Showing posts with label Religion and Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religion and Politics. Show all posts

November 12, 2018

Humans Have Never Been Saints: ie Mother Theresa, Worse Than The Average Sinner


 Nobody epitomizes the answer of this question more than Anjeze Gonxhe, aka Mother Theresa.

October 19, 2018

Evangelical Churches in Cuba Collect Signatures Against a Proposed Law That Allows Same Sex Marriage


The way any Chirstian church is set up and have put their dominoes together as in a way of faith and believes is that they will always find a way to get mix up in other people' every day lives. 
This is from the way they dress they want others to dress too. From make up to what they watch on TV. 
They believe they have to teach people how to live their lives for Christ wether they are Christian or not. Take the same sex marriage in Cuba. They take advantage of their new freedom of some expressions to control other Cubans rights. A fews years ago they could not do that. Communism is always been against religion and the believe in god  crashes witht heir own believes because they know that a lot of religious people can wash brains even better than the believers in Lenin can.  
Gay Marriage will only affect the gays that would want to get married but they(this church) believe they can tell people outside of the church not to do that but push the new open communism government in the island to not to grant it to gays. That love of Christ can make some people abuse the freedom they get to worship their god but to make other people worship it their way.  That is why the US Constitution was ammended to separate the church from the government. Still the church breaks the law repeadly to get mix up in politics as much as any politician.  🦊Adam

Image: Worshippers wave paper flags during a service at a Methodist Church in Havana
HAVANA — Cuban evangelical churches are collecting signatures to petition against a proposed constitutional amendment that would open the door to gay marriage, as part of an unusually strong nongovernmental political campaign for the Communist-run island.
Cubans have been discussing the broader revamp of their Soviet-era constitution, as proposed by the Communist Party, at official block-level meetings nationwide since August.
Article 68, which redefines matrimony as gender neutral, has sparked a particular uproar, revealing how macho Cuban society remains despite making headway on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in recent years. Cuba’s churches, which enjoy more autonomy and influence than any other organization not affiliated with the Communist Party after the country expanded religious freedoms in the 1990s, have been stoking the controversy.
“We do not in any way approve Article 68 ... because the Bible condemns it,” Pastor Lester Fernandez, 39, said to euphoric applause from around 500 people gathered at a Methodist Church in Havana one weekday morning earlier this month.
The Methodist Church is one of 21 evangelical denominations that this month started gathering signatures for a petition against the amendment.
They have also been plastering posters celebrating the “original family design, just as God created it” on their doors and windows, surprising many Cubans in a one-party country with tight control of public spaces.
Some analysts say the focus on gay marriage is crowding out discussion of other, more sensitive issues raised by the constitutional revamp, which maintains Cuba’s one-party socialist system as “irrevocable” while reflecting changes of recent years in its 224 articles.


Image: Elaine Saralegui, Susana Hernandez and Angela Laksmi, activists supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, talk to designers as they work in Havana
Elaine Saralegui, right, Susana Hernandez, center, and Angela Laksmi, activists supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, talk to designers as they work in Havana, Cuba, Oct. 9, 2018.Alexandre Meneghini / Reuters file

“(Gay marriage) has functioned as a smokescreen to hide other realities,” said Isbel Diaz Torres, an activist for many issues, including LGBTQ rights.
Diaz Torres said he would be happy to finally be able to marry his boyfriend of 14 years if the constitution were approved and the necessary legal changes made.
But he wished Cubans would use the public consultation to address other issues like human rights.
The consultation has provoked an unusually open debate for Cuba, with some citizens, for example, calling for direct elections for president. Yet some topics, like the possibility of another political or economic system, appear to remain off-limits.

HALF A MILLION SIGNATURES?

Cuba persecuted gays in the early decades of Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution, as it did religious people, rounding them up as counter revolutionaries and placing them in labour camps.
Castro apologized in 2010 for this, and the country has made strides in LGBTQ rights in recent years, thanks partly to the advocacy of his niece, Mariela Castro, director of the National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX). Fidel Castro died in 2016.


