Showing posts with label Violence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Violence. Show all posts

August 15, 2019

ChristChurch Shooter is Allowed to Write a Letter from Prison on Which He Calls for More Violence


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Wednesday that prison officials screwed up by allowing Brenton Tarrant, the man accused of the country’s worst act of terrorism, to send a letter to an admirer, expressing his hateful beliefs.
The six-page handwritten letter — addressed to “Alan” in Russia — was posted to 4chan, a message board popular with white supremacists, this week. 
Many commenters expressed skepticism that the letter was genuine, but on Wednesday, New Zealand’s Corrections Department, which oversees the nation’s prisons, admitted that the letter “should have been withheld.”
Speaking to reporters at the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu, Ardern said the incident “just should not have happened.”
“I think every New Zealander would have an expectation that this individual should not be able to share his hateful message from behind bars,” she said.
“This is an offender who has a very specific goal in mind, in terms of sharing his propaganda, so we should have been prepared for that.”
Ardern has declared her intention to take all necessary steps to deny Tarrant, accused of murdering 51 people at two Christchurch mosques in March, of a platform to spread his hateful ideology, to the extent of pledging she will never speak his name. The circulation of the letter online — on a forum associated with white supremacists, no less — represents an embarrassing blunder for her government, particularly in the aftermath of recent shootings in which the suspects have cited the Christchurch terror attacks as inspiration. 
Since the massacre, at least three suspected far-right gunmen have cited Tarrant as an inspiration for their actions: at a synagogue in Poway, California in April; a Walmart in El Paso, Texas earlier this month; and most recently a mosque in Baerum, Norway last Saturday. Much of Tarrant’s letter, dated July 4, focused on his memories of a 2015 trip to Russia. He thanked his correspondent for postage stamps he had sent, saying they were the only piece of color in his gray cell, and said he could not “go into any great detail about regrets or feelings as the guards will confiscate my letter if I do.” Despite this, the letter ended with a statement that could be read as inciting his supporters to violence.
The Corrections Department said it was permitted to withhold prisoners’ mail in a limited range of circumstances, and that, on review, the letter in question should have been seized.
“We have made changes to the management of this prisoner’s mail to ensure that our robust processes are as effective as we need them to be,” said the statement. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis said that Tarrant should not have been able to send the letter, but suggested a review of Corrections laws may be necessary to tighten and clarify guidelines in order to prevent a similar letter from being posted from a New Zealand prison.
“We have never had to manage a prisoner like this before — and I have asked questions around whether our laws are now fit for purpose and asked for advice on what changes we may now need to make,” Davis said.
Before the shootings, Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, posted a 74-page white supremacist screed on the website 8chan, in which he outlined his racist and violent views. Authorities in New Zealand and Australia swiftly moved to outlaw possession or distribution of the document, and banned video from a Facebook livestream of the massacre.  Tarrant has pleaded not guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and a charge of terrorism, and is due to stand trial in May.
Cover: New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern talks to the media on Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Wellington, New Zealand. Ardern spoke about the El Paso massacre, the latest attack in which the gunman appears to have praised the March shootings in Christchurch, where an Australian white supremacist is charged with killing 51 worshippers at two mosques. (AP Photo/Nick Perry)

February 26, 2019

Two People Stabbed At Ft. Lauderdale First Gay Pride Festival

Journalist, editor, and artist.

Two individuals were stabbed at the Fort Lauderdale Gay Pride Festival on Sunday.
The stabbings occurred at 6:30pm near the main stage, and two people have been taken into custody in connection with the attack, said Officer Casey Liening, a spokeswoman for the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, WPLG Local 10 reports.
“We believe this was an isolated incident, which began as an altercation between two parties,” said Leining. “This was not an attack or an active killer situation.”
One of the victims was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, while the other’s wounds were superficial, according to police. The investigation into the motives behind the incident are still under investigation.
“There is no indication this was a premeditated act of terrorism designed to cause harm or fear to the South Florida LGBTQ community. All indications are that this was a dispute between disagreeing parties,” said Norman Kent, a spokesman for Pride Fort Lauderdale.
“Fortunately, at the time of this incident, law enforcement officers were on site, successfully intervened and took the accused suspects into custody immediately. We are incredibly grateful for the swift response by the officers on duty and their ability to prevent further injury,” the group said in a statement.

