Duffy introduced the bill as his last act in Congress.
Back in August, Sean Duffy announced that he would be retiring from Congress, citing his wife, Rachel Campos-Duffy, complications with her pregnancy, and medical issues for their unborn ninth child. Given this, it's not surprising that he wants to leave a legacy, an enduring reminder of the kind of politician he was. This Monday, he officially resigned, but not before introducing a bill (H.R. 442) to "protect the lives of unborn gay children" by making it illegal to abort a gay fetus.
Duffy, unsurprisingly, has a history of trying to derail LGBTQ rights — from opposing same-sex marriage to opposing laws barring employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
And we thought she was just there for the for-profit scam colleges!
Betsy DeVos wants North Carolina students to know what a friend they don't have in Allah. Duke and the objectively superior University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill jointly run a Middle East studies program. The Education Department under DeVos's crackpot leadership contends that the program offers students as "biased curriculum" and has ordered Duke and UNC to remake the program (and reality while they're at it) to present more "positive" images of Christianity and Judaism in the region. If they don't, they risk losing their funding.
This federal intervention into college course content is both rare and fucked up. The Education Department argues the Middle East studies program "violated the standards of a federal program that awards funding to international studies and foreign language programs." We doubt DeVos knows what those standards are or would understand them if you told her. But the fundamentalist Christian won't stand for any perceived anti-Israel bias in higher education.
Leading the charge is
Kenneth L. Marcus. He's Donald Trump's assistant secretary for civil rights in the Education Department, so you know you're getting screwed. The position traditionally confronts racial bias and sexual violence. Marcus has as much use for that as Ben Shapiro does for an item on the top shelf. Marcus is obsessed with what he sees as a rising tide of anti-Semitism on the "campus left." He conflates Jews and Israel, which we personally think is itself anti-Semitic. But so it goes. When working in the George W. Bush administration, Marcus did reinforce protections for Muslims and Sikhs who were discriminated against during that brief period of love and harmony everyone claims happened after 9/11. He's over that phase now. He currently seeks to "delegitimize and defund" Middle East studies programs with "an anti-Israel bias." He probably defines "bias" as recognizing that Israel is populated with human beings who aren't perfect and occasionally make Netanyahu-shaped mistakes.
But is it a RICO????
Oh, noes! Is someone doing the RICO to poor Jerry Falwell Jr.? Quick, call in the FBI, the CIA, the National Guard and the army of handsome pool boys and personal trainers that the Falwells surround themselves with for some reason. The president of Liberty University will not stand for scurrilous accusations that he runs the school like a private fiefdom where self-dealing is rampant. There never was any picture of Jerry's wife Becki in a French maid costume, dammit, and anyone who says otherwise is just jealous of Jerry's Amazing Wondercock that he absolutely never brags about to his colleagues. That's why the FBI is totally going to investigate this "attempted coup" against the laws of God and Jerry. Because in Lynchburg, Virginia, those are one and the same.
The Hill was first to get Falwell on the phone for his announcement that the FBI is ON THE CASE, ready to round up all the conspirators to put them on trial for crimes against God's True Servant. This is an attempt to oust him as Liberty's president, which is, no doubt, top of the FBI's list.
"Our attorneys have determined that this small group of former board members and employees, they're involved in a criminal conspiracy, are working together to steal Liberty property in the form of emails and provided them to reporters," Falwell raged to The Hill.
Then he moved on to the AP, where he derided Politico reporter Brandon Ambrosino as a "little boy" and said, "I'm not going to dignify the lies that were reported yesterday with a response, but I am going to the authorities and I am going to civil court." Let the record reflect that this is not a denial of any particular detail from Ambrosino's story.
Jerry Falwell Jr. fucks his wife, OK? HE FUCKS HIS WIFE!
