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Ted Cruz teams up with Duggar-loving singing troupe to kill public education

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A prodigious family of evangelical Christian entertainers are working to elect Sen. Ted Cruz president.

Marlin Bontrager is one of three national chairmen of the Republican senator’s “Homeschoolers for Cruz” coalition, and he traveled in recent weeks with his wife and 10 children across the home state of Iowa promoting their candidate.

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“This is the first time ever in my adult life that we’ve had a candidate that I’m fired up about,” said Bontrager, who tours the U.S. performing bluegrass-tinged gospel music with his family.

Cruz has pledged to eliminate the Department of Education, which Bontrager and other conservative homeschooling advocates believe would free them from some federal requirements that conflict with their religious views.

“As a homeschooling father of 10 and the leader in my home, it is vitally important to me that we have a president who is concerned first and foremost about religious liberty and protecting the constitution,” Bontrager said. “Within that is included the rights that we need to have as parents to be able to choose what education we desire for our children.”

The Bontrager family aren’t quite as famous as their friends, the Duggar family — but they share connections to the “Christian patriarchy” movement promoted by Bill Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute and Doug Phillips and his Vision Forum organization.

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“Almost every broken policy in Washington right now can be traced back to the breakdown of the family,” Bontrager said.

The Duggar family, as well as their mentors Gothard and Phillips, have been rocked in the past couple of years by sex scandals.

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Josh Duggar, the eldest son of the “19 Kids and Counting” clan, resigned his position with the anti-LGBT Family Research Council last year after admitting to sexually abusing four of his sisters and another girl when he was a teenager.

Duggar then entered a rehabilitation facility after admitting to adulterous relationships when his name turned up on the Ashley Madison database.

Michelle Duggar accepted a “Mother of the Year” award in 2010 from Phillips, who resigned from Vision Forum and Vision Forum Ministries three years later after a lawsuit revealed that he spent years grooming a teenage girl as a “personal sex object” while he was married.

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Phillips, like the Duggars, promotes the Quiverfull movement — which places men over women, who are expected to be obedient and bear children.

Sex harassment claims forced Gothard to resign in 2014 from the Institute of Basic Life Principles — which promotes the ATI curriculum used by the Duggars, Bontrager and many other conservative Christian families that homeschool their children.

Gothard’s teachings promote pseudoscientific claims about morality and character, such as his belief lustful thoughts can harm the endocrine system.

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The never-married Gothard was accused by 10 women who worked for his religious institution of sexual harassment and abuse, and one of the women accused him of rape.

The Bontragers use the ATI curriculum to school their own children at home and while touring, where they perform at the Children’s Institute, ALERT Academy and other ATI institutions.

The singing family has also appeared on the Duggars’ now-canceled TLC reality series, and they have taken part in some of the same ATI events.

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Josh Duggar had his photo taken with a lot of prominent Republicans, including several presidential candidates, before his fall from grace.

But now his family has become too toxic for basic cable, so Cruz has turned to the Bontragers and other fringe figures — including Kevin Swanson, who has called for LGBT people to be put to death, and Troy Newman, who has called for the deaths of abortion providers.

The Bontragers haven’t called for anyone’s death — but they represent a movement with a poor record on sex abuse, and they’re working, along with Cruz, to place all American children at the mercy of local school board members who want to promote religious indoctrination over educational principles.

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Watch this video of the Bontragers performing:

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Enjoy this piece?

… 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.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?

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The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.

"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.

The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."

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White nationalist Republican ridiculed after only 2 people show up for his town hall meeting

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Embattled Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suffered further humiliation on Saturday when only two people showed up for his town hall meeting with Iowa constituents.

King, who was stripped of all committee assignments for his white nationalism, was been an embarrassment for Republicans with his constant racism and misogyny.

A photo of the town hall meeting was posted on Twitter by Reuters photo editor Corinne Perkins.

https://twitter.com/corinne_perkins/status/1162806565109473280

Rep. King was quickly mocked in the comments.

Here's some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/sedespres/status/1162811223186006018

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2020 Election

Democrats could flip the Texas state house in 2020 — and reshape the national map

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Blue Texas? Democrats have long dreamt of winning Texas’s 38 electoral votes in the presidential election. That may still be a long shot, but a recent “Texodus” from Congress has given new talk to a political transformation across the Lone Star State that could have massive ramifications down the ballot and for decades to come.

This article was originally posted at Salon.

Four of the state’s GOP members of Congress have announced their retirements in recent weeks, an unusual torrent of departures signaling that a storm is coming. And evidence shows that it’s not just hitting Texas’s federal delegation. It’s coming to Austin, too.

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