Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

News Tidbits

Metro Weekly: GOP Congressmen to reintroduce anti-LGBT First Amendment Defense Act

Talking Points Memo: Religious Groups Speak Out Against Trump Refugee Order

News Channel 5: Yarn Shop Owner Turns Away 'Women's Movement' Knitters

Santa Fe New Mexican: Fifth Navajo sues Mormon church over alleged sexual abuse

Huffington Post: Judge Blocks Texas From Implementing ‘Fetal Burial’ Rule — Again

Pink News: South Africa: Bishop who claimed there are no gay animals besieged by protestors

New Zealand Stuff: Conversation about LGBT and sexuality not allowed at Festival One

Hamilton Spectator: Canada: Christian Heritage Party takes Hamilton to court over removed anti-transgender ads

Commentary Tidbits

Truthdig: American Psychosis

Vice: Get to Know the Memes of the Alt-Right and Never Miss a Dog-Whistle Again

The Atlantic: An Evangelical Christian Defends Trump’s First Week in Office

Politico: Why Evangelicals Are Speaking Out Against Betsy DeVos

Right Wing Watch: Anti-Immigrant Groups Cheer Trump’s Refugee Blockade

Today's Orange Horrors, and Glimmers of Hope

The Hill: Trump signs order reducing regulations; fed agencies will need to revoke two regulations for every new regulation

New York Times: Acting Attorney General Orders Justice Dept. Not to Defend Refugee Ban

New York Times: Trump Fires Acting Attorney General

Associated Press: Trump says his court pick is 'highly respected'

Washington Blade: Trump to endorse anti-LGBT bias in new exec order: report 

Bloomberg: Trump Deflects Migrant Ban Chaos by Blaming Delta And Protesters

CNN: How Trump's travel ban affects green card holders and dual citizens

Huffington Post: After Trump Deemed China Foreign Enemy, Anti-Asian Hate Crimes In LA Surged: Expert

UN News Centre: UN agency ‘alarmed’ by uncertainty facing refugees in the process of being resettled in US

The Independent: African Union criticizes US for ‘taking many of our people as slaves’ and not taking refugees

We have much to be hopeful about!

Politico: Senate Dems will filibuster Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

Washington Post: State Department dissent memo: ‘We are better than this ban’

Associated Press: Washington state sues Trump over immigration order

WFTV 9: CAIR to sue Trump over executive order

The Verge: Google employees staged a protest over Trump’s immigration ban

Ottawa Citizen: Thousands protest in massive demonstration outside U.S. Embassy in Ottawa

Los Angeles Times: Why many local police officers say they're not eager to help Trump enforce immigration laws

CNN: Starbucks pledges to hire 10,000 refugees

NBC News: Kal Penn Raises Over $500,000 for Refugees After Being Told He Doesn’t ‘Belong’ in U.S.

2015 Flashback: Geoffrey Botkin Demonizes Muslim Refugees

Trump's executive order on refugees comes during an era a time of heavy refugee migration out of the Levant, Africa, and other conflict-torn regions. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, forced displacement of refugees hit an all-time high in 2015, with 65.3 million people displaced from their homes.

While some people have responded to the refugee crisis with compassion, others have reacted with xenophobia. Geoffrey Botkin, Christian Patriarchy Movement adherent and head of the Western Conservatory of the Arts and Sciences, belongs to the latter group. In a November 22nd, 2015 sermon at Christ the King Church entitled "Loving Refugees: Why Christians Are Getting It Wrong", Botkin demonizes Muslim refugees as a fifth column in western countries. At a time when Trump's executive order is generating so much protest and outrage, it seems timely to share Botkin's sermon.

Botkin began his talk by describing Islamic extremist attacks, setting the tone for the rest of his talk. However, he assured his audience that he was not trying to frighten them, but to open their eyes to Islamic atrocities. "This message that I'm giving to you this morning is not to create fear, but to recover the wisdom that will end the destruction that creates widows, rape victims, orphans, and refugees," he said at the 0:48 mark.

Yes, Geoffrey, you ARE trying to create fear, I thought. Your whole schtick is instilling fear in your audience so that they endorse your agenda.

At the 1:03 mark, he prepared to discuss "what the Bible really says" about responding to refugees.
"Yesterday, the American broadcaster NPR asked an incisive question: what does the Bible say about refugees? And what they discovered was that presidential candidates and voters have an incredible Biblical illiteracy. Even those who should know better are offering mixtures of pragmatism and religious-sounding platitudes, and these have now taken the cultural place of what the Bible really says."
Botkin quoted Proverbs 24:23-25 and argued that acts of mercy must be tempered with "sound judgment and discernment" at the 2:50 mark.
"The Bible makes a case for sound judgment and discernment as the basis for all deeds of mercy and compassion ... I want you to know today that I am extraordinarily optimistic about the solution that we're seeing about militant Islam and Muslim migration, because it is so remarkably simple. But to reach it, Christians in the west must begin to confess their own negligence in exercising discernment and courage and leadership. We're supposed to have good judgment. We're actually making judgments all the time. Everyone is, and we cannot get this one wrong."
Botkin argued that Christians are demonstrating "foolishness" with regard to refugees. Many Christians, he claimed, are allowing nations to get info from "foolish" media stories and Facebook memes. After admitting that America is a nation of immigrants, he claimed that America's story is not one of "blind sympathy or careless compassion". A condition of acceptance was respect for God's law as expressed through laws of the land, he said.

At the 14:27 mark, Botkin claims that Islam has been an enemy of America since the country's founding.
"Islam was hurting the world at the time of America's founding. Even some of our own citizens were being taken, captured, killed rape, mistreated, insulted, right at the time that we declared our independence and shortly after. They took a special advantage of our weakness right after we became a nation because we didn't have a navy. And so pirate ships that were Muslim would ambush our ships on the high seas and take our men and women and children captive and sell them into the slave markets."
When confronted with a migrant, Americans should ask if the migrant is a decent and lawful person, of if he plans to subvert American laws, Botkin advised.

