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.

Creationist Blames Atheists And Media For “Ark Park” Failure

It is always a mystery how the most devout evangelicals who claim their personal god almighty not only created the entire universe in six short days, “he” also maintains control of all things occurring on planet Earth including terrible events and disasters. Such an all-powerful deity, however, certainly fails on many accounts according to the most ardent religious right fanatics; they regularly blame sinners of all stripes and the lack of a god-fearing population for myriad calamities plaguing the nation, particularly during or after a natural disaster.

According to the faithful, as long as they are doing “god’s work” the deity will bless them with spiritual ecstasy, massive material wealth, and complete protection from anything evil. So it was curious that a very zealous evangelical fundamentalist, creationist Ken Ham, recently blamed atheists and secular media for the economic failure of his taxpayer-funded theme park touting the glories of god’s creation, and his wanton destruction of the Earth with a flood. It leads one to ponder exactly how much the faithful really believe in the power of their deity if the existence of some non-believers are able to thwart a mission inspired by the biblical god.

One of the “selling points” creationist cretin Ken Ham touted in seeking taxpayer money to build his Creation Museum and Ark Encounter biblical theme park was that not only would it bring in untold wealth to further spread biblical mythos, it would enrich the surrounding areas beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Since that hasn’t happened, Ken Ham said it is not because his almighty god of the universe is powerless to rain down money on the region, but because atheists and the secular media are “powering the financial failure” of his “Ark Park.”

Ham took to “Answers in Genesis” to “lament” that atheists and “secularist media” are successfully damaging not only the reputation of his “Ark Encounter” theme park, but the local economy and surrounding local business community as well. He wrote:

Recently, a number of articles in the mainstream media, on blogs, and on well-known secularist group websites have attempted to spread propaganda to brainwash the public into thinking our Ark Encounter attraction is a dismal failure.

 Sadly, they (atheists and the secular media) are influencing business investors and others in such a negative way that they may prevent Grant County, Kentucky, from achieving the economic recovery that its officials and residents have been seeking.”

Ham’s remarks are so typical of the religious right, and conservatives in general that refuse to take “personal responsibility” for his, and apparently his god’s, failure to fulfill Ham’s promises – untold wealth for the region because taxpayers paid for Ham’s big boat folly. Ham knows, and so do the local businesses, taxpayers and regional leaders that atheists or the “secularist media” didn’t promise an economic bonanza from an Ark Encounter. Any economic failing is down to Ken Ham which is why he’s blaming atheists for “his broken promises to the citizens and business community of Grant County, Kentucky.”

What likely incited Ham’s blame game was an article in the Lexington Herald Leader that reported on the evangelical malcontent’s “failure to deliver on financial promises he made to community members and local businesses.” In that article, the Grant County Judge-Executive Steve Wood commented that the agreements between Ham’s Ark Encounter and the city and county were founded on “broken promises made by Ham and his people” after they were gifted with “extremely generous tax breaks.” Mr. Wood said,

 It’s a really bad deal for taxpayers. It was a shock for me because I didn’t really know all the details. Maybe I should have.”

The Mayor of Williamstown Kentucky, Rick Skinner, also complained about the evangelical zealot Ham’s broken promises. After being sold a bill of goods about god’s economic blessing as a result of taxpayer’s gift to Ham, the mayor expressed his “disappointment” that he fell for an evangelical’s swindle. He noted that despite the taxpayer’s largesse and the Christian’s pledge of an economic boom:

“There hasn’t been any commercial development here.”

What Mr. Wood and Mayor Skinner should have done, but clearly didn’t, was put down their King James for a minute and  consider that Ham is an evangelical nut-job of the highest order with no reasonable economic credentials. He also lacked comprehension that not very many (sane) people would rush to “experience” a big boat rumored to hold every living creature on the face of the planet. For dog’s sake; who wouldn’t have considered that a fanatic asking for taxpayer money to build a mythological “wooden ship” was an economic disaster waiting to happen?  The Ark Park did not need any atheists or “secularist media” to hinder its make believe economic success, that failure rests solely on Ken Ham; and god if one believes he blesses “good works in his name.”