April 11, 2018

Sinclair TV Host is Fired After Tweeting to Violently Do Harm to David Hogg

Jamie Allman, who hosted a nightly show at a Sinclair-owned ABC affiliate in St. Louis, had tweeted that he was "getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg's ass," sparking widespread outrage and an advertiser boycott.
When you say Sinclair TV Networks you can substitute Sinclair for Fox. They serve the news as they want it to be not as it happens but there is a limit when one of their people is talking about violence act about someone they don't like or agree with. These talking head went too far but losing his job is what he should get but also an arrest warrant should also go as a prescription for his foot in mouth disease.๐ŸฆŠ
A conservative commentator in St. Louis has resigned and his show with a Sinclair-owned ABC affiliate was canceled amid widespread outrage over a violent, vulgar tweet he sent about Florida school shooting survivor David Hogg.
Last month, Jamie Allman, who hosted a nightly news show called The Allman Report on KDNL, as well as a morning radio talk show, tweeted, "When we kick their ass they all like to claim we're drunk. I've been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg's ass tomorrow. Busy working. Preparing."

Although Allman tweeted the crude remark on March 26 and later deleted it before making his account private, screenshots recently spread across Twitter, sparking a backlash online and prompting several companies to pull advertisements from his show.
On Monday night, Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns the St. Louis ABC station, confirmed that Allman had resigned and that his program had been terminated.
"Yes, his show is canceled and he is off the air immediately," Ronn Torossian, a PR representative for Sinclair, told BuzzFeed News.
Allman is the latest example of the growing feud between conservative personalities and teen activists that has spread across cable news and social media platforms since Valentine's Day school massacre in Parkland, Florida, launched a national, student-led movement for gun control.
His tweet came just two days before Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham mocked Hoggfor not getting into college, igniting a similar media firestorm and advertiser boycott.
Ingraham later apologized after dozens of advertisers ditched her and she subsequently took a week-long break from her show. She returned to the air Monday night and spent much of her show attacking "the bullies on the left aiming to silence conservatives."
She did not directly address the controversy over her remarks about Hogg, and did not repeat her tweeted apology.
Though Allman had criticized Hogg before, his violent tweet caught the attention of Missouri Democratic state Rep. Stacey Newman, who called on advertisers to boycott Allman's show. The Riverfront Times, which first drew attention to the tweet, reported that Allman had previously accused the teenage gun control activist of not being a "grown-up" when it came to handling criticism.
As his tweet gained national attention, several companies, including Ruth’s Chris Steak House, announced that they would pull their ads from his show.
Allman has not yet publicly addressed the backlash to his tweet. As of Monday night, it was not clear whether he would continue to host his radio show. Jeff Allen, the program director for FM NewsTalk 97.1, did not respond to request for comment.
Sinclair, a sprawling, conservative media conglomerate, owns and operates about 200 TV stations across the US — the largest in the country — and is trying to take over more markets.
The company recently came under fire for forcing its news anchors to read promos about "one-sided news stories plaguing our country."
Sinclair's ongoing attempt to purchase the Tribune Media Company has also come under intense scrutiny because the deal would, critics argue, enable the broadcaster to influence dozens more local news stations with conservative-leaning coverage. The deal still requires the approval of federal regulators.
Brianna Sacks
Brianna Sacks

A conservative commentator for a St. Louis television station owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group has resigned after backlash over a tweet in which he threatened to violently assault 17-year-old Parkland shooting survivor and gun control advocate David Hogg.
Jamie Allman, who hosted a nightly show on Sinclair’s ABC-affiliate station KDNL, tweeted on March 26 that he was “preparing” to assault Hogg with “a hot poker,” the Washington Post reports. Allman also hosts a conservative talk radio show.
“We have accepted Mr. Allman’s resignation, and his show has been canceled,” Ronn Torossian, a PR representative acting as Sinclair’s spokesperson, told the Post.
The since-deleted tweet rapidly drew criticism, prompting several advertisers to withdraw their support for the show, The Allman Report.

It is adamfoxie's 10th๐ŸฆŠAnniversay. 10 years witnessing the world and bringing you a pieace whcih is ussually not getting its due coverage. 4.9 Million Reads

January 21, 2018

If You Are Already in Jamaica Stay in Your Room, British Gov Warns

This blog has warn torurist but particularly Gay Men, Lesbians and Trans many times to stay away from Jamaica. Now the warning comes to all British Tourists from their government and that should go for Americans also.


