Tag Archives: White Supremacist ChristoTalibans

Reich-Wing ChristoTalibans Pissed off AGAIN at Stopping Their Spread of Hate and White Supremacy

SPLC, CAIR Take Aim at $121 Billion Industry in Effort to Silence Conservative ‘Hate Groups’
https://pjmedia.com/trending/splc-cair-take-aim-at-121-billion-industry-in-effort-to-silence-conservative-hate-groups/

Why yes, the Christo-Taliban Reich-Wing Fascists sure do hate this shit. They sure do hate the fact that people are just getting sick and tired of all the bullshit hate they spread and spew from their foaming at the mouth rabid dog mouths on a daily basis.

These fuckers are no different than the Muslim Taliban they decry on a daily basis. They seek to force their Reich-Wing ChristoFascist bullshit upon all of us and then? Piss and shit their Cocksuckers for Christ panties when people stand up to them, especially? The people these scumbag shitstains on the underwear of humanity love to persecute.

This was taken from Gab, a Reich-Wing ChristoTaliban Fascist Traitor Trumpanzee and Russian Repugnant supporting and defending white supremacists, white nationalists and ChristoFascist scumbags.

The Reich-Wing ChristoTaliban crying about people standing up to these scumbags.

Liberal activist groups are pressuring donor-advised funds (DAFs) to blacklist conservative and Christian organizations in the name of fighting white supremacy and “hate.” On Tuesday, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), themselves far from immune from scandal, released a report urging this philanthropic sector — which held more than $121 billion in donor contributions in 2018 — to join the political warfare effort of isolating conservative voices from polite society. The report favorably cites Fidelity Charitable’s and Schwab Charitable’s decisions to ban contributions to the NRA, citing San Francisco’s resolution condemning the NRA as a “terrorist organization.”

“Straddling the intersection of public and private, the philanthropic sector — like tech companies — functions as a powerful platform for hate,” the report warns. The SPLC and CAIR pepper their report with mentions of specific white nationalist groups and terrorist attacks inspired by white supremacy, associating these things with SPLC-accused “hate groups.”

The SPLC’s much-vaunted “hate group” list includes mainstream Christian charities (like the law firm Alliance Defending Freedom and the policy group Family Research Council) and conservative nonprofits like the Center for Security Policy, ACT for America, and the Center for Immigration Studies. Amid a racism and sexism scandal last year, former SPLC employees confessed that the “hate group” list is a fundraising scam. A would-be terrorist even used the SPLC “hate map” to target the Family Research Council for a mass shooting in 2012. The SPLC faces multiple defamation lawsuits regarding the accusations. (I cover all this and more in detail in my book Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center.)

Yet the document, entitled “Hate-Free Philanthropy,” calls on donor-advised funds to blacklist SPLC-accused “hate groups” in the name of preventing white supremacist terrorism. The report calls on donor-advised funds to combat “hate-funding,” to “abandon the ‘pretense of neutrality’ in their giving strategies to expand their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” and to work for “sector-wide reform” by coordinating with “academia” and “advocacy organizations.” I wonder which “advocacy organizations” they have in mind…

Anti-Israel Hamas-Linked CAIR Pressures Charities to Blacklist Conservative Nonprofits

The report cites many sources that all trace back to the SPLC’s “hate group” list. It cites CAIR’s report on the “Islamophobia network,” which relies on the SPLC list. It cites the union-owned Amalgamated Bank effort to blacklist “hate groups” called “Hate Is Not Charitable,” which relies on the SPLC list. It cites the “Change the Terms” coalition, which aims to bully Big Tech into booting “hate groups” from the program, relying on the SPLC. It favorably cites GuideStar’s decision to adopt the SPLC “hate group” labels on its charity database website.

The SPLC and CAIR, long known for their liberal biases, claim that “leading figures from the sector argue that philanthropy has to shed the idea that it should be ‘neutral’ at all costs. Instead, philanthropy should recognize that taking no action in this climate of hate is an action in itself, and for that reason, it should play an active role in supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.” Funny how this “inclusion” looks a great deal like the exclusion of conservatives and the demonization of their views.

The report follows a one-day closed-door symposium involving more than three dozen “practitioners, advocates, and scholars in the philanthropic sector,” convened by the SPLC and CAIR in August 2019.

Donor-advised funds represent a huge slice of American philanthropy. As the report notes, there were 728,563 DAFs in 2018, and donors contributed $37.12 billion, using the funds to recommend $23.42 billion in grants to qualified charities. Charitable assets held by DAFs totaled $121.42 billion. When donors give money to DAFs, they get an immediate tax write-off. The DAF then directs the funds where the donor wishes. This provides anonymity, as the public report of the transaction shows the DAF contributing to the grantee, rather than the donor.

“Hate-Free Philanthropy” suggests this situation is unacceptable but acknowledges that legal reform efforts are unlikely. Instead, the report lays out three steps to help DAFs “to implement systems to screen out hate groups from DAF portfolios”: having a conversation about “hate groups” at the organization, expanding on “diversity, equity, and inclusion” policies, and then “explicitly” endorsing “anti-hate policies and programs.”

The report acknowledges that “even beginning a conversation around hate groups can be controversial within some organizations due to its political nature.” The SPLC and CAIR dismiss this controversy in the name of “public safety.” “However, it is best for stakeholders to recognize that while there may be a legitimate degree of difference on what constitutes anti-social and polarizing activity, at a core level community foundations should understand the problem of hate within a public safety context.”

SPLC Demands Big Tech Silence Conservatives in the Name of Fighting White Supremacist Terror

As for the “anti-hate policies and programs,” the report presents two examples: Amalgamated Foundation’s terms, which state that the foundation “may consult resources such as the Southern Poverty Law Center”; and the East Bay Community Foundation, which has a “Grand Due Diligence Policy” that prohibits “[g]rants to any organization then listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Group map, as that list may be titled or revised from time to time.”

“Hate-Free Philanthropy” upholds Big Tech as a model for acting against “hate.” The report notes that internet companies once used First Amendment arguments to justify extending their platforms to a wide range of users. Yet tech companies are not the government, so the First Amendment does not restrict them. The report touts the “Change the Terms” coalition, which it claims “very carefully crafted its definition of hateful activity to cover types of speech that courts have said are not protected as free speech: incitement to violence, intimidation, harassment, threats, and defamation.”

The report also praised iTunes, PayPal, and AmazonSmile for taking “measures to screen out hate from their platforms. iTunes blacklisted what the SPLC calls “hate music,” while PayPal blacklists “hate groups” and AmazonSmile — Amazon’s charity contribution arm — refuses to work with any SPLC-accused “hate group.”

The SPLC and CAIR praised GuideStar, which caused a scandal in 2017 by placing “hate group” labels on the webpages of nonprofits attacked by the SPLC. GuideStar removed the labels but faced two defamation lawsuits and employees reportedly faced harassment. The SPLC and CAIR claim, without evidence, that the “hate groups” were responsible for the harassment.

