Trump Mentor’s Bastardized Christianity Is an Existential Threat

If there is only one thing Americans should know about the American religious right, it is that everything they preach is contrary to the teachings of their religion’s namesake, Jesus Christ. In fact, there is no logic whatsoever in calling the “religious or evangelical right” Christians by any measure.  And their hate-driven embrace of a couple of verses in the Old Testament while shunning everything else their god commanded doesn’t even justify them clutching that bible to their wretched bosoms. This week was a prime example of the bastardized version of Christianity the savages in the evangelical movement subscribe to and it should give any person calling themselves “a Christian” pause if not a world of shame.

Directly after Trump stunned his closest national security advisors and Secretary of State by threateningfire and fury” against North Korea, only one of Trump’s inner circle praised the idea of a thermonuclear attack on millions of innocent human beings. It should come as no surprise that the advisor is a Baptist preacher who can never call himself a Christian by any standard. And like his cohort in the evangelical clergy movement, he doesn’t remotely comprehend what his mythological “lord and savior” preached. For dog’s sake, this savage Texas Baptist doesn’t even understand the Christian bible he had the temerity to cite, and the context in which he used “scripture” should have sent any Christian into fits of self-doubt about their religion.

According to the sinner Trump’s “spiritual mentor,” Robert Jeffress, it was awesome that Trump threatened to unleash some biblical “fire and fury” against an entire nation because:

God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary – including war – to stop evil. In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong-un. That gives the government the authority to do whatever, whether it’s assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jong-un.”

Trump’s “spiritual advisor,” and Texas megachurch ‘pastor’ Robert Jeffress, is a con artist running the First Baptist Church of Dallas and was thrilled that Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Maybe Jeffress has read parts of his bible, but in the book of Revelation when it talks about unleashing “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” it refers to some deity doing the unleashing, not dumb Don Trump and not any government. Jeffress knows what his bible says and means, but he is a mega church preacher and distorting his bible is what has made him mega rich.

According to the Christian religion, anyone, particularly a “preacher,” who distorts the “word of god” is guilty of apostasy and heresy, really bad things in any religion. In fact, Jeffress is courting deity-driven danger by attempting to interpret scripture to fit his neo-con worldview. The Old Testament saysinterpretation belongs to god;” it is not up to Jeffress to ‘interpret’ a scripture authorizing Trump to unleash “fire and fury.” Jeffress’ bible plainly warns Christian “ministers” that if they spread false teachings or mislead anyone, they will get an extra measure of “fire and fury for all of eternity.” Obviously Jeffress, like the preponderance of evangelical malcontents never read that part of his “holy bible.”

This is not a sermon or an attack on the mythos in the Christian bible or the religion. That’s always fun and entertaining, but it is not the point of this screed.

The point is that Jeffress is the perfect representative of “bastardized Christianity” and why it is dangerous to allow a no-account apostate Baptist anywhere near Trump or the White House. According to the U.S Constitution, and his bible, he is not supposed to be anywhere near the government.

What inspired this particular rant isn’t so much that Jeffress claimed Trump has divine authority to “take out a nation’s leader,” it is because he cited the Christian bible specifically to promote death and destruction of innocent human beings; not a very Christian thing to do.

Any half-wit who ever attended Sunday school knows Jeffress is a liar; he is also a fraud with his neo-con interpretation of the New Testament’s book of Romans, Chapter 13. It is the chapter this author cites often to remind “bastardized Christians” that their god unequivocally commands that they adhere to the law of the land (U.S. Constitution) and that Christians, including churches and preachers, pay taxes.

For some un-explained reason, Jeffress’ reading informs him that the cited passage was written specifically to give Trump divine authority to kill Kim Jong-Un. Romans 13 does, in fact, say that “whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” Jeffress said that according to his reading of Romans, god gave “the government [Trump] the authority to do whatever, whether it’s assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jong-Un.”

Anyone familiar with that passage should have immediately called bullshit. That particular passage was directed at Christians who rebel against the government authorities in the nation they reside; it does not mean that a foreign nation’s leader is beholden to another government authority; something Jeffress knows is the truth.

In fact, as one who is fairly knowledgeable about the Baptist version of Christianity, Jeffress would never have been ordained as a “preacher” if he was prone to just “making shit up” to fit his lust to quicken the proverbial end times. In fact, to prove that Jeffress does know precisely what and who that bible book refers, he cites the previous chapter.

Jeffress said that whenever “pacifist Christians” cite Romans 12 where it says “Do not repay evil for evil” as justification to adhere to closely to Christ’s teachings of peace and forgiveness, he always has to “straighten them out.” He specifically said that the passage, “do not repay evil with evil,” refers to how Christians are commanded to conduct themselves. He claims that part of Romans does not apply to the government, but the next couple of verses do.

He knows damn well that particular book was written as instructions for “how Christians should conduct themselves;” it is not an instruction manual for the government, international relations, or foreign policy. But a correct reading based on his “lord and savior’s” teachings would contradict his bastard version of neo-con Christianity based on war, greed, barbarism and opposition to the law of the land.

As further proof that Jeffress is no kind of “Jesus” Christian, he explained that he wants an Old Testament savage leader who uses bible mythos as authority to kill other nation’s leaders and citizens with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Jeffress is like the majority of evangelical clergy in opposition to anything good Jesus ever taught while they tout themselves as “followers of Christ.”

Jeffress’ brand of “Christianity” is contrary to everything his lord and savior’s taught and preached, he said:

A Christian writer asked me, ‘Don’t you want the president [government] to embody the Sermon on the Mount?’ I said absolutely not. Some Christians, perhaps younger Christians, have to think this through. It’s antithetical to some of the mushy rhetoric you hear from some circles today. Frankly, it’s because they are not well taught in the scriptures.”

So, the Sermon on the Mount is “mushy rhetoric” according to Jeffress. It explains everything anyone ever needs to know about evangelical fundamentalists and why they cannot possibly refer to themselves as any kind of Christian. It also why allowing these bastard Christians anywhere near the government is extremely dangerous and an honest-to-dog existential threat to humanity.

When one comes to grips with the fact that those bastard Christians make up a majority of the the current administration’s leadership, and they have a maniac like Jeffress guiding Trump spiritually, there is every reason to be absolutely terrified; because unleashing “fire and fury like the world has never seen” will manifest itself in biblical death and destruction worldwide and America will not be spared.