British tourists are being warned they should stay inside their resorts in Montego Bay, Jamaica. 
The Jamaican government has declared a state of emergency in the St James parish, after a number of "shooting incidents". 
The Foreign Office has told British tourists to stay in the confines of their hotels as a "major military operation" takes place. 
About 200,000 British tourists visit Jamaica every year. 
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "[Tourists] should follow local advice including restrictions in selected areas, and exercise particular care if travelling at night. 
"[They] should stay in their resorts and limit travel beyond their respective security perimeters."
Jamaican prime minister, Andrew Holness
Image captionJamaica PM Andrew Holness says the government had been planning the operation "for some time"
On Thursday the country's prime minister, Andrew Holness, said the state of emergency was "necessary" in order to "restore public safety" in the St James area. 
Chief of defence, Major General Rocky Meade, said forces were targeting gangs, with "particular focus on those that are responsible for murders, lotto scamming, trafficking of arms and guns, and extortion".
He added: "We ask that you co-operate with the troops." 
State of Emergency declared in St James Parish which includes Montego Bay, in response to recent violence including shooting incidents. Follow local advice including restrictions in selected areas, exercise particular care if travelling at night. 
Simon Calder, the Independent newspaper's travel editor, said gang crime in the area had been "intensifying".
He told Radio 5 live: "Last year there were an average of six killings a week - and since the start of the year it has got even worse."
It also estimated there had been 38 killings across the country in the first six days of 2018, compared with 23 over the same period last year.
Montego BayImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionTourists are drawn to Montego Bay's white sandy beaches
As the UK Foreign Office has not warned against travel to Jamaica, Mr Calder said holiday firms have no obligation to offer customers alternative destinations. 
He added: "I've never seen Foreign Office advice quite like this before. Normally the UK government says either 'it's OK' or 'don't go'."
A military checkpoint in Montego BayImage copyrightBECKS PALOU
Image captionBecks Palou says the military told her group it was fine to travel around the country

 Bristol-based Becks Palou is part of a group of friends on holiday in Montego Bay.

They left their hotel early this morning to drive to Kingston, the capital, after staff said it was safe to travel. 
Ms Palou, who is originally from Spain, said they were delayed by stops at military checkpoints but were able to reach their destination.
She said: "When we went out on the road, we arrived at the checks and we were let through. Soldiers felt it was fine to travel. 
"It feels safe, more than usual because the roads are quieter."
Sean Tipton, from the Association of British Travel Agents, said that hotels in Montego Bay have "very strict security" which means tourists can feel safe.
He told the BBC: "If you look at the incidents that have occurred, they have been directed at local people. 
"It's obviously terrible for them, but in terms of instances affecting tourists, I haven't actually come across one in Jamaica for quite some time."
He also stressed the importance of following the advice from tour operators and the Foreign Office and not leaving resorts unless on an organised excursion.

Are you in Montego Bay? Have you been affected by recent events? If it is safe to do so, you can share your experience by emailing

December 18, 2017

A Good Evangelical Until She Went Against Trump Then The Death Threats Started

Jen Hatmaker

Last fall, Jen Hatmaker, a popular evangelical author, and speaker, started getting death threats. Readers mailed back her books to her home address, but not before some burned the pages or tore them to shreds. LifeWay Christian Stores, the behemoth retailer of the Southern Baptist Convention, pulled her titles off the shelves. Hatmaker was devastated. Up until that point, she had been a wildly influential and welcome presence in the evangelical world, a Christian author whose writings made the New York Times best-seller list and whose home renovation got its own HGTV series. But then 2016 happened, and, well, of course, everything changed.

During the campaign, as other white evangelicals coalesced around the Republican nominee, Hatmaker effectively joined the coterie of “Never Trump” evangelicals, telling her more than half a million Facebook followers that Donald Trump made her “sad and horrified and despondent.” After the “Access Hollywood” tape leaked and prominent evangelical men came to Trump’s defense, she tweeted: “We will not forget. Nor will we forget the Christian leaders that betrayed their sisters in Christ for power.” Then, in an interview with Religion News Service columnist Jonathan Merritt, she made what was a stunning admission for her evangelical community: She said she supported same-sex relationships.

