Seven Republican attorneys general have banded together to issue a threatening letter to Target, suggesting its LGBTQ Pride merchandise may violate state child-protection and parental-rights laws, and claiming at least some of the products are potentially “harmful to minors,” “obscene,” “meant to sexualize” children, and “anti-Christian.” They also imply the corporation’s officers may be in violation of their fiduciary responsibilities by allowing the “promotion and sale” of those items.
The six-page letter, dated July 5, also appears to promote a form of Christian nationalism, suggesting right-wing boycotts over the LGBTQ Pride products harmed the company’s market value, and then stating: “It is likely more profitable to sell the type of Pride that enshrines the love of the United States. Target’s Pride Campaign alienates whereas Pride in our country unites.”
The letter also refers to reports from right-wing media including the National Review, Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Caller, along with articles from Reuters and Axios.
It denounces Target’s financial support of GLSEN. The 33-year old education non-profit’s website says it works to “advise on, advocate for, and research comprehensive policies designed to protect LGBTQ students as well as students of marginalized identities,” but the attorneys general claim the organization “furnishes resources to activists for the purpose of undermining parents’ constitutional and statutory rights.”
The attorneys general point to specific state laws 12 times, but do not specifically tell Target it is actually in violation of any laws. An article published in CBS affiliate Idaho News concludes, “It is not immediately clear what response the attorneys general are seeking from Target.”
Those attorneys general, all Republicans, are: Indiana’s Todd Rokita (photo), the lead sponsor of the letter, Tim Griffin (Arkansas), Raul Labrador (Idaho), Daniel Cameron (Kentucky), Lynn Fitch (Mississippi), Andrew Bailey (Missouri), and Alan Wilson (South Carolina). Several are former U.S. congressmen with anti-LGBTQ voting records.
“As Attorneys General committed to enforcing our States’ child-protection and parental-rights laws and our States’ economic interests as Target shareholders, we are concerned by recent events involving the company’s ‘Pride’ campaign,” the letter begins. “Our concerns entail the company’s promotion and sale of potentially harmful products to minors, related potential interference with parental authority in matters of sex and gender identity, and possible violation of fiduciary duties by the company’s directors and officers.”
“As the chief legal officers of our States, we are charged with enforcing state laws protecting children and safeguarding parental rights. State child-protection laws penalize the ‘sale or distribution . . . of obscene matter.’ A matter is considered ‘obscene’ if ‘the dominant theme of the matter . . . appeals to the prurient interest in sex,’ including ‘material harmful to minors.’ Indiana, as well as other states, have passed laws to protect children from harmful content meant to sexualize them and prohibit gender transitions of children.”
They also claim that “Target wittingly marketed and sold LGBTQIA+ promotional products to families and young children as part of a comprehensive effort to promote gender and sexual identity among children,” “Target reportedly promoted and sold products in our states that included, among other products, LGBT-themed onesies, bibs, and overalls, t-shirts labeled ‘Girls Gays Theys;’ ‘Pride Adult Drag Queen Katya’ (which depicts a male dressed in female ‘drag’); and girls’ swimsuits with ‘tuck-friendly construction’ and ‘extra crotch coverage’ for male genitalia.”
Reports have stated the “tuck-friendly construction” was only part of adult clothing lines.
The attorneys general also point to merchandise from what they say is a “self-declared ‘Satanist-Inspired’ brand,” “products with anti-Christian designs, such as pentagrams,” and one design that “included the phrase ‘Satan Respects Pronouns.'”
Lastly, they claim these actions “not only raise concerns under our States’ child-protection and parental-rights laws but also against our States’ economic interests as Target shareholders.”
“The evidence suggests that Target’s directors and officers may be negligent in undertaking the ‘Pride’ campaign, which negatively affected Target’s stock price. Moreover, it may have improperly directed company resources for collateral political or social goals unrelated to the company’s and its shareholders’ best interests,” they claim. Corporations have First Amendment free speech rights.
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Mike Johnson Likens Himself to Moses, Tells Christian Nationalists God Charted His Path to Speaker
Mike Johnson, delivering the keynote address to a far-right Christian nationalist group Tuesday, likened himself to Moses and declared God had charted his path to become the Republican Speaker of the House, after telling him in his prayers to prepare.
Speaker Johnson, a Christian nationalist who falsely claims the Constitution’s separation of church and state is a “misnomer” and has declared the United States is not democracy but a “biblical” republic, is an attorney who once worked for a far-right organization that has since been designated an anti-LGBTQ extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Johnson was the lead sponsor last year of a federal “Don’t Say Gay” bill and has bragged that he and his teenaged son are accountability partners in a no-porn pledge that includes installation of monitoring software on all their devices.
“I’ll tell you a secret since the media is not here,” Speaker Johnson said at the National Association of Christian Lawmakers (NACL) Gala (video below), where he was honored with their American Patriot Award for Christian Honor and Courage, as Right Wing Watch reported.