Botkin was quick to remind listeners that he isn't racist. At the 16:14 mark, he insisted that his diatribe was against "lawlessness" and the "rival law system" of Islam.
"Pigment and race has nothing to do with any of this. This is about character and lawlessness. Does the migrant intend to replace American law with a rival law system? Does he intend to overthrow all freedom of religion, for example, forcing people to observe a different religious system of law? And these are the religious questions of immigration that Christians need to be offering solid answers to right now, today."
Christians have been AWOL with applying discernment to immigration, he insisted. American Christians are "more passive than active" and "more confused than certain" in their analysis of immigration, and they have taught themselves and the surrounding culture to reject the law of God, he said. Even politicians are making "treasonous" mistakes with regard to this issue, he argued.

On the subject of Syria and its refugees, Botkin described ISIS atrocities, decrying the "typical Mohammedian brutality to Christians and Yazidis". Outrageously, Botkin claimed that the refugees who were escaping Syria first and easiest were not victims of ISIS, but well-to-do Muslim men of fighting age of same "religious brotherhood" as ISIS. Muslims are emigrating to West as part of stealth hijra, deceitful jihad, he warned, adding that the American media does not understand "Islamic migration warfare".

"Do Muslims come to new lands to improve them or to find refuge, or to trample them, insult them, defile them, destroy them?" he asked the audience at the 30:31 mark. At the 30:50 mark, he demonized Muslims as as "mob" whose behavior is consistently cruel and deadly.
"The attitude exhibited by the Islamic mob is consistently Islamic. Whatever the nationality, the behavior is consistent, whether in a refugee camp, where they tolerate the assassination of a Christian, Christian people, Christian families, or on board small rafts where Christians have been thrown overboard en route to Europe. And it's been consistent also in helping themselves to the plunder of Europe once they arrived. They entered Greek houses and took what they wanted when they arrived in Greece. Arriving in Hungary, they discarded cell phones and documents so that they could plead whatever refugee status was most beneficial."
The demonization continued at the 31:41 mark, when he told listeners that Muslims have killed, enslaved, and "annihilated" cultures since the inception of Islam. "Christian nations" must not lose their "moral confidence" and good judgment, lest they experience the same fate, he warned.
"In its 1,400 year war against the non-Muslim world, Islam has taken the lives of 120 million people. That's an estimate. That doesn't even include the number of slaves that were sold into slavery. And Islam has annihilated every culture it has conquered, and this should never happen to nations with stable foundations of law, order, and justice, but it will ALWAYS happen when Christian nations lose their nerve, their moral confidence, their discernment, and their judgment."
Botkin raged against once-Christian nations embracing a "politically correct version of niceness and committing treason to their own law, their own people". To frighten his audience, Botkin warned them about Islamic "rape gangs' in UK who terrorize their victims with little to no police accountability.

Great, I thought. He's using the scary-brown-men-gonna-bang-all-the-white-women scare tactic again. 

One million English girls have been assaulted by Muslim attackers, he claimed. This claim stretched the limits of plausibility. According to the United Kingdom Office for National Statistics, the UK had a population of roughly 65 million people as of 2015. While I realize that sexual victimization is sadly common, does Botkin really expect us to believe that 1 in 65 UK residents has been raped by a Muslim immigrant? 

Botkin asserted that no alien can claim to be above law of the land or get special treatment.  "Most Muslims understand that they are to be and act and believe themselves and act accordingly above the law," he told listeners. After giving lip service to Bible passages on treating the foreigner justly, he added that Christians "are required to show our loves for aliens, but we do it on God's terms."

Predictably, those who think differently than Botkin were mocked when Islamic extremist violence befell then. For example, Paris "surrendered their right of expression" after the Charlie Hebdo attack, Botkin's told the audience. He depicted the French as weak in the face of the attack, asking "Are any Frenchmen willing to resist here?". At the 55:13 mark, he mocked the French for supposedly having nothing to defend when they grieved for the Charlie Hebdo victims.
"What does this mean? Je suis Charlie? 'I am Charlie, and all my thousands of friends are marching with solemn faces.' The journalists are suggesting that they're saying to the world here, 'We Frenchmen will continue in united solidarity to our collective irreverence, and we don't care if we die in pursuit of wine, women, and song. We don't have much worth fighting to defend, so we'll just keep eating and drinking and being French and just take whatever comes.'"
Sadly, this rhetoric is what we've come to expect from Botkin: demonization of the Other, salacious warnings about the Other's supposed sexual menace, and cultivation of fearful us-versus-them thinking. In Botkin's world, the Muslim becomes a scapegoat, a depraved and violent Other who is blamed for society's ills. The terrifying Other serves as an excuse for fundamentalist Christian to retreat deeper into insular communities and unite against a perceived enemy. At a time when the racist Alt-right is clamoring to be heard and hate crimes against Muslims are increasing, such hateful rhetoric is dangerous. At a time when countless Muslim refugees are seeking refuge in the U.S., and being turned away, such rhetoric is heartbreaking.

While Botkin's sermon gives us insight into anti-Muslim hatred, the attitudes expressed therein are not mainstream. The beliefs of men like him must never be allowed to become mainstream. As decent human beings, we are obliged see past stereotypes and fearmongering, to treat Muslims and refugees fairly, and to welcome the stranger seeking asylum at the golden door.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Today's Orange Horrors, and Glimmers of Hope

ABC News: US Judge Grants Stay on Deportations Under Trump Immigration Order, but Overall Ban Remains

CNN: White House discussing asking foreign visitors for social media info and cell phone contacts

BBC News: Trump puts Bannon on security council, dropping joint chiefs

Politico: House Democrats demand meeting with DHS chief over Trump ban

Don't lose heart! We have these glimmers of hope to strengthen our resolve.

The Hill: Feinstein to introduce two bills in response to Trump's ban

The Guardian: Kaine likens Trump Remembrance Day statement to Holocaust denial

Reuters: Attorneys general from 15 U.S. states, DC decry immigration order

CBS New York: Cuomo announces toll-free hotline

ABC News: Protests Build Across the Country Against Trump's Immigration Order

Huffington Post: Thousands Protest Outside White House To ‘Shame’ Trump Over Immigration Order

Los Angeles Times: Thousands protest at LAX against Trump travel ban

New York Daily News: Protesters rally in lower Manhattan against President Trump’s travel ban

Boston Globe: Thousands at Copley Square protest immigration order

WJZ: Hundreds Of Protesters Gather At BWI To Protest President’s Travel Ban

Politico: Christian groups oppose Trump's preference for Christian refugees

Catholic Leaders Express Solidarity with Refugees and Immigrants

Most of the time, when the Catholic Church warrants mention at Republic of Gilead, it's for negative reasons. This evening, I must begrudgingly give credit where credit is due. Several Catholic leaders are expressing solidarity with refugees and immigrants in the wake of Trump's executive orders increasing deportation forces, mandating the construction of a border wall, and restricting refugee entry into the U.S. Archbishops and service providers across the U.S. are releasing statements criticizing Trump's refugee plans and urging compassion toward refugees.

