Trump Legitimizes The Evangelical Hate Movement

Donald Trump is hate personified and it would be nearly impossible to think there were very many Americans who don’t believe that is the case; including no small number of his zealot devotees. They support Trump because like them, he is not the least bit bashful about exuding rage towards the people he hates; a group of Americans that is growing at about the same rate a productive hen lays an egg.

Fortunately for Trump, there is an honest-to-dog hate conference sponsored by several bonafide evangelical hate groups that welcomed him with open hearts last week so he didn’t have to hate alone. In fact, Trump was so enthused at being amongst a throng of religious hate mongers that he stopped talking about himself for a minute to say what an honor it was to be among “his” people. Sadly, “his” people make up a larger segment of the population than most Americans want to admit.

The Values Voter Summit is put on annually by several religious right hate groups led by the Family Research Council; an officially-designatedhate group.” Trump was the first White House occupant to address the hate group and he promptly told the cheering evangelicals that their racist, anti-women and anti-LGBTQ views would “no longer be silenced;” they would be administration policy because he pledged to “defend and protect” the evangelical hateful.

While any self-respecting human being would avoid commiserating in public with a movement renowned as a “hate group,” Trump delighted in being admired and praised by “his people.” He said:

I am honored and thrilled to be the first sitting president to address this gathering of friends, so many friends.  I pledged that in a Trump administration, our heritage would be cherished, protected and defended like you have never seen before. We are returning moral clarity to our view of the world.”

When Trump said “our view of the world,” he meant the Family Research Council’s evangelical view founded on pure hate against everything LGBT, women’s rights, and racial equality as evidenced by the white supremacist presence at the hate convention. Of course Trump couldn’t address anyone without addressing his own awesomeness and with a captive audience as dripping with evangelical hatred as Trump has for everything America, he let loose with a few of his most hateful actions to date.

Anti-LGBT groups like the FRC exerted a fair amount of pressure on, and plenty of evangelical prayers to, Trump for a sweeping federal license to discriminate against women and gays according to their evangelical hate standards. So Trump praised himself for directing his equally hateful evangelical attorney general to issue a “bombshell directive” giving evangelicals a ‘’religious exemption” from abiding by any and all anti-discrimination protections for women, gays and people of color.

He also boasted that he gave churches the right to violate campaign finance and tax laws to help elect Republicans and give dark money donors like the Kochs and Karl Rove untouchable religious Super PACs. Not only do churches not have to be accountable to campaign finance or tax laws, the wealthy donors like the Kochs can write off their campaign donations as charitable contributions to churches.

Trump said:

To protect religious liberty, including protecting groups like this one, I signed a new executive action in a beautiful ceremony in the White House on our national day of prayer.

Among many historic steps, the executive order followed through on one of my most important campaign promises, important to so many of you. To prevent the horrendous Johnson Amendment interfering with your First Amendment rights.

We will not allow government workers to censor sermons or target our pastors, our ministers, our rabbis. These are the people we want to hear from and they’re not going to be silenced any longer.”

When Trump said people “we” want to hear from, he meant Republicans want to hear evangelical clergy campaigning from the pulpit to expedite their hate crusade against women and LGBT people; a crusade that already gave religious Republicans control of all three branches of government.

Trump also boasted that he did precisely what the evangelical hate movement demanded by appointing an anti-women’s rights and anti-LGBT equality conservative to the Supreme Court. In a nod to the FRC hate group’s dream of “banning gay sex,” Trump bragged that “I appointed and confirmed a Supreme Court justice in the mold of the late great Justice Antonin Scalia.” In 2002 Scalia dissented on the High Court decision to strike down barbaric religious laws banning gay sex in the United States just 15 years ago.