Image: Patheos

Vatican Attacks America’s Evangelical Push Toward Theocracy

 

It isn’t often that any secular humanist can find a point of agreement with a religion, especially a religion with a sordid history of inhumanity in the name of god. Although there have been what appear to be reasons for hope with an alleged “liberal” Pope heading up the Catholic Church, it always turns out to be more of the same despite some hints things are going to be different. Last week was different, though, because in a “Vatican-approved and reviewed” article being hailed as “explosive,” two of Pope Francis’ closest allies lashed out with religious fervor at “the spurious alliance between politics and religious fundamentalism in the United States.”

Pope Francis’ allies, Antonio Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa “called out” evangelical dominionist groups “composed mainly of whites from the deep American South” for rejecting the “global ecological crisis” and their dire “Armageddon-infused rhetoric.” The two authors were very adept at pointedly drawing parallels to Islamic fundamentalism. The two men charged the evangelical fundamentalist movement of seeking to control “the political and parliamentary sphere and in the judicial and education areas so that public norms can be subjected to [the evangelicals] religious morals.” (author bold)

The Pope’s allies had no qualms calling out the political organizations and networks feeding the “apocalyptic” politics polluting the entire American conservative movement. They specifically noted a nasty religious right conservative group, the Council for National Policy and the machinations of one of their exponents, Steve Bannon, as “staunch supporters of apocalyptic geopolitics.” And, they did not hold back attacking something this author has screamed about for a couple of decades in print and digital media; “Catholic Integralists” who are attempting to force their domineering “religious influence in the public sphere.” The article states:

Appealing to the values of fundamentalism, a strange form of surprising ecumenism is developing between Evangelical fundamentalists and Catholic Integralists. . . . Some who profess themselves to be Catholic express themselves in ways that until recently were unknown in their tradition and using tones much closer to Evangelicals. They are defined as value voters as far as attracting electoral mass support is concerned. . . . This meeting over shared objectives happens around such themes as abortion, same-sex marriage, religious education in schools and other matters generally considered moral or tied to values.

It isn’t exactly clear why it took the Vatican a couple of decades to figure out that, as this author has “screamed about forever;” the “defining feature of the Christian Right in America is the conservative evangelical-Catholic convergence.” Remember, it was in 1970 that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that introduced the Southern religious right to their terrible “loss of religious liberty” to control the masses that threatens this nation more than ever today.

The two authors were spot on in identifying the “shocking rhetoric” of the “Church Militant” and other pro-Trump organizations that “are openly in favor of a political ultraconservatism and uses of Christian symbols to impose itself:

The American elections in this perspective were seen as a ‘spiritual war’ . . .  Church Militant asks if Trump’s victory can be attributed to the prayers of Americans. The response is affirmative. The indirect missioning for President Trump is clear: he has to follow through on the consequences. This is a very direct message that then wants to condition the presidency by framing it as a divine election.”

Naturally, an American Archbishop from Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, attacked the Vatican article as an “exercise in dumbing down and inadequately presenting the nature of Catholic/evangelical cooperation” against the U.S. Constitution’s attacks on the religious freedom of the aspiring theocrats. Chaput claims there is no “political warfare cloaked as spiritual warfare;” it is just the logical and necessary outcome of the Constitution’s attacks on “the traditional church.” Chaput claims that:

Their current mutual aid, the ecumenism that seems to worry La Civilta Cattolica, is a function of shared concerns and principles, not ambition for political power. . . . Dismissing today’s attacks on religious liberty as a ‘narrative of fear’—as the La Civiltà Cattolica author curiously describes it—might have made sense 25 years ago. Now it sounds willfully ignorant.  It also ignores the fact that America’s culture wars weren’t wanted, and weren’t started, by people faithful to constant Christian belief.”

Messrs. Spadaro and Figueroa call this nonsense from the American religious right Archbishop Chaput false ecumenism; this author calls it what it really is, pure unadulterated bullshit and a filthy dirty lie. The two Vatican allies accurately explained what it really is: “an ecumenism of conflict that unites them in the nostalgic dream of a theocratic state that ‘wants walls and purifying deportations.’” They also say that by stark contrast, Pope Francis’ ecumenism “moves under the urge of inclusion, peace, encounter and bridges.” (Author bold)

As noted at the beginning of this piece, it is extremely seldom that one can find anything to agree on with the Catholic Church, but by dog these two ‘Christians’ certainly nailed the religious right and Catholic crusade for “their dream of a theocratic state” smack on the head. Where they are confused though is underestimating the power of the religious right despite the cretins are in the minority.

They claim that Pope Francis seriously “wants to break the organic link between culture, politics, institution and the Church,” but “that link” underpins the entire conservative movement in America. It will take more than Pope Francis’ efforts to break that link because for some unknown reason Americans are terrified of uttering an unkind word about the ambitious theocratic takeover of America. If politicians, especially Democrats, would identify evangelical fundamentalists as the source of the danger to democracy and Americans as a free people, the Pope may see that dangerous link broken and theocrats in the conservative movement permanently put out of our misery.

Evangelical Says Defund Planned Parenthood And God Will Cure Diseases

While Democrats and Americans inclined toward humanitarianism are appalled at the prospect of tens-of-millions of other Americans losing access to medical care, at least one insane evangelical has a biblical solution. Apparently, Americans should embrace the Republican crusade to deny healthcare to their fellow citizens because under the right godly conditions, there will no longer be a need for any healthcare in America; because god will step up and cure diseases if Republicans abide by one religious right demand.

For rational human beings the concept of an all-powerful, all-seeing, and beneficent sky spirit overseeing the universe with a special interest in planet Earth is sheer absurdity – like all ancient mythology. For non-rational humans, the idea that their “personal god” exists for their benefit and well-being is not only reality, it informs why they believe archaic mythos and why they vote for Republicans. It has always been a mystery why the evangelical faithful never attribute what they perceive as the ills of America to the Republicans they send to rule over them, or why they claim to be “followers of Christ” when they reject each and every one of his teachings.

One of the Jesus’ commandments evangelical voters reject out of hand is the directive to care for the sick and infirm, without conditions. Even though Republicans are on a tear to eliminate healthcare for tens-of-millions of Americans, many of them devout Christians, Republicans still have overwhelming support from the evangelical and born again faithful. Either they want millions of their fellow citizens, including fellow Christians, to suffer and die without healthcare, or they know something the rational demographic is unaware of including that their god has a plan to eliminate any need for healthcare – with one important condition.