Mariela Castro, sexologist, National Assembly member and daughter of Cuba's President Raul Castro, marches during the Eighth Annual March against Homophobia and Transphobia in Havana
Mariela Castro, center, marches during the Eighth Annual March against Homophobia and Transphobia in Havana, on May 9, 2015.Alexandre Meneghini / Reuters file

If the constitution were approved with Article 68 in place, Cuba would be on track to joining Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay in allowing same-sex couples to marry.
Given that it already guarantees other LGBTQ rights like free sex-reassignment surgeries, this would make it an unlikely regional leader in LGBTQ rights, particularly in the Caribbean where homophobia is rife and some countries still have anti-sodomy laws.
However, the government has promised to take into account public suggestions for a final version to be put to a referendum early next year. Cuban Evangelical League Church President Alida Leon Baez said she expected more than 500,000 Cubans to sign the churches’ petition.
Meanwhile, more than 60 percent of Cuba’s 11.2 million citizens are baptized in the Roman Catholic Church, which has not weighed in on Article 68, but traditionally opposes same-sex marriage.
“If the topic of matrimony is not modified in the constitutional project, we will all vote against it,” said Leon Baez. “If this is approved, our nation is going to total destruction.”
This could put the government in a bind if it wants to prove the public consultation is a real example of participatory democracy, and not, as some opponents say, a fraud.
Cuban LGBTQ activists have run a counter-campaign mainly on social media. But they complain the government does not officially recognize most independent activists and occasionally harasses them.
That means they, unlike Cuba’s churches, cannot do big campaigns.
“CENESEX is doing many actions,” said LGBTQ activist Ulises Padron. “But we can’t forget at the end of the day it’s an academic, scientific, teaching institution.” 

June 21, 2018

Trump Stands Firm on Separating Families Because Supporters Remain on His Side





 


Calling the shots as his West Wing clears out, President Donald Trump sees his hard-line immigration stance as a winning issue heading into a midterm election he views as a referendum on his protectionist policies. 
“You have to stand for something,” Trump declared Tuesday, as he defended his administration's immigration policy amid mounting criticism over the forced separation of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. The chorus of condemnation includes Democrats, as well as Republicans, who are increasingly worried that reports about bereft children taken from their parents could damage the GOP's chances in November. 
Still, Trump believes that his immigration pledges helped win him the presidency and that his most loyal supporters want him to follow through. He made a rare trip to Capitol Hill late Tuesday to meet with GOP legislators and endorse a pair of bills that would keep detained families together, among other changes, but he remains confident that projecting toughness on immigration is the right call, said five White House officials and outside advisers who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. 
“It's amazing how people are surprised that he's keeping the promises he made on the campaign trail now,” said Trump political adviser Bill Stepien. 
While the White House signaled Trump may be open to a narrow fix to deal with the problem, the president spent the day stressing immigration policies that he has championed throughout his surprise political career. He has resisted calls to reverse the separation policy, saying any change must come through Congress. 
In a speech to a business group earlier Tuesday, Trump said he wanted to see legislation deal with family separation, which, he said, “We don't want.” He also emphasized border security and again made the false argument that Democrats are to blame for the family separation problem. Said Trump: “Politically correct or not, we have a country that needs security, that needs safety, that has to be protected.” 
Several White House aides, led by adviser Stephen Miller, have encouraged the president to make immigration a defining issue for the midterms. And Trump has told advisers he believes he looks strong on the matter, suggesting that it could be a winning culture war issue much like his attacks on NFL players who take a knee for the national anthem. 
Former Trump senior adviser Steve Bannon said the president is emphasizing the policies that brought him to the White House. 
“I think this is one of his best moments. I think this is a profile in courage. This is why America elected him,” Bannon said. “This is not doubling down, it is tripling down.” 
Still, Trump, a voracious watcher of cable news who is especially attuned to the power of images, appeared to acknowledge later Tuesday that the optics could be doing damage. 
During his closed-door meeting with lawmakers on the Hill, Trump said his daughter Ivanka had encouraged him to find a way to end the practice, and he said separating families at the border “looked bad,” according to several attendees. 
“He said, ‘Politically, this is bad,'” said Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas. “It's not about the politics. This is the right thing to do.” 
Trump's immigration standoff comes as he escalates his nationalist trade moves, imposing new tariffs on imports and threating more. With few powerful opposing voices remaining in the West Wing, Trump is increasingly making these decisions solo. Some key advisers have left, and chief of staff John Kelly appears sidelined. 
Republicans, particularly those in more moderate districts, are worried they will be damaged by the searing images of children held in cages at border facilities, as well as by audio recordings of young children crying for their parents. The House Republicans' national campaign chairman, Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers, said Monday that he's asking “the administration to stop needlessly separating children from their parents.” 
Other conservatives also raised concerns, but many called for Congress to make changes instead of asking Trump to directly intervene. Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith & Freedom coalition of evangelical voters, added to the drumbeat to end the child separation policy Tuesday, calling on Congress to pass legislation that would end the process as part of a broader immigration overhaul. 

