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‘Unapologetically’ Christian pizza parlor went viral — then its owner got busted for trying to have sex with underage staff

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A Kentucky pastor was arrested on child sexual exploitation charges after police said he tried to arrange a liaison between himself and two underage girls.

Bobby “BJ” Blackburn, pastor of Elevate Church and owner of Giovanni’s Pizza in Prestonsburg, was charged with using an electronic device to ask an employee to take part in a threesome with another minor, reported WBKO-TV.

Blackburn turned himself in to police Wednesday and was released on $5,000 bond.

The girl showed police obscene messages Blackburn allegedly sent to her, asking her and another pizza shop employee to engage in a sex act with him.

Police said the girl then took back her statement after they questioned her further, saying Blackburn had threatened to fire her for talking.

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Officers obtained a warrant to search Blackburn’s phone, but relatives said the pastor had thrown it into a river.

Blackburn drew national attention in 2016, when he vowed to continue playing Christian music and printing Bible verses on receipts at his pizzeria in spite of customer complaints.

“We, here at Giovanni’s of Prestonsburg are unapologetically a Christ-based business that runs and operates with Christian values and principles,” Blackburn said on Facebook at the time. “We wholeheartedly believe that we have been blessed the way that we have because of the goodness of God. We understand that this is not the view of every customer and/or business owner and we are not trying to push this view on anybody.”

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Blackburn has since deleted his personal Facebook page, along with pages for his church and pizza restaurant, which was an independently owned franchise.


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BUSTED: CNN’s panel of women defending Trump’s racism were literally the ‘Trumpettes’

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CNN aired a panel that featured “Republican women” defending President Trump’s racist tweets, but failed to mention that they were actually part of a pro-Trump group whose members the network had interviewed in the past.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Ben Carson is Donald Trump’s faulty human shield against accusations of racism

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Ben Carson is back in the news — after another long absence — because Donald Trump has once again been accused of racism.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

The secretary of Housing and Urban Development is the only African-American member of the president’s Cabinet, and is often trotted out to clean up after Trump makes a mess too obviously problematic for the media to ignore. While Trump has tried to spin his recent racist attacks on four progressive freshman congresswomen as a strategic maneuver meant to manipulate Democratic infighting to his advantage, Carson's re-emergence from his stupor should be a clear indication that the president’s team recognizes the damage that can be caused by his unforced errors.

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An illegal trend could be emerging after Trump let Kellyanne Conway off the hook for breaking federal law

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Federal workplaces are supposed to be free of politics, but a Trump administration appointee used a government forum Wednesday to express support for the president’s reelection.

At a conference on religious freedom hosted by the State Department, an official told the crowd of several hundred people that “hopefully he will be reelected,” referring to President Donald Trump.

It’s illegal for federal employees to engage in political activities while they are on the job.

“It’s a violation of the Hatch Act for a federal official, to say in her official capacity, to hope that the president will be reelected,” said Kathleen Clark, an expert on legal ethics at the Washington University in St. Louis.

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