Bishop Patrick Wooden of North Carolina is a viciouslyanti-LGBTQright-wing pastor who has claimed, among other things, that gay men have to wear diapers because they routinely insert cellphones, baseball bats, and animals into their anuses.
Naturally, Wooden is close allies with North Carolinaâs Christian nationalist Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who is likewise vehementlyopposed to efforts to promote LGBTQ rights and equality. With Robinson underfire over a clip Right Wing Watch posted of him ranting that Christians must take control of public schools because âthereâs no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth,â Wooden is predictably coming to Robinsonâs defense.
On Thursday, Wooden posted a video on his YouTube channel in which he praised Robinsonâs comments, asserted that those who have criticized Robinson are racist, dismissed local LGBTQ leaders as âlosers,â and reported that Robinsonâs right-wing supporters had gathered with him Wednesday to hold âa big prayer meetingâ amid the controversy. (...)
One of the nationâs most prominent religious conservative lawyers played a critical behind-the-scenes role in the lawsuit that Republican state attorneys general filed in December in a last-ditch effort to overturn the election of President Biden, documents show.
The lawyer, Michael P. Farris, is the chief executive of a group known as Alliance Defending Freedom, which is active in opposing abortion and gay rights. He circulated a detailed draft of the lawsuit that Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, ultimately filed against states including Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin in an effort to help President Donald J. Trump remain in office.
Mr. Paxton filed the lawsuit on Dec. 7, after making some changes but keeping large chunks of the draft circulated by Mr. Farris.
But Mr. Farrisâs role highlighted how religious conservatives supported Mr. Trumpâs unsuccessful attempts to retain power by blocking certification of Mr. Bidenâs victory. (...)
Mr. Farrisâs involvement in the effort, which has not previously been reported, came as part of a broad push by religious conservatives to get Mr. Trump re-elected. Their role intensified after the pandemic hit in early 2020 and states began to loosen absentee ballot rules, which the religious conservatives feared would lead to a surge in participation by liberal voters.
Mr. Farris made a name for himself in the 1980s as the founder of a legal group that successfully pushed states nationwide to allow children to be taught at home, based on a belief that only through home-schooling, away from secular influences in public schools, could a broad Christian movement rise in the United States. (...)
E.W. Jackson, a right-wing pastor who was the Republican Partyâs nominee for Virginia lieutenant governor in 2013, told religious-right activists at the Family Research Councilâs âPray Vote Standâ conference Thursday that Marxism, socialism, âtransgenderism,â homosexuality, and abortion are works of the devil, and that âGod wants to intervene in the rotten here and now and bring us out of this mess that we are in.â
Jackson, whose radio show is broadcast on the American Family Associationâs radio network, told attendees that âthe problem that we have in America is ultimately not political and ultimately not cultural. It is spiritual.â
The United States, he said, is a âprovidentialâ nation and âa gift from Almighty Godâ:
Patriotism comes from the word âpater,â meaning love of or honor of the father. And itâs not just about our Founding Fathers; itâs about the Father God who gave us this nation. And if you really believe that this nation is the gift that God gave to you, to your children, and to your grandchildren, then you ought to be willing to say, âIâm not going to let some bunch of Marxists and socialists and communists take this nation away and rob my posterity of the great gift that God has given us.â
Jackson told activists that Christians have a responsibility âto destroy the works of the devil,â adding:
Marxism is a work of the devil! Socialism is a work of the devil! Transgenderism is a work of the devil! Homosexuality is a work of the devil! Abortion is the work of the devil! And we say, âSatan, weâre going to tear your kingdom down!â
Jackson also denounced âcritical race theory,â railing against the caricature of that academic field of study that right-wing groups have used to rile up and mobilize parents and activists, saying, âAll of this racial division is the work of the devil.â He claimed that children as young as 3 months old are being taught that they are either an oppressor or the oppressed âbased upon the complexion of your skin.â
âThey used to tell me, âHow can you as a Black man not support Barack Obama?â I said, âItâs very easyâBarack Obama doesnât support Jesus and I donât support him,â he added. (...)
Last summer, The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted overwhelmingly to draft a formal document on the meaning of the Eucharist over whether Biden and other politicians who support abortion policies should receive communion.
The bishops plan to discuss the draft at their annual meeting in November but have clarified there is no national policy banning politicians from communion.
But the pope, this month, advised bishops against denying the Eucharist for political reasons. "I have never refused the Eucharist to anyone," he said, adding it isnât a "prize for the perfect."
Several Republican members of Congress, North Carolina state legislators, various candidates for office, and radical religious-right activists gathered at Temple Baptist Church in Mount Airy, North Carolina, last weekend for the North Carolina Faith & Freedom Coalitionâs âSalt & Light Conference.â
Among the politicians in attendance was Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who used his time in front of his home state crowd to declare that he is waging a âspiritual battleâ in the supposedly âevil and vileâ Washington, D.C., against people like Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her âcold, evil eyes.â
âI believe that the power of prayer will save this country in the coming decades,â Cawthorn said. âWhen Iâm in Washington, D.C., I know a lot of you consider the place to be evil and vile, and I am here to tell you with first-hand knowledge, it is evil and vile. But I will tell you when Iâm there, I donât feel an overwhelming sense of darkness as if the devil has complete dominion of that area because I feel a spiritual battle going on on Capitol Hill. And patriots like all of you in this room, on your knees, praying that we have the cover within the spiritual fight is what it will take to save this country.â
âI have to look Nancy Pelosi in her cold, evil eyes every single day,â he continued. âShe just passed a bill yesterday trying to say that we can abort babies on demand all the way up until right before the day of birth. When we hear this, when we hear the fact that if a baby comes through a botched abortion alive, sitting there on the table, they then still have the right to murder that child, we realize that when I quip and say, âI look her in her cold, evil eyes,â itâs not a joke. These people hate us.â (...)