First, Sister Donna Markham, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, stated that "While I certainly appreciate the importance of vetting to insure the safety of our country, I also believe we must treat those who are most vulnerable with compassion and mercy and with hearts willing to be opened wide in the face of dire human need." In a January 27th press release, Catholic Charities USA affirmed its commitment to assisting immigrants and refugees.
"The Catholic Church in the United States has always assisted refugees and migrants coming to our country, regardless of their country of origin. At the same time, the US has historically opposed those leaders who oppressed or tortured their citizens. How can we now justify closing our borders to their innocent victims?

Catholic Charities will continue to advocate on behalf of people who are poor and marginalized, of all faiths, as our agencies continue to provide them with service, compassion and care."
In a January 27th press release, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration expressed disapproval of the executive order on refugees. Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, chairman of the Committee on Migration, had this to say.
"We strongly disagree with the Executive Order's halting refugee admissions. We believe that now more than ever, welcoming newcomers and refugees is an act of love and hope. We will continue to engage the new administration, as we have all administrations for the duration of the current refugee program, now almost forty years. We will work vigorously to ensure that refugees are humanely welcomed in collaboration with Catholic Charities without sacrificing our security or our core values as Americans, and to ensure that families may be reunified with their loved ones.


Today, more than 65 million people around the world are forcibly displaced from their homes. Given this extraordinary level of suffering, the U.S. Catholic Bishops will redouble their support for, and efforts to protect, all who flee persecution and violence, as just one part of the perennial and global work of the Church in this area of concern."
In a January 29th press release, Chicago Archbishop Blase J. Cupich called this weekend "a dark moment in U.S. history", calling the executive order an affront to both American and Catholic values.
"This weekend proved to be a dark moment in U.S. history. The executive order to turn away refugees and to close our nation to those, particularly Muslims, fleeing violence, oppression and persecution is contrary to both Catholic and American values.  Have we not repeated the disastrous decisions of those in the past who turned away other people fleeing violence, leaving certain ethnicities and religions marginalized and excluded? We Catholics know that history well, for, like others, we have been on the other side of such decisions.

These actions impose a sweeping and immediate halt on migrants and refugees from several countries, people who are suffering, fleeing for their lives. Their design and implementation have been rushed, chaotic, cruel and oblivious to the realities that will produce enduring security for the United States. They have left people holding valid visas and other proper documents detained in our airports, sent back to the places some were fleeing or not allowed to board planes headed here. Only at the eleventh hour did a federal judge intervene to suspend this unjust action."
Cupich reminded readers that barring refugees is already corroding America's values.
"The world is watching as we abandon our commitments to American values. These actions give aid and comfort to those who would destroy our way of life. They lower our estimation in the eyes of the many peoples who want to know America as a defender of human rights and religious liberty, not a nation that targets religious populations and then shuts its doors on them."
In a January 27th press release, Newark Archbishop Cardinal Joseph Tobin urged the federal government to adopt a "prudent" policy for protecting citizens. He slammed Trump's executive orders on immigration as contrary to American values.
"Wednesday’s Executive Actions do not show the United States to be an open and welcoming nation.  They are the opposite of what it means to be an American. 

Closing borders and building walls are not rational acts.  Mass detentions and wholesale deportation benefit no one; such inhuman policies destroy families and communities.

In fact, threatening the so-called “sanctuary cities” with the withdrawal of federal funding for vital services such as healthcare, education and transportation will not reduce immigration.  It only will harm all good people in those communities."
Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron reaffirmed his opposition to discriminatory policies in a January 28th statement, expressing solidarity with immigrants and refugees.
"I wrote to you a little over a year ago to share with you my statement to the priests of our Archdiocese regarding a proposal made during the presidential campaign to restrict Muslim immigration to the United States. At that time, I reaffirmed my commitment to stand with you in opposing any and all unjust discrimination on the basis of religion. Today, I reaffirm that pledge ... Please know that the Catholic community will continue to speak out and care for immigrants and refugees, no matter their religion or their country of origin."
In a January 26th statement, St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda acknowledged the anxiety that many Catholic feel in the wake of Trump's immigration orders. He stressed "the importance of treating our undocumented brothers and sisters with the dignity that is theirs as children of God."
"I know that many in our Archdiocese are experiencing fear and anxiety after President Trump’s recent executive orders implementing his plans to expand and fortify the existing wall between the United States and Mexico, to increase immigration deportation and detention, and to punish cities and counties that choose not to cooperate with federal deportation efforts. This is clearly a moment for continuing our prayers not only for the immigrants and refugees who call our Archdiocese home, but also for our parishes who are discerning ways of responding to this situation and for our government leaders at all levels who are called to work for the common good.

The Catholic bishops of the United States have recognized that this is a moment for comprehensive immigration reform and have repeatedly called for collaboration between the White House and our lawmakers in the House and Senate to work together to this end. While recognizing the right of countries to protect their borders and to regulate immigration in a way that is fair and promotes public safety, the Church has repeatedly underlined the importance of treating our undocumented brothers and sisters with the dignity that is theirs as children of God."
While Catholic leaders seemed pleased with Trump's reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy and Mike Pence's presence at the 2017 March for Life, his anti-immigration and anti-refugee policies ran afoul of service providers and bishops. The Trump administration may soon realize that support from Catholics is far from assured, especially on a range of social issues. Should the administration press forward with even more anti-immigration and anti-refugee plans, it may alienate Catholic communities even more.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

News Tidbits

New York Times: Anxiety About Muslim Refugees Is Stoked Online by the Far-Right Media

Washington Post: Trump ‘will get rid of all of you’: Man allegedly attacks Muslim airline employee 

Press TV: Texas mosque set on fire, becomes 2nd mosque ruined in US state in January