“The use of harassment, intimidation, and threats directed at GuideStar’s staff and leadership shows that groups that promote hate do not hesitate to intimidate and threaten those who seek to inform the public about their less-than-charitable activities,” the report warns. The report encourages DAFs to prepare to face violence should they act against “hate groups,” by installing alarms and surveillance systems.

“Threats are not always physical,” the report warns. “As GuideStar sadly experienced, they could come in the form of lawsuits and coordinated public relations attacks that can easily be interpreted as intimidating. Preparation for these kinds of attacks is equally important. Having in place a crisis management and communication plan, in addition to a physical security plan, is a good first step.”

The report mentioned GuideStar twice more, in both cases emphasizing the threat from “hate groups.” Referring to GuideStar’s labels, the report says, “this modest effort resulted in a campaign of hate and intimidation as well as spurious attempts at litigation by hate groups.” Further on comes this sentence: “As the GuideStar experience has shown, this could also lead to fringe groups and their supporters launching harassment and intimidation campaigns.”

Ironically, the SPLC and CAIR report warns against the problems of “hate-funding, polarization, and anti-social special interest practices,” when the SPLC’s “hate group” accusations have inspired an act of violence and have exacerbated polarization in America.

Donor-advised funds would be wise to ignore this report and reject its politically-slanted suggestions. While DAFs should seek to avoid funding white supremacist groups and organizations that advocate for violence, any reliance on the SPLC will skew their good-faith efforts, turning them into unwitting pawns of partisan political warfare.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

It is Trump, the Repugnants and Trumpanzees along with the Reich-Wing News organizations such as Faux Nitwit Newsless, Breibart and others that is causing this hate, these lies, these bullshit acts to be done. Here is the proof.

‘No Blame?’ ABC News finds 36 cases invoking ‘Trump’ in connection with violence, threats, alleged assaults.

President Donald Trump insists he deserves no blame for divisions in America.
By Mike Levine
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/blame-abc-news-finds-17-cases-invoking-trump/story?id=58912889

But a nationwide review conducted by ABC News has identified at least 36 criminal cases where Trump was invoked in direct connection with violent acts, threats of violence or allegations of assault.

In nine cases, perpetrators hailed Trump in the midst or immediate aftermath of physically attacking innocent victims. In another 10 cases, perpetrators cheered or defended Trump while taunting or threatening others. And in another 10 cases, Trump and his rhetoric were cited in court to explain a defendant’s violent or threatening behavior.

Seven cases involved violent or threatening acts perpetrated in defiance of Trump, with many of them targeting Trump’s allies in Congress. But the vast majority of the cases — 29 of the 36 — reflect someone echoing presidential rhetoric, not protesting it.

ABC News could not find a single criminal case filed in federal or state court where an act of violence or threat was made in the name of President Barack Obama or President George W. Bush.

The perpetrators and suspects identified in the 36 cases are mostly white men — as young as teenagers and as old as 75 — while the victims largely represent an array of minority groups — African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims and gay men.

Federal law enforcement authorities have privately told ABC News they worry that — even with Trump’s public denunciations of violence — Trump’s style could inspire violence-prone individuals to take action against minorities or others they perceive to be against the president’s agenda.

“Any public figure could have the effect of inspiring people,” FBI Director Chris Wray told a Senate panel in July. “But remember that the people who commit hate fueled violence are not logical, rational people.”

While asserting that “fake” media coverage is exacerbating divisions in the country, Trump has noted that “a fan” of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders opened fire on Republican lawmakers playing baseball in a Washington suburb two years ago. “Nobody puts … ‘Bernie Sanders’ in the headline with the maniac,” Trump said last year.

And, last week, Trump similarly insisted that the man who fatally shot nine people in Dayton, Ohio, three days earlier “supported” Sanders and other liberal causes.

But there’s no indication either of those shooters mentioned Sanders while launching their attacks, and no charges were ever filed because they were both fatally shot during their assaults.

In identifying the 36 Trump-related cases, ABC News excluded incidents of vandalism. ABC News also excluded several cases of violence — from attacks on anti-Trump protesters at Trump rallies to certain assaults on people wearing “Make America Great Again” hats — that did not establish explicit ties to Trump.

In conducting its review, ABC News did find several cases where pro-Trump defendants were charged with targeting minorities, or where speculation online suggested the defendants were motivated by Trump, but in those cases ABC News found no police records, court proceedings or other direct evidence presenting a definitive link to the president. So those cases were also excluded in the ABC News tally.

Nevertheless, last year Trump said he deserves “no blame” for what he called the “hatred” seemingly coursing through parts of the country. And he told reporters that he’s “committed to doing everything” in his power to not let political violence “take root in America.”

Crimes of Trumpanzees against others

Aug. 19, 2015: In Boston, after he and his brother beat a sleeping homeless man of Mexican descent with a metal pole, Steven Leader, 30, told police “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.” The victim, however, was not in the United States illegally. The brothers, who are white, ultimately pleaded guilty to several assault-related charges and were each sentenced to at least two years in prison.

Dec. 5, 2015: After Penn State University student Nicholas Tavella, 19, was charged with “ethnic intimidation” and other crimes for threatening to “put a bullet” in a young Indian man on campus, his attorney argued in court that Tavella was just motivated by “a love of country,” not “hate.” “Donald Trump is running for President of the United States saying that, ‘We’ve got to check people out more closely,'” Tavella’s attorney argued in his defense. Tavella, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to ethnic intimidation and was sentenced to up to two years in prison.

April 28, 2016: When FBI agents arrested 61-year-old John Martin Roos in White City, Oregon, for threatening federal officials, including then-President Barack Obama, they found several pipe bombs and guns in his home. In the three months before his arrest, Roos posted at least 34 messages to Twitter about Trump, repeatedly threatening African Americans, Muslims, Mexican immigrants and the “liberal media,” and in court documents, prosecutors noted that the avowed Trump supporter posted this threatening message to Facebook a month earlier: “The establishment is trying to steal the election from Trump. … Obama is already on a kill list … Your [name] can be there too.” Roos, who is white, has since pleaded guilty to possessing an unregistered explosive device and posting internet threats against federal officials. He was sentenced to more than five years in prison.

June 3, 2016: After 54-year-old Henry Slapnik attacked his African-American neighbors with a knife in Cleveland, he told police “Donald Trump will fix them because they are scared of Donald Trump,” according to police reports. Slapnik, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to “ethnic intimidation” and other charges. It’s unclear what sentence he received.

Aug. 16, 2016: In Olympia, Washington, 32-year-old Daniel Rowe attacked a white woman and a black man with a knife after seeing them kiss on a popular street. When police arrived on the scene, Rowe professed to being “a white supremacist” and said “he planned on heading down to the next Donald Trump rally and stomping out more of the Black Lives Matter group,” according to court documents filed in the case. Rowe, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to charges of assault and malicious harassment, and he was sentenced to more than four years in prison.