That’s when the full weight of conservative Christian outrage crashed down on Hatmaker. There were soon angry commenters and finger-wagging bloggers. She says people in her little town of Buda, Texas, just south of Austin, pulled her children aside and said terrible things about her and her husband. She was afraid to be in public, and she wasn’t sleeping or eating well. “The way people spoke about us, it was as if I had never loved Jesus a day in my life,” Hatmaker recently told an audience in Dallas. The gilded auditorium was quiet, its 2,300 seats filled to capacity with nearly all women. “And I was just an ally,” she said. “Think about how our gay brothers and sisters feel.”

There was more. Two weeks after her bombshell interview, Trump won. And Hatmaker’s community—at least 80 percent of the white evangelicals in America—had helped put him in office. “What’s been really painful and disorienting for me is to realize how far away from my evangelical family I am,” she told me in an interview before her Dallas event. “I thought we had a lot more common ground.” The fissures within Christianity became trenches, with men and women like Hatmaker, as well as Christians of color, left on the losing side. Hatmaker’s career was on the line, but so was her very sense of self, and the essence of her life and work—most importantly, her faith.

“This year I became painfully aware of the machine, the Christian Machine,” she wrote in April on her blog. It was Good Friday, a somber day for Christians to observe the crucifixion of Jesus. Hatmaker wrote that she understood now the machine’s “systems and alliances and coded language and brand protection,” not as the insider she had long been, but “from the outside where I was no longer welcome.” During the election season, she added, the “Christian Machine malfunctioned.” It laid bare the civil war within her Christian community. 

Indeed, the white conservative Christian electorate—and its overlap with the old-guard religious right—has supported a thrice-married adulterer who bragged about sexual assault. It has excused leadership blunders and nativism and white supremacy. It has rallied around Senate candidate Roy Moore in the face of multiple allegations of sexual abuse of minors. It has also brought low many of those evangelicals who dared to question its judgment. 

A recent survey found that white evangelicals are now more likely than the average American, or any other religious group polled, to excuse politicians’ immoral behavior. Even the Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore, who leads that denomination’s public policy arm and was perhaps the most famous Never Trump evangelical, was forced to go on a kind of apology tour after the election in order to keep his job. He said he was sorry if his criticisms had been too broad; he didn’t mean to criticize everyone who voted for Trump.

Hatmaker, meanwhile, has not backed down. In May, she posted an Instagram photo of herself wearing a black tank top with the words, “I ain’t sorry.” She has kept talking to her followers, many of them white and generally conservative Christian women, about supporting gun control, Black Lives Matter and refugees. At a time when the white evangelical share of the American electorate is on the decline, Hatmaker is out with a best-selling book, a top-rated podcast and a speaking tour that’s selling out. 

Whether that influence stands a chance at countering the white evangelical alliance with Trump or translates to political activism at all, remains to be seen. Hatmaker’s name is not well known in Washington circles. Women like her do not crown primary picks in Iowa or direct money to super PACs. But they can, and she does, have much larger grass-roots followings than many religious right leaders. In a faith tradition that often limits leadership opportunities for women, Hatmaker has built a brand outside denominational boundaries. For her critics, that means she has too little accountability. For her supporters, it means she is free to speak her mind and to speak up for a Christian constituency that finds itself at odds with the politically minded evangelical leaders welcomed at the White House.

“For me,” Hatmaker says, “it’s not as base as, ‘I’m just going to keep being political for the sake of it,’ so much as it is that all of this policy, all of this rhetoric, all of this leadership, it affects real live human people. That, for me, is where I am no longer comfortable remaining silent.”


Born in 1974, Hatmaker grew up mostly in Kansas, as a pastor’s kid during the rise of the religious right. Her Southern Baptist youth and young adulthood were filled with the middle-class, culturally evangelical quirks of the 1980s and '90s: the contemporary Christian music and merchandise, the “True Love Waits” abstinence pledges and church twice on Sundays. “Good reader,” she wrote in her book For the Love, “I was exactly the Church Youth Group Girl you think I was.”

She attended Oklahoma Baptist University, where she met her husband, Brandon. They married with a dry wedding when she was 19. “I was so square,” she quips now. She had her first child at 23, and back then, she worked as a teacher and then focused her energies at home while her husband worked as a pastor. She describes her career as if she stumbled into it; working in women’s ministry eventually led to speaking gigs and book deals and being what she calls “low-grade Christian famous.”

