Jeff Sessions announces Religious Liberty Task ForceAttorney General Jeff Sessions has announced the creation of the “Religious Liberty Task Force,” a new body under the Department of Justice intended to be a watchdog for violations of religious freedom. The task force will alert the DOJ to any anti-faith government regulations and monitor policies implemented to protect religious liberty across America.

Sessions held a press conference to make the announcement, which was accompanied by an impassioned speech about how religious liberty is under attack in America today. He explained that our cultural climate has become increasingly hostile religion, and those who choose to express their faith often do so reluctantly, for fear of facing nasty consequences.

“We’ve seen nuns ordered to buy contraceptives. We’ve seen U.S. senators ask judicial and executive branch nominees about dogma – even though the Constitution explicitly forbids a religious test for public office. And we’ve all seen the ordeal faced so bravely by Jack Phillips,” Sessions said, referring to the Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. Phillips recently took his case all the way to the Supreme Court – and won.

Sessions continued, adamant that people of faith have too long been overlooked:

“In short, we have not only the freedom to worship—but the right to exercise our faith. The Constitution’s protections don’t end at the parish parking lot nor can our freedoms be confined to our basements. Religious Americans are no longer an afterthought.”

Mixed Response

Scores of religious groups expressed strong support for the new task force. They’re hoping a new age has dawned in America where the Bible will be permitted in the classroom, prayer may return to school activities, the Ten Commandments can once again be proudly displayed on public property, and public expressions of faith will be celebrated instead of scoffed at.

However, many feel differently – evidenced by the strong criticism levied at Sessions following this morning’s announcement. Some took to social media to vent their concerns, arguing that the task force poses a grave threat to the separation of church and state.

Others warn that the task force might be biased toward Christians and will overlook the plight of other religious groups in America:

Expressing Faith vs. Breaking the Law

A central question in this ongoing debate is whether or not protecting religious liberty necessarily means stepping on the rights of others. For example, if a baker decides his religious convictions prevent him from baking a cake for a gay couple, have the couple’s rights been trampled? Legally, it’s still unclear. Although the Supreme Court sided with Jack Phillips, they declined to say whether it’s constitutional to deny someone service based on religious beliefs.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume this behavior is acceptable. The question then becomes, how far should these faith protections extend?

Here’s another case to consider: two Oregon parents were convinced that God would heal their sickly newborn child, and they decided not to take her to the hospital. The baby died hours later. Should their expression of faith – trusting God over medical professionals – be permitted? The answer is pretty obviously no (and the state agreed, sentencing them both to prison time).

But critics will point to these more extreme cases and argue that we’re headed down a slippery slope. After all, religious belief leads some people to do crazy things. Until a definitive ruling comes down from the Supreme Court, there remains a lot of grey area to exploit.

What do you think of the new task force? When does the law supersede religious conviction?

 

102 comments

  1. Katelynne Victoria Shouse says:

    Dark days are ahead for those who don’t eat drink sleep and breathe in lockstep with Looney Jeff and his Evangelical crazies!

    1. Rev. M. Dash says:

      So true.

    2. Reverend Krystina S. says:

      I agree. The ChristoFascist Right Wingers are hijacking one interpretation of the Christian faith to bludgeon the rest of the country into submission. It is UnChristian. It is UnAmerican. It is UnConscionable. And I speak as a minister who follows the Jesus Way. The United States of America is NOT a religious state. Yet.

      1. Reverend Madhvi says:

        Utter nonsense. It’s the Left – whose politics have become their “religion”- who are bludgeoning their opponents” literally ( Antifa) and figuratively: censoring speech, shutting down completely non- violent non- hateful websites, etc. The attack on free speech by the left is the most frightening movement in the country I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. The supreme hater Farrakhan ( who is also anti-gay) is being embraced by the Democrat Party. Why is this ok with all of you? A little “spirituality “ is a dangerous thing. WalkAway from the hate. I don’t believe women should have to wear niwabs , hijabs and Burqas. Yet around the world millions of women are forced to dress this way by their governments.millions are beaten, jailed and killed if they reuse. Gays are murdered by their governments, whipped in public in Indonesia, hung on cranes in Iran. This is the Handmaids Tale. An individual refusing to partake in a gay wedding is the opposite of government control of our lives.

        1. mi says:

          bull you have followed like the good sheep they want you to be,.. freedom doesnt mean im fringing upon others. which religions do, more wars have been wagged in the name of religion, and the true word.problem with that is here in the u,s there is over 330 religions.. so first you get region in the government then you wag war on which relion is going to be the excepted “truth”.. what happens if you dont agree and now you kid is force to say they believe, to learn it to recite it… its all good unless you dont agree with it.. then what? ahhhh war… region killed women in the name of god..not having relion govern the people is the only way.. if you wanna pray do it but dont inping on the peron next to you… beieve in God,, but i dam sure dont like some one next to me praising loudly so i cant hear whats going on… ok?.. and they do… you cant stand at a counter without some one pushing there region like a hooker on a street… at what point is it a cult?.. its so dam close. what people have done with believing in God to the commercial bull of today. God is person for each person,, or to many they dont believe, stop ushing it on them. leave them alone. freedom does not mean making others conform to things they dont believe… religion has killed women as witches, they killed midwifes, they used brutal devices on people getting the DEVIL out, lol come on. it does NOT belong in government… parents at one time were pushed to beat there children to keep the devil out LOLOL.. ahhh I could go on for century’s… NO its not a good thing to control people with.. it causes war.abuses.. greed. worship God., in Your own way… let it be yours and leave other people be.