This week one of the renowned evangelical fanatics and former Colorado legislators, Gordon Klingenschmitt, informed Americans that his god will do away with humans’ diseases, and the necessity for healthcare in America, if and only if Republicans defund Planned Parenthood. Seriously, according to that kind of evangelical mindset, the only reason there are infirmities and diseases in America is because Planned Parenthood was created. And, that America was at one time disease-free prior to 1973 when the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade; cancer, epidemics, polio, tuberculosis, and congenital defects were non-existent until women won the right to choose their own reproductive health.

Apparently, prior to the 1970s there were not millions of Americans perishing or being disabled and deformed due to various diseases and epidemics because abortion was illegal and Planned Parenthood did not exist. If one embraces Klingenschmitt’s assertion as true, polio, leukemia, tuberculosis, and cancer are god’s punishment on all humanity throughout history, including millennia before women gained a semblance of control over their own bodies. Now, most people have heard some genuinely absurd claims from the extreme evangelical right, but unlike blaming natural disasters and terror attacks on the LGBTQ community, this malcontent evangelical implies there was no need for healthcare until Planned Parenthood and Roe v. Wade.

Klingenschmitt was speaking to his adherents and confidently stated that he had the perfect solution to what he admitted was “America’s healthcare crisis.” He said:

You know what the solution to America’s healthcare crisis is? Obey the Ten Commandments, stop funding abortion, stop funding child killing and God will heal your diseases, America. The supernatural blessing of healing is available if we stop working with the demonic spirit of murder. If America were to repent for the sin of abortion, then we would receive [God’s] healing and wouldn’t need to rely on healthcare.

Now, Klingenschmitt wouldn’t make insane comments like that if he didn’t have a willing audience breathlessly hanging on his evangelical pronouncements. And there is no doubt whatsoever the bible-toting crowd believes he’s uttering god’s wisdom and it is one of the horrors of a deeply religious, and small, demographic holding sway over the entire government. However, it also reveals the depth of the stupid endemic in the evangelical conservative movement.

Even the least intelligent American would wonder why, if Klingenschmitt is uttering god’s word, there have been myriad diseases, plagues, epidemics and health defects throughout human history if America is only suffering due to the late 20th Century existence of Planned Parenthood or Roe v. Wade. For dog’s sake, even stupid evangelicals should be asking Klingenschmitt why their god didn’t step up and save their diseased and dying kin when they ardently opposed women’s choice, or before Planned Parenthood or Roe v. Wade came into existence. And why would the evangelical god punish an entire nation, including the evangelical faithful, with plagues, epidemics and disease just because Planned Parenthood exists? But the faithful will never ask those questions out of fear of being branded apostates.

Of course Klingenschmitt, like every religious Republican, is just instilling fear into the evangelical population to not only eradicate Planned Parenthood and women’s rights, but to convince the faithful there is no cause for concerned that Republicans intend on eliminating their healthcare.  After all, according to Klingenschmitt, if Republicans defund Planned Parenthood, then Republicans can deny tens-of-millions healthcare without any adverse consequences because god.

The terrible tragedy is that there will be a significant number of the faithful who believe their health issues only exist because women have a semblance of control over their reproductive health. And when Republicans do defund Planned Parenthood and take healthcare away from the faithful, the religious Republicans will trot out another reason disease, epidemics and plagues are killing off Americans because god is not going to be curing diseases.

Ryan’s Christian Sharia Is Standard Republican Biblical Policy

Over the past decade or so, despite knowing nothing about the Muslim religion or their own religion for that matter, much less the U.S.  Constitution, the religious right and conservative movement has been on a foolish crusade to prevent some fantasy character from imposing Sharia Law on American citizens.

If the anti-Sharia Law idiots, all who are evangelical idiots, had ever read a word in that Christian bible they clutch to their bosom as they vote for Republicans, they would realize that Republicans in Congress and state legislatures have been and still are attempting to legislate according to their Christian version of Sharia Law.

Although it is not a “legitimate law” as such, when House Speaker Paul Ryan imposed a “modesty code” on any woman in or around his office or the floor of the House, he is following an edict in the Christian bible. Now, it is particularly noteworthy that Ryan did not invent the House’s “modesty code” for women, it “has been around in some form for centuries.”

However, the actual dress code for the House of Representatives is a real rule, but it is particularly vague and only states that women must wear “appropriate attire.” It is the evangelical Paul Ryan who used “a vague dress code” for women as a means of controlling them like his Christian bible and American patriarchy dictates. And that really gets to the point of this little screed; Republicans are imposing Christian Sharia Law on women and it is not just enforcing a modesty dress code. But there is no outcry from evangelicals who are just vulnerable as non-believers.

As remarked in the National Review, sleeves, or lack thereof, on women on the floor of the House was not necessarily considered “appropriate.” Ryan didn’t invent the “sleeve statute.” It wasn’t really approriate until former First Lady Michelle Obama wore a sleeveless dress during real President Barack Obama’s first address to the joint session of Congress. There may have even been some “shock” among the faithful conservatives, but everything the Obama’s did was “shocking” to the right.

After that “momentous breach” of one of the Christian Congress’ implied “modesty laws,” one that the patriarchal males enacted in the past, wearing “summer-compatible” attire became more widespread, and more widely accepted, in the House of Representatives. But then the theocrats took over the government on January 1, 2017.

Just because a century ago religious righteous men implemented an absurd “modesty code” for women in or around the House of Representatives, there is no excuse for Paul Ryan to start enforcing  his religious (Quiverfull)  version of that preposterous “modesty policy” now. And it is definitely a policy that is lifted straight out of Christian bible scriptures.

To demonstrate how entrenched patriarchal religion is in conservative circles, women felt they had to justify that what they were wearing is due to the stifling hot weather. It is offensive that any woman would have to defend their attire in a fair and equal society with a deliberately secular Constitution. Of course no Republican will ever admit that a “modesty code” for women is justified because it is in the Christian bible because they would incur a great deal of pushback from Americans. It is safe to say that the great majority of Americans don’t want any religious laws forced on them, whether from Sharia or Judea by force of the government regardless of some so-called “legitimate” justification that “it’s a longstanding rule.”

There is no justification for a great deal of Republican policies based on ancient Jewish and Christian scriptures that Republican males are using to subvert women’s rights and control them in more ways than just control what they wear at the Capitol.

For example, Republican men in the Senate have regularly “silenced” women in the Senate as of late such as Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and most recently Kamala Harris (D-CA); just because it is written in the scriptures. It is likely that Senators Warren and Harris are victims of the bible’s edict in 1 Timothy 2:11-12 that says:

Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.