 They put him (Trump) on the White House and they prop him on their view he is doing the right thing. Yes these are the evngelicals that elected him, the same with no heart when they think the woman is not obeying their husband, their son said he is gay and he gets thrown out of the house. The ones that believe this nation was born evangelical by only whites and it should stay that way. The rest are just ignorant and wont let any one educate them except maybe fox news.



But asked if the border policy was bad for Trump politically, Reed suggested core supporters remain on the president's side. He said the group's members are “more than willing to give the president and his administration the benefit of the doubt that this is being driven by a spike in people crossing the border, a combination of existing law and court decisions require this separation, and the fact that the Democrats refused to work with the administration to increase judges so that this can be dealt with more expeditiously.” Trump on Tuesday mocked the idea of hiring thousands of new judges, asking, “Can you imagine the graft that must take place?” 
Worried that the lack of progress on his signature border wall will make him look “soft,” according to one adviser, Trump has unleashed a series of tweets playing up the dangers posed by members of the MS-13 gang — which make up a minuscule percentage of those who cross the border. He used the loaded term “infest” to reference the influx of immigrants entering the country illegally. 
As the immigration story becomes a national flashpoint, Trump has been watching the TV coverage with increasing anger, telling confidants he believes media outlets are deliberately highlighting the worst images — the cages and screaming toddlers — to make him look bad. 
The president has long complained about his treatment by the media, but his frustrations reached a boiling point after he returned from his Singapore summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un to face news reports questioning his negotiating skills. He complained to one adviser that the media had not given him enough credit after the summit and was continuing to undermine him on immigration, according to a person familiar with the conversation but not authorized to speak publicly. 
On Tuesday, Trump argued that sticking by his policies was a winning political strategy as he took a fresh shot at Democrats. 
“They can't win on their policies, which are horrible,” he said. “They found that out in the last presidential election.”

June 14, 2018

Southern Baptists are No Longer A Friendly Audience For Vice-P. Pence




Dallas (CNN)