Religion News Service: Trump says evangelicals will love his Supreme Court pick

Commentary Tidbits

Brane Space: The March for Life: A Pre-Moral, Not Moral, Display

New York Times: Donald Trump, the Religious Right’s Trojan Horse

Slaktivist: Relief agencies sound a red alert

KOSU: Trump Refugee Ban Clashes With Faith-Based Groups' Religious Missions

Huffington Post: These Prominent Evangelicals Are Pretty Sure Trump’s Refugee Ban Is Perfectly Moral

Infidel753: Things fall apart, the center cannot hold  

Today's Orange Horrors, and Glimmers of Hope (UPDATED)

ABC News: Trump Signs Executive Actions on Lobbying Ban, Plans for ISIS

Washington Post: Trump gives Bannon national security role

New York Times: Trump’s Order Blocks Immigrants at Airports, Stoking Fear Around Globe

South China Morning Post: China ‘steps up preparedness for possible military conflict with US’ 

The Hill: Iran to ban US citizens after Trump order 

PBS News Hour: Trudeau says Canada will take refugees banned by U.S.

CBS SF Bay Area: California Could Cut Off Feds In Response To Trump Threats

CNN: 2 Iraqis file lawsuit after being detained in NY due to travel ban

NBC News: Silicon Valley Leaders Slam Trump Refugee Restrictions, Offer Employees Legal Aid

Dozens of travelers were detained at U.S. airports today in the wake of Trump's executive order. However, Americans are standing up for refugees. Take comfort in these articles.

The Verge: Federal court halts Trump’s immigration ban   (Added 9:08 p.m.)

WDSU 6: Governors: States will aid those detained from flights

ABC News: Protests Spread at Airports Nationwide Over Trump's Executive Order

NBC 5 Chicago: Activists Rally at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport Against Trump’s Order on Refugees

Los Angeles Times: Immigration attorneys at LAX helping immigrants, many from Iran, detained by federal officials 

CBS Los Angeles: Candlelight Vigil Planned At LAX In Protest Of Trump’s Refugee Ban

WJLA: Va. Gov. McAuliffe speaks at Dulles Airport, where protesters of executive action gather

Pennlive: Trump immigration ban draws hundreds of protesters in Pittsburgh

Trump Signs Executive Order on Refugees, Seeks Preferential Treatment for Christian Refugees

Another disastrous Trump policy has come to pass. According to ABC News, President Trump signed an executive order on January 27th that made major changes to U.S. refugee and immigration policies. The executive order, entitled "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States", mandated an immediate suspension of immigration from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen for 90 days. Additionally, the order mandated a complete suspension of Syrian refugees, called on the Secretary of State to suspend the Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days, and demanded a prioritizing of refugee admission based on "religious-based persecution".

"I'm establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America," Trump said at the Pentagon signing ceremony, according to the Hill. "We don't want them here. We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those into our country who support our country and love deeply our people."

Trump signed the executive order on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, in an act of supreme irony and breathtaking callousness. Refugees fleeing the horrors of the Nazi regime were turned away by the U.S., just as they will be turned away now, observers pointed out. Hypocritically, Trump also signed the order on the same day that Vice President Pence praised him as a champion of life at the March for Life.

It soon became clear that Christian refugees would receive preferential treatment on the grounds of religious persecution. In an interview with CBN's David Brody, Trump claimed that Christian refugees deserve preferential treatment over Muslim refugees. (Hat tip to Right Wing Watch.)
BRODY: Persecuted Christians, we’ve talked about this, overseas. The refugee program, or the refugee changes you’re looking to make, as it relates to persecuted Christians, do you see them as kind of a priority here?


BRODY: You do?

TRUMP: Yes. They’ve been horribly treated. Do you know, if you were a Christian in Syria, it was impossible, very very, at least very tough to get into the United States? If you were a Muslim, you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible, and the reason that was so unfair is that everybody was persecuted in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody, but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them.
Where this leaves Yazidis, atheists, Shiite Muslims, Ahmadiyya Muslims, and other non-Christian victims of religious persecution, we can only guess.

Refugees and migrants in possession of valid visas were detained at U.S. airports in the hours after Trump signed the executive order, according to the Washington Post. At this time, it is unknown how many refugees have been detained across the U.S.

Trump's decision was applauded by some Religious Right figures, including Robert Jeffress. However, other religious groups have expressed disapproval of Trump's plans for refugees and immigrants, including the National Association of Evangelicals and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Condemnation of the executive order was swift.

  • In a joint statement, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration stressed that, "We strongly believe that refugees should receive equal treatment for protection and assistance, and opportunities for resettlement, regardless of their religion, nationality or race."

  • David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Refugee Committee, criticized the executive order as "hasty", reminding readers that "refugees are fleeing terror – they are not terrorists".

  • In a press release on the evening of January 27th, Human Rights Watch insisted that the executive order "will cause tremendous harm to refugees and do little to address terrorism and other national security threats".

  • Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, called Trump's plans "cruel and contrary to the values of our country", blasting them as "a death sentence" to refugees fleeing horrors in the Middle East.

  • Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, called January 27th "a shameful day for our great country, one that is likely to condemn thousands of innocent men, women, and children to death."

One organization is taking direct action. In a January 28th press release, the American Civil Liberties Union announced that it had filed a lawsuit on behalf of plaintiffs subject to Trump's ban (more here). "President Trump's war on equality is already taking a terrible human toll. This ban cannot be allowed to continue," said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrant Rights Project.

Trump's cruel executive order is a slap in the face to refugees. His decision comes at a time when countless people are fleeing nightmarish situations in Africa and the Middle East. All refugees, not just Christian ones from certain countries, deserve an escape from their plight, but one of those escape routes has now been closed off.

Let's be honest about Trump's motivations. His executive order was never about protecting national security or thwarting terrorists. An irrational fear of Muslims and foreigners from the Middle East, carefully nurtured by Trump and his supporters, is the driving force behind this decision.

Friday, January 27, 2017

News Tidbits

The Hill: Anti-abortion protesters take to DC for March for Life

Associated Press: Pence Becomes 1st Vice President to Address March for Life

Associated Press: Wyoming: Sponsors withdraw House religious freedom measure

Christian Science Monitor: Russia's decriminalization of domestic abuse: A sign of conservatives' influence?