“Thank you for not allowing the media in, I’ll tell you a secret because they wanted to come because they wanted to, you know, take my comments out of context as they’ve been doing with with great joy for the last few weeks,” Johnson charged, not specifying which of his remarks he believes have been taken out of context.
“The Lord impressed upon my heart a few weeks before this happened, that something was going to occur,” Johnson continued. “And the Lord very specifically told me in my prayers to prepare, but to wait. ‘Prepare for what?’ I said to the Lord. You know, I had this sense that we were going to come to a Red Sea moment in our Republican conference and the country at large.”
“And look, I’m a Southern Baptist, I don’t want to get too spooky on you. Okay, but you know, you know okay,” he continued. “All right. But you know, the Lord speaks to your heart. And He had been speaking to me about this and the Lord told me very clearly to prepare and be ready. Be ready for what? Okay, I don’t know. We’re coming to a Red Sea moment. ‘What does that mean, Lord?’ And then when the Speaker’s race happened.”
He said, “the Lord began to wake me up through this three-week process we’re in in the middle of night and to speak to me and to write things down plans and procedures and ideas on how we could pull the conference together.”
“Now at the time I assumed the Lord is going to choose a new Moses. And oh, thank you the Lord. Lord, you’re gonna allow me to be Aaron to Moses,” Johnson told the attendees.
Johnson reminded his audience of the Speaker’s debacle, going down the line of friends who he tried to help become Speaker, acknowledging that all of them failed.
He continued, explaining that “at the end, when it came to the end, the Lord said, ‘Now step forward.’ ‘Me? I’m supposed to be Aaron.’ Now the Lord said, ‘Step forward.’ Psalm 77 speaks of the Exodus in the 14th chapter of Exodus and it says, ‘Only God saw the path through the roiling sea, we could not see it, men could not see it.’ And I believe deep in my heart, is my core conviction, that God wants us to seek Him for the path through the roiling sea.”
As Right Wing Watch reports, after Johnson’s speech, “NACL founder Jason Rapert presented Johnson with the Honor and Courage award, along with a piece of a destroyed Ten Commandments monument that Rapert had placed in front of the Arkansas state capitol in 2017.”
“’It’s very obvious to see, you’re one of us,’ Rapert told Johnson.”
Rolling Stone adds that Johnson’s speech Tuesday is “just the latest evidence that the politician who is now second in line for the presidency views himself as on a divine mission.”
Watch the video of Speaker Johnson below or at this link.
‘Sodom and Gomorrah’: ND Republican Unleashes Anti-LGBTQ Christian Nationalist Rant Calling for ‘Christ Is King’ Laws
North Dakota state Representative Brandon Prichard, a Republican who co-sponsored legislation that was passed in to law that bans all gender confirming surgeries and medication for minors in his state, went on an anti-LGBTQ Christian nationalist tirade including a call for state ordinances to declare “Jesus Christ is King.”
“Every conservative state should put into code that Jesus Christ is King and dedicate their state to Him. Force RINOs to say no to Jesus and then brutalize them in elections. We need a government of Christians, not fakers,” wrote Rep. Pritchard Sunday evening.
Pushback came swiftly, from politicos including former Republican and former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, who responded saying, “Not in this country. Never. Our Constitution won’t allow it. And that’s a damn good thing. Shame on you.”
Rep. Pritchard’s remarks in recent days have taken on a similarly strong Christian nationalist theme.
“Here is a simple test to determine if you are conservative: Should the church of Satan or satanic temple be allowed the freedom to worship in the same way as Christians? If you answer yes, you need to rethink your claimed political identity because you are not conservative,” he wrote Friday.
Later that same day he added, “Real conservatives will never put the constitution above natural law. The constitution is only useful insofar as it forces our government to limit power and pursue objective truth. It is a powerful means to an end, nothing more, nothing less.”
Over the weekend Pritchard issued a call to ban pornography, saying it “serves no positive benefit in society, destroys men, and treats women as objects.”
A social media account that appears to be for the adult site Just for Fans mocked him, writing on social media, “If you want to cancel an account, please contact our customer service department.”
Also over the weekend Pritchard called for any Republican who thinks children should be allowed to attend drag shows be “censured or expelled from the party.”
He then wrote he was “extremely disappointed” with North Dakota State University “over their decision to have two homecoming kings and NO homecoming queen. People will be mad when I introduce a bill next session to say that state-funded schools cannot pick homecoming royalty of the same sex, but I didn’t start the fight.”
Pritchard also declared, “All schools should have LGBTQ history taught and lesson one should be Sodom and Gomorrah.”
Monday morning the lawmaker claimed, “All I want is to buy some land, raise a family, and mind my own business. Everything changes when you realize the left is militantly against this existence and will do everything to destroy our families and religion. We must take power or risk being controlled, it’s simple.”