And in Titus 2:3-5, women are told that the only way to avoid blaspheming the word of god is to accept being admonished to “be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, and obedient;” because no woman can ever be equal to a man, any man. It is admonishment that Republicans in Congress and state legislatures have clung to, and attempted to enforce, since the nation’s beginning; even though it violates the nation’s founding document.

The GOP’s imposition of Christian Sharia goes far beyond just forcing women to be silent and dressed in accordance with the bible-Ryan’s “modesty clause.”  Many Americans act befuddled as to why Republican men are insistent that they, as religious Republican men, think they have a right to dictate rules concerning a woman’s body in a nation with a Constitution ensuring equal rights for all citizens, regardless their gender. Of course there is no constitutional law forcing women to cede control of their bodies to men, but by dog there is one in the Christian bible; the “rule book” Republican men use to control women. In 1 Corinthians 7:4, the “cherry-picked” passage driving the religious Republican’s belief that men have authority to control a woman’s body says:

“The wife does not exercise authority over her own body, but her husband does.”

That biblical edict coupled with those demanding that women are obedient to men, silent around men, and dress modestly according to men’s laws make it is impossible to argue that Republicans are not imposing Christian Sharia on American women.

There is a reason House Speaker Ryan began enforcing “his version” of a vague “appropriate attire” rule and it is not because he is phobic over women’s toes or biceps; it has everything to do with impressing his religious base and reminding American women they are subject to “a man’s” will according to the Christian bible.

Remember, when Republicans took over the entire government, the religious right became co-owners with the Koch brothers; something Donald Trump duly acknowledged by selecting cabinet nominees who are predominately hard-right evangelical fundamentalists and theocrats. Now that the religious right controls domestic policy, and they do control domestic policy, Americans can look forward to a very healthy dose of Christian Sharia and they had better learn immediately that it is going to be much worse than trying to avoid an encounter with religious  Republicans’ modesty police.

Image: Gage Skidmore/Patheos

Hobby Lobby Regrets Getting Caught Smuggling Contraband Into America

 

Anyone who has ever been around criminals, whether in connection with law enforcement or the judicial system, is aware that no-one is more regretful for committing a crime than a career criminal. Of course they never regret actually committing the crime or they would abide by the law in the first place; whatever regret they may feign is that they were caught. It’s just how the criminal mind operates.

This week Americans learned about a self-righteous, extremely wealthy and avowed “holier-than-thou” evangelical family’s regret that they were caught smuggling contraband into America. Hobby Lobby’s owners, through Green family patriarch Steve Green, excused the criminal act of smuggling stolen ancient artifacts into America as he expressed “regret” for smuggling contraband to three of their retail outlets in Oklahoma.

Apparently, Mr. Green took a cue from House Speaker Paul Ryan and claimed that deliberately smuggling stolen ancient Iraqi artifacts into America was due to the evangelical cretin’s inexperience in smuggling stolen cultural artifacts. Ryan used the same defense for his fascist in the White House’s obstruction of justice when Ryan saidThe president is just new to this;” Trump didn’t understand the protocols involved with threatening federal law enforcement officials.

Hobby Lobby’s biblical-driven owners attempted to justify smuggling the stolen cultural artifacts with a typically bovine excrement evangelical excuse; as if it made their crime acceptable. The devout Christians said the company began collecting a “variety of Bibles and other artifacts several years ago” to preserve them for future generations of American evangelicals. Company president Steve Green excused “getting caught” and said the “company did not fully appreciate the complexities of the acquisitions  process,” and that the dealers (smugglers) just didn’t understand how to properly ship the items through two Middle Eastern countries to Oklahoma – without getting caught.

The crates from Israel and the United Arab Emirates shipped to three separate retail outlets owned by self-righteous evangelical Hobby Lobby stores were clearly marked as “ceramic tile samples. There is only one specific reason drug cartels clearly and deliberately mislabel shipping crates coming into America from out of country; it is because they know they are smuggling contraband and need to avoid the prying eyes of customs officials. There is no difference whatsoever between what Hobby Lobby’s self-righteous evangelical owners and Colombian drug cartels did to “conceal” the real contents of “imported” shipping packages.

Shortly before Hobby Lobby’s self righteous evangelical owners used an Affordable Care Act healthcare provision to control American women’s personal health care choices, they were setting up the deal to buy illegal archaic cultural property and smuggle them into America. This “Christian preservation deal” was going down despite experts’ on cultural property law hired by the self-righteous evangelicals warned Hobby Lobby’s owners, the self-righteous evangelical Green family, that the artifacts were likely “looted from historical sites in Iraq.

The experts also warned the evangelicals that failing to determine the artifacts heritage would be breaking the law. The expert told them in a memo that items of Iraqi origin that were not properly declared would be seized by customs officials. It explains why the shipping crates were mislabeled as ceramic tiles instead of ancient Iraqi artifacts; the evangelicals did not want their $1.6 million in stolen property seized by customs officials.

That part of the crime is not only believable, it is almost certainly understated.  The federal prosecutors in the case against the set-righteous evangelicals said that the acquisition of the artifacts “was fraught with red flags” from the start. And that packages from the United Arab Emirates and Israel “bore shipping labels that [falsely] described their contents as ceramic tiles.”

No doubt one of those “red flags” must have been the fact that Hobby Lobby’s self-righteous owners issued payments to seven different bank accounts when they allegedly “purchased” the contraband from one seller; a seller who curiously sent the artifacts from two different Middle East nations.

According to a statement by “acting” U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde, the burden to be truthful, like good honest evangelical Christians, about their illegal purchases they attempted to sneak past Custom’s agents was on the buyers, not the sellers. Ms. Rohde said:

American collectors and importers must ensure compliance with laws and regulations that require truthful declarations to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, so that Customs officers are able to scrutinize cultural property crossing our borders and prevent the inappropriate entry of such property.

It is noteworthy that the U.S. Attorney did not say the “foreign seller” was responsible for “complying with laws and regulations;” something Hobby Lobby’s owner blamed on the “dealers.” It seems there is no limit to the extent the self-righteous Green family will “bend” facts to cover their dishonesty and aversion to the truth.

Obviously, the Green family is unaware of what “truthful” means even though their precious “holy Christian bible” specifically forbids lying; it is right there at number nine of the BIG Ten (commandments). Perhaps if Hobby Lobby’s owners spent a half-a-minute reviewing the BIG Ten instead of scouring their holy book for prohibitions on contraceptives and how best to coerce the  government to control women and dictate when they start their families, they would have scuttled the deal when experts warned them they were about to “break the law.”