September 2016: After 40-year-old Mark Feigin of Los Angeles was arrested for posting anti-Muslim and allegedly threatening statements to a mosque’s Facebook page, his attorney argued in court that the comments were protected by the First Amendment because Feigin was “using similar language and expressing similar views” to “campaign statements from then-candidate Donald Trump.” Noting that his client “supported Donald Trump,” attorney Caleb Mason added that “Mr. Feigin’s comments were directed toward a pressing issue of public concern that was a central theme of the Trump campaign and the 2016 election generally: the Islamic roots of many international and U.S. terrorist acts.” Feigin, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of sending harassing communications electronically. He was sentenced to probation.

Oct. 13, 2016: After the FBI arrested three white Kansas men for plotting to bomb an apartment complex in Garden City, Kansas, where many Somali immigrants lived, one of the men’s attorneys insisted to a federal judge that the plot was “self-defensive” because the three men believed “that if Donald Trump won the election, President Obama would not recognize the validity of those results, that he would declare martial law, and that at that point militias all over the country would have to step in.” Then, after a federal grand jury convicted 47-year-old Patrick Stein and the two other men of conspiracy-related charges, Stein’s attorney argued for a lighter sentence based on “the backdrop” of Stein’s actions: Trump had become “the voice of a lost and ignored white, working-class set of voters” like Stein, and the “climate” at the time could propel someone like Stein to “go to 11,” attorney Jim Pratt said in court. Stein and his two accomplices were each sentenced to at least 25 years in prison.

Nov. 3, 2016: In Tampa, Florida, David Howard threatened to burn down the house next to his “simply because” it was being purchased by a Muslim family, according to the Justice Department. He later said under oath that while he harbored a years-long dislike for Muslims, the circumstances around the home sale were “the match that lit the wick.” He cited Trump’s warnings about immigrants from majority-Muslim countries. “[With] the fact that the president wants these six countries vetted, everybody vetted before they come over, there’s a concern about Muslims,” Howard said. Howard, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights violation, and the 59-year-old was sentenced to eight months in prison.

Nov. 10, 2016: A 23-year-old man from High Springs, Florida, allegedly assaulted an unsuspecting Hispanic man who was cleaning a parking lot outside of a local food store. “[H]e was suddenly struck in the back of the head,” a police report said of the victim. “[The victim] asked the suspect why he hit him, to which the suspect replied, ‘This is for Donald Trump.’ The suspect then grabbed [the victim] by the jacket and proceeded to strike him several more times,” according to the report. Surveillance video of the incident “completely corroborated [the victim’s] account of events,” police said. The suspect was arrested on battery charges, but the case was dropped after the victim decided not to pursue the matter, police said. Efforts by ABC News to reach the victim for further explanation were not successful.

Nov. 12, 2016: In Grand Rapids, Michigan, while attacking a cab driver from East Africa, 23-year-old Jacob Holtzlander shouted racial epithets and repeatedly yelled the word, “Trump,” according to law enforcement records. Holtzlander, who is white, ultimately pleaded guilty to a charge of ethnic intimidation, and he was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Jan. 25, 2017: At JFK International Airport in New York, a female Delta employee, wearing a hijab in accordance with her Muslim faith, was “physically and verbally” attacked by 57-year-old Robin Rhodes of Worcester, Mass., “for no apparent reason,” prosecutors said at the time. When the victim asked Brown what she did to him, he replied: “You did nothing, but … [Expletive] Islam. [Expletive] ISIS. Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you.” Rhodes ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of “menacing,” and he was sentenced to probation.

Feb. 19, 2017: After 35-year-old Gerald Wallace called a mosque in Miami Gardens, Florida, and threatened to “shoot all y’all,” he told the FBI and police that he made the call because he “got angry” from a local TV news report about a terrorist act. At a rally in Florida the day before, Trump falsely claimed that Muslim refugees had just launched a terrorist attack in Sweden.

Wallace’s attorney, Katie Carmon, later tried to convince a federal judge that the threat to kill worshippers could be “protected speech” due to the “very distinctly political climate” at the time. “There are courts considering President Trump’s travel ban … and the president himself has made some very pointed statements about what he thinks about people of this descent,” Carmon argued in court.

Wallace, who is African American, ultimately pleaded guilty to obstructing the free exercise of his victims’ religious beliefs, and he was sentenced to one year in prison.

Feb. 23, 2017: Kevin Seymour and his partner Kevin price were riding their bicycles in Key West, Florida, when a man on a moped, 30-year-old Brandon Davis of North Carolina, hurled anti-gay slurs at them and “intentionally” ran into Seymour’s bike, shouting, “You live in Trump country now,” according to police reports and Davis’ attorney. Davis ultimately pleaded guilty to a charge of battery evidencing prejudice, but in court, he expressed remorse and was sentenced to four years of probation.

May 3, 2017: In South Padre Island, Texas, 35-year-old Alexander Jennes Downing of Waterford, Connecticut, was captured on cellphone video taunting and aggressively approaching a Muslim family, repeatedly shouting, “Donald Trump will stop you!” and other Trump-related remarks. Police arrested downing, of Waterford, Connecticut, for public intoxication. It’s unclear what came of the charge.

Oct. 22, 2017: A 44-year-old California man threatened to kill Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., for her frequent criticism of Trump and her promise to “take out” the president. Anthony Scott Lloyd left a voicemail at the congresswoman’s Washington office, declaring: “If you continue to make threats towards the president, you’re going to wind up dead, Maxine. Cause we’ll kill you.” After pleading guilty to one count of threatening a U.S. official, Lloyd asked the judge for leniency, saying he suffered from addiction-inducing mental illness and became “far too immersed in listening to polarizing political commentators and engaging in heated political debates online.” His lawyer put it this way to the judge: “Mr. Lloyd was a voracious consumer of political news online, on television and on radio … [that are] commonly viewed as ‘right wing,’ unconditionally supportive of President Trump, and fiercely critical of anyone who opposed President Trump’s policies.” The judge sentenced Lloyd to six months of house arrest and three years of probation.

August 2018: After the Boston Globe called on news outlets around the country to resist what it called “Trump’s assault on journalism,” the Boston Globe received more than a dozen threatening phone calls. “You are the enemy of the people,” the alleged caller, 68-year-old Robert Chain of Encino, California, told a Boston Globe employee on Aug. 22. “As long as you keep attacking the President, the duly elected President of the United States … I will continue to threat[en], harass, and annoy the Boston Globe.” A week later, authorities arrested Chain on threat-related charges. After a hearing in his case, he told reporters, “America was saved when Donald J. Trump was elected president.” Chain has pleaded guilty to seven threat-related charges, and he is awaiting sentencing.

Oct. 4, 2018: The Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida arrested 53-year-old James Patrick of Winter Haven, Florida, for allegedly threatening “to kill Democratic office holders, members of their families and members of both local and federal law enforcement agencies,” according to a police report. In messages posted online, Patrick detailed a “plan” for his attacks, which he said he would launch if then-nominee Brett Kavanaugh was not confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, the police report said. Seeking Patrick’s release from jail after his arrest, Patrick’s attorney, Terri Stewart, told a judge that her client’s “rantings” were akin to comments from “a certain high-ranking official” — Trump. The president had “threatened the North Korean people — to blow them all up. It was on Twitter,” Stewart said, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Patrick has been charged with making a written threat to kill or injure, and he has pleaded not guilty. His trial is pending.