Hatmaker’s early books were women’s Bible studies. Her first cover was punctuated with hot pink accents and an illustration of girlish sunglasses. Her writing style has always been chatty and fun and filled with folksy humor. She used to avoid politics on her public platform, and she has long considered herself a political independent. She is just as likely to drop biblical wisdom as she is to share the merits of casserole, the joys of shopping at Target and the antics of her five kids. One of her running gags is about sweet versus spicy families. Hers falls decisively in the spicy camp—sarcastic, loud, unruly.

Through her speaking and writing, Hatmaker became what seemed like the heir apparent to Beth Moore (no relation to Roy or Russell), a mega-influential evangelist and Bible study author out of Houston. Moore, whom Hatmaker still refers to as a mentor, has also been highly critical of evangelicals’ current political positions, and she regularly sends and tweets encouragement to Hatmaker. They both spent time on the Women of Faith tour, a Christian women’s conference that began in 1996. In 2015, Hatmaker announced she would be a headliner on the millennial-friendly follow-up, called the Belong Tour, which sold out arenas last fall at the height of the campaign season.

But by then, Hatmaker had already become less satisfied with the comfortable suburban Christianity she knew. In 2008, she and her husband founded a small church in the Austin area, with a focus on serving the poor and marginalized. She wrote a book chronicling the adoption of her youngest two children from Ethiopia, as well as her family’s experiment with living with less, a kind of proto-minimalism before the craze caught on. She followed up with the publication of Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity.

I first met Hatmaker in June in the lobby of her Times Square hotel in New York, where she was promoting her latest book, Of Mess and Moxie, a collection of short spiritual essays, peppered with recipes and comic listicles all written before the recent dust-up. When I reached out to shake her hand, she enveloped me in a hug instead. Her maxi-skirt ensemble was signature Hatmaker: colorful, with a Southwestern tinge, complete with her trademark statement earrings. When I asked her how it felt to do publicity again, she took a long pause. “I’m trying to decide if I’m going to tell you the truth or not,” she said, before breaking into a cackle.

The thing she was most emphatic about was that her faith had remained intact since last fall’s backlash. “I didn’t have a whole lot left besides my faith and my closest people,” she says. She was relieved to find, “this anchor that I profess—it holds.”

Part of Hatmaker’s appeal is that she doesn’t pretend her views are stagnant or unchanging. “You don’t have to be who you first were,” she writes in her newest book, her 12th. Over the years, she has guided her readers through her own theological transformations, which she tends to dive into headlong (“halfhearted is not an adjective ever wasted on me,” she writes). If anyone was paying attention, she points out, they could see that she had become more outspoken on political issues over time.

Back in 2013, she wrote a blog post about getting uninvited to speak at a church, partly because of her critical tone toward ministries that do not emphasize social justice. She also owned up to the fact that her ministry had taken a “hard left.” In the spring of 2016, before most people were paying attention, she had spoken in support of gay teens. Her gradual shift to supporting same-sex relationships, culminating in her public announcement last year, also did not happen in a vacuum: In 2016, a slim majority of young white evangelicals—51 percent—said they now support same-sex marriage, according to Public Religion Research Institute.

Last year, colleagues and friends had warned Hatmaker not to throw her career away—not to say she was coming around on LGBT rights. But she couldn’t think one thing in private and say another in public. “I just thought, my insides are going to have to match my outsides, come what may,” she says. In the process, she broke a number of rules, both spoken and unspoken. For one, in supporting same-sex marriage, Hatmaker failed what has become for some a litmus test for who counts as an evangelical and who doesn’t. On top of that, evangelical female leaders, the ones with brands and blogs and speaking tours, are often reluctant to talk politics openly, for fear of alienating their female audiences or stepping too far outside the bounds of acceptable conservative Christian gender norms.

In fact, evangelical women’s ministries are often touted as being apolitical—relegated to gender-appropriate church duties and the domestic spheres of home and children. But of course, those spaces have never been apolitical. Women’s bodies, and the decision around having children, as well as the notions of “traditional family values,” have long fueled the culture wars, and have tied most white evangelicals to the Republican Party for more than three decades. Last fall, after Trump’s “Access Hollywood” comments surfaced, it wasn’t just Hatmaker who blanched—a number of other prominent evangelical women spoke out against him, a move seen as a rare political moment by otherwise nonpolitical leaders.