There are reports, or conjecture, that in buying stolen Iraqi artifacts the Green family was funding ISIS. Although it is not remotely out of the realm of possibility, it will be impossible to know due to the “secretive” nature of the sale and subsequent smuggling. However, it is certain that ISIS deals in selling treasures and artifacts it plunders and the ISIS leadership did flee Iraq before creating havoc in Syria.

Whether Hobby Lobby’s owners’ money made its way to ISIS or not does not excuse their deliberate attempt to smuggle contraband into America. And their pathetic excuse that “they’re new to this” does not explain why they deliberately ignored the  warnings from their “artifact experts” or questioned sending the payments to seven different bank accounts. The U.S. Attorney debunked the lie that it was the dealer who should have known not to purposely mislabel the shipping crates to avoid customs officials. One pathetic excuse may be forgivable, although just barely. But with three doozies the  federal authorities labeled as “fraught with red flags,” one has to assume that the Greens knew they were violating the law and knew they were in fact smuggling stolen ancient Iraqi artifacts past U.S. Customs officials.

No doubt there are plenty of international criminals taking note of the double standard applied to international crime depending on who the perpetrators are. All Hobby Lobby’s owners had to do to  escape serious jail time for their part in an international crime was plead ignorance and “testify” to their love for preserving all things “bible.” But most importantly, they had to express regret – that they were caught smuggling.

Image: Patheos

SCOTUS Aids Theocratic Coup d’état

 

As America nears another anniversary of its Declaration of Independence from an empire heavily influenced by a powerful theocracy, advocates for America under a theocratic government celebrated a major step towards their goal; a nation of the bible, for the evangelicals, and governed by the Christian religion. There is little doubt that the Founding Fathers and Constitution’s Framers would be appalled that the deliberately secular government they created inched closer to officially compelling Americans to support a religion. Indeed, it was the Declaration of Independence’s author, Founding Father, Constitution Framer, and  3rd President Thomas Jefferson who said that “no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.”

Republicans and their evangelical masters believe Thomas Jefferson was an abomination to theocrats everywhere. They also fiercely believe that despite the U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment, and well over two-thirds of state Constitutions’ blunt prohibitions on “spending any public money on any church, sect, or denomination of religion,” that Americans must be compelled by force of law to provide “support for religious worship, places, and ministries.

One of those states with prohibitions against using public money to support churches, sects and any denomination of religion is Missouri. Missouri’s Constitution, according to evangelicals, was abhorrent; especially after a few federal courts upheld the Missouri Constitution’s prohibition on using taxpayer money to support religion. So the aspiring theocrats appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that Thomas Jefferson, the Constitution, and thirty-six state constitutions are unfair to religious organizations because they cannot compel taxpayers to support places of worship.

It is noteworthy that although greed is a mortal sin in the Christian religion, the churches are not satisfied taking well over $82.5 billion annually (2013) on top of the over $28 billion in “faith-based initiatives” from taxpayers “compelled” to support religion. They demand that taxpayers pay for private religious schools and want more of their dollars.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court added to those horrific dollar amounts in what appears to be a small way, but they also opened the door for ungodly amounts of taxpayer money to be stolen from public eduction to fund private religious schools. The High Court ruled that it was unfair, and one seriously nasty form of religious persecution, for Missouri’s Constitution to forbid a religious school from taking taxpayer money to improve its playground. It may seem like a small thing, compelling taxpayers to fund improvements for a religious organization’s property, but it was the opening evangelical school choice advocates, and evangelical Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, demanded to compel public schools to “promote god’s kingdom” by government fiat and with taxpayer money.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos celebrated the Trinity decision as a victory for the taxpayer-funded religious school choice movement, which has gained momentum and stands to expand under the Trump administration.

Trump’s budget features a $1.4 billion religious school choice package that includes millions of taxpayer dollars for evangelical families to send their children to private, for profit religious schools.

DeVos is a staunch and lifelong advocate for compelling  taxpayers to fund private, for-profit religious schools. She is also a notorious evangelical and public education enemy who attended and sent her children to private religious schools; likely because they met her requirement that schools exist to “promote god’s kingdom.”

DeVos said the High Court decision affirmed her belief that  “religious discrimination in any form cannot be tolerated in a society that values the First Amendment;” unless of course religion drives discrimination against people of color and the LGBTQ community, then DeVos tolerates “religious discrimination.” She said after the Trinity ruling was announced:

We should all celebrate the fact that [bible-based] programs designed to help students will no longer be discriminated against by the government based solely on religious affiliation.”

DeVos wasn’t the only evangelical celebrating a ruling that opened the door for compelling Americans to support a religion, place, or ministry. The senior attorney for the Institute for Justice who represents evangelicals who couldn’t convince authorities in Colorado to compel taxpayers  to pay for religious school tuition through scholarship grants, Michael Bindas said:

This is a tremendous development for [religious] school choice. It shows the court takes the principle of neutrality toward religion in public benefits programs very seriously. We’re very confident that the Colorado Supreme Court may come to the correct decision.”

Evangelicals claimed that Colorado’s Constitution, and its Supreme Court’s judgement that the state’s Choice Scholarship Program’s  prohibited public funding to “ support or sustain any school that is controlled by any church or sectarian denomination” was patently unfair to evangelicals. The Colorado evangelicals are demanding the Colorado Supreme Court correct their error and start compelling all Colorado taxpayers to “financially support a religion, place of worship, and ministry.

It is always a mystery why so-called Constitutional advocates in the Republican movement are intent on compelling Americans to pay for religious instruction with money appropriated for public schools. This week Kentucky governor and evangelical malcontent Matt Bevin signed a bill into law legalizing bible-courses disguised as social studies in the state’s public school system. Bevin said at a signing ceremony:

The idea that we would not want this to be an option for people in school, that would be crazy. I don’t know why every state would not embrace this, why we as a nation would not embrace this.”

To answer Bevin’s question; every state and the nation is not embracing compelling taxpayers to pay for “religious instruction, places of worship, or bible classes” because it is patently unconstitutional, and not all Americans are religious welfare queens. The Kentucky religious imposition bill demands that religious classes “must discuss all aspects of the Christian bible because they are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture.”

