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Conservative Christian Leaders of Group Linked to Secretive Org Demand Congress Stop Bill Protecting Freedom to Marry



Members of the Conservative Action Project, a far right-wing network that supported former President Donald Trump’s efforts to stay in office after his 2020 election defeat​, are demanding that Congress reject legislation protecting the freedom to marry. So are the anti-equality Alliance Defending Freedom and leaders of dozens of other religious-right groups.

The Respect for Marriage Act passed the House of Representatives on July 19 with the support of about one-quarter of House Republicans, reflecting the reality that more than 70 percent of Americans—including a majority of Republicans—support the freedom of same-sex couples to get married. More than 90 percent of Americans support marriage rights for interracial couples, who are also protected under the legislation.

But religious-right leaders hostile to legal equality for LGBTQ people were angry that the bill received bipartisan support. They have refused to recognize the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling as legitimate, and they have been emboldened by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s call for the court to overturn rulings recognizing and protecting the rights of LGBTQ people and same-sex couples the way it overturned Roe v. Wade.

A group of anti-equality leaders signed a Conservative Action Project letter dated July 26, which claimed that the Respect For Marriage Act would “wrongly marginalize social conservatives” and further “a new era of oppression” that the letter claims was unleashed when the Supreme Court recognized the right of same-sex couples to get married.

In addition, dozens of religious-right leaders signed onto a similar letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, also dated July 26, that was organized by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious-right legal powerhouse that seeks to overturn marriage equality as one of the “generational wins” it is pursuing. ADF’s letter charges that that Respect for Marriage Act is an “attack” on people who want their views that marriage should only be between a man and a woman “recognized in the law.”

The Conservative Action Project letter justifies its fearmongering rhetoric with a reference to Bob Jones University v. United States,​ ​in which the Supreme Court ruled in 1983 that the IRS could deny tax-exempt status to schools with racially discriminatory policies, even if those policies were grounded in religious belief. White evangelical leaders’ anger over IRS challenges to segregationist religious schools helped fuel the rise of the modern-day religious-right movement.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins signed both letters. When the Respect for Marriage Act passed the House, Perkins charged Republicans supporting marriage equality with “political cowardice.” FRC was knee-deep in efforts to subvert the 2020 election.

Also urging lawmakers to reject marriage equality is Ralph Drollinger, whose Capitol Ministries uses Bible studies for members of Congress and other public officials to tell Christian lawmakers it is their duty to evangelize their colleagues and enact policies that align with Drollinger’s very conservative interpretation of the Bible. Drollinger devotes this week’s Bible study and a column in the Western Journal to his argument that scripture “crushes the same-sex marriage debate.” Drollinger writes, “It is not the place of the state nor its populace to redefine what God has created”—and suggests that pro-LGBTQ Christian leaders are “Satan’s pawns.” During the Trump administration, Drollinger conducted Bible studies for members of the Cabinet and used Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to open doors for him to expand internationally.

The Conservative Action Project is affiliated with the Council for National Policy, a secretive and influential political network bringing together different strands of the right-wing movement. In December 2020, the Conservative Action Project distributed a letter falsely claiming, “There is no doubt President Donald J. Trump is the lawful winner of the presidential election. Joe Biden is not president-elect.” That December 2020 letter urged legislators in six battleground states to ignore the ​will of the voters and appoint pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College.​

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

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‘Chilling’: Law Enforcement ‘Seriously’ Investigating Threats Ahead of Possible Trump Indictment Says Top WaPo Reporter



Ahead of a possible indictment of Donald Trump, law enforcement agencies are investigating “chilling” threats, including against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, according to top Washington Post investigative reporter Carol Leonnig.

Leonnig was careful to say she is not aware of any of the threats being deemed credible, but also noted that “all sorts of law enforcement agencies” seem to be taking much more interest than some agencies did in the weeks before the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

“I have received copies and screenshots and internal documents and emails flagging concerns about specific protests, investigations into specific online threats that have been made that are not yet determined to be ‘credible and likely to occur’ but have been chilling nonetheless in terms of the threats that have been made about killing certain people,” Leonning, a Pulitzer-Prize winning author, said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Deadline” White House.”