Regardless of the criticism from “local business people” who should have known better than to be sucked into a con anyone with a pulse could see coming from across the nation, Ham is sticking to the argument that it isn’t god’s or his fault the Ark Park is an economic boondoggle for the region. He still claims the only reason the biblical theme park has failed to rain down money on the region is because of the “intolerant secularists.” The con man wrote:

“… we are in a spiritual battle, and the intolerant secularists are so upset with such world-class attraction like the Ark (and Creation Museum) that publicly proclaim a Christian message. They will resort to whatever tactics they deem necessary to try to malign the attractions.”

Seriously, Ham is a monumental nut-job on a few counts, but this bovine excrement that any “secularist” gives a rat’s ass about either the Ark Park or the Christian message is just a bit much to absorb, even from Ham. It is true non-believers don’t accept as truth that a homemade boat carried the millions of Earth’s living creatures while it was raining for 40 days, and nights,  but they could not possibly care less about an “attraction” representing the big boat. What many Americans, including believers, opposed was the religious-themed Ark Park being subsidized by taxpayers. And, if “secularists” didn’t swarm to the theme park to hand more of their hard-earned money to see Ham’s big boat, it is not because they are “intolerant;” it’s because they aren’t stupid.

As a religious right conservative, and avowed evangelical strictly adhering to the Christian bible, Ham is not embracing the notorious demand that every American has to take responsibility for their own plight. Of course people are not going to flock to see a big boat from an archaic Jewish religious story, but that is not the fault of atheists or the secular media – it is Ken Ham’s fault. Now that businesses and investors are realizing they were played by a snake oil salesman with a promise of riches from a big boat, Ham does what the religious right zealots always do; blame the atheists.

h/t Patheos

Republican Coward Says Reporter Is Dangerous As A Terrorist

Any American over the age of 17 or 18 has experienced cowards, particularly Internet cowards, who incite hate and violence against a person or specific demographic under cover of social media. These plagues-on-society revel in inciting outrage against individuals or groups and like the bully-punks they are, if they are exposed they cry foul like every seventh-grade bully that gets called out and challenged on the playground.

Although there was no shortage of anti-Islam rhetoric and incitement to violence throughout the Obama Administration, the campaign and election of corrupt bully Trump made anti-Muslim speech and increasing violence against Muslims a national pastime for America’s hater class. However, as is usually the case, when a Republican’s anti-Muslim rhetoric is exposed they generally disavow their comments as a lies or misconstrued. Unless you’re an Arkansas Republican state legislator and evangelical malcontent; then you accuse a journalist of being as scary and dangerous as a terrorist with a bomb.

The target of this article is a Koch-funded evangelical freak and as pusillanimous a Republican as any American will ever hear about. This chickenshit’s name is Jason Rapert and he is an Arkansas bible-thumper serving in the state’s senate. Rapert has made a name for himself as a “Koch-backed anti-women’s rights evangelical” Republican; a name that screams hate.  It is highly likely that Rapert hates women’s rights as ardently as he loathes followers of Islam. And, he hates Americans who believe Muslim-Americans are entitled to Constitutional equal rights as much as he hates women’s rights and Muslims. He is just a typical evangelical Republican dripping with hate.

A reporter for the Arkansas Times, Max Brantley, was assailed by Rapert this week claiming the reporter was “careless” in pointing out that the Arkansas Republican regularly posts videos on Facebook calling for violence against Muslims.

The Inquisitr reported that in a continuing trend, Rapert “shared” a video from Fox News complaining about a school designating a prayer room for Muslim students. However, Rapert didn’t just “share” the video; he added some typically religious Republican commentary reminding his acolytes why they should hate Muslims. He wrote:

It should be highlighted and understood why they are encouraging Islam which is a cult of death and violence against all non-Muslims. America in distress.”