At first glance, a Southern Baptist meeting might seem like a friendly audience for Vice President Mike Pence. 
A conservative Christian and longtime culture warrior, Pence shares many of Southern Baptists' faith commitments and some of their political views. With more than 15 million members, Southern Baptists are the country's largest evangelical denomination, and more than 80% of white evangelicals voted for the Trump-Pence ticket. 
But as Pence prepares to address nearly 10,000 delegates -- called messengers -- at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting here on Wednesday, a small but significant slice is opposing his appearance. 
Younger Southern Baptists in particular -- a rising force with the election on Tuesday of J.D. Greear, 45, as the new president of the denomination -- are wary of appearing too close to the GOP and detracting from their main mission: winning souls for Jesus. 
    "By associating publicly with any administration," Garrett Kell, lead pastor of Del Ray Baptist Church in Virginia, told his fellow delegates Tuesday morning on the convention floor, "we send a mixed message to our members that to be faithful to the Gospel is to also align with that administration." 
    Kell and others said they are also concerned that Pence's speech could endanger Southern Baptist missionaries and aid workers serving in countries that oppose the Trump administration. It could also harm the denomination's fragile relationship with racial minorities, he said. 
    Kell said he "has nothing against Pence personally," but he suggested Tuesday that Southern Baptists essentially disinvite Pence and replace his planned speech with time for prayer. 
    Kell's motion was soundly defeated, but that didn't stop other Southern Baptists from proposing several similar resolutions, none of which passed. 
    It's not unusual for national politicians to address church meetings. Barack Obama spoke at national meetings for the United Church of Christ, his own denomination, and a gathering of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. 
    Southern Baptists have hosted several presidents at their annual gatherings, according to historian Thomas Kidd, including George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, who was himself a Southern Baptist before leaving the denomination for a more liberal one.
    A spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention said the White House made the first move on Pence's speech, reaching out to ask if he could address the annual meeting. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 
    Victor Pollido, a Southern Baptist pastor from California, said he believes God has placed officials such as Pence in office. He added that he is not bothered by the vice president's planned speech.
    "It's OK with me," Pollido said. "Christians need to participate in society, just like Jesus did."
    Mike Turner, pastor of Lexington Baptist Church in South Carolina and a delegate to the annual meeting, said he didn't have a problem, either, with Pence's speech: "Our conviction is that we should respect the people who are in positions of government leadership." 
    But Turner said he knows many younger Southern Baptists don't agree. 
    "Clearly, there's a new generation coming up who are growing discontent with the Republican Party and are more sensitive to the racial ramifications of the decision." 
    Indeed Alishah Nemieboka, a delegate to the meeting who lives in Randallstown, Maryland, said she is not pleased about Pence's appearance and is considering skipping his speech.
    "With the history of the Southern Baptist Convention, and with us trying to get over that history and unite, Pence coming is like one step forward, two steps back," she said. 
    The Southern Baptist Convention was founded in 1845, splitting with its Northern counterparts over slavery
    Nemieboka and other Southern Baptists said they have not heard Pence make harmful statements about race. But he is tainted, Nemieboka said, by his association with President Donald Trump, who has made racially charged statements about Mexicans and other minorities and said a white nationalist rally in Virginia included some "very fine people." 
    Nate Akin, 37, director of the pastor-led network Baptist21 and the son of a Southern Baptist seminary president, said it's too simplistic to paint all older Southern Baptists as pro-GOP and younger Southern Baptists as wary of partisan politics. But there is some truth to the generalization, he said. 
    "There is a perception that Southern Baptists are in the pocket of the Republican Party," he said. "But to be a good Christian doesn't mean you have to be a good Republican -- or a good Democrat, for that matter." 
    Akin looked around the crowded lobby of a hotel adjacent to the convention center where Southern Baptists are meeting. 
    "There's people here who would disagree with me about that, but I think it's true."
    Akin said Pence's appearance is an unwelcome distraction from Southern Baptists' main mission of spreading the Gospel. It also potentially makes people of color feel less at home in the Southern Baptist Convention, he said. 
    "I'm not sure what he could say, unless he comes out and disagrees with his boss publicly from the convention floor, that would help us with either of those missions," Akin said.

    April 7, 2018

    Costa Rica Elects Pro LGBT Youngest President Ever with 60% of Vote (Span and Eng.Visual)


    Costa Rican's are Intelligent, loving people. They rejected a homphobic Evangelical singer Preacher for a young writer, center -left. An educated young man. Costa Rica faced going back decades to going forward. They decided that religion and politics does not mix. History and the present show us that when people forget that on elections, they will pay. Only when prosperous nations have abandoned the ties between two separate forces which usually go on different directions, have they seen a better life.

    Politics is supposed to give the people what they need,  from protection, health, to an economy with jobs for today and next month, next year hopefuly until retirenment.

