Est. 1995

Tag: Anti-LGTBQ+

Speaker Mike Johnson Believes God Has Ordained Him

Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson doesn’t hide his religion or his belief in the primacy of his Christian beliefs. Quite the contrary. Here’s what he told Sean Hannity Thursday on Fox News: “Someone asked me today in the media, ‘People are curious, what does Mike Johnson think about any issue under the sun?’ I said, ‘Well, go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it. That’s my worldview. That’s what I believe.’”

This came the day after he used his precious first remarks as speaker to tell the House and the country that he believes God has ordained him. “I believe that Scripture, the Bible, is very clear: that God is the one who raises up those in authority…I believe that God has ordained and allowed each one of us to be brought here for this specific moment in this time.’”

(He also introduced his “dedicated wife of 25 years” to the nation—and her absence at his acceptance speech—like this: “She’s spent the last couple of weeks on her knees in prayer to the Lord. And, um, she’s a little worn out.”)

Surely, then, when asked about the mass shooting in Maine, this would be a chance for him to speak out against the most sacred commandment—Thou shalt not kill—and use his new divinely ordained power to speak to the need to address the availability of weapons that make murder possible on a quick and massive scale. Right?  Nope.

“The problem is the human heart,” he told Hannity. “It’s not guns. It’s not the weapons. At the end of the day we have to protect the right of the citizens to protect themselves and that’s the Second Amendment…This is not the time to talk about legislation.”

Mike Johnson is now second in line to the presidency.


What Do You Hear When the New House Speaker Says He’s Been Ordained By God?

The Right-Wing War on Libraries

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Far-right state governments fear nothing more than allowing children to think for themselves.

Houston is a city with a diverse, progressive electorate and an African American mayor, Sylvester Turner. So it was bizarre when the new superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, Mike Miles, recently announced plans to fire librarians at dozens of schools, while converting libraries into discipline rooms for misbehaving students. The repurposed libraries will be called “Team Centers” where closely monitored students join their classes via Zoom.

Librarian positions are being initially eliminated at 28 schools as part of Miles’ New Education System (NES), which includes mandated lesson plans for teachers, classroom cameras for discipline, and testing-based performance evaluations that affect teacher pay. The libraries at those schools will stay partly open, but schools will weed out objectionable books. The district, the largest in Texas, serves 189,000 students.

How could this have happened in progressive Houston? If you made a wild guess that the state administration of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott used a ploy to take over the local school system, you guessed right. The ACLU is looking into a suit.

I recently wrote a piece pointing out that the efforts by rightwing state governments to hunt down women who cross state lines to seek abortion feels increasingly like the 1850s, the era of the Fugitive Slave Act, the Underground Railroad, and eventually the Civil War.

But our uncivil wars between states and cities goes deeper than that. And like the runup to 1860, when slave states and their allies in the federal courts protected slavery by crushing democracy, this struggle will either end with the victory of democracy on all fronts or its defeat.

Kuttner on TAP: The War on Libraries

DeSantis staff and members of Moms for Liberty kicked and dragged a 16-year-old girl in a wheelchair for displaying a pride flag.


Recently, at a Ron DeSantis presidential campaign rally in South Carolina, staff and attendees kicked, bruised, threw to the ground, and violently dragged three teenagers for the “crime” of holding up a rainbow flag to urge DeSantis to respect LGBTQ equality. Reportedly, some of the people who committed violence against the teens are members of Moms for Liberty.

Two of the Charlotte-area teens were 19 years old. The other was a 16-year-old girl in a wheelchair.

After observing the violence from the podium, DeSantis shouted at the kids, “We don’t want you indoctrinating our children! Leave our kids alone!”

According to recent reporting in Vice News, “Moms for Liberty chapters have forged close relationships with far-right extremist groups” like the Proud Boys, “the AK-47-worshiping Rod of Iron Ministries church in Pennsylvania,” Q-Anon conspiracists, and various extremist Christian Nationalist groups and other groups renowned for white supremacy, antisemitism, and above all, violence against LGBTQ people.

But they don’t stop there.

‘Moms for Liberty’ Kick, Drag, Bruise Three Kids with Rainbow Flag

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