The evangelical zealots in Kentucky’s Republican legislature and governor’s office claim that teaching the Christian bible is the only way for students “to get a better insight on the structure of the country.” One Republican advocate for compelling taxpayers to  support “a ministrysaid the law will “help educate our kids on the background of how they came up with our founding documents.” Founding documents, by the way, that make absolutely no mention of the Christian bible, the Christian religion, or how religion was used in developing the “structure the country” because they did not.

The SCOTUS ruling this week, although seemingly harmless, is being touted as probably the most important High Court ruling all year and that is no exaggeration. It gave evangelicals the opening they have lusted after to tear down the wall of separation the Founders installed in the Constitution to protect the population from a theocracy. The immediate celebratory comments by DeVos and evangelicals intent on “compelling Americans to support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever” informs that not only was the SCOTUS ruling significant, it was a dangerous step towards a government ruled by an evangelical theocracy.

Missouri Allows Employers To Fire Women For Using Birth Control

For human beings that live in a free society, it is impossible to imagine how horrible it would be to live in an uncivilized Hell where it is necessary to pass a law to protect a woman’s personal freedoms and privacy. In a free society, those personal freedoms and privacy are generally guaranteed to all citizens, so it would never be necessary to even consider a law that protected women from being punished for anything legal, much less for their personal choices. Conversely, patriarchal theocracies controlled by a religious sect would likely forbid such a law from being considered in the first place, much less debated and passed.

In the American state of Missouri, when a city had to pass an ordinance that prohibited employers and landlords from punishing women for exercising their legal Constitutional right to use contraceptive birth control, the religious Republican legislature and governor reacted like the Taliban – minus the guns.

The religious Republicans running the state of Missouri, under direction from the religious Republican Missouri governor, are deep into the process of enacting legislation granting religious individuals authority to punish women if they dare exercise their Constitutionally-protected freedom to use birth control or have an abortion without facing the wrath of the religious right. It is important to note, this is Missouri in America, the Show Me State. And the religious Republicans are showing the nation they are doing exactly what this author has warned about for a decade; use their ugly, savage, insidious religion to control women by punishing them for disobedience. The Missouri Republicans initial form of punishment is being fired and homeless, or become a slave birth machine for evangelical Jesus and the Vatican.

The anti-women legislation was the subject of a “special legislative sessionconvened by Missouri Governor Eric Greitens to put a screeching halt to a recently-passed ordinance that “prevents employers and housing providers from punishing women for their “reproductive healthcare choices.” The focus of the special session was to, as quickly as possible, overturn what in a civilized society should have been a completely unnecessary ordinance. Apparently, the city of St. Louis must not feel Missouri is civilized if they had to pass a law to protect women’s personal privacy and freedoms already guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.

The ordinance enraged religious Republicans in the governor’s mansion and both chambers of the state legislature that concurred with the governor; the St. Louis ordinance is “a radical attempt” to transform the area into “an abortion sanctuary city.” So the state’s House and Senate quickly passed SB5 on June 14  to put women back under religious men’s control. But still, the legislation wasn’t nearly harsh enough so six days later (June 20) the Republican House passed “an expanded version of SB5” awaiting Senate passage and the governor’s promised signature.

The new and improved SB5 authorizes any landlord or housing provider to refuse housing to any woman based on their reproductive health choices, such as using birth control or if they ever had or contemplate having an abortion. And a landlord can evict a woman for using birth control, having or had an abortion, or for “becoming pregnant while unmarried.

Employers will have the power to fire any “female staff members” who use birth control, or refuse to hire them for being “non-compliant” to a church-driven edict. And to skirt any federal or state privacy laws, particularly medical privacy laws, the theocratic SB5 authorizes employers and landlords access to “what forms of reproductive health care they are using.”  Obviously, men who have had a vasectomy or use “rubbers” are exempted from religious control.

This hideous religious legislation, and that is all it is, puts the great majority of Missouri women at risk of losing their employment or their residence according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) because,

99 percent of all sexually-active, reproductive-age women have used contraception.”

As Sejal Singh of “Feministing” opined, “whether or not someone is part of that 99% is none of their boss’ goddamn business.” Missouri’s religious right Republicans, like all nasty religious right Republicans, disagree that it is none of their business. They claim it is their biblical right to “invasively give employers and landlords power to police highly personal choices women make about their bodies and lives.

There is already a federal law, the Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating against women because they have had or considered having an abortion, but there is no specific federal legislation protecting women from being punished for using some form of birth control, or becoming pregnant while unmarried; in a free society there is no need for those kinds of legislation. However, in Trump’s savage America, his evangelical administration is frantically rolling back or stripping civil rights protections across the board, and with a conservative Supreme Court anxious to expand evangelicals’ religious liberty to impose biblical edicts as the law of the land, women are in serious peril and not just in Missouri.

Most Americans oppose being ruled by a theocracy, and yet that is precisely what is unfolding now that religious Republicans own the federal government. All of these anti-women’s choice measures are attempts by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to exert control over American women and impose the Vatican’s 1968 Humanae Vitae that forbids sexual activity not intended to produce offspring.

A major reason this religious savagery continues unabated is because the media, Democrats, and women’s rights activists and advocates are terrified to cite the only source of any and all of these anti-women laws. Until the media, women’s rights activists, and Democrats start citing the Vatican and evangelical fundamentalism as the only source of terror being inflicted on American women, legislation like Missouri’s SB5 will continue spreading across the land. And with an evangelical maniac like Mike Pence directing Trump’s domestic policy, Americans can look for more extreme versions of SB5 being enacted at the federal level.

Appeals Court Gives Christofascists License To Discriminate

Once upon a time there was a nation founded with religious freedom granted as a natural right. For about 200 years in America religious freedom meant exactly that; the freedom to worship, pray, sing Psalms, believe in loving air-fairies and evil fire-gnomes, and frequent whatever building one wanted to praise some kind of man-made god en masse. However, about 35 years ago when extremist Christians needed an emotional lure to garner electoral support for the Republican Party, Catholic Bishops taught them how to morph religious freedom into unchallenged power and authority to force a bastardized version of Christianity down the throats of every man, woman and child in the United States – according to “the Christian’s conscience.” It was a power Republicans were more than happy to grant their reliable voting bloc as remuneration for flocking to the polls with bibles in hand to keep the GOP in power.

Part and parcel of the GOP Christofascist cult’s religious freedom is more than just imposing their religion on the entire population, that isn’t nearly enough dominion for the tyrants working in their “god’s name.