    Religion is based either on the past or a future which no one knows when it will come and it is based on destruction first. Many religious people tend to worry more about what happens to them when they die than what good for others and this earth they can do to improve our lives. A religious sister of mine said she was "voting for Trump so the world will already burn and Jesus will come again." Sounds familiar? It's been said in many ways if not those words. If everyone thought like that, already the dinosurs would be roaming the earth again.
    🦊Adam Gonzalez



    It is adamfoxie's 10th🦊Anniversay. 10 years witnessing the world and bringing you a pieace whcih is ussually not getting its due coverage. 4.9 Million Reads

    March 2, 2018

    This Church Celebrates The AR-15 Killer Rifle as the "Rod" of God and Most of Them Own It




     Some people ask themselves why many religious people have this love for punishment and tools of death.This is the Unification church in Pennsylvania. Yes in the North East, not the South.
    The AR-15 that Christian fellow is carrying in the church is not a prop and he is not the only one who brought his to church. They decided to bring their killer rifles to church to make a point. Freedom makes these people feel threatened.  Some of them also had crowns made of bullets. You got to give them credit for showing what others feel. Putin in Russia, just announced a new round of weapons of mass destruction and these people do not have a concern in the least. Not because they got their killer rifles but because they want the world to be destroyed before they die, so hey can see god come and give them eternal life and put things right again. Things might be put back together again but it might take what it took the last time. Billions of years and everything turns into radioactive dust first. Adam

     Hundreds of faithful at a Pennsylvania church on Wednesday carried AR-15-style rifles in adherence to their belief that a "rod of iron" mentioned in the Bible refers to the type of weapon that was used in last month's mass shooting in Parkland, Fla.
    The armed ceremony at World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, about 20 miles southeast of Scranton, featured gun-toting worshippers, some wearing crowns of bullets as they participated in communion and wedding ceremonies.
    Attendants carefully placed a zip tie into the receiver magazine well of each weapon to assure that a clip could not be loaded.
    Concern over Wednesday's gathering prompted a nearby elementary school to cancel classes for the day. It also sparked a small demonstration outside the church, with one protester telling The Associated Press that "it's scaring people in the community."
    According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, "The ceremony's official name was the Cosmic True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humanity Cheon Il Guk Book of Life Registration Blessing. It was part of the church's weeklong 'Festival of Grace,' which included a 'President Trump Thank You Dinner' on Saturday."
    The Rev. Hyung Jin "Sean" Moon prayed for "a kingdom of peace police and peace militia where the citizens, through the right given to them by Almighty God to keep and bear arms, will be able to protect one another and protect human flourishing."
    "We pray they would stand as kings and queens with their crown and rod of iron," he said.
    Moon is the youngest son of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon — the self-proclaimed messiah who founded the Unification Church in South Korea in 1954 and eventually spawned a worldwide movement regarded by detractors as a cult. The church is perhaps best known for its mass wedding ceremonies.
    As the AP notes, "The younger Moon's congregation is a breakaway faction of the Unification Church, which had distanced itself from Wednesday's event."
    The ceremony reportedly attracted followers from as far away as Japan, South Korea, and Europe.
    Within the past year, Moon incorporated the new belief about the AR-15 into the church's teaching. It is based on Revelation 2:27, which states, "he shall rule them with a rod of iron." 
    One follower, Jonathan Franco, was quoted by Scranton's WNEP TV as saying, "If you don't have a rod of iron then, unfortunately, you can come into a situation where your life can come to an end. Who else is there to blame if you yourself didn't take the responsibility to preserve your own life?"
    Sreymom Ouk, 41, who attended the ceremony with her husband, Sort Ouk, and an AR-15, told the AP that she needed the weapon to defend her family against "sickos and evil psychopaths."
    "People have the right to bear arms, and in God's kingdom, you have to protect that," she said, according to the news agency. "You have to protect against evil."
    As the Inquirer notes, the Rev. Sean Moon's brother, Moon Kook-jin, also known as Justin Moon, is the founder and CEO of Kahr Arms, a firearms manufacturer headquartered in nearby Greeley.
    Kahr specializes in making compact semiautomatic pistols. It was not clear from its website whether the company sells AR-15-style rifles, but the newspaper quoted one follower who said he bought one there.
    "I actually purchased my weapon there yesterday because, although I have several rifles, I didn't have an AR-15," David Konn, who had driven from Florida earlier in the week, told the Inquirer.
    NPR