Of course after being identified as a Republican inciting violence against Muslims in other video postings, the coward Rapert said that when he posts videos calling for violence against Muslims it’s not “touting or promoting” violence against Muslims, “it’s simply sharing” the idea of violence against Muslims

Rapert the scaredy-cat was so terrified over Brantley’s report exposing him as a hate-monger that he wrote to the reporter:

You persist in being careless. You played fast and loose with the truth. So now the national support group for all things Islamic has put a target on me as a result of YOUR messaging. I hold you personally responsible if ANY threats come against me and my family as a result of this. You are as dangerous with your pen as a terrorist with a weapon.”

Mr. Brantley noted that he is not the first journalist reporting that Republican Rapert is a hate-monger calling for anyone even supporting equal rights for Muslims to be incarcerated; likely without being charged or given a trial even though there is no law against supporting equal rights for Muslims, at least not yet. This is Trump’s America after all.

Brantley cited a piece in The Inquisitr that exposed Rapert’s “incitement to violence” against all Muslims he claimed belonged to “a cult of death and violence against all non-Muslims.” As an aside, in religious right parlance non-Muslim is code for “poor persecuted evangelical fundamentalists.” Rapert came up with a familiar evangelical solution to the religious right’s “Muslim” issue that was “reported” by a different journalist working for the Inquisitr who reported Rapert called for “rounding up all Muslims and anyone sympathetic to their equal rights regardless who is responsible for terror attacks.”

One can’t help but wonder if Rapert objects to being held “personally responsible” for the real violence being committed against innocent Muslim Americans as a result of his “support” for, and incitement of, violence against Muslims. And it is worth noting that since dirty Don’s election victory and sparsely-attended inauguration, there has been a gigantic increase in violence against Muslims and the American people who support them.

Of course no civilized human being wants any American to suffer threats to themselves or their families, and that is particularly true of the Muslims who are increasingly being targeted for discrimination and violence. However, the idea that the Arkansas bible-thumper is frightened that he will be the recipient of “threats” due to a journalist reporting the truth about his very un-Christian hate is brilliant.

Sadly, though, Rapert is so full of “evangelical hate” for Muslims as is he is women’s rights, he pledged to Brantley that he will never stop “targeting” Muslims for violence. In fact he wrote to Mr. Brantley “vowing that he is ‘forever resolved’ to keep posting [anti-Muslim] videos on Facebook despite his feelings that his family is imperiled.”

If that were true and he wasn’t an evangelical Republican coward, he would not have cried and complained to a reporter that he is as dangerous as a terrorist with a weapon; he would have proceeded with the courage of his purely hateful conviction.

Republican Calls Christians To Holy War Against Suspect Muslims

 

There can hardly be any American alive who is unaware of the current administration and congressional Republicans deliberate violation of the laws of the land; it is particularly true in Trump’s case. It is doubtless that Trump would suspend the Constitution and govern according to the rules his tyrannical heroes embrace if given the opportunity, and there is no doubt that besides journalists, protesters, and non-compliant Democrats, Trump would round up and imprison every Muslim citizen in America if not for the Constitution. Once imprisoned, there is every indication Trump would have the people he considers enemies summarily executed without being charged, tried or convicted.

As a term and concept, “extrajudicial killing” should be an abomination to any American citizen. This country is governed according to the “rule of law,” and the supreme law of the land is the U.S. Constitution that guarantees every person due process rights; specifically to prevent “extrajudicial” anything. That term, extrajudicial killing is also known as “extrajudicial execution.” It means “the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process.” Extra judicial executions are every tyrant’s favorite means of keeping a population terrified of even thinking about dissent.

Donald Trump has had effusive praise for the world’s worst tyrants who boast about their use of extrajudicial executions, including celebrating their murderous rampages Trump claims is “doing a great job.” There is little doubt that if he thought he could get away with it, Trump would unleash death squads to commit religious extrajudicial executions against each and every American citizen he “suspected” might sympathize with radical extremists; but only if they are Islamic extremists. Christian extremists are never condemned, much less acknowledged, by Trump or Republicans no matter how many innocent Americans they slaughter.