        2. Stephanie Willey says:

          Reverend, what have you been smoking ?

        3. Rev P Dash says:

          Please be advised women are not being forced to wear hijab!!! I know Americans don’t get it but women can wear it or not wear it. Please get your facts straight before going on a tangent.

          There’s a difference between the various head dress. Many Nigerian women wear the gele—not because they are being forced to, to it is more cultural than anything as is hijab, abaya, caftans, turbans, et al.

          Your statement sounds as bad as Jeff Sessions claiming nuns are being forced to buy condems. Enough already.

          If you are repeating what someone is telling you then you’re propagating falsehoods. Orthodox Jewish females as well as Lubovitch wear snoods—the same that goes under the hijab. Many Nigerians wear snoods under their gele.

          It is not unusual for them to cover their hair. Catholics used to wear veils (mantilla) to church and hats. Don’t hate the style. Did you know each area of the Middle East drapes their hijabs differently? The same way there are various ways to wear gelee and turbans.

          Also today it’s all about the makeup that goes with it. Please get your facts straight before you perpetuate other people’s hateful interpretations of zippo.

          Do the Christian thing, please.

    3. Lea Weisenbach says:

      Very true..

    4. Stephanie Willey says:

      I agree I’m afraid …

    5. The Rev. Robert Barker says:

      Sadly true. Why we need to get out and vote in the mid-terms and 2020!

      1. Mary J. Ellen says:

        Absolutely! In total agreement!

    6. Mary J Ellen says:

      Totally agree.
      I do wish, for once, this administration would keep their hands off of these things.
      If things are going smoothly, leave it alone!

    7. Anita Rogers says:

      True. So doubt they will take up the liberties if Muslims or Hindu folk

    8. pastor richard h. says:

      The phrase separation of church and state is generally traced to a January 1, 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson, addressed to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut, and published in a Massachusetts newspaper.
      Its not in the Constitution
      So Any Gov. official is free to Speak in speeches or Worship as they would anyone else. and if He wishes to Safe Guard Religious Freedom for Americans I see NO PROBLEM.
      IF you all believe Religion should be attacked Then your Wrong.

  2. DaveJ says:

    This new task force is just the beginning of weeding out all but the fundamentalist christian ideology from both public and private life. Jeff Sessions has shown his desires repeatedly. With the new right wing supreme court, this and many other pseudo christian desires will be made policy. Say goodbye to women having a say over their bodies, equality in marriage, anti-discrimination. These have gone through the supreme court, but it’s only a matter of time before someone who wants to make sure we all have their particular brand of imaginary friends tenets as shown in their particular bronze age mythos get a case before the supremes that will overturn a century of progress.
    And once we stop the gays, lesbians, atheists and abortion providers, it will be the brown folk, the yellow folk, the red folk. Just get back to the 30s where everything was wonderful and white.

    1. Rev. M. Dash says:

      Exactly.

    2. Stephanie Willey says:

      The next step here is the American Christian Talaban.

      1. R.l Knight says:

        Or a American nquistion where all how do not believe as the church’s do face starvation depravatio and death if he want to do it fine be i must cover all belifs not just the ones they think is right

  3. REV. THEO KLEBES says:

    We all know about Jeff Sessions and his extremism. It is people like him is why we have the separation of church and state!

    1. Rev. M. Dash says:

      Thank you for your post.

    2. Mi says:

      And it should be separate freedom not to be forced by one of 300 plus religoons in this country…soooo you good if the decide for you what God is and how you c an and canT worship. Or choose not to? So which religion is the”right one” problem with that is all you crazy s are right…just ask one of you who’s right….so you want it forced on your kid? Lol. If you need god running your life then do it…wtf is wrong with you to want to take other people’s rights away? Are you some kind of communist lover?

    3. mi says:

      as it should be.. which religion will you except in church and state?.. you like catholics? gonna learn howto do all that?.. or baptist ? You gonna learn to be a good Mormon?.. well there is the problem religions cause war. NO it does NOT belong in government… how about what if,, now it would never happen but what if,, enough Arabic people got together and won the which religion will rule and its Muslim?. LMAO yeah thats what I thought… You mean YOU want the religion You believe in as the rule… LOL cause yours is the right one huh?…. well let me tell you 330 religions in this country are the ones who are the ONLY ones that are right… so then all the rest who didnt win there religion will cause WAR.. how do I know…LMAO HISTORY

    4. John Owens says:

      Can you give us examples of his extremism?

  4. Rev. M. Dash says:

    I’m all for religious freedom but I am also for separation of church and state. This is a rue as it means Evangelicals. Nuns have never been forced to purchase contraceptives. What about “Thou shalt not lie”? I am totally against this as it means churches would beholden to whatever power is in office, sort of like Russia, China, North Korea and other Communist ruled countries. They say they are protecting their religions–the caveat: as long as they step in line behind the ruling party! This is a very slippery slope and means they [Jeff Sessions and his band of evangelicals] want to dictate their version of the bible–which was written by a man, not God, and as such can be interpreted by man as to what it says.