When we clicked on the Politico long-read everybody's talking about today, about Jerry Falwell Jr., leader of the Liberty University clown college, and his destruction of what passes as his father's legacy, the first thing we noticed was the author of the piece. Brandon Ambrosino ... haven't we told that guy to go fuck himself before? Yes, we have, five years ago! Ambrosino was one of a contrarian cohort of gay conservative journalists who wrote from time to time to tell us all that the mainstream LGBT movement was very unfair to those poor conservative Christians, who just wanted the freedom to deny LGBT folks life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness at the ballot box, in the courts, and anywhere else they could. Frankly, he pissed us off, but then we forgot about him.
However, as it happens, we think Ambrosino is probably exactly the right journalist to tell the inside story of what's really going on at Liberty. He went to school there, he knows the characters involved, and he even, at least several years back, had a "soft spot for the deceased evil known as Jerry Falwell," as we wrote at the time. He knows Jerry Jr. He knows Jonathan Falwell, Jerry's brother, who runs Jerry Sr.'s old Thomas Road Baptist Church.
Part of the title of Ambrosino's piece is "Someone's Gotta Tell The Freakin' Truth," and that's a quote from a current Liberty official who's close to the Falwells and who dished to Ambrosino -- of course, off the record. Indeed, that person was one of "more than two dozen" current and former Liberty employees who spoke for the article -- of course, off the record.
There's no way we can do this piece justice, as it is 8,000 words long, so you need to read the whole thing, as they say on the internet. But we will hit the highlights, only some of which are about Jerry Falwell Jr.'s penis.
School bans book series to prevent accidental witching.
As much joy and delight as the Harry Potter series has brought into this world, it has also brought a whole lot of stupidity. And I am not just talking about recreational Quidditch games and people in my age cohort using it as a reference point for nearly everything that happens in the world. As irritating as that may be sometimes, it's not difficult to see some similarities between an evil villain who feeds off the devotion from his obsessive followers and wants to rid the country of those he has deemed impure and Voldemort.
No, the stupid I am talking about here is the stupid that has come from certain religious people and groups, who for the past 22 years have burned the books, tried to ban them in various school districts, and warned parents off from letting their children read them, all because they think it will lead to children becoming interested in the occult. Heck, J.K. Rowling didn't receive a presidential medal of freedom award because officials in the Bush Administration were scared that the book "encouraged witchcraft." Yeah. Adult human beings who felt themselves competent enough to lead us all into a shitty, unending war were scared that a book series was going to turn children into witches. Marinate on that for a second.
Naturally, there was also a Jack Chick comic:
Still this in 2019? Yes, still this in 2019.
Carl and Angel Larsen of St. Cloud, Minnesota, don't like gay people, and they REALLY don't like gay weddings. In fact, they hate gay weddings so much they sued to be exempted from a civil rights law, so their business could openly discriminate against same-sex couples. And now, ruling in their favor in Telescope Media Group v. Lucero, a federal court has given them the go-ahead.
The Larsens own Telescope Media Group (TMG) and they want to expand their business to start videotaping weddings. But because their religion apparently requires them to be homophobic, they only want to tape straight weddings. This is prohibited by the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA), which bans discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation. Basically, when a business is open to the public, it isn't allowed to discriminate.
Along with discriminating against same-sex couples, the Larsens want to include a disclaimer about how much they hate gay weddings on their website, saying:
Because of TMG's owners' religious beliefs and expressive purposes, it cannot make films promoting any conception of marriage that contradicts its religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman, including films celebrating same-sex marriages.
Because gay married people don't deserve to celebrate and be happy, obviously.
Find Yourself A Man Who Looks At You The Way Jerry Falwell Jr. Looks At His Personal Trainer. ALLEGEDLY.
Preferably a man with the assets of a $600 million non-profit at his disposal.
Jerry Falwell Jr. is a man of God. But he's also a man of wealth and taste who likes to travel in style and take very good care of his friends.
Friends, meet Benjamin Crosswhite, Jerry Falwell Jr.'s personal trainer who some sort of way wound up getting a $2 million dollar athletic club from Liberty University for a whopping zero dollars. Not to be confused with Giancarlo Granda, the handsome poolboy Jerry Falwell and his wife Becki befriended in Miami and set up in the hotel business. That guy was brunette! Ben is a totally different hot, white dude, who graduated from Liberty University in 2011 and stuck around Lynchburg, Virginia, to be the Falwells' personal trainer. Plus, he's blond.