It is noteworthy that at least two of Trump’s “great friends” speaking to the Hate Voters, as well as the Family Research Council’s president, are violently opposed to anything remotely LGBT and women’s rights. Trump’s newest love-interest Roy Moore allegedly is not publicly certain that gays should be allowed to live; but he is publicly certain that his bible is the law of the land and it does call for killing gay people. Another man equally as enamored with Trump as Trump is of him, Duck Dynasty malcontent Phil Robertson, addressed Trump’s “great friends;” Robertson often makes it perfectly clearhe wants to rid the Earth of wicked gays.

Now, it is no revelation that Trump is the embodiment of hate, or that the FRC’s Values Voter Summit typifies American evangelical hate, there are likely hate groups in every society and most are driven by radical religious beliefs. However, only a minority of the world’s nations are in the thrall of an administration founded on hate with veritable universal support from a small, but very vocal radical religious minority.

The seriously damning indictment of America is that 60-plus million Americans’ supported Donald Trump or he would be pandering to some second-rate cable network for another reality show gig. Throughout the presidential primaries and general election, Trump exuded hatred for every and anything and no American of voting age can say they didn’t know what kind of hate monger he is.

It is a damn sad state of affairs, but now that monster and his hate-infested evangelical cabal are running the nation, and Trump legitimized the hate movement by boasting about every hateful action he directed according to the evangelical’s demands. There are plenty of commentaries claiming the hate groups in America are a small minority, but don’t believe the sophistry. Instead, believe the numbers of Americans who spent six or seven months hearing and seeing hate incarnate on a daily basis and then voted for that incarnation to run the nation and legitimize evangelical hate as an integral element of “his government.”

DOJ Issues Religious License To Discriminate Against Women and Gays

The corrupt and radical religious cesspool known as the Trump-Pence administration ushered America one step closer to an extremist evangelical theocracy and assaulted the secular U.S. Constitution and federal laws in the process on Friday. The good news for evangelical fascists panting to punish Americans who fail to hew to the religious right’s nasty worldview came courtesy of Trump’s racist attorney general, Jeff “sermonizer” Sessions.

As a man who claims the religious “separation clause” in the U.S. Constitution’s is patently unconstitutional and unhistorical, Sessions laid down the evangelical law that going forward, no government employee, agency, or contractor has to adhere to anti-discrimination laws or the 14th Amendment if they claim doing so offends their religious beliefs.

This ultimate “license to discriminate” has been pushed in red religious Republican states since 2010, but prior to the last election there was a firewall at the federal level protecting equal rights. And no, the firewall was not the U.S. Constitution or federal anti-discrimination laws; they still exist but religious Republicans ignore them. The firewall was an administration that hewed closely to the Constitution replete with a Justice Department defending all Americans’ right to protections outlined in the 14th Amendment. It should be obvious by now that the Trump administration players have as much respect for the Constitution as they do veracity, or tolerance for Americans unwilling to subject themselves to radical evangelicals’ nasty form of “Christianity.”

According to the Trump administration’s latest theocratic edict, all it takes is a claim of “violating religious freedom” to “override any anti-discrimination protection for LGBT people, women, and many, many other Americans.” In fact, as the Associated Press noted:

The guidelines are so sweeping that experts on religious liberty are calling them a legal powder-keg that could prompt wide-ranging lawsuits against the government.”

The reality is that with a theocratic administration, Justice Department, Congress and Supreme Court, those “wide-ranging” lawsuits will be shut down with extreme prejudice. The DOJ under Sessions and Trump has already inserted itself into employment lawsuits on behalf of radical evangelicals who claim their religious liberty makes them immune to the Constitution’s equal rights provisions, employment laws, and anti-discrimination laws.

The humanitarian folks over at LGBT Weekly performed a preliminary analysis of this newest Trump-Pence theocratic assault on Americans and although they focused on the LGBTQ community and women, every demographic and American citizen are at risk. After all, the concept behind an overarching evangelical “license to discriminate” is providing radicalized Christians uncontested federal government authority to punish any American they believe violates their “religious freedom.”