    The Nazis, Southern Baptist Conference, and upholders of South African Apartheid –just to name a few–have used this to suppress certain segments of the population. Others have used it to say in the Old Testament they are God’s chosen people. It may sound good, but, it is not. People came here seeking religious freedom and it has worked up until now. There are things in place in our government to hand conflicts. The Supreme Court upheld the decision that the baker could serve whoever he wants, this shows Religious freedom is being upheld.

    As we have a history of religions dominating and indoctrinating the masses–Jim Jones was a charismatic Evangelical minister, how do you like him now? No one stopped him because of religious freedom. The Branch Dividian claimed they were followers of Jesus; that did not work out with Government interference–extremists, who felt they were right. What about those religions where they believe in many wives practicing in this country and not interfered with by government? They are protected under religious freedom, claim government subsidies under each of their wives and live very good lifestyle(s) based on this government handout. No one is storm trooping them, or interrupting their lifestyle(s), except the Press. What about those who are taking child brides forcing them to have children at 10, 11, 12, 13, 14-years of age. No one is storm trooping them. What about those who, for religious purposes, are circumcising young girls? No one is storm trooping them.

    It seems the Muslins, Islam, Catholics, Anglican Church, Lubovich sect of Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Hasidim Judaism, Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Coptic Church, Eastern Rite, Buddhists, Sikhs, just to name a few of the mainstream organized religions, have never called for this as they believe in separation of church and state.

    This seems to come from the fringe fanatical evangelical quarters who make it up as they go along religious groups who preach, endorse and spread hatred for specific groups of people as a way of controlling their members that want this. This type of government oversight of religion threatens the American people freedoms the most.

    If Christianity needs protection, it needs protection from Jeff Sessions and his band of schemers and ungodly people who feel they can fool all of the people all of the time and that the ends justify the means. They feel religions should be able to tell their followers, congresspersons, senators and their families how to think and how to vote!

    I may not believe in abortion but I will not deny someone who wants one to have one. I also believe that if someone is raped, they should be able to get rid of the product of that rape. You cannot visit prostitutes and have your way with your church members and forget the laws of God, then tell others how to react. You cannot force your so-called morality, which you have not exhibited, on other people. It does not work, it never will work, and that is why people came to America because they did not want this! Now, all of a sudden, you want to reign it in because it serves your purpose for extremists and a segment of the population who is without conscience and morals under the guise of morality and “doing the right thing.”

    There are those who are atheists out there, or Satanist, devil worshippers, and other occultists. They should have just as much freedom as anyone else. If you are not cracking down on hate groups exercising their First Amendment rights, then quite obviously, you should not be telling any religious groups or their members about their freedom(s)–particularly when you cannot tell a Sikh, Buddhist, Islamic follower from a Muslim and the sects under Muslim. You are just as ignorant–or do not care–about other religions, only yours. This is not freedom, this is a disgrace and you have just been admonished by the Southern Baptist Ministers about using the bible to justify your acts in kidnapping children of people entering the country–many of who were given to evangelicals without children who were desiring to “have a baby.” Why else would you kidnap so many of these babies, and now cannot find them?

    Anyone reading this should be just as appalled as I about this type of trickery. Certainly, your God cannot approve of this no matter how you try to justify it.

    1. REV. THEO KLEBES says:

      Very well said. Thank you.

    2. Carrie Talbott says:

      I agree with you completely. Thank you for a well thought argument. Bright Blessings to you!

    3. Roxane Davis says:

      What an excellent response to this so-called religious task force. What you have said here rings true in everyway and I am very happy to see that there are people of faith, such as yourself, who see through this scheme of Trump, Sessions and Pence. Pence, if I am not mistaken, brought the subject up to Trump last year, about evangelicals supposedly being persecuted for their beliefs. I do not like most evangelicals, not because they are practicing a Christian faith, but I do not like the hate, racism, intolerance, & sexism that they claim the Bible teaches and that they continue to try and force their twisted version of Christianity down our collective American throats. Evangelicals have driven a lot of Americans away from Christianity because they can no longer stand the hypocrisy of the Religious Right/Evangelicals. Apologise for my long response to your comments.

      1. mi says:

        it still does not belong in government , and you just stated why,,,, anyone You dont agree with is wrong…so what are you going to do about 330 in this country that ALL believe there they only ones with the truth?…so do you say yesss it belongs as long as its what I want , believe,.. so hat about the rest?.. forced into the belief?… well? how is that going to work?.. religions are notorious for war to get there way,.. killing women in some beliefs because there evil and full of the devil?.. LOL or how about the witch burning s?… or the abuses kids so the devil wont getin them?..lmao or I could go on and on, the truth is,, religions cant be responsible not to abuse people with greed and control. often pushing ignorant beliefs.NOOOOO it does not belong in this country’s government unless you want uniformity to what YOU believe… and will go to war and kill fellow Americans to do it?.. is that what You want? an You not think about hat it wil do?. because history tells us what happens when religions push there ONE TRUE belief do explain Your plan on how to have it in government?.. is there going to be a universal law like must stand or have a lift put you on your feet… or ladys must cover there heads in public for modesty?.. or what? come on tell me???

    4. Stephanie Willey says:

      I agree.

    5. The Rev. Robert Barker says:

      Rev. M. Dash: Well said, I agree whole heartedly!!

