at Carroll, one of the top-ranked school districts in Texas.

That new law, which eliminates the requirement of teaching “the history of Native Americans,” also eliminates the requirement to teach about the writing of the founding “mothers and other founding persons” except founding fathers. It also eliminates from the curriculum Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” and the “I Have a Dream” speech, along with pages of other important historical documents.

Listen:

 

Image of Auschwitz by Elsa Gortais via Flickr and a CC license

 

 

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