Now, after the terror attack in London that Trump “implied” was “enabled” by the city’s Muslim mayor, a House Republican called for “a concerted Christian effort of “mass extrajudicial killing of people ‘suspected’ of adhering to radicalized Islam.” Notice that the Louisiana Republican, Clay Higgins, wants extrajudicial executions of people only “suspected” of sympathizing with radical extremists. It is precisely what Trump’s Philippine hero Manuel Duterte and Egypt’s  Abdel Fattah el-Sisi boasted of doing regularly; murdering citizens they “suspect” are involved in behaviors they don’t like.

It has to be noted that what Higgins is calling for is a Christian crusade to exterminate Muslims and if anyone doesn’t believe it keep in mind that on Higgins Facebook rant he addresses “all of Christendom.” He wrote:

The free world… all of Christendom… is at war with Islamic horror. Not one penny of American treasure should be granted to any nation who harbors these heathen animals. Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter. Their intended entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied. Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down. Hunt them, identity them, and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all. -Captain Clay Higgins

How typically Christian extremist of Higgins to claim it is “good and righteous” to hunt down and kill them (Muslims) all; it is also typically Old Testament “mean god” to call for exterminating an entire religion’s adherents; including killing anyone “even suspected” of being “radicalized.” A term Higgins failed to define because mass extrajudicial executions requires no legal basis and is not unlike Adolf Hitler’s “mass extrajudicial executions” of people “suspected” of being Jews or Jewish sympathizes.

This is not Higgins first foray into making untoward public comments about American citizens he “suspects” are bad guys. Higgins, a former sheriff’s officer, said he would “rather die” than sacrifice his hateful principles; now he’s bringing those “principles” to Congress and the national stage.

His boss in the St. Landry Louisiana Parish Sheriff’s Office ordered Higgins to tone down the “demeaning” comments he made publicly about African American men he “suspected” were gang members, but since Higgins just couldn’t do well being asked to “rein in” his vile remarks, he resigned his position. Now he is taking that same mindset to the national stage and upping the ante in calling for Christians to kill other Americans “suspected” of being adherents of Islam. Let’s face it, if Higgins believes he had to issue a call to “all of Christendom” to join a “good and righteous” war with “Islamic horror,” he is making no distinction whatsoever between extremists claiming Islam and those who don’t.

This idea of foregoing the legal system, and the Constitution, to hunt down, target, and execute adherents of Islam is not the first time a Trump acolyte argued that the law or Constitution doesn’t apply in a holy war.

The extremist Christian Trump tapped for a top-level spot in the Department of Homeland Security, David A. Clarke, implored Trump to suspend habeas corpus, round up over one million American Muslims, and send them directly to Guantanamo Bay indefinitely. Suspending habeas corpus is a fancy way of saying “extrajudicial capture and imprisonment” because there are no charges filed, no due process and no legal representation for the citizens “suspected” of being Muslims.

David A. Clarke is a very close ally of Donald Trump and called for a violent revolution if Trump failed to win the election. It is worth noting that unlike Higgins, at least thus far, Clarke called for rounding up and imprisoning any American he considers an enemy. Clarke has regularly referred to any American loyal to the Constitution and advocates for equality and equal protection under the law for all Americans as “rat bastards on the left.” His plan for any non-Trump supporter if he gains authority is yet another “suspension of habeas corpus.” This time so that “any suspect” Americans can be jailed indefinitely. It is not a holy war, but it is an important aspect of what Clarke claims is “his war-at-home program” that requires “bold and aggressive action” such as suspending habeas corpus.

Every American should be terrified beyond belief at the ramping up of calls for imprisoning or killing people “suspected” of being enemies according to an increasing number of Republicans. It would be dangerous enough if it was just one nut-job on the fringe of society, but these nut jobs hold positions of power and the highest power, Trump, has repeatedly said he thinks tyrants committing “extrajudicial” acts are all “doing a great job.”

Some Americans may believe that because they aren’t Muslim sympathizers, or “rat bastards on the left,” or anti-Trump protesters, or journalists that this clear and present danger is no threat to them. No doubt there were German citizens who believed they were immune to Hitler’s extrajudicial acts, at least until they were rounded up and imprisoned or killed. The greatest danger is framing this “extrajudicial” business as a holy war, or Christian crusade against Islam.