Late October 2018: Over the course of a week, Florida man Cesar Sayoc allegedly mailed at least 15 potential bombs to prominent critics of Trump and members of the media. Sayoc had been living in a van plastered with pro-Trump stickers, and he had posted several pro-Trump messages on social media. Federal prosecutors have accused him of “domestic terrorism,” and Sayoc has since pleaded guilty to 65 counts, including use of a weapon of mass destruction. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. “We believe the president’s rhetoric contributed to Mr. Sayoc’s behavior,” Sayoc’s attorney told the judge at sentencing.

Dec. 4, 2018: Michael Brogan, 51, of Brooklyn, New York, left a voicemail at an unidentified U.S. Senator’s office in Washington insisting, “I’m going to put a bullet in ya. … You and your constant lambasting of President Trump. Oh, reproductive rights, reproductive rights.” He later told an FBI agent that before leaving the voicemail he became “very angry” by “an internet video of the Senator, including the Senator’s criticism of the President of the United States as well as the Senator’s views on reproductive rights.” “The threats were made to discourage the Senator from criticizing the President,” the Justice Department said in a later press release. Brogan has since pleaded guilty to one count of threatening a U.S. official, and he is awaiting sentencing.

Jan. 17, 2019: Stephen Taubert of Syracuse, New York, was arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police for threatening to kill Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and for threatening to “hang” former President Barack Obama. Taubert used “overtly bigoted, hateful language” in his threats, according to federal prosecutors. On July 20, 2018, Taubert called the congresswoman’s Los Angeles office to say he would find her at public events and kill her and her entire staff. In a letter to the judge just days before Taubert’s trial began, his defense attorney, Courtenay McKeon, noted: “During that time period, Congresswoman Waters was embroiled in a public feud with the Trump administration. … On June 25, 2018, in response to Congresswoman Waters’ public statements, President Trump tweeted: ‘Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has … just called for harm to supporters … of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!'” As McKeon insisted to the judge: “This context is relevant to the case.” A federal jury ultimately convicted Taubert on three federal charges, including retaliating against a federal official and making a threat over state lines. He was sentenced to nearly four years in prison.

Jan. 22, 2019: David Boileau of Holiday, Florida, was arrested by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for allegedly burglarizing an Iraqi family’s home and “going through” their mailbox, according to a police report. After officers arrived at the home, Boileau “made several statements of his dislike for people of Middle Eastern descent,” the report said. “He also stated if he doesn’t get rid of them, Trump will handle it.” The police report noted that a day before, Boileau threw screws at a vehicle outside the family’s house. On that day, Boileau allegedly told police, “We’ll get rid of them one way or another.” Boileau, 58, has since pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of trespassing, and he was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Feb. 15, 2019: The FBI in Maryland arrested a Marine veteran and U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant, Christopher Paul Hasson, who they said was stockpiling weapons and “espoused” racist and anti-immigrant views for years as he sought to “murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.” In court documents, prosecutors said the 49-year-old “domestic terrorist” compiled a “hit list” of prominent Democrats. Two months later, while seeking Hasson’s release from jail before trial, his public defender, Elizabeth Oyer, told a federal judge: “This looks like the sort of list that our commander-in-chief might have compiled while watching Fox News in the morning. … Is it legitimately frustrating that offensive language and ideology has now become part of our national vocabulary? Yes, it is very frustrating. But … it is hard to differentiate it from the random musings of someone like Donald Trump who uses similar epithets in his everyday language and tweets.” Hasson faces weapons-related charges and was being detained as he awaits trial. He has pleaded not guilty.

March 16, 2019: Anthony Comello, 24, of Staten Island, New York, was taken into custody for allegedly killing Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali, the reputed head of the infamous Gambino crime family. It marked the first mob boss murder in New York in 30 years, law enforcement officials told ABC News the murder may have stemmed from Comello’s romantic relationship with a Cali family member. Court documents since filed in state court by Comello’s defense attorney, Robert Gottlieb, said Comello suffers from mental defect and was a believer in the “conspiratorial fringe right-wing political group” QAnon. In addition, Gottlieb wrote: “Beginning with the election of President Trump in November 2016, Anthony Comello’s family began to notice changes to his personality. … Mr. Comello became certain that he was enjoying the protection of President Trump himself, and that he had the president’s full support. Mr. Comello grew to believe that several well-known politicians and celebrities were actually members of the Deep State, and were actively trying to bring about the destruction of America.” Comello has been charged with one count of murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. His trial is pending, and he has pleaded not guilty.

April 5, 2019: The FBI arrested a 55-year-old man from upstate New York for allegedly threatening to kill Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., one of the first two Muslim women elected to the U.S. Congress. She is an outspoken critic of Trump, and Trump has frequently launched public attacks against her and three other female lawmakers of color. Two weeks before his arrest, Patrick Carlineo Jr. allegedly called Omar’s office in Washington labeling the congresswoman a “terrorist” and declaring: “I’ll put a bullet in her f—-ing skull.” When an FBI agent then traced the call to Carlineo and interviewed him, Carlineo “stated that he was a patriot, that he loves the President, and that he hates radical Muslims in our government,” according to the FBI agent’s summary of the interview. Federal prosecutors charged Carlineo with threatening to assault and murder a United States official. Carlineo is awaiting trial, although his defense attorney and federal prosecutors are working on what his attorney called another “possible resolution” of the case.

April 18, 2019: The FBI arrested John Joseph Kless of Tamarac, Florida, for calling the Washington offices of three prominent Democrats and threatening to kill each of them. At his home, authorities found a loaded handgun in a backpack, an AR-15 rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. In later pleading guilty to one charge of transmitting threats over state lines, Kless admitted that in a threatening voicemail targeting Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., he stated: “You won’t f—ing tell Americans what to say, and you definitely don’t tell our president, Donald Trump, what to say.” Tlaib, a vocal critic of Trump, was scheduled to speak in Florida four days later. Kless was awaiting sentencing. In a letter to the federal judge, he said he “made a very big mistake,” never meant to hurt anyone, and “was way out of line with my language and attitude.”

April 24, 2019: The FBI arrested 30-year-old Matthew Haviland of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, for allegedly sending a series of violent and threatening emails to a college professor in Massachusetts who publicly expressed support for abortion rights and strongly criticized Trump. In one of 28 emails sent to the professor on March 10, 2019, Haviland allegedly called the professor “pure evil” and said “all Democrats must be eradicated,” insisting the country now has “a president who’s taking our country in a place of more freedom rather than less.” In another email the same day, Haviland allegedly wrote the professor: “I will rip every limb from your body and … I will kill every member of your family.” According to court documents, Haviland’s longtime friend later told the FBI that “within the last year, Haviland’s views regarding abortion and politics have become more extreme … at least in part because of the way the news media portrays President Trump.” Haviland has been charged with cyberstalking and transmitting a threat in interstate commerce. His trial is pending.