For Hatmaker, politics gets rooted in relationships, including those with gay friends. “You cannot talk in a sterilized way about an issue when the issue is a friend,” she says. On race, too, “our friends and neighbors of color have been banging this drum forever.” Through adoption, she is a mother to two black children. Her son, she says, first experienced racial slurs after the 2016 election. “When I see legislation and leadership and government harming people when I see language that’s being normalized and the effect that is going to have on my neighbors and on people who are typically marginalized, I will not sit by,” she says.

Another season of the Belong Tour was supposed to start this past summer. Its dates were announced with a slickly packaged promotional video in April, but by July, the company that owns the tour announced it was canceled. The official response blamed poor ticket sales. Hatmaker suggests there was more to the story, due to the tour’s new ownership, but wouldn’t offer many specifics. She thinks the owner is going to take the tour in a different direction, perhaps keeping it more in line with traditional evangelicalism: “If we were heading out toward the margins a bit, I think he’s going to turn it back a little more mainstream.” (The owner did not respond to interview requests.)

She forged ahead anyway. In July, she debuted her weekly interview-style podcast, and it quickly shot to the top 10 in the religion and spirituality category on iTunes. By the end of the summer, Of Mess and Moxie hit the New York Times best-seller list. She created a fall event series, the Moxie Matters Tour, with her friend and Belong Tour alum, singer-songwriter Nichole Nordeman. They scaled it back from the original tour’s arenas, booking more intimate spaces like churches and theaters. After several of the stops on their 11-city tour sold out, the duo added eight more dates to the calendar after the new year.

The size of Hatmaker’s audience—her “tribe” as she calls it—has held steady despite the backlash she has faced, she told me. But she says there has still been some turnover, with fans lost and fans gained because of her comments. Recently, when Trump made a Pocahontas joke in front of Navajo veterans, Hatmaker tweeted that he was “incapable of maturity, decency, self-awareness, or shame. He humiliates us every single day. We can never stop calling out this behavior.” As sexual misconduct charges against powerful men continued to break, she wrote a note of solidarity with victims on Facebook, adding, “Voting for molesters because we prefer them to stay in power is evil,” which prompted thousands of shares and a lively debate in the comments section about whether someone who opposes abortion can support Roy Moore’s pro-choice Democratic opponent, Doug Jones. When a commenter posted, “She’s talking to YOU, Alabama,” Hatmaker replied, “And Franken and Spacey and dirty clergy and all of them. Let no one escape.”

Hatmaker also recently tweeted that the evangelical subculture “tends to elevate a very homogeneous voice: white, mostly male, women who don’t upset the power differential we’ve come to count on (white, conservative, straight, Republican).” Going against the grain, she wrote, threatens “commercial success.” But Hatmaker notes that a mentor recently advised her to just lead whatever followers she had. “I really took that advice,” she told me. “And I have felt real free since.”


In the basement of the theater in Dallas, more than a hundred women form a line that snakes around the room. For $99, they’ve bought the Girlfriend Party Pack, which includes this VIP meet-and-greet, a book, a CD and event admission. It’s late October, and the women are decked out in their autumn best: red plaid, leather jackets and oversized sweaters—even though it’s Texas, and the high is 80 degrees. Off to the side, one of the tour managers mentions that Hatmaker’s kid's joke they can spot her fans anywhere. “They wear the boots, the skinny jeans, the flowy top, the big bag,” she says, just like Hatmaker.

Women congregate in their packs of twos and threes and sixes, the crowd more diverse in age than race. A trio of friends from Minnesota flew down for a girls’ trip, with an earlier stop in nearby Waco to see Magnolia, the storefront of HGTV star Joanna Gaines of the show Fixer Upper. Ahead of them in line, a woman wears a shirt that reads, “Jen Hatmaker Is My Spirit Animal.” Volunteers from a local church are on hand to hold purses and snap cellphone pics as the women pose for pictures with Nordeman and Hatmaker, who has hugs enough for them all. The room gets loud and warm, and women squeal with delight when it’s their turn. Some bring presents wrapped in gift bags and tissue paper. Some cry and say their lives have been changed. 

The Moxie Matters Tour venues include LGBT-affirming churches that are evangelical and mainline Protestant. That was intentional, Hatmaker says—the tour is billed as inclusive. “Why wouldn’t I want to set the absolutely most absurdly long table that I can?” she says. To her, that’s the Gospel, where everyone is welcome, no matter “who they love, where they’re from, what their history is.”

