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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Montana GOP Lawmakers Pass Discriminatory Anti-LGBTQ ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill

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Lawmakers in the Montana House and Senate have passed a “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” bill that will allow any person or business to discriminate against anyone for any reason if not doing so would violate their religious beliefs.

House Democrats supported an amendment that would not allow the law to be used to discriminate but Republicans refused to support it.

“Do not make me NOT do what my God tells me I have to do,” Republican Rep. John Fuller, opposing the amendment, said during Thursday’s debate, the AP reports.

“The LGBTQ community opposes the bill, arguing it could lead to challenges against ordinances in several cities that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression,” the AP adds. “The Montana Human Rights Act does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”

The Human Rights Campaign says the bill is “similar” to the “religious freedom” bill then-Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law, causing nationwide outrage.

“This bill is so sweeping and so dangerous that under it, LGBTQ Montanans could be denied access to PREP and PEP and other life-saving medications by pharmacies,” HRC said via Twitter.

News outlets are falsely comparing the Montana legislation to the federal law of the same name. The federal law does not affix personhood status to corporations, organizations, or businesses, and does not directly support anti-LGBT discrimination – the Montana law does, stating:

“Person” means any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious institution, estate, trust, foundation, or other legal entity.

Democrats tried to stop the bill’s passage but were unsuccessful.

“This bill would allow a family therapist to refuse to help an unwed mother. It would allow a pharmacist to refuse to prescribe HIV medications or oral contraceptive pills,” said state Democratic Rep. Laurie Bishop, Montana Free Press reports. “… I just ask you, that as you consider this legislation, that you’d not only think about that which you want to protect, I understand that, but rather, I ask you to consider how others might use this legislation in ways that you do not intend.”

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte (photo) is expected to sign the bill into law.

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Religious-Right Attorney Says Companies Offering to Provide Abortion Assistance Are Paying to ‘Kill Your Children’

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In the wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and reversing 50 years of precedent by eliminating the constitutional right to abortion, dozens of companies announced that they could provide coverage or reimbursements to employees who may now need to travel out of state to obtain an abortion.

Appearing on VCY America’s “Crosstalk” program Tuesday, religious-right legal activist Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel likened those companies to those who cooperated with the Nazis in Germany during World War II and accused them of treating their employees like “slave labor.”

“These employers say they will give money to the mothers in order for the mothers to kill their children so you won’t miss any time off from work rather than give you time off from work, which is what’s required by federal law,” Staver said. “They don’t want to give you the time to be a mother. They don’t want you to be away from the place of work. They would rather kill your children—pay you to do so—so you could jump back into the workplace and you can go through their eight-hour day or however long they’re going put you at the at the wheel so that they can make a profit.”

“That’s the despicable nature of what’s happening,” he continued. “Women and others across the country ought to just really cry out and say, ‘You despicable companies!  You’re paying to kill the children of these mothers so that you can continue their slave labor and continue your profits off of them.”

“These companies and the states that go down this road, they will not be blessed,” Staver warned. “They will ultimately be complicit with the shedding of innocent blood, and we’ll look back on those companies just like we look back on some of the things that happened during Nazi Germany and say, ‘Shame on you. How in the world did this ever happen?’”

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

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Lied’: Gorsuch Blasted After Photos Expose His Claims in High School Coach Praying Case Are a ‘Flat Out, Knowing Lie’

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Many people from legal experts to court watchers to journalists to ordinary Americans on social media are criticizing Justice Neil Gorsuch for his majority opinion in a decision siding with a former high school football coach. That coach sued after the school district ordered him to stop praying after every game at the 50-yard line. Justice Gorsuch’s opinion, as many are noticing, appears to be based on facts that are false. Several are accusing Gorsuch of just plain lying.

Justice Gorsuch claimed the coach’s First Amendment rights were violated, and that he was merely engaging in “quiet personal prayer” as he knelt.

Gorsuch uses the word “quiet” 14 times, as The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman notes.

“Joseph Kennedy lost his job as a high school football coach because he knelt at midfield after games to offer a quiet prayer of thanks,” Justice Gorsuch writes as he begins his majority opinion. “Mr. Kennedy prayed during a period when school employees were free to speak with a friend, call for a reservation at a restaurant, check email, or attend to other personal matters. He offered his prayers quietly while his students were otherwise occupied. Still, the Bremerton School District disciplined him anyway. It did so because it thought anything less could lead a reasonable observer to conclude (mistakenly) that it endorsed Mr. Kennedy’s religious beliefs. That reasoning was misguided.”

“The contested exercise here does not involve leading prayers with the team,” Gorsuch continues (despite photos that appear to suggest otherwise), “the District disciplined Mr. Kennedy only for his decision to persist in praying quietly without his students after three games in October 2015.”

These are the photos of Coach Kennedy that Justice Sonia Sotomayor included in her dissent:

“They aren’t even trying to use reason anymore,” former U.S. Attorney Barb McQuade laments:

And Vox’s Ian Millhiser makes clear what just happened: “The Supreme Court hands the religious right a big victory by lying about the facts of a case.”

Calling the decision “a big victory for the religious right,” Millhiser writes that’s “only because Gorsuch misrepresents the facts of the case.”

On Twitter Millhiser adds that Gorsuch’s own opinion debunks his own opinion:

Don Moynihan, a professor at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy:

Here’s noted political scientist Norman Ornstein:

Others also felt it necessary to correct the facts in the case:

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Watch: Full 11 Minute Documentary Video of Insurrection Shown by Jan. 6 Committee in Primetime Hearing

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The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack showed to America as part of its first primetime hearing an eleven-minute video from British documentary filmmaker Nick Quested.

Quested “was embedded with the Proud Boys for a significant period of time leading up to January 6 and is considered a firsthand fact witness because of the amount of time he spent with the group,” CNN has reported.

News organization The Recount posted Quisted’s documentary to YouTube (embedded below.) They call it “shocking footage from the Capitol insurrection,” and note the “final 20 seconds are chilling.”

Those final seconds, it’s important to note, include a shot of a Trump flag and a Christian flag (screenshot above). The insurrection, as Rolling Stone and other groups have stated, is tied to the far Christian right.

Watch:

Final 20 seconds:

UPDATE:
The Committee posted the video to Twitter. This appears to be slightly shorter:

 

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