Right Wing Religion Round-Up: Evangelical Leader Claims Teaching Kids Basic Science Causes Mass Shootings

By Ed Mazza
HuffPost (9/2/19)

A right-wing evangelical leader on Sunday claimed mass shootings are caused by “driving God from the public square” and more specifically by teaching kids science such as evolution in schools.

“We’ve taught our kids that they come about by chance through primordial slime and then we’re surprised that they treat their fellow Americans like dirt,” Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, said on “Fox & Friends” one day after a gunman in Texas killed 7 and wounded 21 others.

He added:

“I think we have to go back to the point where we instill in these children, at least give them the opportunity to know that they’re created in the image of God, therefore they have inherent value.” 

Perkins also claimed it’s impossible to have morality without religion, a view he noted was shared by George Washington.

He did not, however, offer any theories as to how nations with lower levels of religious adherence manage to avoid mass shootings. …

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Former Pastor Of Anti-Gay Church Hit With 8-Year Prison Sentence For Sexually Assaulting 14-Year-Old Boy

By Sky Palma
Raw Story (9/4/19)

A retired pastor from Iowa has been sentenced to 8 years in prison for having sex with a 14-year-old boy he met on a gay dating app, Queerty reports.

David Holmes, who is 82, first came in contact with the boy back in 2017 and later met up with him in a parking garage, where the two reportedly engaged in oral sex.

According to prosecutor Don Kleine, the boy likely wasn’t Holmes’ only victim.

“You wouldn’t think this would just happen one time for someone that age to prey on a young person and to be involved in social media in the way that they were,” he said.

Holmes was formerly the pastor at Central United Methodist Church in Oskaloosa, Iowa. …

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Religious Leaders Call For Expulsion Of Washington Lawmaker Who Calls For ‘holy war’ To Establish Right-Wing Theocracy

By Travis Gettys
Raw Story (8/30/19)

A group of religious leaders has called for the expulsion of a right-wing Washington state lawmaker over his calls for political violence and ties to anti-government extremist groups.

State Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane) has distributed a manifesto called the “Biblical basis for war” and spied on his political enemies, and the Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience of Eastern Washington and North Idaho have joined with the Spokane Police Guild, the Spokane NAACP, several local elected officials to say enough is enough.

The coalition of faith leaders, lawmakers, law enforcement officers and civil rights activists have asked the state legislature to expel Shea if he does not resign over his actions and statements.

Call for child soldiers

“We are mindful of the life-threatening reality of both Christian Dominionism and white supremacy that exists in our communities and our nation,” the coalition said in a letter published by theInlander newspaper. “We recognize that domestic terrorism has become a threat to our freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The coalition said Shea’s statements — which include the endorsement of a group training child soldiers for a “holy war” — stoke fear and promote violence, and they said his manifesto twists biblical teachings to promote racism and bigotry. …

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Anti-LGBT West Virginia Republican Senator Busted After Text Messages Reveal Prostitution Ring

By David Edwards
Raw Story (8/28/19)

West Virginia Republican state Sen. Mike Maroney was charged this week with soliciting a prostitute.

According to criminal complaint filed on Tuesday, Maroney’s cell phone was used to solicit a prostitute in May.

The complaint claims that someone with Maroney’s phone exchanged text messages with a prostitute who offered services for $120 an hour.

In a text message conversation on May 16, the suspected prostitute demanded to see a photograph of Maroney before she would meet with him. Officers said that the photograph matched pictures of Maroney on file.

Maroney also allegedly took advantage of the woman’s services on June 19.

“It’s 120 or I can do a car date,” she wrote.

“No problem with 120,” Maroney allegedly wrote back. “I can be there in 10 min.”

On June 13, Maroney received a message from the woman saying, “Come f*ck me.” …

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Hmm, Jerry Falwell Jr. Gave His Personal Trainer A Sweetheart Land Deal Using Liberty University

By Sarah K. Burris
Raw Story (8/27/19)

In another strange revelation about Liberty University head Jerry Falwell Jr., a land deal for the university ultimately ended up giving a sweetheart deal to his personal trainer.

Reuters reported Tuesday that Falwell and his wife, Rebecca, hired a personal fitness trainer named Benjamin Crosswhite in 2011. He was a 23-year-old recent Liberty graduate. But after a series of real estate deals signed by Falwell, Crosswhite scored a “sprawling 18-acre racquet sports and fitness facility on former Liberty property.” He was then given a $2 million line of credit for his business from a bank using the property as collateral.

This isn’t the first strange relationship Falwell has had with a young man, however. In 2012, Falwell and his wife went to a Florida luxury resort known for topless sunbathing and a massive underground nightclub described by one travel guide as “30,000 square feet of unadulterated fun.”

Falwell met a young pool boy named Giancarlo Granda, who soon entered into a business relationship with the right-wing Christian leader.

The Falwells subsequently agreed to help Granda purchase an LGBT-friendly youth hostel in Florida that features pamphlets for strip clubs, as well as a sign that reads, “No Soliciting, Fundraising, Politics, Salesmen, Religion.” …

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Deadbeat: Creationist Ark Encounter Museum Accused Of Stiffing Local Schools By Underpaying Property Taxes

By Matthew Chapman
Raw Story (8/24/19)

On Saturday, Friendly Atheist reported that the Grant County Board of Education is filing a lawsuit alleging the creationist “Ark Encounter” theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, received a property valuation way lower than it should have for the purposes of tax assessment.

The museum, which is shaped like a giant replica of Noah’s Ark and is full of exhibits explaining supposed historical details of the Flood — including models of cavemen fighting dinosaurs — was assessed at $46 million in 2017. But the Board of Education, combining Ark Encounter’s capital investment disclosures, land value, and ticket sales, that the property is actually worth $130 million.

Thus, they contend, the parent company Answers in Genesis evaded $470,288 in property taxes that should have gone to support county schools, in addition to the $275,912 they did pay. And this is on top of the county already exempting them from 75 percent of the property taxes they would have owed. …

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