June 5, 2019: The FBI arrested a Utah man for allegedly calling the U.S. Capitol more than 2,000 times over several months and threatening to kill Democratic lawmakers, whom he said were “trying to destroy Trump’s presidency.” “I am going to take up my second amendment right, and shoot you liberals in the head,” 54-year-old Scott Brian Haven allegedly stated in one of the calls on Oct. 18, 2018, according to charging documents. When an FBI agent later interviewed Haven, he “explained the phone calls were made during periods of frustration with the way Democrats were treating President Trump,” the charging documents said. The FBI visit, however, didn’t stop Haven from making more threats, including: On March 21, 2019, he called an unidentified U.S. senator’s office to say that if Democrats refer to Trump as Hitler again he will shoot them, and two days later he called an unidentified congressman’s office to say he “was going to take [the congressman] out … because he is trying to remove a duly elected President.” A federal grand jury has since charged Haven with one count of transmitting a threat over state lines. Haven pleaded not guilty and was awaiting trial.

Aug. 3, 2019: A gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people and injuring 24 others. The FBI labeled the massacre an act of “domestic terrorism,” and police determined that the alleged shooter, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, posted a lengthy anti-immigrant diatribe online before the attack. “We attribute that manifesto directly to him,” according to El Paso police chief Greg Allen. Describing the coming assault as “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas,” the screed’s writer said “the media” would “blame Trump’s rhetoric” for the attack but insisted his anti-immigrant views “predate Trump” — an apparent acknowledgement that at least some of his views align with some of Trump’s public statements. The writer began his online essay by stating that he generally “support[s]” the previous writings of the man who killed 51 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand earlier this year. In that case, the shooter in New Zealand said he absolutely did not support Trump as “a policy maker and leader” — but “[a]s a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure.” Crusius has been charged with capital murder by the state of Texas.

Crimes Against Trumpanzees

Jan. 3, 2017: In Chicago, four young African-Americans — sisters Brittany and Tanishia Covington, Jordan Hill and Tesfaye Cooper — tied up a white, mentally disabled man and assaulted him, forcing him to recite the phrases “F–k Donald Trump” and “F–k white people” while they broadcast the attack online. Each of them ultimately pleaded guilty to committing a hate crime and other charges, and three of them were sentenced to several years in prison.

May 11, 2017: Authorities arrested Steven Martan of Tucson, Arizona, after he left three threatening messages at the office Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. In one message, he told McSally he was going to “blow your brains out,” and in another he told her that her “days are numbered.” He later told FBI agents “that he was venting frustrations with Congresswoman McSally’s congressional votes in support of the President of the United States,” according to charging documents. Martan’s attorney, Walter Goncalves Jr., later told a judge that Martan had “an alcohol problem” and left the messages “after becoming intoxicated” and “greatly upset” by news that McSally “agreed with decisions by President Donald Trump.” Martan, 58, has since pleaded guilty to three counts of retaliating against a federal official and was sentenced to more than one year in prison.

April 6, 2018: The FBI arrested 38-year-old Christopher Michael McGowan of Roanoke, Virginia, for allegedly posting a series of Twitter threats against Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., over several months. In one posting in December 2017, McGowan wrote to Goodlatte: “I threatened to kill you if you help Trump violate the constitution,” according to charging documents. In another alleged post, the self-described Army veteran wrote: “If Trump tries to fire [special counsel Robert] Mueller I WILL make an attempt to execute a citizens arrest against [Goodlatte] and I will kill him if he resist.” In subsequent statements to police, he said he drinks too much, was “hoping to get someone’s attention over his concerns about the current status of our country,” and did not actually intend to harm Goodlatte, court documents recount. A federal grand jury has indicted McGowan on one count of transmitting a threat over state lines, and it’s unclear if he has entered a plea as he awaits trial.

July 6, 2018: Martin Astrof, 75, approached a volunteer at the campaign office of Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., in Suffolk County, New York, and “state[d] he was going to kill supporters of U.S. congressman Lee Zeldin and President Donald Trump,” according to charging documents. Astrof was arrested and ultimately pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment. He was sentenced to one year of probation.

Feb. 15, 2019: Police in Falmouth, Massachusetts, arrested 41-year-old Rosiane Santos after she “verbally assault[ed]” a man for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat in a Mexican restaurant and then “violently push[ed] his head down,” according to police reports. Apparently intoxicated, “she stated that [the victim] was a ‘motherf—-r’ for supporting Trump,” one of the responding officers wrote. “She also stated that he shouldn’t be allowed in a Mexican restaurant with that.” Santos was in the United States unlawfully, federal authorities said. Police arrested her on charges of “simple assault” and disorderly conduct. She has since admitted in local court that there are “sufficient facts” to warrant charges, and she has been placed on a form of probation.

Feb. 25, 2019: An 18-year-old student at Edmond Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Oklahoma, was captured on cellphone video “confronting a younger classmate who [was] wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat and carrying a ‘Trump’ flag,” according to a press release from the local school system. “The [older] student then proceeds to grab the flag and knock the hat off of his classmate’s head.” The 18-year-old student was charged in local court with assault and battery, according to Edmond City Attorney Steve Murdock. The student has since pleaded guilty and was placed on probation, Murdock added.

April 13, 2019: 27-year-old Jovan Crawford, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and 25-year-old Scott Roberson Washington, D.C., assaulted and robbed a black man wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat while walking through his suburban Maryland neighborhood. Before punching and kicking him, “The two suspects harassed [the victim] about the hat and asked why he was wearing it. [The victim] told them he has his own beliefs and views,” according to charging documents filed after their arrest by Montgomery County, Maryland, police. Crawford later received a text message noting that, “They jumped some trump supporter,” the charging documents said. Crawford and Roberson have since pleaded guilty to assault charges and are awaiting sentencing.

The Heresy of White Christianity

The Heresy of White Christianity
By Chris Hedges
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-heresy-of-white-christianity/

There are, as Cornel West has pointed out, only two African-Americans who rose from dirt-poor poverty to the highest levels of American intellectual life—the writer Richard Wright and the radical theologian James H. Cone.

Cone, who died in April, grew up in segregated Bearden, Ark., the impoverished son of a woodcutter who had only a sixth-grade education. With an almost superhuman will, Cone clawed his way up from the Arkansas cotton fields to implode theological studies in the United States with his withering critique of the white supremacy and racism inherent within the white, liberal Christian church. His brilliance—he was a Greek scholar and wrote his doctoral dissertation on the Swiss theologian Karl Barth—enabled him to “turn the white man’s theology against him and make it speak for the liberation of black people.” God’s revelation in America, he understood, “was found among poor black people.” Privileged white Christianity and its theology were “heresy.” He was, until the end of his life, possessed by what the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr called “sublime madness.” His insights, he writes, “came to me as if revealed by the spirits of my ancestors long dead but now coming alive to haunt and torment the descendants of the whites who had killed them.”