    January 22, 2018

    New Freedom of Religion Law Makes HHS A complicit on People Dying for Others Religion




     If Jesus was a man on the street, How would he feel about some dying so others can feel better about their religion (Him)?
    Since the invention of religion man has always thought that it requires sacrifices and death of others. From the Mayas to the Hebrews, Muslims, to the conservatives Christians of today. Why? To pay for sins? To get a better crop, better luck, health. Then how come it requires the death of others and not the one who has the religion? (Adam)





    Jionni Conforti, a transgender man in his 30s, was scheduled to have a total hysterectomy in the summer of 2015. The surgery was deemed medically necessary by both his primary care physician and his therapist as part of his treatment for gender dysphoria, and a surgeon had agreed to perform the operation at a hospital near Conforti’s New Jersey home.

    Ahead of his surgery, however, Conforti received an email from the religiously affiliated hospital — considered one of the best hospital systems in the state — saying the surgery could not be performed there.

    "This is to inform you that as a Catholic Hospital we would not be able to allow your surgeon to schedule this surgery here at St. Joseph’s,” Father Martin D. Rooney, director of mission services at St. Joseph’s Healthcare System in Paterson, wrote.

    Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, an attorney with Lambda Legal who is representing Conforti in a lawsuit against St. Joseph’s, said he fears that what happened to his client could happen to more people as a result of a decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights, announced Thursday, to create a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division.

    Gonzalez-Pagan said he worries that the new division will “use religion as a license to discriminate.” He’s not alone in this fear.

    “CHANGE IS COMING”

    Existing federal and state laws protect health care workers who express religious objections to performing abortions and certain other procedures. HHS said the new division would focus on enforcing these laws, which "protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom.”

    This move is the latest in a series of actions by the Trump administration to advance the cause of religious liberty. In May, Trump issued an executive order stating the executive branch would “vigorously enforce Federal law’s robust protections for religious freedom.” 

    Then in October, the Justice Department, led by Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions, released a memo outlining 20 principles of religious liberty, asserting “free exercise of religion includes the right to act or abstain from action in accordance with one’s religious beliefs,” and that this right extends to both “persons and organizations.”

    Eric Hargan, the acting HSS secretary, applauded Trump after Thursday’s announcement.

    “President Trump promised the American people that his administration would vigorously uphold the rights of conscience and religious freedom,” Hargan said. “That promise is being kept today,”

    The administration of President George W. Bush put in place a rule widely interpreted as allowing health care providers to opt out of a range of services, but under President Barack Obama, HHS officials rewrote the rule in such a way as to narrow the scope of services health care providers could elect not to perform. The new division and the subsequent proposed rule released by HHS on Friday — titled Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care — will presumably reverse the Obama-era changes.

    “Laws protecting religious freedom and conscience rights are just empty words on paper if they aren’t enforced," Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, said in a statement. "No one should be forced to choose between helping sick people and living by one’s deepest moral or religious convictions, and the new division will help guarantee that victims of unlawful discrimination find justice.”

    “For too long, governments big and small have treated conscience claims with hostility instead of protection, but change is coming and it begins here and now," Severino said.

    Prior to his HHS post, Severino was the director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation, where he advocated for the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination provision to exclude transgender people.

    “CRUEL AND UNCONSCIONABLE”

    Critics, including Democrats and LGBTQ advocates, say the creation of a new “religious freedom” division could encourage a broader range of religious objections, with a potentially strong impact on less-settled areas of the law like the status of gay and transgender individuals under anti-discrimination statuses.

    "This would be yet another attempt to let ideology dictate who is able to get the care they need," Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said in a statement. "Any approach that would deny or delay health care to someone and jeopardize their well-being for ideological reasons is unacceptable."

    The Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, which is led by six openly LGBTQ members of the House, blasted the announcement of the new division on Twitter, characterizing the move as an attack on transgender people and calling it “absolutely cruel and unconscionable.”


    Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the new division is an example of the Trump administration's “doubling down” on discrimination “all in the name of religion.”

