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Marxism, religious liberty, and LGBT issues: meet the GA run-off candidates

The Human Rights Campaign has endorsed the pro-Castro candidate over religious liberty.

Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue // 11Alive.com

Background

Georgia’s Senate runoff election will take place on Jan. 5, 2021. This dual election was triggered under Georgia’s unusual law requiring a runoff between the first- and second-place finishers if no general election candidate gets a majority of the vote.

  • In the regularly scheduled U.S. Senate election held Nov. 3, the incumbent David Perdue received 49.7 percent of the vote, to 48 percent for challenger Jon Ossoff.
  • In a special election, held Nov. 3 to fill the unexpired term of Johnny Isakson, appointed incumbent Kelly Loeffler received 25.9 percent of the vote in a 21-person race, trailing the top Democrat, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, who received 32.9 percent. Loeffler’s top Republican rival received 20 percent of the vote, while Warnock’s top Democratic rival received 6.6 percent.

Georgia has been a Republican-oriented state only in the 21st Century. The Perdue seat was held by Democrats from 1852-2003, and by Republicans since. The Loeffler seat was held by Democrats from 1873-1981, followed by a period in 1981-2005 in which it alternated between the two major parties; it’s been Republican since 2005. Georgia’s governorship was Democrat from 1872-2003, and has been Republican since. Nonsensically, Democrats and most political science professors claim that Georgia went Republican due to a negative reaction on the part of so-called “whites” to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

As wealthier people have shifted to the Democratic Party, Georgia has suffered a increasing economic divide, with three-quarters of the state’s gross domestic product coming from the 12 counties around Atlanta, of 159 total, or from the 41 counties in north Georgia. Sometimes, in discussing this situation, people refer to the Gnat Line, an unofficial line from Columbus to Macon to Augusta, between the areas where gnats are more and less numerous.

As of Wednesday, Nov. 25, more than 762,000 absentee ballots had been requested in Georgia, triple the number requested in all elections in 2018. That bodes well for Democrats. On the other hand, in part because Libertarian votes tend to shift to Republicans, Republicans have won all but one of the statewide runoffs since 1988.

The organization FairVote calculates that “Run-off elections for all offices also tend to have lower turnout than first round elections, especially if the first round election takes place on the same day as several other elections. For example, of 171 regularly scheduled primary runoffs for U.S House and U.S. Senate from 1994 to 2012, all but six of them resulted in a turnout decrease between the initial primary and the runoff, meaning that 96.5% of federal runoff elections had fewer people voting in the second round than in the first. The average reduction in turnout was 35.3%. Additionally, the longer the wait between the initial primary and the runoff, the higher the decrease in voter turnout between elections. Primary elections with a gap of more than thirty days had a median decline in voter participation of 48.1%, while those with a gap of twenty days or less had a median decline of 15.4%.”

But, of course, those other runoffs were not to determine the course of the country for decades to come, perhaps forever. Democratic victories in Georgia would essentially eliminate Republicans from the political equation in Washington, allowing Democrats to add states, abolish the filibuster, put illegal entrants on a path to voting, and pack the Supreme Court so as to eliminate the independent judiciary – steps that could make the U.S. a one-party country, as Democrats made the South a one-party region for 50-100 years by changing election laws in 1882-1908.

The candidates

David Perdue (R)

Incumbent Sen. David Perdue is a businessman, mostly self-made. His parents were schoolteachers, and his father served for some 20 years as an elected Democrat school superintendent. His first cousin and former business partner is former two-term Governor and current Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

Perdue made his money at such companies as Sara Lee, Haggar, and especially Reebok, where he rejuvenated the sneaker brand with a deal with the NFL.

He was first elected to the Senate in 2014, defeating by 52.9 percent to 45.2 percent dynastic candidate Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn, who was himself the great-nephew of 50-year U.S. Representative Carl Vinson. Sam Nunn was one of the fathers of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, which excluded LGBTs from serving openly in the military.