Just a sampling of the horrors of the latest evangelical edict may provide a preview of what American citizens can expect with a federally-enforced “license to discriminate” declaration from Trump’s justice department. For example:

A Social Security Administration employee could refuse to accept or process spousal or survivor benefits paperwork for a surviving same-sex spouse. Government contractors will no longer be legally bound to  provide emergency services to unmarried women or members of the LGBT community because the risk of losing federal, state or city contracts no longer exists.

Organizations that receive federal tax dollars, like every church in America, that was at one time prohibited from demanding that all of their employees adhere to the tenets of the organization’s religion could now legally discriminate against LGBTQ, single women, and the non-religious by not providing employment benefits or employment.

Any agency, including churches and tax-exempt non-profits that receive federal aid in any form, and even those organizations’ individual staff members could refuse services for LGBTQ children in crisis. And they now have something they have fought tooth and nail to see implemented; unilateral authority stop  “placing adoptive or foster children with a same-sex couple or transgender couple;” or non-Christians and people of color if they claim doing so offends their religious sensibilities.

Women will face as much discrimination as LGBTQ people and that is part and parcel of the evangelical edict. The religious right Republicans have attempted to pass legislation forcing women to reveal if they use contraception, and organizations that receive federal funding have, in fact, attempted to require women, not men, to sign employment documents pledging to adhere to the organization’s owners religious standards on pain of employment termination.

This new theocratic edict will affect more than just “federal” agencies and contractors. There are very, very few state and local entities serving the public that do not receive federal funds whether they are public utilities,  public schools, police and fire departments, churches, hospitals and clinics, and emergency service providers. And it is noteworthy that this theocratic expansion of “conscience laws” now has the full weight and authority of the federal government based on religion. This is the new “religious liberty” radical evangelicals have lusted for and if any American thinks they are immune because they aren’t gay, aren’t women, or aren’t people of color, they are phenomenally stupid.

Of course the Trump administration’s latest theocratic edict elicited outrage from advocates for equal rights, but it is probably far too little far too late.

The president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) commented thus:

Today’s guidance by Jeff Sessions proves this [theocratic] Administration will do anything possible to categorize LGBTQ Americans as second-class citizens who are not equal under the law. Freedom of religion does not give people the right to impose their beliefs on others, to harm others, or to discriminate. Nothing could be more un-American and unholy than using religion to justify harm and discrimination to others.”

The president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Chad Griffin said:

Today the Trump-Pence administration launched an all-out assault on LGBTQ people, women, and other minority communities by unleashing a sweeping license to discriminate. This blatant attempt to further Donald Trump’s cynical and hateful [theocratic] agenda will enable systematic, government-wide discrimination that will have a devastating impact on LGBTQ people and their families. Donald Trump and Mike Pence have proven they will stop at nothing to target the LGBTQ community and drag our nation backwards.

It is noteworthy to remind the naysayers that religious freedom in 21st Century America is the freedom to impose the radical evangelical worldview on all Americans and punish those unwilling to comply with the bastardized version of Christianity. And yes, it is bastardized because the religion’s namesake, Jesus Christ, preached against everything the religious right stands for and promotes.

This latest theocratic assault on America and its Constitution will affect more than just the LGBTQ community and women; although they will bear the brunt of the attacks first. Like previous state-level “license to discriminate laws,” anyone remotely connected to an organization or agency receiving federal taxpayer dollars, can refuse to provide a service or assistance to anyone they claim violates their deeply held religious beliefs, even if they aren’t religious or affiliated with a religion. Bigotry is now a religious faith in America so everyone is a target.

This is not, as was once apt to say, ‘the way theocratic tyranny begins.” Theocracy is here in 2017 in the form of a federally-enacted “license to discriminate” and is not simply an invitation to discriminate, it is a signal to the extremist evangelical right that their “religious freedom” now includes federal protection to flout the equal rights of all Americans and the U.S. Constitution.