That’s not to say all of the women at Moxie Matters agree with her political viewpoints. A self-described Hatmaker “superfan” at the meet-and-greet tells me, “I don’t agree with her position [on LGBT rights], but I still love her and I feel like I agree with everything else she stands for and represents.” Hatmaker acknowledged such differences later on stage. “We’re kind of all over the map here on conviction and ideology and theology,” she told the crowd before she began the story of her past year. “I love that and respect it.” She did not mention Trump, and she was careful to translate her own story of the past year to a universal message of coping with pain and rejection.

Hatmaker remains an unlikely, and perhaps uncomfortable, member of the anti-Trump resistance. “I don’t know if I fit neatly into that space,” she says. While she’s against abortion, she takes pains to say she has an expansive view of what “pro-life” means. And she doesn’t think to hold that view necessarily ties her to the GOP, even at a time when white evangelicals are as closely affiliated as ever with the Republican Party. But maybe that’s the point. Hatmaker can reach her own demographic. In the greenroom before her meet-and-greet, she said, “For me, it’s more like a constant prophetic responsibility to call evil, evil. To call racism, racism. And unfortunately, this seems to be happening on the daily.”

Does she still identify as evangelical? “It depends on your definition,” she says. She rejects the conservative political affiliation aligned with the term. “I think the way that most people would understand the word, I would say no, I do not identify with that label anymore. I just love Jesus.”

“I am still bewildered, and I don’t know what the future is,” Hatmaker says. “I do know that there seems to be a mass exodus from the evangelical brand right now. That could be my tribe that I’ve curated, so I hear that more. Because it seems like the good old boys are still thriving out in a world that I’m not involved in, so you know my perspective is narrow and biased, and I’m not sure what is actually true.” She adds, “I want to be hopeful though. I want to be hopeful that we are going to find our way back home and reclaim a lot of the credibility that we’ve lost.”

With that, the conversation ends, and she walks out of the greenroom and down a narrow, dim hallway. She stops for a moment to pull out a compact and powder her nose. And then a doorway opens up and light streams in, and she walks out to a throng of evangelical women still cheering at the sound of her name.


August 13, 2017

Three People Died in a Day of Racial Violence in Charlotte, Virginia

People receive first aid after a car ran into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday. The car struck the silver vehicle pictured, sending marchers into the air.
Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Three people died and about 35 were injured in a day of violence that began with clashes at a white nationalist rally on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va., Gov. Terry McAuliffe said.
One of those killed was a 32-year-old female pedestrian who was hit by a car that plowed into marchers, authorities said. The male driver is in custody, and charges are pending.
A short time later, a police helicopter crashed, killing two more. Virginia State Police said the crash is under investigation, and officials said the incident was linked to the violent protests, according to The Associated Press.
McAuliffe, speaking at a press conference, had a strong message for the white nationalist protesters: "Go home."
He added, "You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you. You pretend that you are patriots, but you are anything but a patriot."
Virginia State Police posted on Facebook that the helicopter crash in Albemarle County, where Charlottesville is located, occurred at approximately 5 p.m.
In a video posted to Twitter, a silver car with darkened windows can be seen speeding through the crowd and ramming another vehicle, sending people through the air. The car then goes into reverse while marchers chase it.

Police said the afternoon crash happened near the intersection of Fourth and Water streets.
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer tweeted that one person had died in that crash. The crash involved three cars and, in addition to the fatality, at least nine people were injured, according to the AP.