The North Dakota state constitution requires lawmakers to take an oath that reads: “‘I do solemnly swear (or affirm as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of North Dakota; and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of _________ according to the best of my ability, so help me God’ (if an oath), (under pains and penalties of perjury) if an affirmation, and any other oath, declaration, or test may not be required as a qualification for any office or public trust.”
‘Why So Much Hate From You?’: Mark Cuban Smacks Down Stephen Miller, Twice
A far-right wing pundit’s decision to go after a 29-year old woman’s TikTok video about her plans for a relaxing Saturday during a holiday weekend sparked a firestorm between billionaire businessman and TV personality Mark Cuban and former Trump White House aide Stephen Miller, with the woman revealing later some of the hate she received after being made a target.
It all started when “Theocratic fascist” Matt Walsh, as he calls himself, reposted a TikTok video on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, from a woman who says she’s “29 and single, and I don’t have kids yet.” The woman, identified by Mediaite as Julia Mazur, told her followers she slept in Saturday morning, woke up with a hangover and didn’t get up until 10:15 AM, after going to a Beyoncé concert the night before.
Mazur described her upcoming day, saying she enjoys not having plans, kids, a husband, or errands, and loves going wherever the day takes her. She was looking forward to watching some streaming shows on Netflix and Hulu, and possibly learning how to make shakshuka.
“I wouldn’t want to do anything else this Saturday,” she said happily.
Walsh responded to Mazur’s casual celebration of a joyous weekend by saying, “Her life doesn’t revolve around her family and kids so instead it revolves around TV shows and pop stars. Worst of all she’s too stupid to realize how depressing this is.”
“If you don’t have a family at least do something interesting with your time,” Walsh continued. “These people have absurd amounts of free time and they do absolutely nothing with it. Wasting their lives staring at little glowing boxes. Absolutely soul crushing.”
Her life doesn’t revolve around her family and kids so instead it revolves around TV shows and pop stars. Worst of all she’s too stupid to realize how depressing this is.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) September 3, 2023
Cuban stepped in, snarking on Walsh: “Says the guy who’s life revolves around Twitter/X.”
“How do you know she isnt trying to make it her job ? She has really good engagement and increasing numbers,” Cuban added.
That’s when Miller jumped in.
“You have a large following,” Miller, the architect of the Trump administration’s family separation policy, began. “People listen to your advice. What would you say is a more fulfilling path for adults: starting a family, or sleeping late and watching TV? What advice would you give to someone who suggests they wish to be childless so they can stream more shows?”
“Thanks for asking Stephen,” Cuban said in his lengthy response, which included him saying Mazur having a family or not is “none of my fucking business.”
He also asked Miller, “what happened that causes you to hate so much. Seriously Stephen. Why so much hate from you?”:
“1. I wouldn’t give her advice unless she asked. 2. After looking at the comments to her posts, I would thank her for offering a place for people who can relate to her, to engage and have a conversation. She replies to the comments and based on that, people seem to appreciate it 3. From a business perspective, I would tell her that the Wellness Space is crowded but if she does this in addition to her job, she might be able to build a nice business. 4. As far as a family. I would tell her to do whatever she thinks is best for her. It’s none of my fucking business 5. If I had you both in a room , I would point at her and thank her for trying to bring joy to others and I would point at you and ask what happened that causes you to hate so much. Seriously Stephen. Why so much hate from you?”
The exchange didn’t end there.
“In the interests of time I will respond with two points,” Miller replied. “1. No society can succeed where the constant message from our elites leaders is do whatever the hell you want and don’t worry about children. Children are simply the most important thing in the whole world and the foundation of civilization and all human flourishing. 2. Could you be more specific with your crass (and, I think you would acknowledge, unprovoked) smear on point 5? The issue/work with which I’m arguably most associated, stopping human smuggling and trafficking, is quite literally about saving human lives.”
Cuban replied, in an even lengthier response that included saying, “What any individual does in terms of having children or not is their choice. Full Stop.”
“Maybe I’m wrong , but if one of those children is born to an illegal immigrant, my understanding is that you do not want to help them and you want to deport them ?” he added, calling that “hateful.”
Ultimately, Mazur posted another video, detailing some of the hate messages she’s received since Walsh’s initial post.
Walsh’s platform often revolves around attacking the LGBTQ community, including especially transgender girls and women, He has been included in reporting on white Christian nationalism, and “far-right media instigators.” He also recently warned, “whites are trending towards extinction in the United States.”
Mazur said Walsh’s followers told her, “I should actually die and never leave my house. I should be sexually assaulted,” she said, adding she was told, “I’m a whore.”
“These people were really really really riled up about my choices,” she said.
But Mazur concluded, “life’s too short figuring out what Matt Walsh wants us to do.”
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) September 4, 2023
Watch the videos above or at this link.
Image of Mark Cuban via Shutterstock
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