Tragically, with radical evangelical extremists running all three branches of the federal government, no American is safe. And there is no longer any freedom from imposition of religion by government fiat; something the Founding Fathers and Constitution’s Framers thought was so important they included it in the First Amendment.

Image: Gage Skidmore

Trump’s America Votes Against Condemning Death Penalty for Gays

America under Trump distinguished itself again late last week at the United Nations by opposing a simple resolution condemning an archaic Old Testament edict calling for the death penalty for committing a “capital crime” the Christian god says is “detestable.” It is no coincidence that under an extremist evangelical administration, the Trump ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, toed the evangelical line and voted with other religious regimes opposing a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution condemning the death penalty for homosexuality. It is important to note that Trump just endorsed evangelical malcontent Roy Moore of Alabama who has intimated often that according to his religious belief, homosexuality should be criminalized – gays have to be punished because “it’s in the bible.”

America was one of 13 nations in the minority voting against the United Nations resolution that condemned the practice of killing human beings because they love someone of the same gender. The so-called “land of the free” joined extremist religious nations such as Iraq, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and Saudi Arabia to vote against the U.N. resolution condemning the execution of human beings for whom they love.

It is noteworthy that the U.N. resolution  stops far short of actually calling for an end to the death penalty because that is a bridge too far. The resolution simply condemns its use “in a discriminatory fashion;” such as singling out members of the LGBTQ community and executing them for not adhering to archaic religious rules.

As noted by the “International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association” (ILGA), besides targeting gays for death, the U.N. was condemning the death penalty to punish adultery because it is regularly and disproportionately imposed on women. America voted against condemning executing people for adultery, blasphemy, apostasy and homosexuality; all designated as sins against the god of the bible and embraced with religious fervor by extremist theocratic nations.

The ILGA’s executive director, Renato Sabbadini, remarked in a statement just how atrocious some countries’ laws against being gay are. Mr. Sabbadini said:

It is unconscionable to think that there are hundreds of millions of people living in States where somebody may be executed simply because of whom they love.”

A spokeswoman for the Trump State Department, Heather Nauert, attempted to assuage the shock and outrage the vote engendered and gave a bizarre explanation for why Trump directed his U.N. Ambassador to vote with theocratic nations stuck in the Bronze Age. Besides opposing any criticism for the death penalty, Ms. Nauert said:

The United States unequivocally condemns the application of the death penalty for conduct such as homosexuality, blasphemy, adultery, and apostasy. We do not consider such conduct appropriate for criminalization. Okay? I hope that’s clear.”

That remark is not clear, it is a giant pile of bovine excrement and stunning the State Department would dare issue such a remark.  If the United States “unequivocally condemns” killing people for that conduct; why did Haley vote against “unequivocally condemning” killing people for that conduct? And the “official” Trump State Department claim that they were opposing “condemning the death penalty in all circumstances” is just more bullshit after being railed on by civilized human beings.

The director of the Human Rights Campaign Global, Ty Cobb, issued a “scathing statementsaying:

Ambassador Haley has failed the LGBTQ community by not standing up against the barbaric use of the death penalty to punish individuals in same-sex relationships. While the U.N. Human Rights Council took this crucially important step, the [extremist evangelical] Trump/Pence administration failed to show leadership on the world stage by not championing this critical measure. This administration’s blatant disregard for human rights and LGBTQ lives around the world is beyond disgraceful.”

What was beyond disgraceful was Nikki Haley following her boss’ lead and lying in defending the vote, but only after harsh criticism. She even used Trump’s media outlet, “Twitter,” to claim the Trump administration “have always fought for justice for the LGBT community.”

Not content to lie just once, Haley also lied in saying that:

The vote that took place in Geneva is the same US vote that took place under the Obama admin. It was not a vote against LGBT.”

More bullshit and two more easily debunked dirty lies. First, during the Obama Administration the United States “abstained” from voting on a similar resolution because America as an institution just enjoys killing people. And second, there was no reference to gays in previous resolution; the “LGBT language was newly-added this year.