“When it became clear to me that Jesus was not biologically white and that white scholars actually lied by not telling people who he really was, I stopped trusting anything they said,” he writes in his posthumous memoir, “Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody: The Making of a Black Theologian,” published in October.

“White supremacy is America’s original sin and liberation is the Bible’s central message,” he writes in his book. “Any theology in America that fails to engage white supremacy and God’s liberation of black people from that evil is not Christian theology but a theology of the Antichrist.”

White supremacy “is the Antichrist in America because it has killed and crippled tens of millions of black bodies and minds in the modern world,” he writes. “It has also committed genocide against the indigenous people of this land. If that isn’t demonic, I don’t know what is … [and] it is found in every aspect of American life, especially churches, seminaries, and theology.”

Cone, who spent most of his life teaching at New York City’s Union Theological Seminary, where the theological luminaries Paul Tillich and Reinhold Niebuhr preceded him, was acutely aware that “there are a lot of brilliant theologians and most are irrelevant and some are evil.”

Of the biblical story of Cain’s murder of Abel, Cone writes: “… [T]he Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ He said, ‘I don’t know; am I my brother’s keeper?’ And the Lord said, ‘What have you done? Listen: your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!’ ” Cain, in Cone’s eyes, symbolizes white people, as Abel symbolizes black people.

“God is asking white Americans, especially Christians, ‘Where are your black brothers and sisters?’ ” Cone writes. “And whites respond, ‘We don’t know. Are we their keepers?’ And the Lord says, ‘What have you done to them for four centuries?’ ”

The stark truth he elucidated unsettled his critics and even some of his admirers, who were forced to face their own complicity in systems of oppression. “People cannot bear very much reality,” T.S. Eliot wrote. And the reality Cone relentlessly exposed was one most white Americans seek to deny.

“Christianity is essentially a religion of liberation,” Cone writes. “The function of theology is that of analyzing the meaning of that liberation for the oppressed community so they can know that their struggle for political, social, and economic justice is consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Any message that is not related to the liberation of the poor is not Christ’s message. Any theology that is indifferent to the theme of liberation is not Christian theology. In a society where [people] are oppressed because they are black, Christian theology must become Black Theology, a theology that is unreservedly identified with the goals of the oppressed community and seeking to interpret the divine character of their struggle for liberation.”

The Detroit rebellion of 1967 and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. a year later were turning points in Cone’s life. This was when he—at the time a professor at Adrian College, a largely white college in Adrian, Mich.—removed his mask, a mask that, as the poet Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote, “grins and lies.”

“I felt that white liberals had killed King, helped by those Negroes who thought he was moving too fast,” he writes. “Even though they didn’t pull the trigger, they had refused to listen to King when he proclaimed God’s judgment on America for failing to deal with the three great evils of our time: poverty, racism, and war. The white liberal media demonized King, accusing him of meddling in America’s foreign affairs by opposing the Vietnam War and blaming him for provoking violence wherever he led a march. White liberals, however, accepted no responsibility for King’s murder, and they refused to understand why Negroes were rioting and burning down their communities.”

“I didn’t want to talk to white people about King’s assassination or about the uprisings in the cities,” he writes of that period in his life. “[I]t was too much of an emotional burden to explain racism to racists, and I had nothing to say to them. I decided to have my say in writing. I’d give them something to read and talk about.”

Cone is often described as the father of black liberation theology, although he was also, maybe more importantly, one of the very few contemporary theologians who understood and championed the radical message of the Gospel. Theological studies are divided into pre-Cone and post-Cone eras. Post-Cone theology has largely been an addendum or reaction to his work, begun with his first book, “Black Theology and Black Power,” published in 1969. He wrote the book, he says, “as an attack on racism in white churches and an attack on self-loathing in black churches. I was not interested in making an academic point about theology; rather, I was issuing a manifesto against whiteness and for blackness in an effort to liberate Christians from white supremacy.”

Cone never lost his fire. He never sold out to become a feted celebrity.

“I didn’t care what white theologians thought about black liberation theology,” he writes. “They didn’t give a damn about black people. We were invisible to their writings, not even worthy of mention. Why should I care about what they thought?”

“After more than fifty years of working with, writing about, talking to white theologians, I have to say that most are wasting their time and energy, as far as I am concerned,” he writes, an observation that I, having been forced as a seminary student to plow through the turgid, jargon-filled works of white theologians, can only second. Cone blasted churches, including black churches that emphasize personal piety and the prosperity gospel, as “the worst place to learn about Christianity.”

His body of work, including his masterpieces “Martin & Malcolm & America” and “The Cross and the Lynching Tree,” is vital for understanding America and the moral failure of the white liberal church and white liberal power structure. Cone’s insight is an important means of recognizing and fighting systemic and institutionalized racism, especially in an age of Donald Trump.

“I write on behalf of all those whom the Salvadoran theologian and martyr Ignacio Ellacuría called ‘the crucified peoples of history,’ ” Cone writes in his memoir. “I write for the forgotten and the abused, the marginalized and the despised. I write for those who are penniless, jobless, landless, all those who have no political or social power. I write for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and those who are transgender. I write for immigrants stranded on the U.S. border and for undocumented farmworkers toiling in misery in the nation’s agricultural fields. I write for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, on the West Bank, and in East Jerusalem. I write for Muslims and refugees who live under the terror of war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. And I write for all people who care about humanity. I believe that until Americans, especially Christians and theologians, can see the cross and the lynching tree together, until we can identify Christ with ‘recrucified’ black bodies hanging from lynching trees, there can be no genuine understanding of Christian identity in America, and no deliverance from the brutal legacy of slavery and white supremacy.”

The cross, Cone reminded us, is not an abstraction; it is the instrument of death used by the oppressor to crucify the oppressed. And the cross is all around us. He writes in “The Cross and the Lynching Tree”:

The cross is a paradoxical religious symbol because it inverts the world’s value system, proclaiming that hope comes by way of defeat, that suffering and death do not have the last word, that the last shall be first and the first last. Secular intellectuals find this idea absurd, but it is profoundly real in the spiritual life of black folk. For many who were tortured and lynched, the crucified Christ often manifested God’s loving and liberating presence within the great contradictions of black life. The cross of Jesus is what empowered black Christians to believe, ultimately, that they would not be defeated by the “troubles of the world,” no matter how great and painful their suffering. Only people stripped of power could understand this absurd claim of faith. The cross was God’s critique of power—white power—with powerless love, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

Present-day Christians misinterpret the cross when they make it a nonoffensive religious symbol, a decorative object in their homes and churches. The cross, therefore, needs the lynching tree to remind us what it means when we say that God is revealed in Jesus at Golgotha, the place of the skull, on the cross where criminals and rebels against the Roman state were executed. The lynching tree is America’s cross. What happened to Jesus in Jerusalem happened to blacks in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Lynched black bodies are symbols of Christ’s body. If we want to understand what the crucifixion means for Americans today, we must view it through the lens of mutilated black bodies whose lives are destroyed in the criminal justice system. Jesus continues to be lynched before our eyes. He is crucified wherever people are tormented. That is why I say Christ is black.