    6. Mi says:

      Good points well said. They who want freedom will turn right around and impede the next person..those who want to save baby’s are some of the same so called human being who do not care for the. Horrors Mexican baby’s go thru…it’s ok to take baby’s from parents who felt they had no choice….imagine loving your child so much you would give them up for a life without the horrors there parents face….and the same god fearing people will justify it…lol. no…keeping religion out of government keeps them safe…war is what happens when religions battle for the one the only because there right religion and with over 330 of them in the u.s. i predict it would cause war like we know it has down thru time killing millions in the name of there. One the only there right religion…not many religions believe in freedom…no they believe in uniformed story and stick to it even tho things they say are rediculious. The sheep follow…managed control…how about no religion in government ..and you believe how you want and I won’t push how I feel if you / they won’t push it on me..but they do..and intitled to do so because. “There right” well good for them but leave others alone.. I don’t want to listen to some guy spout about how fun hunting and killing things are either…I hunt..but people who…like killing..are mentally troubled and should never own a gun by law yet there they are

    7. Lori Mongillo says:

      I also agree with Rev. Dash. There is not place for evangelical BS. If Sessions is looking for religious liberty that will have to include all religions, not just Christianity. If he opens that door and prayer is put back into schools it will be a whole new world. You will see prayer of all kinds. Children will be exposed to many religions through this prayer and will learn that there is a vast spiritual realm beyond their own. If the ten commandments are put out in front of public court houses and town halls you will also see things like the Wiccan Rede, the Four Noble Truths, the Five Pillars of Islam, etc. They may have to set up a special garden just for all the different religious tenets. Children will be asking questions and developing spiritual interests beyond the one they grew up with, or find out they can reject religion altogether. Religion and state cannot become “one” because there is no “one”. Somehow I don’t think they will open that can of worms.

  5. James says:

    Blah, blah, blah…. Cry me a river. Good principles are in the Christian faith. You don’t have to believe in Christianity to see that. Don’t lie, cheat, steal, kill, have sex with too many people! All in all what’s wrong with that. Just lie must other religious text.. Good stuff and questionable stuff. But to keep the majority from expressing their faith? Can we all agree that since they govt forced out any referencing religious text, our great civilization has fallen down and stumbled.. If rather see the 10 commandments and have a good feeling and be safe in town than crackhead stealing and killing for their next fix.

    1. Lea Weisenbach says:

      The bible is not Christian…Its a book written by man..Its a history book..its not Holy..its a book..Besides there are other books..Example..The Heart Sutra..That I find better than the Bible.
      For your information..The bible belt has the highest venereal diseases..Chistianity is just a power high…And a disease in its self..I’m for spiritualism as a personal god if Gifts of Dhamma..

      1. Rev. Joe says:

        Earth to Lisa…..what?

        1. Lea Weisenbach says:

          Joe..is your comment for Lea not Lisa? If so..Everything on this thread is Christian. Its a shame no one knows anything else….Ignorance of a closed minded society.

          1. Carrie says:

            I am not a Christian. I am a Witch and a member of the LGBT community. I think the evil Keebler elf is a cut out copy of his master, the P.O.S. They established this criminal board in order to justify descrimination against everyone who doesn’t believe what they do, much like the Nazis just before krystalnacht.

          2. Rev. Joe says:

            Lea, yes. Not sure how I got “Lisa”.

          3. Carl Elfstrom says:

            We need to all get together and form a circle. I know some really great spells and rituals that will stop Sessions’B.S. almost immediately. Blessed be!

          4. Lori Mongillo says:

            Carl….I’m in on that circle!!!!

      2. John Owens says:

        I would like some evidence that the bible belt has the highest rate of VD, since you said that.

        1. Lori Mongillo says:

          I’m in the bible belt. I don’t know about VD numbers, but I see the druggies and alcoholics all around me. Mostly the alcoholics. They are more visible and filthy. Beer is consumed like soda down here in the south. Addiction is a very big thing. Self-esteem is very low, especially with the poorer folks. Churches every 200 ft and still it doesn’t help.

        2. ridges54 says:

          With the exception of Alaska, pretty accurate: https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats16/figures/d.htm

  6. Rev. Joe says:

    The sky is falling! The sky is falling!!!!!

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      There’s at least half as many Wiccans out of the broom closet on this blog to form a coven. Come out, come out where ever you are! We just need thirteen. I’ve got all the altar tools we need. If we work together it won’t be hard to send Jeff Sessions back to Alabama, and make sure he stays there.

      1. Lori Mongillo says:

        Carl….I’m out! I’m out! and I’m in! There’s a few others that need to be sent somewhere. Blessed be!

  7. Martha Knight says:

    The post-er presents a false description of the status quo. The Bible IS permitted in the classroom now. (Of course not all Bible users agree on WHAT Bible is in classrooms.) Prayer in school has not been forbidden, but school systems may not impose or prescribe prayer. A student may pray or may initiate prayer, just as a member of an assembly or audience may at a graduation. But why should the Ten Commandments be “proudly” displayed on public property, when we have a secular government? First, the Ten Commandments are part of the Old Covenant, not the New Covenant, and Christians have a New Covenant. Jesus declared that his followers have two commandments: To love god with their whole beings, and to love others (their fellow humans) unconditionally. He claimed to have fulfilled the law on behalf of all: his followers no longer base their relationship with God on the requirements of the Ten Commandments or Mosaic Covenant. What part of “fulfilled” do we not understand? Actually, the Two Commandments subsume everything in the Decalogue, don’t they? So why would Christians be insisting on posting them in public places? Christianity is based on the idea that Christ brought the New Covenant. No more bloody sacrifices, no more sin offerings, the promised Messiah did come and enact the promised ultimate covenant, based on grace, not law. Maybe devout Jews would have some reason to insist on the Ten Commandments being displayed– but they don’t! Surely those with other beliefs would not find it inspiring to see them on court house lawns or walls. How about putting them in church lawns?