But a bloody goat with innocent eyes.
Once upon a time, when I was a teenager, I was sitting on a couch at some punk house when this guy I knew cornered me and started telling me all about how he was going to rule in Hell by Satan's side with Marilyn Manson or something. Then, he kept telling me to look at him so that I could see "the forest" in his eyes.
"That guy sure is on some drugs!" thought I. But I am not Jim Bakker. Jim Bakker hears that some guy had a vision about Donald Trump being a bloody goat with innocent eyes and he says to himself, "Clearly it is prophecy! I must have him on my show!"
And what a vision it was. Dr. Francis Myles, a pastor and master accessorizer (no joke, I would absolutely kill for that necklace) stopped by the Jim Bakker show to explain that this goat vision meant that us demons on the left were nefariously planning to "scapegoat" poor, innocent Donald Trump for all the mass shootings. Not because of how many of these terrorists cite him as an inspiration or share his beliefs about immigration, but because we're open-borders-loving demons who hate how incredibly holy Donald Trump is.
AT LEAST NOT YET.
WHEW, for all you Christian heterosexual mommies and daddies out there, you need to just breathe a sigh of relief and say a "thank you" prayer to your lucky Ted Nugent Jesus painting, because Phil Vischer, the co-creator of "Veggie Tales," has confirmed in an interview with the Christian Post that the official Vegetables of Christ will not be doing gay butt stuff like all the other kiddie TV shows are also not doing.
However, he warns that the Jesus shows for kids are gonna have to start telling kids gays are gross at some point, because all the godless kiddie shows are saying gays are awesome. You know, like that program from the devil's workshop "Arthur":
Vischer, who today hosts "The Holy Post" podcast and "The Mr. Phil Show" on RightNowMedia, said when the PBS children's show "Arthur" featured a same-sex wedding, there was a "shot heard through the Christian parenting world."
"The most striking thing about that episode of Arthur wasn't that they thought it was time to introduce kids to gay marriage; it was the reaction of all the kids on the show," he said. "None of them asked questions about why two men were getting married. Their reaction was, 'Oh, OK! Great!'"
"It's such a strong message of, well kids, of course you're fine with gay marriage, because there's nothing to question about it," Vischer continued. "That's a little more concerning."
It would have been OK if there was at least one little cartoon bigot, we guess, who was upset about the gay cartoon rat gay marrying the gay cartoon aardvark. And maybe the cartoon bigot could have done something Christian, like encourage his teacher to go to an "ex-gay" indoctrination camp and come out suicidal, like Christian bigots do to gays in real life. Maybe the cartoon bigot could have started a petition to get Mr. Ratburn fired from his job. At the very least the cartoon bigot could have paraded around waving a "God Hates Fags" sign.
But the "Arthur" creators just don't care, do they?
Oh, never mind, it's only Episcopalians saying it. #NotRealChristians
Donald Trump is a man of many firsts! First "president" to get elected after bragging about sexual assault, first (since Nixon) to refuse to release his taxes, first to publicly say he trusts Russians over his own intelligence agencies, and first to serve cold hamburgers to victorious sports teams, among many others. But here's a real special one! The clergy of the Washington National Cathedral have issued a statement calling him out for his racism, and asking how long the American people are willing to put up with it. If that has a precedent, nobody seems to have found it.
The three clergy members ask, in the words of that familiar rebuke of Joseph McCarthy, and of the Americans who let him ruin so many lives, "Have we no decency?" They don't stop with just Trump's racism, in his attack on Elijah Cummings and the entire city of Baltimore, but also condemn "those aligned with the President [who] seek to downplay the racial overtones of his attacks, or [who] remain silent."
Nope, say the clergy, pointing out that National Cathedral is "the sacred space where America gathers at moments of national significance" -- they're compelled to speak up, and to ask Americans to please think about what they're letting the second-place finisher in the popular vote get away with:
Also this is your open thread!