Perdue’s website has called him “the Original Outsider in the belly of the beast, fighting to change the direction of our country.”

Perdue was accused of conducting insider trading based on information he received as a Senator regarding the Wuhan coronavirus, but he was cleared by the Senate Ethics Committee and the U.S. Justice Department.

Jon Ossoff (D)

Image // AJC

Perdue’s opponent, Jon Ossoff, is a person of great privilege. He attended an elite private school, the Paideia School, and received a bachelor’s degree from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a master’s from the London School of Economics. He served as a national security staffer to Atlanta-area U.S. Representative Hank Johnson. In a 2014 survey by Washingtonian magazine regarding members of the House, Johnson was voted “Worst Speaker” and “Most Clueless” by congressional staffers.) More recently, Ossoff was the CEO of Insight TWI, a London-based TV production company that, it was reported, worked with journalists on documentaries about corruption in foreign countries.

In a 2017 special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, once held by Newt Gingrich but strongly trending Democrat recently, Ossoff attracted national attention in a race that was considered a bellwether for future elections. He received the endorsement of Bernie Sanders. Ossoff was the frontrunner in the first round but lost 48.2 to 51.8 percent in the runoff. At more than $55 million spent on both sides, it was reported to be the most expensive U.S. House campaign in history. The seat went Democrat in 2018 and 2020.

In this campaign, Perdue has been the target of far-fetched accusations of bigotry, such as an ad featuring a picture of Ossoff was smeared as an anti-Semitic “dog whistle” and that Perdue mispronounced Kamala Harris’s first name in a racist way.

LGBT issues

In his 2014 campaign Perdue said, “I believe that we must protect traditional marriage, keeping it clearly defined as between one man and one woman. Being pro-life and believing in the sanctity of marriage are my deeply held personal convictions. I will not waver in defending them if I have the privilege of serving you in the U.S Senate.”

Perdue’s same view against redefining the term “marriage” was shared by Democrats including Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Barrack Obama just a couple years earlier.

See: The Complete Truth About Joe Biden’s LGBT Record

In 2015, Perdue opposed disgraced Sen. Al Franken’s Student Nondiscrimination Act, which failed 52-45 and needed 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. The leftwing publication Vox stated: “SNDA would protect students from discrimination and harassment in K-12 public schools based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Schools and staffers who break the law could face a private lawsuit or the risk of losing federal funding. For example, SNDA would prevent teachers from insulting LGBTQ students for their sexual orientation or gender identity, and stop school administrators from misgendering transgender kids who identify with a gender different from the one assigned to them at birth. And although it wouldn’t enforce explicit measures that ban anti-LGBTQ bullying between students, schools would be required to stop peer-to-peer harassment if they’re notified that it’s having an effect on a student’s education.”

It remains unclear the extent to which educators are harassing children based on a perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, behavior which would already be banned by existing school policies across the country. Critics also say singling out children based on perceived sexual orientation or gender identity through the legal system could result in traumatic and embarrassing situations for students.

In 2015, Perdue said, regarding the Obergefell decision, which legalized gay marriage federally, that, “Once again, we see a court that has overstepped its limited constitutional role rather than allow the American people to decide this issue.” This is a very mainstream view in legal circles. While most Americans supported gay marriage, legal scholars argue Obergefell was decided extremely poorly as the Court relied more on national mood than legal precedence.

See: Why Same Sex Marriage Will Never Be Overturned, Despite Media Fear-Mongering

Purdue is a co-sponsor of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which is described as “prohibit[ing] the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction” that “marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”

Opponents of FADA baselessly claim that it would allow discrimination against same-sex couples and their children, and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In 2015, the ACLU claimed that FADA “would open the door to unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people, single mothers, and unmarried couples. This bill would allow federal contractors, including those that provide homeless shelters or drug treatment programs, to turn away LGBT people permit a university to fire an unmarried teacher simply for becoming pregnant, [and] permit federal employees to refuse to process tax returns, visa applications, or Social Security checks for all married same-sex couples.”