What Christofascist Republicans intently  lust after is controlling the entire population and denying them their 200-plus year-old “god-given” Constitutional rights; including the freedom not to be controlled by barbarically savage evangelical fundamentalists. For an idea of what Christians really want, just imagine ISIS or the Taliban without the “righteous killing” in god’s name; something that is not that far off if the evangelical right gets any more religious freedom.

Yesterday in a biblical Appellate Court ruling, Republicans in the most “Christofascist” state in the nation won the right to deny other Americans’ basic human and Constitutional rights because it is what Mississippi Republicans believe religious freedom entails. Mississippi’s religious Republicans awarded evangelical theocrats the unchallenged right to legally discriminate against any state resident according to their newly-granted religious freedom.

The Appellate court ruling gave religious Republicans the license to discriminate exactly as the bible thumping cult has demanded for decades. Now in Mississippi, state-sanctioned discrimination is the law of the land and freedom from religious persecution was stripped from any non-compliant citizen. It is a giant step towards Christian “Sharia” in America.

Now with a theocracy-driven cabal running the federal government, that evangelical version of Sharia will spread throughout Republican-Dominated states just ahead of its imposition nationwide by a Republican-dominated federal government.

Yesterday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a challenge to Mississippi’s bible-based legislation, HB 1523. The theocratic legislation was signed into law by religious Republican Governor Phil Bryant about a year ago. In a gross understatement, HB 1532 was labeled “the most extreme anti-LGBT bill introduced anywhere in the nation,” but it impacts more than just LGBT Americans. The Court said that the Constitution loving plaintiffs were not “personally harmed by the law,” so they had no right to bring a challenge to the religious law.

Writing for the majority opinion, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jerry E. Smith said:

Under this current record, the plaintiffs have not shown an injury-in-fact caused by HB 1523 that would empower the district court or this court to rule on its constitutionality. We do not foreclose the possibility that a future plaintiff may be able to show clear injury-in-fact … but the federal courts must withhold judgment unless and until that plaintiff comes forward.”

The ruling fulfills extremist evangelicals’ ultimate fantasy and likely gave them massive wet dreams. Now the Christofascists have the legal right to discriminate based on their belief that marriage is between one man and one woman, that sexual relations are biblically reserved to such a union, or that “male” and “female” refer to someone’s “immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.

The theocratic law also grants legal authority to any individual, business, government employee, nonprofit and any other possible entity to discriminate against not only LGBT people, but also same-sex couples and anyone who has ever had extramarital sex; all according to the Christian bible’s Old Testament edicts.

It is noteworthy that last April (2016) a federal Judge, Carlton Reeves, called HB 1523 exactly what it is; “state-sanctioned discrimination;”  Judge Reeves refused to allow Mississippi Christofascists to enforce the biblical law. In fact, about a month later Judge Reeves prohibited the Mississippi theocrats from attempting to impose the edict again. In his ruling he actually addressed the “religious freedom” issue for the bullshit it really is. He wrote:

HB 1523’s absence does not impair the free exercise of religion. In addition, issuing a marriage license to a gay couple is not like being forced into armed combat or to assist with an abortion. Matters of life and death are sui generis. If movants truly believe that providing services to LGBT citizens forces them to ‘tinker with the machinery of death,’ their animus exceeds anything seen in Romer, Windsor, or the marriage equality cases.” (author bold)

Judge Reeves is right, of course, except he didn’t add that “their animus” is purely religious hatred, not just “hostility.” And it is worth mentioning that if Mississippi residents believe the evangelical extremists will limit their religious hostility to the gay community, unmarried cohabitants, or the sexually adulterous crowd, they are stupider than they appear.

Remember, that phrase “based on their deeply held religious beliefs” will allow untoward acts, save paying taxes, against anyone if a person “claims” someone else’s actions violate their “deeply held religious beliefs;” even if they aren’t religious or affiliated with any religion and their deeply held beliefs are founded in bigotry. Now, no-one is safe in Mississippi. Because not only are they unfortunate enough to live in the most “Christian” state in the Union, those Christians now enjoy state sanctioned discrimination as the law of the land.

H/t New Civil Rights Movement

DeVos Embraces Anti-Gay Extremists At Education Department

 

It is probably true that normal people who are thrust into a high-level position requiring a specialized knowledge of a subject will gather as many preeminent experts in the field for advice as possible. That would be particularly true if the person in that high-level position has absolutely no experience in the field to avoid being a total and complete failure. Betsy DeVos, the filthy rich Republican contributor and avowed enemy of public education is not a normal person for myriad reasons, but primarily for her lack of even a rudimentary comprehension of the public education system she wants to transform into privatized evangelical madrassas. Besides her sworn intent to use public schools and public money to “advance god’s kingdom,” DeVos has refused, under oath no less, to commit to protect the civil rights of all Americans involved in the education system; whether students, teachers, administrators or college professors.

On Thursday last, a day before the Commission on Civil Rights announced it was initiating a comprehensive two-year investigation into the Trump administration, Betsy DeVos was convening a policy-planning meeting of the most radical religious right anti-LGBT extremist groups in the United States of America. If there were any lingering doubts as to why DeVos “refused repeatedly” to commit to protecting the Constitutional civil rights of anyone associated with education, especially students and teachers, DeVos huddling with notorious evangelical hate groups should clear up her “lack of commitment” to civil rights.

Two days prior to meeting with luminaries of evangelical hate such as Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, DeVos held a “very private meeting” with a Missouri millionaire and renowned conspiracy theorist because he is openly committed to spending whatever it takes to aid DeVos in eliminating public education. And, it cannot possibly be overstated that besides contributing millions of dollars to Republican candidates, the only reason DeVos was nominated, and then confirmed, as Education Secretary is because she is committed to destroying America’s public education system.

First, DeVos deliberated with the Family Research Council, a bonafide hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), because it and the extremist evangelical group Focus on the Family ardently promote hate-driven anti-gay propaganda more than they promote the Christian bible. FRC president, radical fake Christian Tony Perkins, spent no small amount of time, and donor money, lobbying against anti-bullying initiatives in schools, and the effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He also claims that the LGBTQ community is “disgusting” and exists solely to “recruit children” into the lifestyle – especially in public schools with anti-bullying programs. Perkins, a real pile of feces, heavily promotes programs that abuse LGBTQ children under the guise of “gay conversion therapy,” and appeals to white supremacists for support. Perkins did spend someone else’s hard earned money to purchase the mailing list of white supremacist and Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

Perkins, the president of a hate group and a truly hateful evangelical, claims that Americans that support LGBTQ rights are:

Very aggressive, they’re intolerant, they’re hateful, vile, they’re spiteful. …. To me, it is the height of hatred to be silent when we know there are individuals that are engaged in activity, behavior, and an agenda that will …destroy our nation.