Gay Star News: Priests will rebel after Church of England refuses to change stance on same-sex marriage

Commentary Tidbits

Flunking Sainthood: Do Mormons leave the Church because they ‘got offended’?

Slate: “This Evil Is All Around Us”: Trump’s pick for the CIA, Mike Pompeo, sees foreign policy as a vehicle for holy war.

The New Civil Rights Movement: The LGBT March on DC Is Happening: Five Post-Election Reasons This Is Important

The Atlantic: Will the Pro-Life Movement Split With Trump on Issues Other Than Abortion?

Religion News Service: March for Life buoyant over Trump’s anti-abortion promises

Today's Orange Horrors, and Glimmers of Hope

Reuters: Trump Signs Order to Bar Some Refugees; Signals Prioritizing Syrian Christians

Los Angeles Times: Trump signs executive order to review military preparedness 

Miami Herald: Miami-Dade mayor orders jails to comply with Trump crackdown on ‘sanctuary’ counties

Time: Mexicans Launch Boycotts of U.S. Companies in Fury at Donald Trump

Washington Post: The nation’s top scientists can’t get through to Trump — and they’re alarmed

CNN: Trump administration asks top State Department officials to leave

CNN: Steve Bannon: Media should 'keep its mouth shut'

We do have glimmers of hope today.

The Hill: Al Gore will host canceled climate change summit

Edge Media Network: Philly Queer Rage(r) Protest the GOP Guerilla Dance Party

Associated Press: Charge Dropped for Journalist Arrested in Trump Protest

NBC 6: Protest Held Over Miami-Dade Mayor's Immigration Move

Tulsa World: No Walls rally in Tulsa draws crowd to protest Trump's immigration policies

KATU 2: Hundreds gather alongside Oregon lawmakers to protest DeVos pick

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Lake Street-Marshall Avenue bridge reopens after protest, police say

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trump's Plans for Immigrants and Refugees Draw Mixed Reactions

President Trump is acting on his anti-immigration campaign promises. According to BBC News and CNN, on January 25th, Trump signed two executive orders boosting border patrol forces, increasing the number of immigration enforcement officers who can carry out deportations, depriving sanctuary cities of federal grant funding, and directing the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. In a move that smacks of scapegoating, Trump's executive orders also mandates that the Department of Homeland Security publish a list of crimes committed by aliens, according to Buzzfeed and the Independent.

Trump's ire also extends to refugees, which will have devastating consequences at a time when refugees are pouring out of Central America, Africa, and the Middle East. According to Reuters, Trump is expected to sign an executive order that would temporarily ban refugees from entering the U.S. and suspend visas for citizens of Syria and six other countries. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has temporarily suspended trips by staff to interview refugees in anticipation of Trump's new refugee policy, two sources told Reuters.

Some immigration-focused voices from the right were delighted. Writing at the Center for Immigration Studies, Mark Krikorian called the Trump's immigration plans "a resounding success" and was eager to see how the administration would handle "defiant sanctuary cities, greedy employers, leftist lawfare warriors, oleaginous lobbyists". In a blog post at NumbersUSA, Roy Beck observed that Trump's executive orders had addressed six out of ten goals set out in the group's "10 Steps to Fix Our Broken Immigration-Enforcement System". During the January 26th edition of Jay Sekulow Live, Jay Sekulow said that Trump's drafted plans on refugees "makes absolute sense".

In a recent interview with the Huffington Post, Samaritan's Purse president Franklin Graham did not see Trump's measures as an affront to Jesus' teachings about welcoming the stranger.
"It’s not a biblical command for the country to let everyone in who wants to come, that’s not a Bible issue ... We want to love people, we want to be kind to people, we want to be considerate, but we have a country and a country should have order and there are laws that relate to immigration and I think we should follow those laws. Because of the dangers we see today in this world, we need to be very careful."
However, other conservative Christian voices frowned on Trump's plans. Groups that were pleased with Trump's reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy expressed disapproval of his plans for immigrants and refugees. For example, in a January 25th press release, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) urged Trump to continue the U.S. refugee resettlement program. The NAE called Trump's reported plans to restrict refugee admission based on religion or national origin "alarming".
"Christians and churches have been welcoming refugees for 2,000 years, and evangelicals are committed to continue this biblical mission. Thousands of U.S. evangelicals and their churches have welcomed hundreds of thousands of refugees over the past 40 years through World Relief and other federally approved resettlement agencies. We don’t want to stop now,” NAE President Leith Anderson said.

News reports that the Trump administration plans to make severe cuts to the admission of refugees based on their religion or national origin are alarming. We call on President Trump to declare his support for the continuation of the U.S. refugee resettlement program, which is critical at a time when the world faces a significant refugee crisis.

"While refugees to the United States undergo rigorous screening interviews, background checks and biometrics taking 18-24 months, there have been fewer than 100,000 per year. By comparison, there are over 75 million foreign tourist, business and student visitors to the United States each year — most coming with little or no security screening. Most refugees from the Middle East are women and children who have suffered the assaults of ISIS terrorists and civil war. We have the opportunity to rescue, help and bless some of the world’s most oppressed and vulnerable families,” Anderson said."
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) also expressed disappointment in Trump's decisions on immigration. In a January 25th press release, the USCCB accused Trump of "disregard[ing] the judgment of state and local law enforcement on how best to protect their communities". Bishop Joe Vasquez, Chair of the Committee of Migration and Bishop of the Diocese of Austin, was "disheartened" by news of the border wall, which he claimed would make immigrants even more vulnerable.
"I am disheartened that the President has prioritized building a wall on our border with Mexico. This action will put immigrant lives needlessly in harm's way. Construction of such a wall will only make migrants, especially vulnerable women and children, more susceptible to traffickers and smugglers. Additionally, the construction of such a wall destabilizes the many vibrant and beautifully interconnected communities that live peacefully along the border. Instead of building walls, at this time, my brother bishops and I will continue to follow the example of Pope Francis. We will "look to build bridges between people, bridges that allow us to break down the walls of exclusion and exploitation.'"

