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Florida woman in ‘Catholic Warrior’ t-shirt destroys Satanic Temple’s holiday display

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Police have arrested a woman accused of destroying the Satanic Temple’s “holiday display” in the Florida Capitol, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

The controversial display — in which an angel can be seen descending into a pit of fire — stood alongside both traditional Christian Nativity scenes and an 8-foot-tall “Festivus pole” made of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans until 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, when Susan Hemeryck walked up to two Florida Department of Law Enforcement Capitol Police officers and told them that she was “sorry, but I have to take this down.”

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Hemeryck, who was wearing a “Catholic Warrior” t-shirt at the time, told the Associated Press that “it’s just wrong, when you remove baby Jesus two days before Christmas and put Satan in his place? I was there at the right time and the right moment and I needed to take a stand against Satan.”

The Florida director of American Atheists, John Porgal, said “the angel’s dead. We’ve been tolerant of their [Nativity] display. We didn’t like it, but we tolerated it. You see what they did to our display.” He called the damaged display “a sign of what the religious right’s idea of tolerance is.”

Hemeryck’s only regret is that she was unable to do further damage to the display before Capitol Police arrested her on criminal mischief charges.

“I just yanked that little devil off the fishing line,” she said. “I should have just done a better job and finished it off for good.”

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State issued a statement, saying “[t]his act of mindless vandalism should be condemned by all decent people and all those who support true freedom of religion. It’s important to remember that free speech in an open forum is for all groups, even those whose message some deem controversial or unpopular.”

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“Our attorneys fought hard for our clients to win the right to display their diorama in the Capitol Rotunda, and we don’t intend to buckle under to this type of senseless destruction.”


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Jeb Bush wonders why Republicans are not ‘stepping up’ to condemn racism

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Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) wondered on Friday why more Republicans were not standing publicly against racism.

"I have said it before and I will say it again now: the GOP must not tolerate racism. Of any kind. At any time," his son, George P. Bush, the Texas Land Commissioner posted on Twitter.

He urged local GOP officials in Texas to resign for sharing racist posts on Facebook.

Jeb Bush praised the post.

"Proud of my son," he posted on Twitter.

"Are other Republican elected officials stepping up?" he wondered.

https://twitter.com/JebBush/status/1269057568015605761

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‘Not appropriate at all’: GOP senator admits it was wrong to gas protesters for Trump’s photo-op

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The decision to gas protesters so President Donald Trump could hold a photo-op holding a Bible were criticized by a Republican senator on Friday as cracks start to emerge in Republicans' support for the president.

"As you know, outside the White House when protesters were peacefully exercising their rights, there were rubber bullets and tear gas, they were disbursed so he could go for the pictures, the photo-op at the church," CNN's Erin Burnett reported.

She noted criticism by former General Mattis and asked Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) if he agreed.

"I would say no question the scene that I understand occurred there with the tear gas and rubber bullets was unnecessary, not appropriate at all," he replied.

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GOP Senate candidate complains schools are teaching too much ‘multiculturalism’

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On Friday, the Huffington Post reported that Corky Messner, a GOP businessman running for Senate in New Hampshire, complained that schools are teaching kids too much "multiculturalism" at a virtual town hall.

“We are essentially up against multiculturalism and the values that we know that are being taught in our public schools and universities that are not part of the values and beliefs that made this country great,” said Messner at the event, which took place on Wednesday and was flagged by Democratic super PAC American Bridge. “So we have a battle on our hands.”

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