Haley was also lying when she said the Trump administration has “always fought for justice for the LGBTQ community” and she knows she was lying. Trump has rolled back protections for LGBTQ people quietly and in the case of transgenders, it has been very public. In fact, the Trump administration has already won the distinction as being the most “anti-LGBTQ administration” in modern history. When the Trump administration did have an opportunity to demonstrate fighting for justice for gays on the world stage, especially to condemn the practice of applying the archaic Old Testament death penalty, they said no.

Although the “no” vote rankled no small number of Americans, it likely thrilled Trump’s supporters in the extremist evangelical sector. There are still five states in America that carry anti-blasphemy laws on the books, and plenty of extremist evangelicals would be thrilled to see the death penalty imposed for being gay; Trump just endorsed one of those extremist evangelicals to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate.

When given an opportunity to join 27 civilized nations in condemning application of Old Testament punishment for being gay, apostasy, blasphemy and adultery, Trump’s America “officially” said no; we won’t condemn it. Lying after the fact that Trump’s America condemns killing people who fail to conform to archaic bible edicts doesn’t change the fact that “officially” America does not condemn killing people for being gay. That official stance portends bad things for all Americans who think they are not living in an aspiring radical evangelical theocracy.

Image: Patheos

Preacher Pence Was Behind Trump’s Transgender Ban

When Trump attempted to set Department of Defense policy in a tweet, it most certainly took military leaders at the Pentagon by surprise despite the fact that the pathological liar said he had “conferred with the generals;” a claim that was immediately debunked by those same generals. However, Trump did not come up with the idea of his own accord and he did, in fact, confer with someone but it wasn’t anyone in the military – it was aspiring preacher-in-chief Mike Pence and alt-right hate-monger Steve Bannon.

As this column noted a couple of days ago, it is highly likely that preacher Pence was instrumental in “Jesus Jeff” (Sessions) decision to interfere in a private labor dispute to bolster the argument of a nasty evangelical bigot employer. Pence is well-known as one of, if not the most, aggressive anti-LGBTQ evangelical Republicans in the nation and he’s brought that bible-inspired hatred to his leadership post as head of Trump’s domestic and foreign policy.

Since taking over running the country in January, preacher Pence has been working tirelessly to abolish protections for the LGBTQ community and he began making transgender soldiers serving in defense of the nation a major target since day one. Foreign Policy reported that Pence and his evangelical staff were pushing Republicans in the House to insert language in defense spending bills prohibiting “federal dollars from being used to enable gender transitions.” That’s how badly Pence and his evangelical cohorts want to purge transgender soldiers laying their lives on the line serving in the military.

Bannon too, has been working tirelessly behind the scenes, but for a complete ban on transgenders serving their country and “defending Americans’ freedom.” In fact, it was the concerted effort of preacher Pence and barbaric Bannon that gave them the idea to take their case to Trump and convince him that those transgender service members were the only thing preventing federal dollars from funding Trump’s wonderful border wall. Naturally, Trump took the bait and limbered up his tiny little hands to tweet some presidential defense policy to the generals running the Pentagon.

The evangelical hater class has been violating the Ninth Commandment by lying about the projected costs for transgender soldiers claiming it would exceed $3.7 billion over 10 years. However, according to a pair of independent studies from the New England Journal of Medicine and the Rand Corporation, the real projected costs would more likely fall between $24 million and $84 million over that same 10 year period.

Even at the top of that range, the price tag is still less than one-tenth of the cost to the Pentagon to provide boner pills (Viagra) for male soldiers in need of a “lift” during sex. And for a different perspective, the costs of Trump’s taxpayer funded golfing trips to his Florida resort exceed the cost of transgender troops’ medical costs. Democratic Underground (DU)  reported:

Transgender troops’ medical care: $2.4-$8.4 million/year. Trump trips to Mar-A-Lago: $20 million in first 80 days.”