In regards to the announcement of the planned surge in immigrant detention and deportation forces, Bishop Vasquez added:
"The announced increase in immigrant detention space and immigration enforcement activities is alarming. It will tear families apart and spark fear and panic in communities. While we respect the right of our federal government to control our borders and ensure security for all Americans, we do not believe that a large scale escalation of immigrant detention and intensive increased use of enforcement in immigrant communities is the way to achieve those goals. Instead, we remain firm in our commitment to comprehensive, compassionate, and common-sense reform. We fear that the policies announced today will make it much more difficult for the vulnerable to access protection in our country. Everyday my brother bishops and I witness the harmful effects of immigrant detention in our ministries. We experience the pain of severed families that struggle to maintain a semblance of normal family life. We see traumatized children in our schools and in our churches. The policies announced today will only further upend immigrant families."
These statements serve as reminders that conservative groups do not have a monolithic approach to immigrants and refugees. While more extreme groups among the right may smile upon Trump's executive orders, other conservative groups are calling for a more compassionate and nuanced approach. Will left-leaning activists find common ground with these latter groups and work together on immigration and refugee entry in the days ahead?

To read more, visit the following links.

Washington Post: Trump’s order to ban refugees and immigrants triggers fears across the globe

Christianity Today: Evangelical Experts Oppose Trump’s Plan to Ban Refugees

News Tidbits

LGBTQ Nation: Washington D.C.: Christian protesters burst into pro-LGBT church to condemn ‘Satanic’ ministers

Louisville Courier-Journal: Bill would bring 'Bible literacy' to Kentucky schools

9 News: Colorado religious freedom bill fails in house committee 

Argus Leader: South Dakota lawmakers OK alternative teachings on evolution, climate change in schools

Casper Star Tribune: Wyoming legislature considers competing bills concerning gay rights, religion 

Edge Media Network: Michele Bachmann: Radical Gays, Blacks & Muslims Planned Women's March to Destroy Freedom

Pink News: Australian Christian Lobby battles to keep ‘gay panic’ murder defence

Commentary Tidbits

Murrmurrs: Crones United

Autostraddle: I Was Trained for the Culture Wars in Home School, Awaiting Someone Like Mike Pence as a Messiah

The Guardian: The war on abortion is just beginning

Washington Post: The annual March for Life will have a new mood this year: Optimistic

Political Research Associates: Ctrl-Alt-Delete: The origins and ideology of the Alternative Right 

Wall of Separation: Trump’s Expected Order Targeting Muslims Is Un-American and Breaks Our Nation’s Promise of Religious Freedom

Media Matters for America: Rape-Promoting White Nationalist Mike Cernovich Announces New Show On Right Side Broadcasting Network

Today's Orange Horrors, and Glimmers of Hope

ABC News: Trump to Sign Executive Order Related to Voter Fraud, White House Says

CNN: Chaffetz on Trump's charge of widespread voter fraud: 'I don't see any evidence'

The Independent: President Donald Trump to publish weekly list of crimes committed by immigrants

Washington Post: White House press secretary says border wall will be funded by 20 percent import tax on Mexican goods

BBC News: Trump slams Mexico as leader cancels trip

Politico: Trump moves to put his own stamp on Voice of America

I take comfort in these glimmers of hope.

Reuters: U.S. government scientists go 'rogue' in defiance of Trump

Philly*com: Thousands march through Philly to protest Trump's visit

Huffington Post: Activists Announce People’s Climate March

The Hill: Senators move to nix Trump's ban on funding NGOs that provide abortions

USA Today: Big city mayors vow to defy Trump on sanctuary cities order

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

We All Deserve a Laugh Right Now

After the events of the last few days, we could all use a laugh to decompress. Bad Lip Reading just posted a darkly funny video about the inauguration.

Need a break from He Who Sports a Combover? Enjoy this video about a cockatiel's friendship with a sock.

Here's a video of Mango the sun conure enjoying some ocarina music.

Finally, I know it's from a year ago, but I recently stumbled on this retro couch gag from The Simpsons, and I love it. Fans of Scarface, Miami Vice, and Knight Rider will enjoy the 80s nostalgia.

Today's Orange Horrors, and Glimmers of Hope

ABC News: President Trump Tells ABC News’ David Muir He 'Absolutely' Thinks Waterboarding Works

CNN: Trump moves to increase deportations

BBC News: Trump orders wall to be built on Mexico border

USA Today: How Trump can defund 'sanctuary cities' protecting undocumented immigrants

Reuters: Trump says he will 'send in the Feds' if Chicago doesn't end 'carnage'

Reuters: Trump administration tells EPA to cut climate page from website: sources

Associated Press: EPA science under scrutiny by Trump political staff

Washington Post: Trump seeks ‘major investigation’ into unsupported claims of voter fraud

Today wasn't all gloom and doom, however. The news also brought us glimmers of hope.

Quartz: Scientists are organizing a march on Washington to oppose Trump’s proposed policies

Washington Blade: LGBT march on Washington planned for D.C. Pride weekend

NPR: Dakota Access Pipeline Foes: We Aren't Done Fighting Yet

WABC 7: Mayor de Blasio vows to fight President's immigration plan; immigrants rights rally in Washington Square Park

Chicago Sun-Times: Rahm Emanuel: Chicago will remain sanctuary city despite Trump threat

The Hill: Agriculture Dept. lifts gag order: report

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New Apostolic Reformation Preachers Pray for Trump, Pence, and Their Families

Even before the inauguration, Religious Right figures prayed for Trump. On January 12th, several preachers gathered at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. to beseech God to protect and guide the Trump and Pence families. The POTUS Shield Prayer event featured New Apostolic Reformation figures such as Lou Engle, Cindy Jacobs, and Lance Wallnau.