History has shown time and again that once religious extremists gain power and authority, religious fervor will infect the population and no citizen will be safe. What is ultimately frightening today in America is that no matter how dangerous the rhetoric against Muslims, or journalists, or anti-Trump protestors, Republican leaders are silent.  It means they either agree with the Trump and his acolytes, or they are terrified they will face some “extrajudicial” action for speaking out; it is likely a little of both.

Christian Extremists Blame Victims For Manchester Terror Attack

It is a natural trait of human beings to assign blame when there is a tragedy no matter if it is a natural or man-made disaster whether as part of the natural healing process or to make sense out of a tragic event that claimed lives. However, it is usually a good idea to place the blame where it belongs to either easily address the problem so it never occurs again if that’s possible, or to properly heal and move forward. Of course there is a contingent in America that can always find some way to blame victims of a disaster for being innocent victims, or blame another group that angered a vengeful deity.

After the horrid terror attack in Manchester England outside of a venue where American entertainer Ariana Grande was performing for her mostly young female fans, there was the typical finger-pointing at the Muslim religion. Obviously, these finger-pointing morons are bereft of the easily confirmed fact that, according to the Islamic holy book the Quran, the quickest way for an Islamic adherent to go straight to Muslim Hell is to take the life of an innocent. Even in a raging war, killing an innocent means the guilty Muslim will “never smell Heaven.” The Manchester terrorist attack is not supported by the Islamic religion. It was a vile criminal act and nothing more or less.

There is another group, American Christian extremists, who seemingly always find a way to blame the victims who were either killed or injured whenever there is a terror attack or even as a result of a natural disaster. These are typically the type of savage beast that blames a woman for being violently raped, and it is generally attributed to some form of ‘godly’ punishment inflicted on the victim for some slight against the Christian extremist’s god. That was the sentiment of some seriously twisted American Christian extremists who blamed the victims of the Manchester terror attack on who else? The victims; primarily young pre-teen and teenaged girls ranging in age from 8 to 18 years old or their parents who either accompanied them to the concert or were waiting to pick them up and escort them home.

Right Wing Watch has reported that one of those Christian extremists, an anti-LGBTQ crusader named Theodore Shoebat released a video expressing a familiar sentiment typical of the religious right; a sentiment lacking in any kind of compassion for the victims. Shoebat is not a “follower of Christ” kind of Christian; he is a hate-driven monster that warrants being drawn and quartered and fed to whichever starving beast is willing to eat his putrid flesh. Instead of showing even a modicum of compassion for the innocent victims in Manchester, Shoebat displayed the typical hate rampant among, and permeating, America’s despicable evangelical fundamentalists.

Not only is Shoebat lacking any sense of compassion for the innocent victims, he all but asserted those young children and their parents are to blame for their own deaths and injuries. In fact, Shoebat asserted the terrorist that killed 22 innocent children and their parents was an emissary from god meting out “judgement for the West’s rejection of Christianity and its acceptance of homosexuality and degeneracy.” Shoebat said:

I really have no sympathy for these people. The people who died, the people who were injured, the people who were scared out of their minds, who ran away [screaming], I really don’t care. The types of people who go to these concerts are the same types of people who are responsible for the degeneracy that you see in society.

They go to these concerts dressed up as whores, dressed up as sluts, they’re pro-sodomite, they’re pro-divorce, they’re pro-infidelity. They want evil, they want decay, they want sodomy, they want Sodom and Gomorrah.”

It is possible that Shoebat is too driven by his Christian hate to comprehend that the predominant age of the Ariana Grande fan is between 8 and 16 or he would never have claimed the young, mostly female, victims are “pro-infidelity, pro-divorce or pro-sodomite.” The young English fans are also not responsible for anything remotely related to American society any more than they want decay or sodomy. It is a fair bet that none of the young female victims want evil, decay or Sodom and Gomorrah either. But since Shoebat is a typical evangelical  monster of epic proportion he blamed young British children and their parents for what he perceives as the ills of American society

A different Christian extremist, someone known as a “Christian blogger,” wrote on Twitter that her personal god used the horrible terror attack to send the young American pop artist, Ariana Grande, a stern message to teach her the error of her ways; including not listening to god when he speaks. The truly abominable so-called Christian, Jennifer Mayer, wrote on Twitter:

God is speaking to her [Ariana Grande] for being promiscuous and promoting homosexuals.  When HE speaks you must listen, friends!”