Obviously the evangelicals’ transgender ban has nothing whatsoever to do with cost or the Department of Defense would have weighed in and joined the evangelicals’ claim that the military readiness and “lethality of force” is weakened by allowing transgenders to fight and die for their country. It is a claim that opponents of Pence’s spending amendments rightly say is not an issue and will not be affected by continuing the current policy.

According to the executive director of OutServe-SLDN, Matt Thorn:

The Department of Defense does not want these [anti-transgender] amendments, and neither do we. Transgender service members have been serving, openly and authentically, with no impact on readiness or lethality of the force.”

And, according to a real military leader, and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,  Admiral Mike Mullen; any attempt to stop military treatment for service members would be “unprecedented.” Admiral Mullen said:

The military conducted a thorough research process on this issue and concluded that inclusive policy for transgender troops promotes readiness. I urge the Congress to respect the military’s judgment and not to breach the faith of service members who defend our freedoms.” (author bold)

To further bolster the argument that this hateful attack on dedicated transgender service personnel is driven purely by preacher Pence’s evangelical hate, there was an immediate round of celebratory praise for Trump from every Christian hate organization after his official military policy tweet.

As Michael Stone at Patheos noted, “conservative Christians took delight in Trump’s transgender troop ban and celebrated the president’s cruel bigotry.” For example, the president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, released a statement praising Trump. Perkins wrote:

I applaud President Trump for keeping his promise to return to military priorities – and not continue the social experimentation that has crippled our nation’s military.  The military can now focus its efforts on preparing to fight and win wars rather than being used to advance the Obama  social agenda.”

Another evangelical hater, Bryan Fischer tweeted remarks near and dear to preacher Pence’s evil evangelical heart:

A huge, huge win for sexual normalcy in public and military policy. And a win for national security.”

And, RightWingWatch reported on a reaction that likely made preacher Pence wet his evangelical underpants just thinking about how vile and deadly barbaric some of his closest evangelical cohorts and counselors can be towards the entire gay community. The purely evil anti-gay extremist Theodore Shoebat used Trump’s “official defense policy tweet” to advance his belief that banning transgenders from the military is not nearly harsh enough to meet his, and likely preacher Pence’s, biblical  belief that “gay people should be exterminated.” Shoebat said directly after Trump’s tweet that, “While this is great news, what really needs to be done is the death penalty for sodomites.

This past week should be proof enough even for the skeptic that with a cabal of Christian theocrats running the government, there is going to be an unrelenting assault on what evangelicals believe are “sinners worthy of death.” Besides Trump’s absurd tweet banning transgender people from serving their country, Sessions butted in to a private labor dispute claiming the 14th Amendment and 53-year-old Civil Rights Act do not apply to the LGBTQ community. And, in order to spread the evangelical hatred for gays across the planet, Trump appointed Kansas governor Sam Brownback, an acclaimed anti-gay evangelical bigot as America’s “religious freedom ambassador;” Brownback is renowned, as the New York Times noted, for being a very “vocal opponent of gay rights.”

Some Americans might believe that since they are not gay, or transgender, or do not serve in the military, that preacher Pence will not affect their lives; that would be a monumental mistake. These aspiring theocrats, led by the likes of the man in charge of domestic policy, preacher Pence, will not be sated with banning transgender people from serving their country or legalizing discrimination by employers.

History shows that the “faithful” will not be satisfied until they have absolute control over every aspect of Americans’ lives. If they don’t believe it they can peruse the policies and barbarism being imposed by ISIS or the Taliban. It is precisely where America is headed with cruel evangelicals like preacher Pence and his allies running the government.

Sessions Expands the Trump Administration’s Theocratic War on Gays

 

Many Americans familiar with Attorney General Jeff Sessions were befuddled at claims by other Republicans that the religious right sycophant was an acclaimed civil rights champion when he was tapped to lead the Justice Department. Those same Americans were well aware that Sessions is a harsh critic of civil or equal rights and complained that since it is the DOJ that is tasked with guaranteeing that all Americans enjoy the same rights, Sessions was not qualified to lead the department or protect Americans’ civil rights.