That is false. It is roughly the equivalent of saying that the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in prohibiting religious discrimination, would allow a bureaucrat or government contractor, without legislative or executive authorization, to shut down government functions on a holiday acknowledged by his or her religion.

In 2017, Perdue said that transgender persons should be allowed to serve in the military but that “what I don’t think is right is for people to sign up for the military and then have all of that surgery paid for by the military.”

Based on a recent survey of 2,157 Perdue voters, the website “I Side With” claimed that those voters favor the legalization of same-sex marriage but would allow churches to refuse to perform such ceremonies.

Ossoff takes the standard far-left positions on LGBT issues, including support for the Equality Act. “I’ll support strengthening anti-bullying programs for LGBTQ youth, and I will defend and support the safety and human rights of transgender Americans,” he declared on his website, adding: “The LGBTQ community will be able to count on me to stand with them as a strong and outspoken ally.” The Christian Coalition voter guide accuses him of supporting “transgender bathrooms.”

Ossoff was endorsed in June by the left-wing Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

Kelly Loeffler (R)

Kelly Loeffler was raised on her parents’ corn and soybean farm in Illinois. In 1999, she graduated with an MBA in international finance and marketing from DePaul University. In 2002, she joined Intercontinental Exchange, a commodity and financial service provider. In 2004, she married the CEO, Jeffrey Sprecher, who is now president of the New York Stock Exchange. In 2011, together with Mary Brock (wife of John F. Brock, then the CEO of Coca Cola), she purchased the Atlanta Dream, a team in the Women’s National Basketball Association.

When Senator Johnny Isakson retired at the end of 2019, President Trump favored the appointment of U.S. Representative Doug Collins, who had vigorously defended hm in the impeachment fight. However, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp appointed Loeffler. In a 21-person race in November 2020 for the remainder of Isakson’s term, Loeffler would get 25.9 percent of the vote to beat out Collins, who got 20 percent, for a spot in the Jan. 2021 runoff against Democrat Raphael Warnock.

The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List opposed Loeffler’s appointment but endorsed her in the 2020 race.

In office, she has positioned herself as a strong supporter of the President, earning by one calculation a rating as the top Trump supporter in the Senate.

Loeffler was accused of conducting insider trading based on information she received as a Senator regarding the Wuhan coronavirus, but she was cleared by the Senate Ethics Committee and the U.S. Justice Department.

Loeffler and basketball

In July 2020, Loeffler, co-owner of the Atlanta Dream basketball team, wrote the WNBA a public letter objecting to players wearing shirts with “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Her Name” printed on them, and suggesting they wear American flags instead. (“Say Her Name” is a reference to Breonna Taylor, a woman whom many people falsely believe was a victim of murder or negligent homicide by racist police.)

In the letter, Loeffler stated her opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement, noting correctly that the organization Black Lives Matter “advocates things like defunding and abolishing the police, abolishing our military, emptying our prisons, destroying the nuclear family” and that it “promotes violence and antisemitism.” Loeffler later said that the movement was “based on Marxist principles.” Two of its three principal founders have acknowledged receiving Marxist training.

Her comments led some WNBA players to call for her removal from ownership.

Roxanne Jones, former co-chair of the board of GLAAD, suggested that Loeffler be banned from the WNBA, comparing her situation with that of L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was fined $2.4 million and banned from the league for life after tapes surfaced of racist comments.

Soccer player and left-wing activist Megan Rapinoe and her partner, WNBA player Sue Bird, helped push players to support Loeffler’s leading Democrat challenger, Raphael Warnock. The headline in LGBTQ Nation read: “WNBA players revolt against team co-owner GOP Sen Kelly Loeffler. A lesbian is the mastermind.” In August 2020, players from the Dream and several other teams wore “Vote Warnock” T-shirts. The team’s name is a reference to the iconic “I have a dream” speech by Martin Luther King. King, unlike BLM, opposed identity politics and believed in the superior ethics and effectiveness of nonviolent, rather than violent, protest.