    “We may not know exactly what this new division will look like in practice, but we do know that this means they prioritize religious liberty over the health and civil rights of women, transgender people and others,” Melling said. “They are prioritizing providers’ beliefs over patients’ health and lives.”

    Sarah Kate Ellis, president, and CEO of the LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD was blunt in her criticism.

    “Any health care worker who has moral objections to providing medically necessary care to an entire vulnerable population is in the wrong line of work,” Ellis said in a statement. “Denying a transgender person — or any person — life-saving care if they walk into an emergency room is far from a moral act, it is unjust and dangerous.”

    ADDING TO EXISTING BARRIERS

    Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people already face health disparities compared to the general population, several studies have shown, and LGBTQ advocates worry about the additional barriers and negative health effects this new division may create.

    In a report released Thursday, the Center for American Progress found “LGBTQ people face disturbing rates of health care discrimination,” and such discrimination can discourage them from seeking care. The types of discrimination cited in the report included refusal of a health care worker to recognize a patient’s same-sex partner, purposeful misgendering of a patient and refusal to provide care altogether.

    “It is that brazen discrimination that is so dangerous to the lives of LGBTQ people,” Gonzalez-Pagan said.

    For some patients, Gonzalez-Pagan said, it’s possible to find another health care provider after being discriminated against or denied care. Conforti, for example, was able to eventually get his hysterectomy, although months later at a hospital farther from his home. But other patients, Gonzalez-Pagan added, aren’t as fortunate.

    “If you live in the middle of rural America,” he said, there may “only be one provider close to you.”

    “Access to health care cannot be prohibited because of who you are,” he said.
      
    by Julie Moreau
    NBC 

    January 18, 2018

    The Perfect Marriage Against LGBT and Democracy: Conservatives/Evangel. in Latin America

     
     You can't tell these people with the holy spirit that you are not
    a Putin's Russia

    pedophile just because you are gay. They will turn against you
    if you say most pedophiles are religious and straaight men.





     Ecuadoreans at an evangelical church. Evangelicals today account for
    almost 20 percent of the        
    population in Latin America.
     