This hate-driven so-called Christian, Jennifer Mayer, must worship a genuinely evil god to claim her deity killed 22 English citizens, mostly young girls and their parents, to teach a young American “pop singer” the error of her ways. Apparently in the Christian extremist world, dressing like an entertainer during a stage performance and doing what the biblical Jesus Christ commanded his followers to do, love and embrace all people, even non-heterosexual people, warrants their god’s wrath on innocent girls and their parents; all to teach a young American pop singer a lesson.

Not to be outdone by the Christian extremists, Donald Trump’s close advisor and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones joined the evangelical chorus to condemn the victims while praising his Earthly demi-god Trump. The right-wing freak of nature and “conservative thought leader” labeled the young British girls and their parents “liberal trendies” he says champion bringing radical terrorists into America.

While he was praising Trump for enriching the American military industrial complex with a deal to sell arms to the nation responsible for 9/11, Saudi Arabia, Jones said:

And less than 24 hours after President Trump finishes that speech, a big bomb goes off at a pop star’s rock concert bombing a bunch of liberal trendies. The same people … who are promoting open borders, bringing Islamists in.”

First, Alex Jones is referring to, on average, 8 to 16 year old British girls who no more comprehend, much less promote, something called “open borders” than they comprehend or promote Ronald Reagan’s supply side economics; Jones is one seriously sick twisted piece of work.

Second, there is no possible way those mostly female British pre-teens and teens are promoting bringing “Islamists” in to America. Islamists is a typically conservative label for someone who commits an act of terror; unless they are white evangelical racists, then they are ignored.  One doesn’t have much faith that Jones is any smarter than an eight-year-old English child, but he certainly has to know that Manchester is in the United Kingdom and English citizens, no matter their age, certainly don’t promote “bringing Islamists into America.”

Even the National Rifle Association had to weigh in and blame the victims for the terror attack and claimed the Manchester Arena bombing only happened because of the victims’ “gender bending” and England’s sane gun laws.

As Michael Stone at Patheos noted, these “deplorable” Christian extremists and their conservative brethren “are happy to blame the victim in order to score ideological points; even if she is only eight years old.

A list of the victims is here and it is noteworthy that all but two of them were British and most were either young English girls or their parents. Still, as they are wont to do, America’s Christian extremist sect, the religious right, had no issue blaming the victims for something they claim their god did to punish America and a young pop singer.

h/t Patheos

Trump-DeVos Cut Public Education To Fund Evangelical Indoctrination

 

For those secular humanists who consider it their social obligation to cover politics and warn about the ever-present threat from the evangelical right, it seems reasonable to scream “we told you so;” especially now that Christian fundamentalists control the entire government. Part of the reason a relatively small percentage of the population now holds sway over the course of the nation and will easily usher in their long-awaited theocracy is because most political commentators, pundits and politicians are terrified of calling out the sole basis for many of the nation’s ills; evangelical fundamentalism. But that’s the subject of another commentary and not this angry piece.

It is an angry screed because as forewarned, this past week evangelical fanatic and unqualified Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has implemented phase one in her effort to transform America’s public education system into a loose confederation of taxpayer-funded Christian madrassas. This author, and a few others, have warned that when religious Republicans gained control of the entire government, they would finish what a few religious Republican governors started; force taxpayers to fund private Christian religious schools using money intended for public schools.

Part and parcel of DeVos’ assault on public education is drastically cutting its funding and using the proceeds to fund and develop for-profit private religious schools. The education budget’s draconian cuts of $10.6 billion will provide seed money for DeVos’ and Mike Pence’s plan to use the taxpayers’ money to fulfill the evangelical theocratic “goal of confronting the culture in ways to advance god’s kingdom.” One of the Christofascists’ “ways” is robbing taxpayer dollars to force America’s school-age children into embracing the evangelical worldview through indoctrination, fear-mongering, and daily propaganda; exactly like every other extremist religion has done throughout history.