BLM and Fidel Castro

Kelly Cohen in The Washington Examiner reported on BLM’s expressed admiration for Fidel Castro:

“Although no leader is without their flaws, we must push back against the rhetoric of the right and come to the defense of El Comandante,” the group wrote in an unsigned editorial published in response to Castro’s 2016 death, titled, “Lessons from Fidel: Black Lives Matter and the Transition of El Comandante.”

The group praised Castro’s “revolution,” and said humans deserve certain rights based on being born, including: “healthy food, clean water, decent housing, safe communities, quality healthcare, mental health services, free and quality education, community spaces, art, democratic engagement, regular vacations, sports, and places for spiritual expression are not questions of resources, but questions of political will and they are requirements of any humane society.”

The group praised Castro for harboring Assata Shakur, a former Black Panther member and convicted cop killer who remains on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list. It also supported his decision to grant refuge to “Michael Finney, Ralph Goodwin, Charles Hill and ‘so many other Black revolutionaries who were being persecuted by the American government during the Black Power era.”

The group urged its members to “pick up the mantle” of revolution from Castro. “As Fidel ascends to the realm of the ancestors, we summon his guidance, strength, and power as we recommit ourselves to the struggle for universal freedom. Fidel Vive!” Black Lives Matter wrote.

Castro, it should be noted, attempted to persuade his Soviet sponsors to nuke the United States. He called for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert; JFK was killed by a Castro follower (head of the New Orleans branch of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee), while RFK was killed by a Communist supporter of the terrorist Palestinians.

Castro put LGBT people in concentration camps where signs displayed the slogan “Work will make you men,” an obvious play on the sign at Nazi camps such as Auschwitz, “Arbeit macht frei [Work makes you free].”  Along with his Soviet sponsors and other Communist regimes, Castro’s government promoted the idea that homosexuality was the result of the decadence plaguing the capitalist world. Castro criticized the cities for tolerating gays, claiming that, “in the country, there are no homosexuals.” Gays, he said, were “agents of imperialism” and, due to their pro-U.S. views, threats to Cuba’s national security. Gay writers in Cuba were publicly disgraced and, if they were relatively fortunate, put to work as janitors and laborers.

Raphael Warnock (D)

Image // AP

Raphael Warnock is senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church once led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In the 1990s, he was youth pastor, then assistant pastor, at the radical Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York. In 1995, when he was youth pastor, the church hosted homophobic mass-murdering dictator Fidel Castro for a speech. The speech was sponsored by the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, which was created to oppose President Reagan’s work against the expansion of the Soviet Empire in Latin America. Warnock’s boss, the Reverend Calvin Butts, attended the event and praised Castro, saying it was “in our tradition to welcome those who are visionary, who are revolutionary, and who seek the freedom of all of the people around the world.” The crowd erupted into chants of “Fidel! Fidel! Fidel!” The evening ended with the singing of The Internationale, which was, until 1944, the anthem of the Soviet Union. (“This is the final struggle / Let us group together and tomorrow / The Internationale / Will be the human race.”)

Warnock, according to the left-wing FactCheck.org, has “avoid[ed] saying whether he attended the event or not.”

Warnock has come under fire for quotes from his sermons, statements suggesting racism and other forms of extremism. “America needs to repent for its worship of whiteness,” he claimed. Police, he said, display a “gangster and thug mentality.”

Warnock and anti-Semitism

Warnock wrote in praise of the infamous hate-preacher Jeremiah Wright, an anti-Semite who blamed “them Jews” for blocking his access to Barack Obama. Wright infamously preached, “Not ‘God bless America,’ ‘God damn America,’ that’s in the Bible,” and described the 9/11 attacks as America’s fault (“America’s chickens are coming home to roost”). Wright was a speaker at the 60th anniversary celebration in 2009 for the Monthly Review, the U.S.-based Marxist journal. Wright has suggested that the HIV virus was created by the U.S. government to attack its citizens.