    CreditRodrigo Buendia/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 
    Evangelical churches today can be found in almost every neighborhood in Latin America — and they are transforming politics like no other force. They are giving conservative causes, and especially political parties, new strength and new constituencies.
    In Latin America, Christianity used to be associated with Roman Catholicism. The church held a near monopoly on religion until the 1980s. The only challenge to Catholicism was anticlericalism and atheism. There has never been another religion. Until now.
    Evangelicals today account for almost 20 percent of the population in Latin America, up from 3 percent three decades ago. In a few Central American countries, evangelicals are near majorities.
    Evangelical pastors embrace varied ideologies, but when it comes to gender and sexuality, their values are typically conservative, patriarchal and homophobic. They expect women to be completely submissive to their evangelical husbands. And in every country in the region, they have taken the strongest stands against gay rights.
    The rise of evangelicalism is politically worrisome. Evangelicals are fueling a new form of populism. They are supplying conservative parties with nonelite voters, which is good for democracy, but these voters tend to be intransigent on issues of sexuality, which feeds cultural polarization. Intolerant inclusion, which is the classic Latin American populist formula, is being reinvented by evangelical pastors. 
    Brazil is a prime example of the rising evangelical power in Latin America. The 90 or so evangelical members of Congress have thwarted L.G.B.T.-oriented legislative actions, played a role in impeaching the leftist president, Dilma Rousseff, and shut down museum shows. An evangelical pastor has been elected mayor of Rio de Janeiro, one of the world’s most gay-friendly cities. So grand are their successes that evangelical pastors elsewhere say they want to imitate “the Brazilian model.”
    And that model is spreading. With the help of Catholics, evangelicals have also organized anti-gay marches in Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Peru and Mexico. In Paraguay and Colombia, they compelled the ministries of education to ban books dealing with sexuality. In Colombia, they even mobilized to defeat a referendum on a peace accord with the FARC, the largest guerrilla group in Latin America, arguing that the accords pushed feminism and L.G.B.T. rights too far.
    How have evangelicals become so politically powerful? After all, evangelicals, even in Brazil, are still a minority, and in most countries, irreligiosity is also rising. The answer has to do with their new political tactics.
    No tactic has been more transformative than the decision by evangelicals to forge alliances with political parties on the right.
    Historically, right-wing parties in Latin America tended to gravitate toward the Catholic Church and disdain Protestantism, while evangelicals stayed out of politics. Not anymore. Conservative parties and evangelicals are joining forces.
    Chile’s presidential election in 2017 provided a perfect example of this union of pastors and party. The two center-right candidates, Sebastián Piñera and José Antonio Kast, courted evangelicals. Mr. Piñera, who won, even had four evangelical bishops as campaign advisers.
    There is a reason conservative politicians are embracing conservative evangelicalism. Evangelicals are solving the most serious political handicap that right-wing parties have in Latin America: their lack of ties with nonelites. As the political scientist Ed Gibson noted, parties of the right used to draw their core constituency from the upper strata. This made them electorally weak
    Evangelicals are changing that. They are bringing in voters from all walks of life, but mostly the poor. They are turning right-wing parties into people’s parties.
    This marriage of pastors and parties is not a Latin American invention. It’s has been happening in the United States since the 1980s, as the Christian right gradually became arguably the most reliable constituency in the Republican Party. Even Donald Trump — who many see as the antithesis of biblical values — ran on an evangelical platform. He chose his running mate, Mike Pence, precisely for his staunch evangelicalism.
    That there is convergence between the United States and Latin American on evangelical politics is no accident. American evangelicals coach their counterparts in Latin America on how to court parties, become lobbyists and fight gay marriage. Few other civic groups enjoy stronger external ties.
    In addition to forming alliances with parties, Latin American evangelicals have learned to make peace with their historic rival, the Catholic Church. At least on the issue of sexuality, pastors and priests have found new common ground.
    The latest example of cooperation has been in framing — the language political actors use to describe their causes. For social scientists, the more actors manage to frame an issue to resonate for multiple constituencies, not just the core constituency, the more likely they are to influence politics.
    In Latin America, both Catholic and evangelical clergymen have come up with an effective frame for their conservatism: opposition to what they have baptized the “ideology of gender.”
    This term is used to label any effort to promote acceptance of sexual and gender diversity. When experts argue that sexual diversity is real and gender identity is a construct, evangelical and Catholic clergies respond that this is just ideology, not science.
    Evangelicals are keen on stressing the word “ideology” because this gives them the right, they argue, to protect themselves, and especially their children, from exposure to these ideas. Ideology of gender allows them to call for the protection of children as cover for homophobia.
    The political beauty of “ideology of gender” is that it has given clergymen a way to recast their religious stand in secular terms: as parents’ rights. In Latin America, the new Christian slogan is, “Don’t mess with my kids.” It is one of the results of this evangelical-Catholic collaboration.
    Politically, we may be witnessing a historic truce between Protestants and Catholics in the region: Evangelicals agree to embrace the Catholic Church’s strong condemnation of abortion, the Catholic Church embraces evangelicals’ strong condemnation of sexual diversity, and together, they can confront rising secularism.
    This truce poses a dilemma for Pope Francis, now on tour in Latin America. On the one hand, he has expressed rejection of extremism, and a desire to connect with the most modern, even liberal groups in the church. On the other hand, this pope has made “Christian encounters” a hallmark of his papacy, and he himself is not entirely allergic to the cultural conservatism of evangelicals.
    As a political actor, the pope worries too about the church’s waning influence in politics, so an alliance with evangelicals seems like the perfect antidote against its political decline. A pressing question the pope needs to ponder is whether he is willing to pay the price of greater conservatism to rekindle Christian power in Latin America.
    Evangelicalism is transforming parties and possibly the Catholic Church. Conservative parties used to think of themselves as the region’s essential check against populism. That pitch is no longer credible. These parties are realizing that going along with pastors generates voter excitement, even if only among churchgoers, and excitement equals power.

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