Every once in a while, when Cone expressed something he thought was particularly important, he would say, “That’s Charlie talking.” To know Cone was to know Charlie and Lucy, his parents, who wrapped him and his brothers in unconditional love that held at bay the dehumanizing fear, discrimination and humiliation that came with living in Jim and Jane Crow Arkansas. He, like poet and novelist Claude McKay, said that what he wrote was “urged out of my blood,” adding “in my case the blood of blacks in Bearden and elsewhere who saw what I saw, felt what I felt, and loved what I loved.”

The essence of Cone was embodied in this radical love, a love that was not rooted in abstractions but the particular reality of his parents and his people. The ferocity of his anger at the injustice endured by the oppressed was matched only by the ferocity of his love. He cared. And because he cared, he carried the hurt and pain of the oppressed, the crucified of the earth, within him. As a boy, after dark, he waited by the window for his father to return home, knowing that to be a black man out on the roads in Arkansas at night meant you might never reach home. He spent his life, in a sense, at that window. He wrote and spoke not only for the forgotten, but also in a very tangible way for Charlie and Lucy. He instantly saw through hypocrisy and detested the pretentions of privilege. He never forgot who he was. He never forgot where he came from. His life was lived to honor his parents and all who were like his parents. He had unmatched courage, integrity and wisdom; indeed he was one of the wisest people I have ever known.

Cone was acutely aware, as Charles H. Long wrote, that “those who have lived in the cultures of the oppressed know something about freedom that the oppressors will never know.” He reminded us that our character is measured by what we have overcome. Despair, for him, was sin.

“What was beautiful about slavery?” Cone asks in his memoir. “Nothing, rationally! But the spirituals, folklore, slave religion, and slave narratives are beautiful, and they came out of slavery. How do we explain that miracle? What’s beautiful about lynching and Jim Crow segregation? Nothing! Yet the blues, jazz, great preaching, and gospel music are beautiful, and they came out of the post-slavery brutalities of white supremacy. In the 1960s we proclaimed ‘Black is beautiful!’ because it is. We raised our fists to “I’m Black and I’m Proud,’ and we showed ‘Black Pride’ in our walk and talk, our song and sermon.”

He goes on:

We were not destroyed by white supremacy. We resisted it, created a beautiful culture, the civil rights and Black Power movements, which are celebrated around the world. [James] Baldwin asked black people “to accept the past and to learn to live with it.” “I beg the black people of this country,” he said, shortly after “Fire” [“The Fire Next Time”] was published, “to do something which I know to be very difficult; to be proud of the auction block, and all that rope, and all that fire, and all that pain.”

To see beauty in tragedy is very difficult. One needs theological eyes to do that. We have to look beneath the surface and get to the source. Baldwin was not blind. He saw both the tragedy and the beauty in black suffering and its redeeming value. That was why he said that suffering can become a bridge that connects people with one another, blacks with whites and people of all cultures with one another. Suffering is sorrow and joy, tragedy and triumph. It connected blacks with one another and made us stronger. We know anguish and pain and have moved beyond it. The real question about suffering is how to use it. “If you can accept the pain that almost kills you,” says Vivaldo, Baldwin’s character in his novel Another Country, “you can use it, you can become better.” But “that’s hard to do,” Eric, another character, responds. “I know,” Vivaldo acknowledges. If you don’t accept the pain, “you get stopped with whatever it was that ruined you and you make it happen over and over again and your life has—ceased, really—because you can’t move or change or love anymore.” But if you accept it, “you realize that your suffering does not isolate you,” Baldwin says in his dialogue with Nikki Giovanni; “your suffering is your bridge.” Singing the blues and the spirituals is using suffering, letting it become your bridge moving forward. “For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard,” Baldwin writes in his short story “Sonny’s Blues.” “There isn’t any other tale to tell, and it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness.”

“I would rather be a part of the culture that resisted lynching than the one that lynched,” Cone writes at the end of the book. “I would rather be the one who suffered wrong than the one who did wrong. The one who suffered wrong is stronger than the one who did wrong. Jesus was stronger than his crucifiers. Blacks are stronger than whites. Black religion is more creative and meaningful and true than white religion. That is why I love black religion, folklore, and the blues. Black culture keeps black people from hating white people. Every Sunday morning, we went to church to exorcize hate—of ourselves and of white racists.”

There will come difficult moments in our own lives, moments when we are faced with an impulse, driven by fear or self-interest or simple expediency, to turn away at the sight of suffering and injustice. We will hear the cries of the oppressed and want to shut them out. We will count the cost to our careers, our reputations and perhaps our security, for to truly stand with the oppressed is to be treated like the oppressed. But a force greater than our own will compel us to kneel down and pick up the cross. The weight will cut into our shoulders. Our step will slow. Our breathing will become labored. We will be condemned by the powerful and ignored or reviled by the indifferent. But we will demand justice. And when we do, we will say to ourselves, “That’s Cone talking.”

Onward, Christian Fascists

Onward, Christian Fascists
By Chris Hedges: Chris Hedges is a Truthdig columnist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a New York Times best-selling author, a professor in the college degree program offered to New Jersey state prisoners by Rutgers University, and an ordained Presbyterian minister.
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/onward-christian-fascists/

The greatest moral failing of the liberal Christian church was its refusal, justified in the name of tolerance and dialogue, to denounce the followers of the Christian right as heretics. By tolerating the intolerant it ceded religious legitimacy to an array of con artists, charlatans and demagogues and their cultish supporters. It stood by as the core Gospel message—concern for the poor and the oppressed—was perverted into a magical world where God and Jesus showered believers with material wealth and power. The white race, especially in the United States, became God’s chosen agent. Imperialism and war became divine instruments for purging the world of infidels and barbarians, evil itself. Capitalism, because God blessed the righteous with wealth and power and condemned the immoral to poverty and suffering, became shorn of its inherent cruelty and exploitation. The iconography and symbols of American nationalism became intertwined with the iconography and symbols of the Christian faith. The mega-pastors, narcissists who rule despotic, cult-like fiefdoms, make millions of dollars by using this heretical belief system to prey on the mounting despair and desperation of their congregations, victims of neoliberalism and deindustrialization. These believers find in Donald Trump a reflection of themselves, a champion of the unfettered greed, cult of masculinity, lust for violence, white supremacy, bigotry, American chauvinism, religious intolerance, anger, racism and conspiracy theories that define the central beliefs of the Christian right. When I wrote “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” I was deadly serious about the term “fascists.”

The evangelical magazine Christianity Today, by stating the obvious about Trump, that he is immoral and should be removed from office, became the latest recipient of the Christian right’s vicious and hypocritical backlash. Nearly 200 evangelical leaders, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Rep. Michele Bachmann, Jerry Falwell Jr. and Ralph Reed, signed a joint letter denouncing the Christianity Today editorial, written by the magazine’s president, Timothy Dalrymple, and outgoing Editor Mark Galli. Evangelical Christians who criticize Trump are as swiftly disappeared from the ranks as Republican politicians who criticize Trump. Trump received 80% of the white evangelical vote in the 2016 presidential election, and in a poll this month 90% of Republicans said they opposed impeachment and ouster of the president. Among Republicans who identify as white evangelical Protestants, that number rises to 99%.