    Jesus told his followers that they were blessed or fortunate of they were persecuted for being his followers. That was a very real possibility in that time and pplace, and may be in some parts of the world now. And it can take courage speak up for one’s beliefs or one’s faith in a secular setting, or among people who hold different views.

    We have no shortage of religious liberty in the United States, and no need for a new Religious Liberty Task Force. It is superfluous at best, and at worst it is an additional intrusion into the practice of religion or other, non-religious belief system.

    1. Rev. Joe says:

      Well said. Thank you Martha.

    2. Richard Kirk says:

      Exactly my thoughts. The founding fathers of this country were 200 years ahead of their time in many ways. They predicted what could happen to bring down the Republic and built protections into the Constitution to prevent the things we are seeing today. The problem is that many in the federal administration and legislature now in office have no respect for the Constitution or the American Patriots that created it. They believe they know better. They don’t.

      I particularly liked your description of the two commandments from Jesus. It seems that many American Christians have forgotten this and literally “buy” into the secular hate that innundates our representatives (after seeing Christians support and justify the kidnapping, caging and drugging of children by order of our American government, I found myself questioning my understanding of “Christian” and my trust in our government). I blame many of the Christian Oligarchs for spewing this hate to their paying customers. I believe that these evangelical money men are a modern day version of the money changers that Jesus drove from the temple.

      EVERYONE MUST VOTE TO STOP THIS FROM CONTINUING! Voting may be our only hope for our Nation.

    3. I.S. Johnson says:

      Ms. Knight,

      Hooray! Someone else understands that the whole reason there is a New Testament is that that old one was fulfilled. You also understand the two commandments of Christianity. I was beginning to feel quite alone. Now there are two of us, I feel better how bout you? I will continue to pray for the rest to catch up.

      1. Martha Knight says:

        Yes, it is great to encounter someone else who “gets” what most of “Western” civilization seems to miss– that the Bible is full of covenant language, that Jesus spoke in covenant language, that blood covenant is the scarlet thread running through the Bible, that the Bible recounts the story of many other covenants as well as the ultimate one by which individuals can be in covenanted union with their maker. A Roman emperor coopted Christianity and missed the covenant language and significance, not being familiar with that basis of law and social life in the holy land. It has been missed ever since. Even descriptions of blood covenant ceremonies, in some detail, in the Bible, are skimmed over. Covenant meals and promises are not even noticed. Well, I.S. Johnson, at least we have each other, hmm? I am drymar@gmail.com.

    4. Pastor & Minister :JC Alatorre says:

      Rev.Pastor JCA
      Good Point! Everthing sounds good an
      well said. However remember thatGod”s 10 Commandments gave birth to the Magna Carta and that also gave life unto to the American laws and our American beliefs, origins and concepts within the Declaration ofIndependence. FREEDOM let Freedom be. We are the people that makes a difference always open mind ed and with a strong faith in search of the truth. Don’t you ever forget what America stands for and whom we are where and where we all came from. Read the whole bible and the truth well set you free.

  8. Amanda says:

    Oh so ISIS gets protection now.

  9. Lea Weisenbach says:

    You can’t have freedom of religion without freedom from religion. Pushing a religion IS infringing on someone else’s religion..

    1. John Owens says:

      So, exactly which religion are they pushing?

  10. The Rev. Robert Barker says:

    A few books I would suggest to my colleagues on this thread to read about this far-right religious Christocon extremism threatening the separation of church and state and genuine religious liberty in our country: “American Taliban: How war, sex, sin, and power bind jihadist and the radical right” by Markos Moulitsas; “Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America” by Colonel V. Doner, who came out of the far-right Christoncon movement; “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power” by Jeff Sharlet; “Costly Grace: An Evangelical Minister’s Rediscovery of Faith, Hope, and Love” by Rob Schenck who came out of the anti-abortion movement and now condemns it; “Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back” by Frank Schaeffer, the son of Francis Schaeffer who founded the fundamentalist anti-abortion movement. From these books we learn how this fundamentalist power movement has been growing over many decades.

    1. John Owens says:

      I just don’t see how you can be so gullible. “Christian Jihad?” That’s a hoot.

      1. The Rev. Robert Barker says:

        “Christian Jihad” is written by Colonel (name not rank) V Doner who help organize the Christian Jihad. Read the book by someone who was in the movement but came out of it. You are the gullible one John Owens.

    2. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp, MSW, OM says:

      Thanks for the info! It is wonderful to read so many impassioned comments here about this very serious and problematic issue. Knowledge is power.

  11. Gary Hynous says:

    There are currently about 4,200 religions in the world today. About 2+ billion Christians, 1 billion + Hindus and the balance of the total population of 7 billion people on earth today chose another belief. Religious beliefs are, so far as I’m concerned, based on faith and hope. You have faith in your beliefs and hope that they prove to be true. We’ll all get the answer to this eternal question when our time on spaceship earth has drawn to a conclusion. Til then, keep the faith, baby!