In a video from the event, individual preachers led prayers for members of the Trump and Pence families. Prayers for Melania, Ivanka, and Tiffany asked that the women would know God and declared that no weapon formed against them would prevail. Other prayers were more revealing. For example, at the 1:27 mark, Lance Wallnau prayed that Donald Trump Jr. would have the wisdom to navigate embarrassing media reports.
"We thank you, God, that there is a grace on the entire Trump house and on Donald Jr. right now to be able to step into protecting, discerning where the enemy's entrapments are, where the legal processes and the media would try to trip up or embarrass or accuse the household of impropriety."
At the 9:43 mark, Lou Engle initiated a second prayer for Barron and the rest of the Trump family. At first, Engle seemed to be demonstrating empathy for Barron, who must be drained by all the controversies swarming around his father. As Engle went on, however, he prayed that the Trump family not nurse "offended hearts".
"When they were praying for Barron, I just felt God's heart for him. We need to pray for a shield around them, 'cause they're going to live under the constant criticism of their dad, or their family. We need to pray that their hearts will not be offended ... Lord, I pray, fill them with such encouragement from people all over the nation, from your people the church. We ask, cover them and deliver them from an offended heart. Give them the grace of forgiveness, in Jesus' name."
At the 11:39 mark, Clarence McClendon prayed for Vice President Mike Pence. McClendon likened Pence to the biblical Joseph, who served alongside Pharaoh. Was this comparison a veiled commentary about Trump? McClendon also praised Trump for being "malleable and pliable" in God's hands.
"You said that in a time of crisis and danger, that you sustained Egypt not only because of its Pharaoh, but because it had a covenant man second in command. And I thank you, Lord, that great counsel and great wisdom will come from Vice President-elect Pence into the ears of President-elect Trump. God, President-elect Trump is a man who is seeking you and finding you. He is malleable and pliable in your hand, and you spoke in my heart and in my spirit that his pliability and his malleability in your hand was one of the reasons that you selected him."
Finally, a speaker I did not recognize prayed for Donald Trump at the 14:33 mark, hoping that God would speak to Trump like he did to King Solomon. Revealingly, he also hoped that Trump would not end up like Solomon.
"Father, we pray for President Trump, Lord, that you will give him a knowledge of you, Lord, that exceeds our expectations and hopes. Lord, we thank you that he has surrounded himself with evangelical people. Lord, he's magnified Christianity. We've talked about being a Christian nation. Lord, we pray that you will somehow give him supernatural "download" ... Lord, we pray that you will also speak to him directly, like you spoke to Solomon, but lord, we pray that he will not end up like Solomon."
I'd say that Trump is already like Solomon. Immense wealth? Check. Ambitious architectural projects? Check. Multiple wives? Check. Just as Solomon practiced idolatry, so too does Trump worship his own ego as a false idol.

I found the prayers at the POTUS Shield event revealing. The participants seemed concerned about legal and media snarls, and the references to Pharaoh and Solomon suggested some unspoken anxieties about Trump. Are these New Apostolic Reformation preachers worried about what the future may bring for the Trump administration? Will Trump prove "malleable" and "pliable" not only to the Religious Right, but to other political forces as well?

Robert Jeffress Praises Trump

Donald Trump cultivated ties to the Religious Right during his presidential campaign, and Religious Right figures prayed for him before his inauguration. One such prayer event caught my attention because of how it exalted a not-so-holy man.

On January 20th, Trump attended a religious service that featured a flattering speech. According to Time, Donald Trump attended a private religious service at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington D.C. before the inauguration ceremony. Leading the service was Rev. Robert Jeffress, a Trump supporter with a history of homophobic, anti-Catholic, anti-Mormon statements.

Judging from his talk at the service, Jeffress viewed Trump as a man exalted by God for a noble purpose. In a transcript posted at Time, Jeffress claimed that God raised up Trump and Pence for "a great, eternal purpose".
"President-elect Trump, I remember that it was exactly one year ago this weekend that I was with you on your Citation jet flying around Iowa before the first caucus or primary vote was cast. After our Wendy’s cheeseburgers, I said that I believed that you would be the next President of the United States. And if that happened, it would be because God had placed you there.

As the prophet Daniel said, it is God who removes and establishes leaders.

Today─one year later─God has raised you and Vice-President-elect Pence up for a great, eternal purpose."
Later, Jeffress compared Trump to the biblical leader Nehemiah and spoke approvingly of building walls. I can only imagine immigrants, especially those of Mexican heritage, felt about this approving reference to Trump's promise to build a southern border wall.
"When I think of you, President-elect Trump, I am reminded of another great leader God chose thousands of years ago in Israel. The nation had been in bondage for decades, the infrastructure of the country was in shambles, and God raised up a powerful leader to restore the nation. And the man God chose was neither a politician nor a priest. Instead, God chose a builder whose name was Nehemiah.

And the first step of rebuilding the nation was the building of a great wall. God instructed Nehemiah to build a wall around Jerusalem to protect its citizens from enemy attack. You see, God is NOT against building walls!"
To believe that a power-hungry, morally bankrupt man was chosen by the Almighty for an "eternal purpose" is to be willfully obtuse. Jeffress, like many figures from the Religious Right, ignores Trump's flaws in order to promote him as a godly, anointed man. Whether Jeffress and his ilk say these things to flatter Trump, to justify their support of Trump to themselves, or to convince evangelical voters to support Trump, I cannot say.

Trump Resurrects the "Global Gag Rule"

On January 23, President Donald Trump signed an executive order reinstating the Mexico City Policy, also known as the "global gag rule", CNN reports. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the Mexico City Policy forbids NGOs from promoting or performing abortion with non-U.S. funds, lest they lose U.S. global health assistance funds.

Different presidents have embraced or rescinded the Mexico City Policy based on their stance on abortion. The policy was first instituted by the Reagan administration, then upheld during George H. W. Bush's presidency. It was rescinded by President Bill Clinton in 1993, reinstated by President George W. Bush in 2001, and rescinded again by President Obama. Now, under President Trump, the "global gag rule" has returned.

Reproductive rights advocates have long criticized the Mexico City Policy for burdening NGO health care providers, infringing on women's right to make informed reproductive decisions, and compelling women to seek out unsafe abortions. Trump's reinstatement of the "global gag rule" is yet another right-wing assault on women's reproductive freedoms.

NARAL Pro-Choice America wasted no time blasting Trump in a January 23rd press release.
"It's telling that one of Trump's first executive actions combines two of his favorite things: silencing anyone who disagrees with him and repressing women. Just two days after the historic Women’s March and one day after the anniversary of the historic decision in Roe v. Wade, Donald Trump's misguided priority is to reinstate the global gag rule, a policy that silences health workers at the expense of their patients. With this action, Donald Trump has turned his anti-women rhetoric into policy, and made it more difficult for women and families all over the world to access vital reproductive care. He really is living up to the lowest of expectations."
Latanya Mapp Frett, executive director of Planned Parenthood Global, accused Trump of jeopardizing women's lives. "President Trump’s actions will have far-reaching impact for women and girls around the world and is a stark warning about what may be in store for women here in America," she wrote in a January 23rd press release.
"By reinstating the global gag rule as one of his first actions in office, Donald Trump has put politics over women’s lives. The global gag rule will cause clinic closures around the world, resulting in more unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion, not less. The world’s most vulnerable women will suffer as a direct result of this policy, which threatens to undermine years of efforts to improve women’s health worldwide. The policy also sends a false message around the world that the U.S. is against abortion rights above all else - a stance with which many Americans disagree.