Tens of millions of Americans live hermetically sealed inside the vast media and educational edifice controlled by Christian fascists. In this world, miracles are real, Satan, allied with secular humanists and Muslims, is seeking to destroy America, and Trump is God’s anointed vessel to build the Christian nation and cement into place a government that instills “biblical values.” These “biblical values” include banning abortion, protecting the traditional family, turning the Ten Commandments into secular law, crushing “infidels,” especially Muslims, indoctrinating children in schools with “biblical” teachings and thwarting sexual license, which includes any sexual relationship other than in a marriage between a man and a woman. Trump is routinely compared by evangelical leaders to the biblical king Cyrus, who rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem and restored the Jews to the city.

Trump has filled his own ideological void with Christian fascism. He has elevated members of the Christian right to prominent positions, including Mike Pence to the vice presidency, Mike Pompeo to secretary of state, Betsy DeVos to secretary of education, Ben Carson to secretary of housing and urban development, William Barr to attorney general, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and the televangelist Paula White to his Faith and Opportunities Initiative. More importantly, Trump has handed the Christian right veto and appointment power over key positions in government, especially in the federal courts. He has installed 133 district court judges out of 677 total, 50 appeals court judges out of 179 total, and two U.S. Supreme Court justices out of nine. Almost all of these judges were, in effect, selected by the Federalist Society and the Christian right. Many of the extremists who make up the judicial appointees have been rated as unqualified by the American Bar Association, the country’s largest nonpartisan coalition of lawyers. Trump has moved to ban Muslim immigrants and rolled back civil rights legislation. He has made war on reproductive rights by restricting abortion and defunding Planned Parenthood. He has stripped away LGBTQ rights. He has ripped down the firewall between church and state by revoking the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits churches, which are tax-exempt, from endorsing political candidates. His appointees throughout the government routinely use biblical strictures to justify an array of policy decisions including environmental deregulation, war, tax cuts and the replacement of public schools with charter schools, an action that permits the transfer of federal education funds to private “Christian” schools.

I studied ethics at Harvard Divinity School with James Luther Adams, who had been in Germany in 1935 and 1936. Adams witnessed the rise there of the so-called Christian Church, which was pro-Nazi. He warned us about the disturbing parallels between the German Christian Church and the Christian right. Adolf Hitler was in the eyes of the German Christian Church a volk messiah and an instrument of God—a view similar to the one held today about Trump by many of his white evangelical supporters. Those demonized for Germany’s economic collapse, especially Jews and communists, were agents of Satan. Fascism, Adams told us, always cloaked itself in a nation’s most cherished symbols and rhetoric. Fascism would come to America not in the guise of stiff-armed, marching brownshirts and Nazi swastikas but in mass recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance, the biblical sanctification of the state and the sacralization of American militarism. Adams was the first person I heard label the extremists of the Christian right as fascists. Liberals, he warned, as in Nazi Germany, were blind to the tragic dimension of history and radical evil. They would not react until it was too late.

Trump’s legacy will be the empowerment of the Christian fascists. They are what comes next. For decades they have been organizing to take power. They have built infrastructures and organizations, including lobbying groups, schools and universities as well as media platforms, to prepare. They have seeded their cadre into the political system. We on the left, meanwhile, have seen our institutions and organizations destroyed or corrupted by corporate power.

The Christian fascists, as in all totalitarian movements, need a crisis, manufactured or real, in order to seize power. This crisis may be financial. It could be triggered by a catastrophic terrorist attack. Or it could be the result of a societal breakdown from our climate emergency. The Christian fascists are poised to take advantage of the chaos, or perceived chaos. They have their own version of the brownshirts, the for-hire mercenary armies and private contractors amassed by Christian fascists such as Erik Prince, the brother of Betsy DeVos. The Christian fascists have seized control of significant portions of the judiciary and legislative branches of government. FRC Action, the legislative affiliate of the Family Research Council, gives 245 members of Congress a perfect 100% for votes that support the agenda of the Christian right. The Family Research Council, which has called on its followers to pray that God will vanquish the “demonic forces” behind Trump’s impeachment, is identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group because of its campaigns to discriminate against the LGBTQ community.

The ideology of the Christian fascists panders in our decline to the primitive yearnings for the vengeance, new glory and moral renewal that are found among those pushed aside by deindustrialization and austerity. Reason, facts and verifiable truth are impotent weapons against this belief system. The Christian right is a “crisis cult.” Crisis cults arise in most collapsing societies. They promise, through magic, to recover the lost grandeur and power of a mythologized past. This magical thinking banishes doubt, anxiety and feelings of disempowerment. Traditional social hierarchies and rules, including an unapologetic white, male supremacy, will be restored. Rituals and behaviors including an unquestioning submission to authority and acts of violence to cleanse the society of evil will vanquish malevolent forces.

The Christian fascists propagate their magical thinking through a selective literalism in addressing the Bible. They hold up as sacrosanct biblical passages that buttress their ideology and ignore, or grossly misinterpret, the ones that do not. They live in a binary universe. They see themselves as eternal victims, oppressed by dark and sinister groups seeking their annihilation. They alone know the will of God. They alone can fulfill God’s will. They seek total cultural and political domination. The secular, reality-based world, one where Satan, miracles, destiny, angels and magic do not exist, destroyed their lives and communities. That world took away their jobs and their futures. It ripped apart the social bonds that once gave them purpose, dignity and hope. In their despair they often struggled with alcohol, drug and gambling addictions. They endured familial breakdown, divorce, evictions, unemployment and domestic and sexual violence. The only thing that saved them was their conversion, the realization that God had a plan for them and would protect them. These believers were pushed by a callous, heartless corporate society and rapacious oligarchy into the arms of charlatans. All who speak to them in the calm, rational language of fact and evidence are hated and ultimately feared, for they seek to force believers back into “the culture of death” that nearly destroyed them.

We can blunt the rise of this Christian fascism only by reintegrating exploited and abused Americans into society, giving them jobs with stable, sustainable incomes, relieving their crushing personal debts, rebuilding their communities and transforming our failed democracy into one in which everyone has agency and a voice. We must impart to them hope, not only for themselves but for their children.

Christian fascism is an emotional life raft for tens of millions. It is impervious to the education, dialogue and discourse the liberal class naively believes can blunt or domesticate the movement. The Christian fascists, by choice, have severed themselves from rational thought. We will not placate or disarm this movement, bent on our destruction, by attempting to claim that we too have Christian “values.” This appeal only strengthens the legitimacy of the Christian fascists and weakens our own. We will transform American society to a socialist system that provides meaning, dignity and hope to all citizens, that cares and nurtures the most vulnerable among us, or we will become the victims of the Christian fascists we created.