“Claims of, you know, ‘Alvin Bragg needs to needs to die,’ and claims online that could just be, you know, bravado, but are being seriously investigated and checked into this time around, ones that were not checked into as clearly at all in the weeks before January 6, despite significant warnings to the FBI about what these threats meant.”

Mirroring Leonnig’s reporting, Rolling Stone, citing law enforcement reports, on Tuesday noted: “Violent extremists are advocating lethal attacks and proclaiming their willingness to die for the cause.”

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“U.S. Capitol Police, the D.C. Fusion Center, and the Federal Highway Administration have all circulated warnings about the uptick in online threats over the past 48 hours. The bulletins and threat assessments detail some of the online threats and discussions about the use of specific tactics and methods for carrying out attacks — including online discussions about lethal attacks if Trump is arrested.”

On Saturday in an explosive series of social media posts Donald Trump urged his supporters to “protest” and “take our nation back.”

That “announcement was met with an immediate increase in violent online rhetoric and expressed threats toward government and law enforcement targets perceived as participating in a political persecution of the former president, as well as calls for ‘Civil War’ more generally.”

The DC Fusion Center, which analyzes threats, in a report stated it “assesses that potential criminal justice actions taken toward a former US president — or actions perceived to be taken toward the former president — remain a ‘line in the sand’ for [Domestic Violent Extremist] communities and thus have the potential to manifest in violence toward government targets or political officials,” Rolling Stone added.

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Powerful GOP Committee Chair Admits He Can’t Control Marjorie Taylor Greene



Rep. James Comer (R-KY), who’s leading Republican investigations into President Joe Biden and his family, compared firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to NBA superstar Lebron James.

The Kentucky Republican chairs the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, where he’s been tasked by GOP leadership and his constituents to investigate wild claims about the president, his son Hunter Biden and other Democrats, reported the New York Times.

“You know, the customer’s always right,” Comer said, referring to the conspiracy theories presented to him by constituents. “I say, ‘Let me see it,’ because I want to see where the source is. They don’t know that it’s QAnon, but it’s QAnon stuff.”

Greene, one of the Republicans who serves on his committee, has expressed support for QAnon conspiracies herself, but Comer admitted that he had little authority to rein in the influence she holds within the GOP caucus after a little more than two years in Congress.

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“It’s hard for a coach to tell LeBron James what he’s doing wrong,” Comer said.

In addition to her history of spouting QAnon conspiracy theories, Greene has also questioned whether the Pentagon was really attacked during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has called multiple school shootings “false flag” operations staged by the American government, and has even suggested that the Rothschild family is funding giant space lasers that are starting forest fires in California.

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‘Reacting to a Cult Leader’: Trump Supporters Organizing to ‘Stock Up on Weaponry’ Says GOP Adviser



During an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show,” GOP political advisor Lucy Caldwell expressed alarm at the prospect of street protests following Donald Trump’s claim that he will be arrested on Tuesday and then pointed to reports of online chatter that hints at violence.

Speaking with host Jonathan Capehart, Caldwell was asked about the Trump Truth Social post about his imminent arrest as well as his announcement that he will be holding a rally in Waco, Texas, the site of the Branch Davidian siege in 1993.

“Am I reading too much into Donald Trump’s rally in Waco given that history?” host Capehart asked.

“I don’t think you’re reading too much into that at all,” Caldwell replied. “He knows exactly where he is going, he has savvy strategists around him, this is not coincidental .”

RELATED: Kevin McCarthy is ‘aiding and abetting’ Trump’s new threats of violence over arrest

“And I think that what was just said was right,” she continued. “He has been setting up this narrative this whole time; what he said at CPAC a couple of weeks ago, where he said ‘I’m your retribution.’ When he talks about ‘we’ he uses the first person pronouns to describe ‘we’ the collective being under attack, what ‘we’ must do what they’re doing to us.”

“He is using typical classic cult leader language to bring these people into the fold and they’re responding,” she elaborated. “In between when he announced that is that he expects to be arrested next week, and when he announced that cult rally in Waco, investigators have seen that actually his supporters did go online and start organizing to buy protective gear, to stock up on weaponry. To do all the things that people do when they’re reacting to a cult leader.”

“It’s a very grave and dangerous situation, but I think Jonathan, you are not over-reading the tea leaves at all here,” she added.

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