  12. Minister Norman says:

    During a speech delivered in 1918 Eugene V. Debs made this statement:

    “No wonder Jackson said that ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.’ He had the Wall Street gentry in mind or their prototypes, at least; for in every age it has been the tyrant, who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both. (Shouts of “Good, good” from the crowd) (applause)”.

    (Even then, and from the very beginning, but especially now: THIS IS TRUTH!)

    Today, Donald Trump literally wraps himself in the flag & even hugs it like an absconding screwball. Trump is co-opting “Liberty & Freedom” itself, and solely for those in goosesteps with him; as he tries to shut down any and all forms of descent, and redirect the American Narrative to fit an extreme Right Wing Agenda!

    Real Patriots know that free speech and the right to descent are at the very heart of the Constitution; of “Freedom” itself!

    Real Patriots are not afraid of descent, because they know it upholds our Constitutional Rights & Ideals, and makes them forever vibrant & dynamic & alive & real!

    Our FREEDOMS are upheld in the FIRST Amendment for good reason; to emphasize their importance! And what we’ve all come to understand as “The Separation of Church & State” is the very first Freedom mentioned:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.

    Trump would, and is actively working to eliminate all of these FREEDOMS!

    The Framers of OUR United States Constitution intentionally formed a Secular Government that (their own hipocracy aside), respected ALL freedoms, yes, including “Freedom of Religion” but without PREFERENCE!!!

    “In God We Trust” was only tacked onto our money in 1945 by FDR! The Framers would be aghast! Especially Thomas Jefferson!

    They said, “All Men (and we should have a Constitutional Amendment that finally adds “…and Women”), are created EQUAL…”! And, even as it is (and was then, with Slavery & Native American Genocide as its backdrop), WE THE PEOPLE are all here now, and WE must uphold the promises contained within OUR Constitution for ALL AMERICANS, and not allow it to be corrupted or co-opted by anyone!

    If we do, then every statement about anyone’s “Freedom” is a lie, and it all becomes meaningless!

    Once any particular point of view, religious, or otherwise, trumps (pun intended), our existing Laws & Rights & Freedoms, then EVERYONE’S Rights & Freedoms are at risk!

    Jeff Sessions religious nonsense is just that “Beast”: The one that would intentionally erode the very Foundations of our Democratic Republic; and just as Oligarchs & Globalists are already working so hard to do, behind the scenes!

    Individual FREEDOM is at the very core of the American ideal & is the very foundation & cornerstone of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

    CALL or EMAIL or TWEET or otherwise CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES, and tell them: THIS IS NOT OK!

    1. Stephanie Willey says:

      I could not agree more.

    2. Gary Minnis says:

      I couldn’t agree less.

      1. John Owens says:

        I’m with you, Gary. Sounds like a far-out conspiracy theory.

        1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

          Well J.O you are this forums resident expert and proponent of wacky far out conspiracy theories like the one about Obama not being born in the U.S.

    3. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp, MSW, OM says:

      Wow, even though long, in my opinion, very factual and impassioned. Thanks, and I have already contacted some of them (reps). Unfortunately, they support this ideology as they are right up there with sessions and the Coward in Chief.

      1. Minister Norman says:

        Thank You!

        I’m in California, and with the exception of the Orange Curtain’s Dana Rohrabacher, from very conservative Orange County, CA (and — woo-hoo — he may be facing an Indictment), most of our Reps are already fighting this, but with no majority in Congress!

        So who knows!

        Let’s spirit-in that “Blue Wave” 🐬this coming November 6th! 😁

        Then hopefully we can ride that narly surf onto the shores of a new presidency in 2020!

        (If Mueller doesn’t sink the Trump-tanic before then ! LOL)

        1. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp, MSW, OM says:

          Yes, Blue Wave is a coming. Am now reading Malcolm Nance’s new book, “The Plot to Destroy Democracy” which would help the general population to understand why we are where we are right now. It is really creepy and at the same time gives total understanding from a security officer’s perspective and expertise.

  13. Minister Norman says:

    CORRECTION:

    “A law passed in a Joint Resolution by the 84th Congress (P.L. 84-140) and approved by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on July 30, 1956, declared “In God We Trust” MUST appear on all American currency.” …And later coins!

    FDR had suggested it, but it was Eisenhower who forced the issue!

    So “In God We Trust” became a mandate, and appeared on all US Money beginning in 1957!

    I found another reference that said a penny issued in 1864 (during the Civil War), had “In God We Trust” added to it as a “subtle” indication that “God was on our side” that of the Republic, but not the Confederacy!

    USA!😀

    1. Stephanie Willey says:

      And that law can and should be repealed. It should have been judged unconstitutional.

      1. Carrie says:

        Yes, it can and should be. It was introduced during the Macarthy era, during the time of the committee for Unamerican Activities. I find it interesting that it was the same party that is in power now.

  14. Kathleen Baird says:

    There are 3 different items that concern me.
    1. The U.S.A. is NOT a Christian country. The Founding Fathers did not want to promote the religious intolerance they left behind, and the Constitution was written with clear separation of church and state. Thomas Jefferson said, “The business of the Government is to protect the people. If a man says he believes in 10 Gods, or NO Gods, he neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
    2. Many of those who claim to be Christian are not. They do not follow the love and tolerance preached by Jesus in the New Testament. They look at the Old Testament, which preached a very different message, from times way before Jesus, full of rules that are full of prejudice, hatred and often just plain silly, if you don’t realize that something as simple as mixing 2 different kinds of fabric can get you stoned to death.
    3. I have been Wicca since 1975. Is this new committee going to protect ME against harassment? I seriously doubt Sessions will stand between me and the Southern Baptists for believing a Faith that simply says, “Harm no one.”

