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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Legal Experts Blast Lindsey Graham’s ‘Disingenuous’ Questions to Judge Jackson on Religion (Video)

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U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tried to take revenge on Democrats for the 2017 Court of Appeals confirmation hearing questions asked of Amy Coney Barrett by asking wildly inappropriate questions of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Republicans have been furious for years because one Democratic Senator, Dianne Feinstein, expressed valid concern over Barrett’s ability to be impartial given her prior religious statements (see below).

“Thank you, Judge,” Graham began his inappropriate and highly-criticized line of questioning. “You have a wonderful family you should be proud and your faith matters to you. What faith are you by the way?”

Judge Jackson, clearly uncomfortable but trying to maintain composure, replied: “Senator, I am Protestant.”

“Okay,” Graham said, wanting more clarification.

“Nondenominational,” she added.

“Okay. Could you fairly judge a Catholic?” Graham asked, unfairly, and defending his question by saying, “I’m just asking this question because how important is your faith to you?”

“Senator personally, my faith is very important,” Judge Jackson answered. “But as you know, there’s no religious test in the Constitution under Article Six.”

“And there will be none with me ,” Graham claimed, after posing the religion questions.

“So on a scale of one to ten, how faithful would you say you are in terms of religion?” Graham continued inappropriately. “You know, I go to church probably three times a year so that speaks poorly of me. Or do you do attend church regularly?”

Judge Jackson was not about to succumb to Graham’s disregard for the Constitution and tried to put an end to the questions.

“Well, Senator, I am reluctant to talk about my faith in this way just because I want to be mindful of the need for the public to have confidence in my ability to separate out my personal views,” she said.

Later, Graham said: “Judge Barrett I thought was treated very, very poorly. So I just wanted to get that out. Let’s talk about family,” he added, continuing his inappropriate questions.

Here’s Slate’s legal expert Mark Joseph Stern with the video:

The Nation’s Justice correspondent Elie Mystal makes the critical point about why the questions were asked of Amy Coney Barrett:

“Lindsey Graham’s attempt to re-litigate Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings is disingenuous,” says attorney, former White House aide, and CNN commentator Keith Boykin. “Republicans always claim they believe in religious freedom, but that doesn’t apply to all faiths. If Ketanji Brown Jackson were a Muslim, they’d be having a different conversation.”

NBC News and MSNBC legal contributor Katie S. Phang:

 

 

 

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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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