That forced indoctrination will be supported in its initial stage with taxpayers giving “hundreds of millions of dollars” to for-profit private religious schools that was intended for public education “via vouchers and school choice programs.” The Washington Post reported:

The administration would channel part of the [public education cuts] savings into its top priority: school choice. It seeks to spend about $400 million to expand charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools, and another $1 billion to force public schools to adopt choice-friendly policies.”

It is important to note that when Republican theocrats use the term “choice-friendly policies,” they mean “evangelical-friendly policies” and that includes spending taxpayer dollars to expand for-profit evangelical charters. Anyone who believes the religious right Republicans will allow taxpayer dollars to fund Islamic, Buddhist, Wiccan, Jewish or Heathen charter or private schools is an idiot. Remember, DeVos’ stated “their goal” was advancing god’s kingdom; a term straight out of the Christian bible and a favorite of the Christian Dominionist movement.

Previously, when queried about the constitutionality, and morality, of wasting taxpayer dollars on private religious schools, DeVos declared that her reason for robbing public education funds is that “there are not enough philanthropic [private] dollars “ to fund what is currently the need in education… advancing god’s kingdom.”

Tragically, DeVos isn’t alone in the drive to proselytize the youth of America into the evangelical mindset and it doesn’t bode well that Trump’s vice president and ultimate liar Mike Pence and well-documented perjurer Jeff Sessions are maniacal theocrats. In fact, it is certain that any legal challenge to using taxpayer dollars to fund private religious schools will be summarily dismissed by the attorney general who has gone on record stating the Constitution’s “Separation Clause” is patently unconstitutional and is no part of American history.

It is even worse than the vice president and attorney general pushing theocratic indoctrination in public schools.  Earlier this year, an alarming report was released by a conservative Christian group with intimate ties to Donald Trump that advocated forced promotion of Christianity in public schools and abolishing the Department of Education because it is not driven by evangelical theocracy.

The front for radical conservative Christians ensconced in the Trump White House presented an evangelical education policy manifesto to Trump and DeVos demanding the dismantling of the Education Department and inserting the biblical god into American classrooms. It is what the evangelical manifesto considersrestoring education in America in accordance with historic Judeo-Christian principles.” And DeVos, Trump, and the rest of the evangelical Republicans intend to follow those “principles” to the letter. According to the DeVos-Trump education budget, taxpayers will pick up the tab as they watch their public education system transformed into a cabal of money-making theocratic Christian madrassas and a generation of young people indoctrinated into stupidity and seriously archaic mythos.

Steve Bannon Joins Insurgency Trying To Topple Pope Francis

 

Any conscious human being should comprehend that there is a movement to re-order the world that includes tearing down established governments and institutions, and America is now leading the movement. The current administration has shown a marked desire to tear down long-established alliances and treaties and is basing its foreign policy on waging a religious crusade against a particular faith. The man considered the second most powerful person in America, Steve Bannon, was reported to have confessed to being a Leninist whose goal is taking down “the state establishments” worldwide; it explains the Trump administration. What Trump is too “functionally illiterate” to comprehend about Bannon is that his dream of tearing down the state includes the “American state,” and the Republican Party will not be spared. Bannon has inserted his particular brand of alt-right nativism throughout Eastern Europe and has made inroads into French politics by “advising” neo-Nazi groups on how best to effectively sow fear and loathing toward Muslims and the people and organizations working to promote tolerance and democracy; especially people like Pope Francis.

It was reported that Bannon’s assault on “the establishment” includes the Catholic Church’s Pope Francis; likely because he talks like Jesus Christ and embraces “the Messiah’s” teachings on tolerance and charity; even for Islam and its adherents. Bannon, the alt-right theocrat who wants America to be a serious Jude’s-Christian “state,” did what he does best and slithered his slimy self into a demoted neo-conservative Catholic cardinal’s confidence to assist him in undermining the Holy Father and his agenda of promoting Jesus Christ’s teaching of charity, tolerance and goodwill toward everyone; not just white racist greedy evangelicals.