    1. Minister Norman says:

      Kathleen,

      I agree with everything you stated, and also with what Stephanie & Carrie had to say on the subject!

      Good words all!

      If we really need to tack-on “slogans” to “sanctify” our money, then perhaps “Harm no one” should replace “In God We Trust”! It’s direct, to the point, and is an all encompassing statement for ALL of Humanity.

      And just maybe, more people would actually understand the message!

      1. Carl Elfstrom says:

        Blessed be!

    2. Lea Weisenbach says:

      Namaste_/\_

    3. Lori Mongillo says:

      Kathleen… I am also Wiccan. Thank you for putting things in perspective. Blessed be.

  15. John Owens says:

    This is a tempest in a teapot. Don’t be so paranoid.

    1. DaveJ says:

      Probably what the Jews said in 1933 or so.

      1. John Owens says:

        That is a ridiculous comparison, insulting to survivors of the holocaust, their families, and the veterans who fought and died in that war. In this case, it is the national socialists who are doing all the crying. No one in the Trump administration is proposing anything that is even remotely similar to the german national socialist party in 1933, and again, all the people trying to behave like brownshirts are on the LEFT, as were the brownshirts.

        1. Stephanie Willey says:

          Wow, John. Wrong on sooo many points.

      2. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp, MSW, OM says:

        Yes DaveJ and we see how the current occupier of the White House supports the KKK, supports the dictator Putin and other dictators, and hates those who look different than him. This is just the beginning.

  16. Rev Judith says:

    The Handmaids Tale’s mysogynist homophonic, draconian “ future” is well in place in Islam today.
    I’m not a “ Christian” per se but it seems to me that protecting religious rights of individuals- where it dies no harm to others – is the opposite of the Handmaids Tale. The Supreme Court sided with the bakers who refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding. They did not refuse service to the gay couple per se. Forcing people to support and contribute their efforts to a gay wedding is fascist. This “ministry” seems to have very little to do with spiritualaity and much more to do with far- left politics which oddly support the state-sanctioned abuse of and inequality of women and gays in Islamic societies.

    1. Stephanie Willey says:

      State sanctioned abuse of and inequality of women and gays is not LEFT politics, it IS radical RIGHT wing politics. It is Fascism. The left here in America is ALL about equality in every respect.

  17. Bob says:

    Hey I have an idea! Let’s ask Sessins to form a Freedom from Religion Action Committee. Religion IS the cruelest thing in the world. We need to have monitored.

  18. Bro. James the Apostate, OSHSF says:

    While everyone’s been distracted by Dotard-the-dingleberry … here’s what the fascists have been up to behind the curtains … based on ‘firmly held religious beliefs’.

    True Prophets saw this coming years ago, now the Hirelings/False Prophets (for profit prophets/the Pharisees of today) have entered into contracts with the Father of All Lies, and sold their souls for absolute power.

    That’s the problem with professional religion. I read about a guy who already knew this, and tried exposing their medicine shows/snake oil sales some 2000+ years ago.

    1. John Owens says:

      Yeah, sure. And He would be a National Socialist like you if He were here today. Right.

      1. Bro. James the Apostate, OSHSF says:

        Proof Jesus WAS a Libtard … Common purse; Healed on Sabbath; and Preexisting conditions.

        1. Stephanie Willey says:

          Yes, Jesus WAS a “libtard”, and if you were to actually follow and live HIS teachings and example YOU would be a “libtard” too.

    2. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp, MSW, OM says:

      Agree with you Bro James!

  19. Roger Thunderhands Gilbert says:

    Anything Jeff Sessions does is to be treated as highly Suspect. Anyone who thinks pot is like heroin clearly has no clue on anything and has a fossilised mentality. Bad bad pick for AG. This country has gone to hell literally. The Drug policy sucks too. They make it hard to get prescription opioids or pain killer and treat you like a criminal while the CIA imports Heroin from Afghanistan to our city streets. Everything from A to Z is ass backwards.

    1. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp, MSW, OM says:

      Yes Roger and the reason why so many people have fled Central American countries like Guatemala and Honduras is because of the CIA’s dastardly work there supporting drug cartels and their military which has committed atrocious murderous acts against humanity. Sessions criticizes people seeking asylum from these countries and speaks lies about them.

  20. Heather Richards says:

    This task force concerns me deeply. There is an underlying feeling of wrongness to it. I fear what it could lead to and wish it a hasty demise.

  21. William G. Unger says:

    Religious folk should look after their own souls and stay out of politics. If they want to become a political pressure business the churches should PAY income tax like every other business.