Valerie Richardson of The Washington Times reported: “In a 2018 sermon, Mr. Warnock said, ‘It’s been a tough week. The Trump administration opened up the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem,’ before [he blasted] the Israeli government, saying its soldiers ‘shoot down unarmed Palestinian sisters and brothers like birds of prey.’”

In 2008, Warnock defended the “God damn America” sermon as part of the “truth-telling tradition of the Black church,” saying the remark was taken out of context and praising the Chicago pastor as “a preacher and a prophet.”

In 2019, Warnock signed a letter headed by the leftist National Council of Churches comparing Israel control of the West Bank to “previous oppressive regimes” such as “apartheid South Africa.”

Warnock and Marxism

In a book, Warnock wrote, “To be sure, the Marxist critique has much to teach the black church. Indeed, it has played an important role in the maturation of black theology as an intellectual discipline, deepened black theology’s apprehension of the interconnectivity of racial and class oppression and provided critical tools for a black church that has yet to awaken to a substantive third world consciousness.”

LGBT issues

Loeffler has stated that laws protecting LGBTQ persons from discrimination should also protect people’s religious freedom, that “People of faith should be protected.” 

In September 2020, Loeffler introduced legislation that would bar biological boys and men from participating in girls’ and women’s sports. The legislation would establish that, for purposes of federal anti-discrimination law such as Title IX, “sex shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.” The measure was co-sponsored by Republican Senators Mike Lee (Utah), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), James Lankford (Okla.), and Tom Cotton (Ark.). Title IX, intended to prohibit discrimination in schools based on sex, has been used to force schools to promote sports opportunities for biological girls and women.

In response to the Loeffler proposal, LGBTQ Nation reported fraudulently: “GOP Senator introduces bill that could require genital exams for girls competing in school sports.” Apparently, LGBTQ Nation is unaware of the existence of blood tests and other methods to resolve disputes as to biological sex. The organization Better Georgia suggested that there was sexism in Loeffler’s proposal because it only applied to transgender girls (biological boys) competing in girls’ sports and “there is no language specifying the same for transgender boys [biological females] participating in boys sports.”

Warnock takes the standard far-left positions on LGBT issues which seek to limit the First Amendment, religious liberty, and eradicate sex-segregated spaces for women and girls through legislation. He declared his opposition to Loeffler’s Title IX amendment. Warnock was endorsed in June by the far-left Human Rights Campaign.

In an Oct. 18, 2020 press release, the Human Rights Campaign described a large advertising effort in support of favored candidates Ossoff and Warnock.

The ads target over 55,000 Georgia “Equality Voters” in these districts where their turnout is critical to the outcome of the Presidential and Senate contests statewide. Partnering with the data and analytics firm Catalist to create an “Equality Voter Model,” HRC built on decades of voter and polling data to assess the degree to which a person is likely to support pro-LGBTQ policies — from marriage equality and adoption by LGBTQ parents, to laws that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

On Nov. 10, Pink News declared in a headline that “The future of LGBT+ rights in the US won’t be certain until next year – and could hinge on these two Georgia Democrats,” Warnock and Ossoff.

According to the article: “Ossoff and Warnock are both LGBT+ rights supporters and have both committed to co-sponsor and vote in favour of the Equality Act, should they be elected…By contrast, Perdue opposes the Equality Act and has voted for bills to undermine LGBT+ discrimination protections, and Loeffler has previously put forward bills seeking to legally erase transgender children.”

The deceptively-named Equality Act is anything but and will legalize religious persecution and strip away Constitutional rights regarding religious freedom. Several LGBT organizations, including the Log Cabin Republicans, opposed the Equality Act because it targeted a small number of religious groups from openly practicing their beliefs. The Equality Act was largely seen as LGBT overreach and not promoting equality for all Americans.

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