Police said the deadly crash happened near the intersection of Fourth and Water streets.
Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images
President Trump makes statement
In a statement sandwiched between announcing and signing legislation to expand a veterans health care program, the president said he condemned "in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides."
"We have to respect each other, ideally we have to love each other," he said.
State of emergency declared
Virginia's governor had earlier declared a state of emergency involving violent clashes involving hundreds of protesters in Charlottesville.
The move came during a white nationalist rally planned in the small college town to protest plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a city park. On Saturday morning, protesters and counterprotesters faced off, kicking, punching, hurling water bottles at and deploying chemical sprays against one another.
Approximately 500 protesters were on-site, with more than double the amount of counterprotesters, according to reporter Sandy Hausman of member station WVTF and Radio IQ. She said some injuries had been reported.
Police used tear gas to disperse the crowd, before offering protesters the option of being arrested or moving to another larger location approximately 1 mile away, she told NPR's Scott Simon on Weekend Edition on Saturday.
The declaration by McAuliffe was made in order to "aid state response to violence" at the rally in the city about 120 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., and home to the University of Virginia. The city's manager also declared a local emergency and police ordered people to disperse from the area around the statue, according to the AP.
The "Unite the Right" rally was expected to draw a lot of people from out of town. It follows last month's Ku Klux Klan rally, also in Charlottesville, that drew about 50 Klan members and about 1,000 counterprotesters.
Politicians react to Saturday morning's clashes
After the violent outbursts, politicians tweeted their disdain at the events in Charlottesville. Trump called on Americans to "come together as one."
House Speaker Paul Ryan said the views of the white nationalists were "repugnant" and called for Americans to unite against "this kind of vile bigotry."
First lady Melania Trump called for people to "communicate (without) hate in our hearts."
NHL team logo used during white nationalist protest
In an odd side story, many of the white nationalist marchers were seen holding signs featuring the logo of the Detroit Red Wings, a historic hockey franchise in the NHL.
An anti-immigrant group called the Detroit Right Wings features a similar logo. A Twitter account that seemed to represent the group tweeted earlier in the week about attending Saturday's rally.
As images of marchers flaunting the logo began flooding social media, the team issued a swift statement in response.
"The Detroit Red Wings vehemently disagree with and are not associated in any way with the event taking place today in Charlottesville," the team said. "We are exploring every possible legal action as it pertains to the misuse of our logo in this disturbing demonstration."
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly added in an email to the AP, "This specific use is particularly offensive because it runs counter to the inclusiveness that our league values and champions."
Friday night protests become violent
The clashes began Friday night when far-right protesters carrying torches descended on the university campus.
In a Facebook post about that march, Mayor Signer wrote, "I am beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus."
In the days leading up to Saturday's planned rally, there had been some back-and-forth about where it would be held.
The AP reported that a federal judge ordered Charlottesville to allow the rally to take place at its originally planned location downtown:
"U.S. District Judge Glen Conrad issued a preliminary injunction Friday in a lawsuit filed against Charlottesville by right-wing blogger Jason Kessler.
"The city announced earlier this week that the rally must be moved out of Emancipation Park to a larger one, citing safety reasons.
"Kessler sued, saying the change was a free speech violation. The judge wrote that Kessler was likely to prevail and granted the injunction."
After the ruling, The New York Times reported:
"Late Friday night, several hundred torch-bearing men and women marched on the main quadrangle of the University of Virginia's grounds, shouting, 'You will not replace us,' and 'Jew will not replace us.' They walked around the Rotunda, the university's signature building, and to a statue of Thomas Jefferson, where a group of counterprotesters were gathered, and a brawl ensued."
University President Teresa Sullivan issued a statement after Friday night's march.
"As President of the University of Virginia, I am deeply saddened and disturbed by the hateful behavior displayed by torch-bearing protestors that marched on our Grounds this evening. I strongly condemn the unprovoked assault on members of our community, including University personnel who were attempting to maintain order.
"Law enforcement continues to investigate the incident, and it is my hope that any individuals responsible for criminal acts are held accountable. The violence displayed on Grounds is intolerable and is entirely inconsistent with the University's values."
City officials and police say they are prepared for any violence. McAuliffe urged Virginians to stay away from the rally and placed the National Guard on standby. The guard released a statement saying it would "closely monitor the situation."
Earlier this week, All Things Considered, host Ari Shapiro reported on Airbnb's decision to make it harder for people attending the rally to find places to stay. The company canceled the accounts of people w it confirmed had used its platform to book lodging for the event. It says those people defy its community standards. Rally organizers say this should be grounds for a lawsuit.
A debate over the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville began when an African-American high school student started a petition more than a year ago to have it removed. Lee, who was born in Virginia, commanded Confederate forces in the Civil War from 1862 until he surrendered in 1865.

This is a developing story. Some things that get reported by the media will later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets, and reporters who are at the scene. We will update as the situation develops.

Featured Posts

Tenn. Gov. Bill Lee Signs Bill to Allow Adoption Agencies to Deny to Gay Couples

Every kid you see in all three photos are either homeless or orphans Joel Ebert   ...