The New York Times reported that Bannon and conservative (American) Cardinal Raymond Burke became enamored with each other over their hatred of Muslims and “a changing worldview” they believe Pope Francis was working to spread. The Times reported that Bannon and Burke “…saw Islam as threatening to overrun a prostrate West weakened by the erosion of traditional Christian values, and viewed themselves as unjustly ostracized by out-of-touch political elites.”

In what seems like a damned bizarre statement from a Vatican-aligned member of the Christian faith, the man who arranged the commiseration meeting between the “onward Christian soldiers,” who have “sacrificed” and fought in the still ongoing culture war, Benjamin Harnwell said,

When you recognize someone who has sacrificed in order to remain true to his principles and who is fighting the same kind of battles in the cultural arena, in a different section of the battlefield, I’m not surprised there is a meeting of hearts.

As a former Christian minister, it is safe to say that every member of “the Christian clergy” is supposed to “act like Jesus” and is tasked with shepherding the flock to comport with Christ’s teachings; not fight battles against Islam, women and gays.

What has the “anti-Francis insurgency” inside the Catholic Church and Steve Bannon joining forces is their drive to put an abrupt end to “the direction” [Pope] Francis is taking the 1.2 billion Catholic flock. As the Times noted, the neo-cons in the Church agree with Bannon and believe that the Holy Father is a “dangerously misguided, and probably socialist, pontiff” who needs to be “toppled” along with democratic governments opposing neo-Nazis, evangelical fanaticism, and aggression towards Islam.

It is most certain that Cardinal Burke is carrying out a vendetta against Pope Francis for demoting him for being an intolerant ultra-conservative douchebag and expressing hate speech unbecoming of a civilized human being, much less a Catholic cardinal and representative of Christ. There is little doubt that Bannon’s vendetta is founded on the Pope “carrying out an inclusive agenda on migration, climate change and poverty,” a Papal agenda that has endeared him to Catholics and non-believers alike around the globe.

The good news for civilized human beings is that Pope Francis is undeterred in directing the Church to be more “Christ-like.” According to a Jesuit priest and editor of the Vatican-approved “La Civilta Cattolica,” the Reverend Antonio Spadaro, the Pope is not slowing down despite the machinations of people like Burke and Bannon. Rev. Spadaro, who is said to be very close to Francis, dismissed their (Vatican insurgents) criticism as the “stuff of a noisy but small ‘echo chamber.’” He also “played down the effect of Trump’s ascent on the standing of Francis’ opponents in the Vatican” and said it was only “propaganda.” He expressed a sentiment that most in the Vatican are already well aware of; the Pope is not about to be distracted by fights against those trying to topple his papacy. “He moves forward, and he moves ahead very fast.”

Rev. Spadaro said what is obvious to sane people: Trump’s ban on immigrants for “select” Muslim-majority nations is the “opposite” of the Pope’s vision for how best to “foster unity and peace” in nations and around the world.  The Pope is doing his level best to “avoid the clash of civilizations that both fundamentalist Muslims [ISIS] and Christians [religious right] want;” Bannon is chief among those wanting a Christian crusade against Islam led by America.

Look, Bannon’s dream of another holy Christian crusade against Islam cannot go forward with a Pope like Francis at the Vatican. Especially one who is having success at promoting being a follower of Christ and preaching tolerance and charity. Bannon needs the Vatican on board with his agenda, an agenda by the way that is Trump’s agenda, of creating the conditions to launch an all-out religious war against Islam, and any non-compliance to his dream of a world ruled by Judeo-Christian corporate regimes.

However, going after Pope Francis, a Pontiff that even non-believers embrace, is a sign that Bannon’s lust for power knows no bounds and demonstrates that he is deluded if he thinks working to undermine a beloved world leader like Francis is going to be anything but a giant struggle. It is also a sign that no one person or establishment in the world is safe from the “second most powerful,” and certainly the most dangerous, man in America and still a Breitbart punk named Steve Bannon.