Late Wednesday, Sessions proved those skeptics right and waded into a private employment dispute litigation on the side of a bigot who believes it is legal to discriminate based on an employees’ sexual orientation. The bigot employer fired a worker on the grounds that he was gay.

The evangelical bigot Sessions used his position at the the Justice Department to file official federal government  court papers arguing that a major 53 year-old federal civil rights law does not protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. As Scotusblog reported; the evangelical running the DOJ butted in on a case now being considered by a New York appeals court in what is regarded as “a rare example of top Washington officials weighing in on gay rights in a private dispute.” It is a portent of things to come with an administration rife with theocrats that demand god is given a supreme voice in public policy.

That is precisely what Sessions didn’t say, and something the media is woefully missing in reporting; Sessions’ official DOJ amicus brief in defense of discrimination is founded on a nasty archaic religious edict, and nothing else. Of course Sessions is attacking LGBT people’s civil rights, it is a hard and fast rule among the religious right that non-heterosexual Americans are not entitled to the same rights or protections as white evangelicals.

The case the theocrats running the federal government are interfering with involves a private labor dispute regarding a homophobic employer who summarily fired an employee simply because he is gay. That is contrary to the meaning of civil rights and “contradicts a federal agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which says that the 1965 Civil Rights Act does indeed protect gay and bisexual workers” from bigots in the evangelical movement. That position was upheld just three months ago in a major ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit that supported the concept that LGBTQ Americans, as American citizens, are entitled to civil rights and employment discrimination protections.

In April, US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit made a very important ruling in an 8-3 decision concluding that federal civil rights law — specifically, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — does protect workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The court ruled that it is illegal in the United States for any employer to discriminate against gay workers because it offends their evangelical religion. It was the first federal court to conclude that gay people are real American citizens and therefore entitled to employment protections under existing civil rights law. The Trump administration, run by a theocratic cabal including Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions, disagrees and says gays are not real (white Christian) Americans and therefore not worthy of federal civil rights or employment discrimination protections.

The American Civil Liberties Union called the DOJ’s brief a “gratuitous and extraordinary attack on L.G.B.T. people’s civil rights.” The director of the organization’s L.G.B.T. and H.I.V. Project, James Esseks, issued a statement adding, “The Sessions-led Justice Department and the Trump administration are actively working to expose people to discrimination.” Although that is the case, it would be beneficial if the ACLU cited the real source of the administration’s push to legalize discrimination – the evangelical theocrats running the government.

It is noteworthy to remind Americans that less than two weeks ago Sessions gave a speech to an acknowledged evangelical hate group, the Alliance Defending Freedom, which claims “being gay is as sinful as bestiality.” That speech prompted U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay person to be elected to the Senate, to warn that Sessions’ speech  “sends a very troubling message that our Attorney General, America’s top law enforcement official, is not committed to standing up to anti-LGBT hate,”  

Based on Sessions’ interference in a private employment discrimination case on the side of the bigoted employer, Ms. Baldwin’s comment about Sessions’ lack of commitment to doing his job was prophetic. Not that any sane American expected anything different from an evangelical fanatic in charge of a powerful federal agency.

This latest attempt to “rule” according to theocracy was not unexpected and in great part it is down to the media, Democrats, and all manner of equal, civil, and human rights organizations gross failure to identify the source of every affront to humanity and American citizens’ freedoms – establishment of the evangelical religion as the rule of law. No doubt if these attacks on American citizens’ constitutionally-guaranteed rights to equality were reported as unconstitutional imposition of religion, it is highly likely that people like Sessions, and preacher Pence would never be in a position of authority. Sadly, now the theocrats are the authority and just as sadly LGBTQ people are not going to be the only victims because as history proves, religious regimes will get around to attacking everyone sooner or later.

 

 

 

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.