  22. CW says:

    Are you that stupid? This kind of task force is bad for every religion but Muslim. Also who the hell wants the government getting involved righting laws equal to all and also using half the fucked up religions which with you have no common ground? Could you see a world saying a religious right having more weight in court than let say the common law on murder nowadays? Well, you can not kill us for stoning our daughter to death it is in our religion. We have places like that it is called the middle east. Have you seen how fucked up the countries of the world are that let religion rule their laws?
    If this is an attempt to wipe out zealots like muslim extremist or the make sure the people that claim it their religion freedom so you can’t arrest them are locked up in a mental ward. More power to them. Anyone that thinks any book is actal scripture and there for law is fucking crazy. All religions have been written by man in the case of the bible 800 years of telephone was played with just one set before it was written down. Other were written by people or persons claiming to be a prophet, but were more than like insane, and them wrote a whole religion that generations have followed. Even with the king james version if it was whole before james and all the religious leaders got together, it was not after. Books left out for to many pages to print other cuts because they claimed things like the church is in your heart and not a building. Or once a church is built it must be self sustaining and no tithe can be collect. And my favorite one that was removed was let no one tell you how to interrupt the word of god that claims they know god better. How would a church serve any purpose other than a community hall or place of refuge? the catholic church would have nothing.
    I for one hope it is a task force to limit radical islam influence in america, cause just like satanism it has no place in a modern civil world. And anyone that tries to support or enforce sharia law in america needs to be locked away for life. And I hope an pray this “task force” will put a stop to other religions coming into this country and ignoring worn and true laws of the land they moved into for the laws of where they ran away from to move here.

  23. Old Bill says:

    Infractions of the 1st Amendment have to be reported to the FBI. A task force is not needed to do that. The 1st Amendment applies to government(s), not individuals or non-government organizations.

  24. Jeff says:

    I find it sad when people respond to actions by leaders without learning what is happening or why. No where in the Constitution does it say religion is bad, in fact the First Amendment guarantees religious freedom. How does it do that? By not allowing Congress to mandate a State Religion, kind of like England had and most of Europe had at the time the United States fought for independence. That was a major issue for independence, to worship without Govt interference. What we have seen in the past decade is the Govt trying to tell people when they can and cannot pray, what commandments they can follow and when, and when we can tell others about our faith. This is exactly what our forefathers did not want. And it didn’t matter what the religious preference , they are all protected. The action taken by the Attorney General does not mean the United States is going to force people to choose a religion. What it will do is protect the rights of American citizens to practice their faith, no matter what religion, without fear of prosecution for exercising their right to practice it. So if religion offends you or just certain religions offends you, or if religious practices offend you….suck it up, you are an adult…act like one.

  25. Secretary3rd says:

    In 1776 the King of England set down rules on whose religion was to be fellow in the colonies. That did not go over very well. Maybe it is the Days of Hoover again. Maybe a “hot tip” to weed out those that do not do as the DOJ new rules say. Mr. Session is in that job for another two years then he is out of the door.
    With the limit number of DOJ people what ever Mr. Sessions wants will likely take a distant back seat. He should worry more about terrorists from the Middle East then what some street front church is doing at any time.

    1. Rev. M. dash says:

      Exactly, Secretary3d. If he is cleaning up the MS13 mess, the opioid crisis and returning children kidnapped under his watch at the border to their families then I think he’s doing his job.

  26. Tom says:

    Respectfully, this is a government attempt to promote religion, at taxpayers’ expense, and should not be allowed…Peace…Tom

    1. Rev. M. Dash says:

      Exactly.

  27. I.S. Johnson says:

    It seems to me that so few people comprehend the brilliance of the First Amendment in regard to religion. The point to the First Amendment is that it says NO LAW shall be passed respecting the establishment of a religion. That means there can never be a Official religion of the United States of America. It means you practice as you believe without interference from others and I practice as I believe without interference from others and they practice as they believe without interference from others. It is about equal rights to ALL religions. No majority persecution allowed. The First Amendment sets out four other areas where we are supposed to unrestricted, Speech, Press, Assembly and redress of grievances. Nearly all of those have been corrupted by capitalism, Nationalism and fundamentalism, the very forces the founding fathers sought to curtail.

    Mr. Sessions task force is at best an ignorant ploy to appease the Fundamentalist Christian Movement in our country, those are the ones I have pointed out are actually the Army of Satan serving Mammon over G_D, or at worst the beginning of a religious Civil War in our nation. Either way it is not good. Never doubt the ability of one ignorant motivated man to do great harm in a short time that will require decades to repair.

    The greatest threat we face as a nation is from within not without. The unregulated acquisition of personal wealth, combined with the advancements in wireless digital technology has placed vast power in the hands of a tiny number of highly opinionated fundamentalist citizens who aspire to become an American Aristocracy ordained by their god Lucifer. They seek to destroy the last tattered vestiges of Democracy in our nation and replace it with rule by decent of families. They hide behind a contrived mask of Christianity hiding their hatred of all they deem less than themselves. Trump is despised by them but has proved a useful tool to achieve their goals. Pence is the Chosen Champion of the Fundamentalist Right. He will be the first Supplicant to the Black Throne.

    Live and let Live. Tolerance, Community, Love , Sacrifice, Shared Burden for shared gain. These are the ways of the Christ and these are the foundations of civilization so many seem to have forgotten. Ware America the thieves are in your house!

    1. Rev. M. Sash says:

      I. S. Johnson: Well said. I am elated when people see this and post it in detail. It is important for us to continuously post the facts in depth until our hands drop off because this is so important for all of us. We cannot tolerate the denial of others freedoms and equality to substantiate our own—it is against all true religious basic tenets—it would mean a reversal to when this country was organized and was lawless.

      You are right: The founding fathers got it right.

      Thank you for the reality check.

Leave a Comment