Religion & Politics

Christian hypocrisy on parade as evangelicals battle mask mandates and vaccinations: columnist

In a column published by NBC News, Maggie Siddiqi of the Center for American Progress called out the evangelical leaders for ignoring Covid-19 recommendations regarding masks and vaccines in their pursuit of fighting a cultural war with the left.

As Siddiqi wrote, far-right extremists within the evangelical movement are attempting to use religious exemptions to avoid following sensible health protocols and, in the process, are putting their followers at risk.

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Clergy fleeing their ministries due to fights with parishioners over politics: report

According to a report from the Washington Post, religious institutions in the United States are seeing an exodus of clergy members who have grown weary of secular politics invading their conversations and counseling with parishioners.

As Michele Boorstein documents, churches are undergoing a "crisis" as pastors and clergy members abandon their posts and look for greener pastures with the past few years of political strife taking its toll.

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Theocrats are coming for the school board — but parents are starting to fight back

"Masks are not healthy for most people. Just the bacteria that grows in them is causing more issues than any issues masks would prevent," Nicole Konz claimed in a Facebook post last February. On Nov. 2, she was elected to the school board of Academy District 20, near Colorado Springs, a district serving more than 23,000 students. It wasn't an accident. There was a lot of money and power behind her. And Konz wasn't alone.

This article first appeared on Salon.

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Now evangelicals want to depict 'social justice' as un-Christian

Like so many people in the working poor, I have lost a lot more than I have won in this life. I have been laid off four times. I have lost a house and a car. I owe more on my student loans at 45 than I did at 25. Like millions of others in the working class, I have never stopped working — I've done every job you can imagine and I will continue to fight for a better life for my daughters, and my working-class brothers and sisters until my last breath. As an ordained minister trained at an evangelical seminary, I find that motivation to fight for the least of these within what is called the "social justice gospel." In recent years, however, that gospel has been twisted by the evangelical Republican machine, which now seeks to instill the belief that social justice is the gospel of godless socialism and communism.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Mormon leader and associates ordered to pay nearly $1 million for using children as unpaid labor: report

According to a report from CNN, the head of a rogue Mormon church and two groups affiliated with him have been ordered to pay nearly $1 million in fines for using children as unpaid labor for years.

The fine comes after a Department of Labor complaint that accused Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints bishop Lyle Jeffs and his business partner Brian Jessop, of illegally hiring the children to work on a ranch.

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Evangelicals scrambling to oust belief in Trump as congregations are torn apart

In an extensive piece in the Atlantic, former George W. Bush speechwriter Peter Wehner explained that some evangelical leaders are picking through the wreckage of their congregations that were torn apart by the influence of former president Donald Trump.

Wehner, a highly vocal Christian, has been no friend of Trump and is worried that the Christian faith has been damaged by the embrace of the one-term president by high-profile evangelical leaders which, in turn, has left some congregations in tatters as Trump supporters drag his politics into the daily church dealings.

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MAGA-loving 'Church of the AR-15' purchasing massive Tennessee retreat for 'training center': report

According to a report from Vice, a pro-Donald Trump religious sect has purchased 130 acres on a mountaintop in Tennessee which they intend to turn into a "training center."

MAGA-loving 'Church of the AR-15' purchasing massive Tennessee retreat for 'training center' youtu.be

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'Try being a Christian!': Marjorie Taylor Greene lashes out at Democratic lawmakers during press event

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) crashed the "Build Back Better for Women" event on Friday when she became embroiled in a heated shouting match with Democratic members of Congress.

Footage of the intense exchange is now circulating on Twitter. Although the event was held to commemorate the advancement of women's rights, Greene criticized the effort and denounced abortion.

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Far-right 'Moms for Liberty' group demands schools stop exposing kids to 'sexy' pictures of seahorses

On Friday, The Daily Beast reported that a far-right group in Williamson County, Tennessee, is demanding schools censor a number of books and subjects — including an unusual demand regarding pictures of marine life.

"Registering its website in late 2020, the group 'Moms For Liberty' is one of a series of conservative education groups to spring up in the wake of 2020's racial justice protests," reported Kelly Weill. "The group is currently involved in battles against in-school mask mandates, as well as a particularly heated fight over school books in Tennessee's Williamson County."

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A popular app for churches has become an 'anti-vaxx' hotbed: report

An app used by more than 14,000 religious congregations has been turned into a place where anti-vaxxers can spread their conspiracy theories online, Mother Jones reports today.

Subsplash, a tech company founded in 2005 "to glorify God and proclaim Jesus is Lord" by helping churches communicate information online, has now become a major source of vaccine disinformation, the magazine reports.

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Evangelical theology is what made the Texas abortion outrage possible

During my undergrad years at U Mass Dartmouth I had the great privilege of being mentored by Dr Juli Parker, who was director of the Women's center, now called the Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality. It was there, more than 20 years ago, that I was shown a small piece of what so many women face in this country. As the only football player volunteer at the center, I observed two very different worlds. The football locker room, with men saying some pretty awful things, and Dr Parker explaining the truth around sexual assault, abortion rights and the regular fight for equality that women face every day.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Christian nationalists behind drive to replace California's Newsom and install Larry Elder: report

According to a report from Right Wing Watch, leaders of the Christian nationalist movement in California are engaged in a full-court press to get evangelical voters to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and replace him with far-right radio host Larry Elder who has been courting them for their support.

With election day fast approaching and millions of California voters already shipping back their mail-in ballots, Right Wing Watch reports "Christian nationalist and dominionist pastors in California have declared their intention in recent years to transform the state by turning out enough conservative evangelical voters," and see Elders as their ticket to the governor's office in the heavily Democratic state.

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Evangelicals, science and the vaccine: Refusal is built on deep-seated fear

When my daughters were coming of age I never prevented any book from being on our shelves. Any book or any topic they wanted to read about or discuss, I made sure I provided for them. I don't believe in editing information from my daughters, from the churches where I served as an evangelical pastor, from my students or from my family and friends. I never understood when people were unwilling to engage with material that threatened their own point of view. Unfortunately for my fellow Christians, this is a major part of church history and the current Christian culture. This close-minded approach has been on full display during this pandemic of the unvaccinated.

This article first appeared on Salon.

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