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GOP governor forces school districts to partner with ‘faith-based’ groups for taxpayer-funded program

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A newly launched mentoring program funded with taxpayer dollars requires Ohio school districts to partner with a faith-based organization and a business in order to have access to the money, reports Cleveland.com.

The mentoring program, championed by Republican Governor John Kasich, provides $10 million to Ohio schools to work with at-risk students, however school districts are discovering a religious requirement inserted into the program.

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Any school district that wants state money from the program must partner with both a church and a business,  or with a faith-based organization and a non-profit set up by a business to do community service. Failure to incorporate a faith-based group will leave a school district out in the cold.

United Way of Greater Cleveland President Bill Kitson, who sat on Kasich’s advisory panel for the program, explained there are no exceptions, “You must include a faith-based partner.”

Buddy Harris, a senior policy analyst for the Ohio Department of Education, told a gathering of church and non-profit representatives that each application must include a school district — or charter school — plus a business and a place of worship or a faith-based organization in its partnership. Other non-profits can be involved, he said, but only if they include all three of the other groups.

According to Harris, partnerships excluding a faith-based group will not qualify for tax dollars, saying “The faith-based organization is clearly at the heart of the vision of the governor,” before adding, “We do not foresee any proselytizing happening between mentors and students. That’s not really what we’re seeking.”

Asked why the governor is mixing religion with a state program, Kasich spokesperson Rob Nichols said, “The governor believes faith-based organizations play an important role in the lives of young people.”

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In a video shown to the group, Kaisch told the gathering, “The Good Lord has a purpose for each and every one of them (students) and you’re helping them to find it.”

Kasich’s earlier proposal for the mentoring program, called “Community Connectors,” mentioned faith-based groups, but never stated that their inclusion would be a requirement for receiving funds.

Despite noting that many of Cleveland’s existing school programs would not qualify for the new program without adding the religious element, Kitson dismissed concerns about mixing religion with a state program saying, “The issue here is helping our kids. As an advisory board mentor, that (faith-based requirement) is not what I’m worried about.”

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Three right-wing ‘boogaloo’ militants arrested on terrorism charges in Las Vegas: report

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On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced that three far-right militants with ties to the "boogaloo" movement have been arrested on terrorism-related charges in Las Vegas, according to The Seattle Times.

"Federal prosecutors say the three white men with U.S. military experience are accused of conspiring to carry out a plan that began in April in conjunction with protests to reopen businesses closed because of the coronavirus and later sought to capitalize on protests over the death of a Minneapolis man in police custody," reported Michelle Price and Scott Sonner.

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‘Trump became what we feared’: New Lincoln Project ad accuses Trump of using the Bible as a prop to boost his polls

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A brutal new ad from the GOP group The Lincoln Project called "War Zone" is attacking President Donald Trump for becoming what Americans have feared he would.

He didn't come out of hiding this week to help calm the nation or to bring Americans together.

"He wasn't there to offer words of calm and comfort," the ad said. "Instead, he became what we all feared. Evoked the worst of our past. Threatened our governors and states. He ordered our own soldiers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan to flood the streets, instructing them to turn against Americans. Used churches and the Holy Bible as political props. He didn't invoke the Lord to give us wisdom, but to boost his polls."

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James Mattis takes swipe at Trump: We have gone ‘three years without mature leadership’

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On Wednesday, The Atlantic reported that President Donald Trump's former Defense Secretary James Mattis has written a furious condemnation of the president, saying he is incapable of "mature leadership" and accusing him of deliberately trying to turn Americans against one another.

“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” wrote Mattis, according to the article. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand — one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation ... We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

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