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Trump has joined the ‘losers of presidential history’ — and Republicans are going down with him: Conservative columnist

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On Wednesday, Never-Trump conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin released a scorching assessment of President Donald Trump’s legacy, as a newly impeached president — and that of all the Republicans who have leapt to his defense rather than stand up for the rule of law.

“Even Trump knows he will be lumped in with the ‘losers’ in the presidential history rankings such as Richard Nixon and Andrew Johnson,” wrote Rubin. “Impeachment will define his presidency, dwarfing any other foreign or domestic action. No wonder he rages against a speaker he is powerless to stop. His worst nightmare is to be humiliated, and if not now, history certainly will regard him as a pitiful, damaged man utterly unfit for the role he won through a series of improbable events (thanks to a hostile foreign power and an undisciplined FBI director).”

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“Just as Watergate figures then-Sen. Sam Ervin (D-N.C.) and then-Reps. Barbara Jordan (D-Tex.) and Peter Rodino (D-N.J.) were lionized as defenders of the Constitution, so too will Pelosi and House Democrats Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), Eric Swalwell (Calif.) and Jamie B. Raskin (Md.) be among those admired for their lucidity, intellect and character. There is no shortage of patriots, if you know where to look. If ever you needed an illustration for your children, here is an episode vividly demonstrating that doing the right and difficult thing, sacrificing for a cause greater than oneself, has its own rewards … For every clownish, contemptible, screeching and dishonest House Republican, there is a sober, admirable, restrained and honest Democrat.”

“Meanwhile, in hundreds of gatherings around the country on Tuesday night, American citizens turned out to defend the Constitution and support impeachment,” continued Rubin. “The same day, a band of Republicans unveiled the Lincoln Project to work on dislodging Trump and his accomplices from office in 2020. One after another, brave freshmen Democrats decided duty to the Constitution was far more important than political calculation and announced their support for impeachment. They put to shame Republicans such as Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) who know all too well the danger Trump poses yet cannot muster the courage to put country above party.”

On the flip side, wrote Rubin, there are no Republicans in Congress to admire this time.

“No letter, no tweet, no Fox News spin can repair the reputations of Trump enablers,” Rubin wrote. The right-wing media that cheered them on will, like outlets that rooted for Jim Crow and demonized Freedom Riders, be shunned by decent, freedom-loving people who reaffirm objective reality. The Republican Party will be known not as the Party of Lincoln but the Party of Trump, a quisling party that lost its bearings and its soul to defend an unhinged narcissist. Psychologists and sociologists will study a mass cult phenomenon, seeking to explain how a con man and his greedy media accomplices duped millions of Americans.”

“As demoralizing and infuriating as this presidency has been, it is now within our power to wipe it all away and to vindicate the heroes, punish the villains and reset our democracy,” concluded Rubin. “We have 321 days until Election Day.”

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‘Empty the Pews’ chronicles the ‘nurtured insanity’ of a fundamentalist upbringing

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There is a great exodus taking place in Christian circles. Can it be called a loss of faith? I don’t think so. It is rather a loss of confidence in everything at once. Christianity has always been about “the Word,” but these days, words don’t seem to matter. They’ve lost their power to describe and convince in the face of horrible deeds, from climate-change denial to the persecution of trans people to the wholesale abandonment of Christ’s teachings in favor of abusive meanness. The hard-right white evangelical voter gave us Trump. The church sat silent as industrial oligarchs ruined the earth.

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‘Impeach him again!’ Assange sets off bombshells with Trump pardon claim

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claims President Donald Trump dangled a pardon through a Republican lawmaker if he agreed to cover up Russia's involvement in 2016 election hacking.

Assange's lawyer Edward Fitzgerald told a London court Wednesday that former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher had passed along the offer in exchange for testimony that Russia had nothing to do with DNC leaks -- and the allegation shocked legal experts and other social media users.

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Religious leaders need ‘Empty the Pews’ — which chronicles the darker side of the ‘Nones’ phenomenon

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Empty the PewsEdited by Lauren O’Neal and Chrissy StroopEpiphany Publishing (November, 2019)

In 2020, the rise of the so-called religious “Nones”—those who claim no religious affiliation—has evolved from a story of interest to a small niche of readers into an entire genre on the religion beat. While the term None has some usefulness as a blanket descriptor, we are beginning to understand that most individual stories about religious disaffiliation are far more complicated than just checking “none of the above” on a survey. Stories about the decline in Gen Z, Millennial and Gen X believers are a regular feature in secular news—Religion News Service even publishes an entire column dedicated to statistical data on Nones, compiled by the sociologist Ryan Burge—and a growing number of books exploring the narrative stories of Nones have appeared in recent years, including a book of my own.

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