This is the mindset that the evangelical freak-of-nature DeVos, Secretary of Education, is intent on installing as education policy “to advance the kingdom of god” in the education system. However, “education system” under DeVos’ plans is a monumental misnomer; she promotes for-profit private and religious schools that can hardly be considered “an education system.” It is  a religious indoctrination system,  not an education system.  It is why she held a private counseling session with “Missouri-based” millionaire and heavy Trump supporter Rex Sinquefield.

Sinquefield is a noted conspiracy theorists who “despises public schools” and regards himself, like DeVos, as a major “school reform expert and advocate.” Like everything related to conservative use of the word “reform,” in Sinquefield’s mind reform means eliminate.

According to Sinquefield, the American public education system was a Ku Klux Klan plot created specifically to hurt African American children and claims it’s what drives his “personal mission” to rescue education from those teachers; especially those teachers represented by unions. He also donates heavily to the extremist right-wing Show-Me Institute, a really right wing “belief tank.” The Show-Me outfit “creates studies” to assail the public education system and promote policies that use taxpayer money to subsidize private and religious schools for the very rich who want taxpayers to fund their kids religious indoctrination.

DeVos claims she believes that “Discrimination in any form is wrong,” and that she “doesn’t support discrimination in any form,” but of course she said that at the same time she repeatedly refused to commit to deny funding to schools that do discriminate. DeVos is a dirty liar; and not just because she committed perjury under oath before the Senate during her confirmation hearing. But because she does not believe discriminationin any form is wrong” or that she doesn’t “support discrimination in any form.”

Her invitation to the extremely discriminatory Family Research Council and Focus on the Family at the Federal Department of Education belies her filthy lie that she opposes discrimination. And, her private meeting with another anti-public education extremist with an eye toward aiding her destruction of public schools, and creation of nationwide evangelical madrassas, belies her filthy lie that she cares one iota about America, its children, or its Constitution.

Trump Is Sending Christians to Their Deaths in Iraq

As this column has noted often as of late, no-one likes a liar and it’s seemingly apparent that should particularly apply to Ten Commandment-loving evangelical Christians. Donald Trump certainly has accrued quite a record as a pathological liar, and still, the white evangelical sect flocked to the polls to put the serial liar and corrupt television celebrity in the White House. Trump won the support of the religious right on a solemn pledge that he, and only he, could protect them and bring an immediate halt to the so-called persecution they bitch about ad nauseam.

Trump also pledged to protect Christians in the Middle East and went so far as to exempt Christians living in “travel-banned” majority Muslim nations and allow them to emigrate to America. Silly Christians, you thought that your “orange messiah” would never lie to you, the spiritually devout, but his mendacity is pathological; he lies to everyone including you ignoramus evangelicals.

One of the pledges Trump made repeatedly throughout the campaign for president was that he would “champion the cause of persecuted Christians, especially those from the Middle East.” Now, due to his nasty immigration policy, Trump is sending Christians to their deaths in Iraq; a nation many of the deportees know nothing about.

Many of the Christians Trump is deporting to Iraq, a nation many fled as young children to escape persecution, have lived in America for decades. Apparently, some even have criminal records for such abominable crimes as allowing someone else to drive a car they rented, or were caught with a small amount of marijuana – decades ago. Their real crime, though, is not that they may have an infraction or misdemeanor criminal record, but that they are from the Middle East.

It is noteworthy that Trump actually made “costly” concessions to the Iraqi government to be able to “send Iraqi Christians living in America to their death,” so it must be something near and dear to his black heart. Trump agreed with the Iraqis that if they would grant him “permission” to deport Iraqi expatriates in America, Christian, Catholic, or otherwise, he would remove Iraq from the dreaded “banned nations list.

Ponder that for a minute; Trump must really hate Iraqi Christians if he forfeited the right to ban Iraqis, 99 percent whom are Muslims, from entering America just for the “privilege of deporting” Iraqi Christians out of “his America.

Although it wasn’t always the easiest life for an Iraqi Christian, they faced increased persecution after America invaded Iraq and allowed a sectarian war to begin in earnest. When the Islamic State (ISIS, IS, ISIL, Daesh) emerged as a force in Syria and Iraq, they immediately targeted Christians and other minority religions for instant extermination. It was such an issue that in 2014 the Republican-majority House of Representatives and Obama Administration State Department recognized the Iraqi Christians as “victims of genocide.”

Now Trump is sending them to be victimized further and it should be a signal to America’s religious right that Trump is not only a pathological liar, he is not going to protect Christians in the Middle East from being persecuted. That also means that he conned the faithful again when he promised to give priority to Iraqi and Syrian Christians who wanted to emigrate to America.

It isn’t just Trump who lies at the rate humans draw breath.  Barely a month ago the lying pretend preacher Mike Pence gave a speech at the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians pledging that,

Protecting and promoting religious freedom is a foreign policy priority of the Trump administration.”

Pence promised, specifically, that protecting Christians in the Middle East was of enormous importance to the Trump White House and the administration was all about taking action. 

The suffering of Christians in the Middle East has stirred Americans to action, and it brings me here today.”

The roundups, detentions, and deportations that began this week in Michigan are an indication that Trump has been stirred to action, but it is not to stop the suffering of Christians in the Middle East. It is to increase their numbers with Iraqi Christians who lived peacefully in America, many of them for decades until Trump lied his way to the White House and began deporting them to a country that doesn’t want them.

According to the Huffington Post, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a class-action lawsuit to stop the detentions and deportations. The Executive Director of the ACLU of Michigan, Kary Moss said:

Not only is it immoral to send people to a country where they are likely to be violently persecuted, it expressly violates United States and international law and treaties. Our immigration policy shouldn’t amount to a death sentence for anyone.”

This latest example of Trump breaking a promise to the faithful should be a wake up call to all of Trump’s supporters that no-one is safe. The promise to protect Christians from persecution, particularly those in the Middle East, was a major reason the religious right flocked to vote for a self-admitted unrepentant sinner.

Trump doesn’t care about protecting Christians any more than Mike Pence does or they would have done precisely what they promised when issuing a ban on immigrants from mostly Muslim Middle East nations; give priority to Iraqi and Syrian Christians. Instead, they are rounding them up in America and sending them back to the Middle East to face serious persecution if they are fortunate enough not to be killed for being Christians.