Following the lead of a number of other states, South Dakota has recently passed a bill requiring schools to put up signs everywhere reading "In God We Trust," a move Republican lawmakers is about "history" and "reaffirming" that the United States was founded on "Judeo-Christian values," but is obviously has a lot more to do with making sure that certain students feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in public schools.
Chick-fil-A now has more legal protections than gay families in Texas.
On Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott took a bold stand for religious liberty, at least if by "liberty" you mean the right of corporations to hate gay people without consequence. Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 1978, nicknamed the "Save Chick-fil-A" bill despite the lack of any danger to the restaurant chain, which believes Chicken Jesus died and was deep fried for your sins, and that's why gays are an abomination. The bill prohibits all government entities in Texas from taking "adverse actions" against any company or individual because of religious beliefs. It was a top priority for Republican culture warriors in Texas after the San Antonio City Council decided in March against letting Chicken Breast Savior open a location in the city's airport.
Yes, there is an Aunt Lydia too. In fact, she is the boss!
Since everything is hell now, and terrible, disgusting and/or heartbreaking news comes out of Washington about a thousand times a minute, you might not have heard about Secretary of State Jesus-Willikers McWestboroBaptist and his new international commission on human rights. Doesn't that sound nice? Human rights are a great thing! And Mike Pompeo's new commission is focused on "unalienable rights," and we certainly agree, we don't want any Sigourney Weaver aliens mucking around in our human rights!
Pompeo explained earlier this week, when he officially announced the Commission on Unalienable Rights:
The commission is composed of human rights experts, philosophers, and activists, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents of varied background and beliefs, who will provide me with advice on human rights grounded in our nation's founding principles and the principles of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
That sounds just great, but this is Mike Pompeo, so you are probably wondering where the fundamentalist Christian Jesus Hitler poison is. Perhaps this line will give you a clue?
As human rights claims have proliferated, some claims have come into tension with one another, provoking questions and clashes about which rights are entitled to gain respect. Nation-states and international institutions remain confused about their respective responsibilities concerning human rights.
Human rights clashing with other human rights, whatever (gay) could he possibly (gay) mean? (He means God Hates Fags. And also women.)
Erick Erickson Leads Oppressed Christians Through The Valley Of The Shadow Of GAYS! OH F*CK! GAYS EVERYWHERE!
AND THEY'RE HAVING PARADES!
Glory hallelujah! Erick Erickson, who has not fucked any goats that we know of but who recently argued (for clickbait reasons) that Pete Buttigieg probably thinks Jesus does like bestiality, has written a column teaching "Christians" how to behave during Pride month, we guess because they needed a primer. And yes, we know Pride month is technically over, but that little scheduling conflict didn't seem to bother Erickson, who published it in his hometown Macon Telegraph on June 30, so why should it bother us?
What are Christians to do during Pride?
Um ... cut the grass? Pay the bills? Or even ... go to Pride if they wanna?
Guy who calls himself 'Dr' can NOT believe the nerve of some people.
Sebastian Gorka, the former Trump administration whatever-he-did-there guy, got into a Twitter fight yesterday with some actual rabbis Thursday, proclaiming them Fake Jews because they said Jewish law doesn't forbid abortion. (It doesn't.) And if a Hungarian Nazi with a fake PhD doesn't know who's really a rabbi and who's not, well then who can you trust, really?
This week, whether we like it or not, we have been treated to the "Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Calls Vaccine Mandates 'Draconian' And Is Then Eventually Pushed To Say She Supports Vaccines During An Appearance On 'The View,'" news cycle. It was not a particularly compelling news cycle, given that there is pretty much no chance that Marianne Williams is going to be president and ridiculous people say ridiculous things about vaccines all the time.
Although my "this is gonna be some shit" senses tingled when I initially saw that Williamson, described as a "spiritual guru," had qualified for the first round of the Democratic primary debates, I did not fully delve in to what that actually meant until yesterday, when the combination of the vaccine nonsense and her answer to "What is your comfort food?" was that she didn't have any was so kooky that I decided I needed to know more. As I suspected, this shit was just the tip of the iceberg.
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