Politicians should not stand between a woman and her doctor, neither here in the U.S. nor anywhere else in the world.  And U.S. foreign assistance should not be held hostage to politicians’ personal beliefs, as it is under the global gag rule, especially when those beliefs interfere with U.S. values such as promoting human rights, international development, democracy and free speech."
Predictably, the Religious Right was delighted. For example, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins praised Trump in a press release for resurrecting the policy.
"This is a vital step in the journey to make America great again, recognizing and affirming the universal ideal that all human beings have inherent worth and dignity, regardless of their age or nationality.

I thank President Trump for issuing an executive order in keeping with his campaign promise that he will protect taxpayers from having to pay for abortions ... Family Research Council and the pro-life movement looks forward to continuing to work with the Trump administration in bringing about a culture of life in which every child is welcomed into this world and protected under our laws, both here and abroad."
Concerned Women for America president Penny Nance was also jubilant. In a recent press release, she applauded Trump's decision.
"On behalf of CWA’s nearly half a million members and pro-life women across the country, I want to thank President Trump for using one of his first executive orders to keep his promise to defend life.

Thank you for making sure our hard-earned tax dollars aren’t used to fund or promote abortions abroad. America has so much more to offer the world than death.

Over 80 percent of Americans want a ban on taxpayer funding of international abortions. President Trump’s reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy is a powerful first step. We at Concerned Women for America look forward to working with the Trump Administration to ensure taxpayers are no longer forced to pay for abortions, period."
Cardinal Timoth Dolan, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, was pleased that Trump took action against the "violent act of abortion".
"We applaud President Trump's action today to restore the Mexico City Policy, which withholds taxpayer funds from foreign non-governmental organizations that promote or perform abortions overseas (often in violation of the host country's own laws). This is a welcome step toward restoring and enforcing important federal policies that respect the most fundamental human right—the right to life—as well as the long-standing, bi-partisan consensus against forcing Americans to participate in the violent act of abortion."
Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser praised Trump for "continuing Ronald Reagan's legacy" and acting on his "pro-life priorities".
"President Trump is continuing Ronald Reagan’s legacy by taking immediate action on day one to stop the promotion of abortion through our tax dollars overseas ... President Trump’s immediate action to promote respect for all human life, including vulnerable unborn children abroad, as well as conscience rights, sends a strong signal about his Administration’s pro-life priorities."
It's going to get worse, folks. The Trump administration has already signaled its animosity toward women's reproductive rights in the U.S. and around the world, and they won't stop with the Mexico City Policy. For example, if H.R.7 (The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017) passes through the House and Senate, I expect Trump to sign it into law. If you care about reproductive freedom, pay attention, and speak out.

To read additional commentary, visit the following links.

The Atlantic: Trump Strikes at Abortion With a Revived Foreign-Aid Rule

Vox: Trump just reinstated the global gag rule. It won't stop abortion, but it will make it less safe.

Mother Jones: The House Is About to Hand a Big Win to the Anti-Abortion Movement

The Guardian: How the US global gag rule threatens health clinics across Kenya and Uganda

Today's Orange Horrors

With President Trump carrying out shocking executive orders on a daily basis, it can be difficult to keep up. To help my readers stay abreast of the news, I'm starting a new post devoted to Donald Trump's increasingly alarming actions. "Today's Orange Horrors" will feature news articles on Trump's executive orders, signed bills, and other presidential decisions.

NPR: Trump Gives Green Light To Keystone, Dakota Access Pipelines

The Independent: Donald Trump will eliminate landmark climate protection plan, says first post on White House website

Buzzfeed: USDA Scientists Have Been Put On Lockdown Under Trump

PBS News Hour: Trump issues EPA media blackout and suspends agency’s grants 

Huffington Post: Federal Workers Told To Halt External Communication In First Week Under Trump

Associated Press: Workers Dismayed by President Trump's Federal Hiring Freeze

News Tidbits

Edge Media Network: Scott Lively Calls for 'Separation of LGBT & State', Likens Reagan to Putin

Toledo Blade: Toledo eyes ban on gender-conversion therapy

The Guardian: Jehovah's Witnesses charity drops attempts to block abuse inquiry in UK

LGBTQ Nation: New allegations: Education nominee Betsy DeVos funded radical Christian academy

The Guardian: Four more journalists get felony charges after covering inauguration unrest

Washington Post: Father and son accused of rape want ‘only law book that truly matters’ at their trial: The Bible    (Trigger warning)

Commentary Tidbits

John Pavlovitz: Dear Women, You Don’t Really Matter to the Men of the Christian Right

The Outline: Apocalyptic thinking in the age of Trump 

Rolling Stone: The Radical Crusade of Mike Pence

Aljazeera: Sexual assault in the time of Trump 

NARAL: New Report Paints Grim Picture of Future of Reproductive Freedom Under Trump

Center for American Progress: The DeVos Dynasty: A Family of Extremists

SPLC Hatewatch: Former Executive Director of Anti-Immigrant Hate Group FAIR Joins Trump Administration

Monday, January 23, 2017

Jim Bakker on the Women's March on D.C.

During a recent edition of The Jim Bakker Show, televangelist and purveyor of bucket food Jim Bakker blasted the Women's March on Washington. The participants, he claimed, would be little more than women who "want to have sin" and "kill their babies".
"Everything that's going on right now is good and evil. All the political war? They want to kill Trump. You know why? Because they want to have sin. They want to kill their babies. A million women are getting ready to March in Washington D.C. right after the inauguration so that they can kill their babies ... It was in the Bible that King [gibberish] went and killed babies, and that the women of the city marched, a million women marched for the right to kill their babies. WOMEN DON'T DO THAT if it's normal! Women fight to save their babies. That's natural." 
First of all, Jim, abortion does not involve "killing babies". Second, you have no right telling women what decisions and impulses are "natural". Finally, please do a little research on the actual goals of the Women's March before making sweeping, hysterical statements about it.