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Pastor Robert Jeffress calls freedom from religion a ‘perverted idea’

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Megachurch Pastor Robert Jeffress on Wednesday night claimed the First Amendment did not protect non-religious Americans in the same way it protected religious Americans.

The pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas appeared on The O’Reilly Factor to discuss a school in Arkansas that canceled an Easter Egg hunt due to religious concerns.

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“I think the reason people aren’t standing up and fighting back — many Christians think it is un-Christian to stand up and fight for your rights,” Jeffress said. “I’ve reminded thousands of pastors this last year that the Apostle Paul spent two years fighting against the Roman legal system to preserve his right to speak freely. We need to do the same thing as well.”

“The other problem is a lot of Christians have bought into this perverted idea of the First Amendment,” he continued. “They don’t understand the First Amendment simply says Congress can’t establish a state religion, it has nothing to say about Easter Egg hunts. I mean, the Easter Egg hunt is not a state religion.”

“Part of it is this Freedom From Religion Foundation, they say — and many Americans have bought into this — that somehow there is a freedom in the First Amendment from religious expression,” Jeffress added. “That you never have to see a nativity scene or hear a prayer at a graduation or participate in an Easter Egg hunt. There is no such guarantee. It is a freedom of religious expression that the First Amendment promises.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has long held the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the government from endorsing or promoting religious beliefs, including public school-sponsored activities that advance a particular religion. “The First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion,” Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas explained in the 1968 ruling Epperson v. Arkansas.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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MSNBC’s Joy Reid names every Trump-loving evangelical leader who refused to take her call on Trump’s ‘chosen one’ claim

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On Saturday, in conversation with Muslim political commentator Dean Obeidallah, MSNBC's Joy Reid castigated evangelical conservatives for their silence on President Donald Trump anointing himself "the chosen one" and retweeting a radio host who compared him to the second coming of Jesus Christ.

"Dean, we reached out to a bunch of people," said Reid. "I wanted to know — I grew up in the church. The idea of somebody declaring themselves the next coming of God or the King of Israel, which is what the Romans used to belittle Jesus before they executed him for defying the Roman emperor — Now Trump saying it's a joke, it's apostasy. We reached out to Franklin Graham, Ralph Reed, Focus on the Family, Jerry Falwell Jr., Vice President Mike Pence, and the RNC. We got no response at all. We had Pat Robertson, who declined to comment."

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Scaramucci busts White House staffers who ‘hate Trump’s guts’ yet still work for a ‘full-blown lunatic’

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On MSNBC's "AM Joy" on Saturday, former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci acknowledged his own faults in supporting President Donald Trump for as long as he did — but urged that his experience has shown him that many more could be pulled out of the fold, if given an accepting opening to do so.

"I accept all criticism," said Scaramucci. "Joy, if you want to fault me and your viewers want to fault me for getting there late, I’m okay with that. I can accept that because I’m a flawed human being. Here is what I would say to everybody. This is an international crisis, you have to create an off-ramp that did what I did, spinning a Rubik’s cube and saying, this part is good, that part is good, that part is bad. And then through the process of cognitive dissonance, we started to lesson the parts that were bad."

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Trump bashed for babbling about the weather during G7 appearance with France’s Macron: ‘Out of his depth’

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On MSNBC's "Up with David Gura," Princeton University African American studies professor Eddie Glaude harshly criticized President Donald Trump for his inability to discuss world issues at the G7 summit, saying that not only is he unprepared for diplomatic negotiations, he doesn't even understand how alliances work in general.

"Eddie, let's talk about the definitional evolution we've seen of that term, 'allies,'" said Gura. "How much of alliance has changed as a result of President Trump's role on the world stage ... How is our notion of what an ally is and what an alliance is changed?"

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