Thursday, July 19, 2018

'Did alleged Russian spy Maria Butina infiltrate the religious right?' & other Thur midday news briefs

Did alleged Russian spy Maria Butina infiltrate the religious right?

Y'all know how much I despise the religious right because of their deliberate actions to demonize and dehumanize the LGBTQ community through lies, cherry-picked and junk science. And how they attempt to strip us of our dignity and erase our families from the American mindset.

But while I present these two articles, I don't rejoice, nor do I encourage any conspiracy theories. I only hope that we will find out more because this is HUGE. And if something comes from this, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised. The situation with alleged Russian spy Maria Butina who was arrested (and may have wooed several conservative groups including the NRA) last week is now causing questions to be asked about the religious right:

Alleged Russian Spy Was Working to Infiltrate Religious Right As Well As Gun Groups 

In 2016, according to a timeline compiled by the Washington Post, Butina emailed a Prayer Breakfast organizer to suggest that Putin might attend the following year. That didn’t happen, but she and Torshin attended. “A new relationship between two countries always begins better when it begins in faith,” Butina emailed an organizer afterward, thanking him for a gift and for the “very private meeting” after the breakfast. Butina was also part of a group that attempted to secure a meeting with the Trump campaign in May 2016 to talk about the persecution of Christians around the world, a topic of great interest to many American evangelicals. 
Earlier, in 2015, Butina and Erickson also appeared on the radio show of conservative evangelical superstar (and big-time Trump promoter) Eric Metaxas to discuss gun rights and religious freedom — topics that are strangely congruent in the conservative Christian circles in which all these birds flew. 
The affection with which many Christian right figures hold Russia and specifically the gay-bashing Putin is hardly a secret . . .

Mariia Butina’s Cozy Relationship With the Christian Right Makes Total Sense 

 Much of the Christian right views contemporary Russia with a surprising fondness, and it’s a coziness that predates the Trump administration. Christian conservatives including Pat Buchanan and Bryan Fischer have fawned over Putin in recent years.  
Along with having an instinctual affinity for authoritarian leadership, these men respect Putin’s yearslong rollback of gay rights and abortion access. Franklin Graham, for example, gave an interview to a Russian newspaper in 2015 in which he praised Putin for “protecting Russian young people against homosexual propaganda.” 
 Other cultural conservatives see Russia as “Christianity’s front line” against Islam. Presumably, then, it wasn’t hard for Butina, a friendly Russian gun-rights activist, to curry favor in these same Christian conservative circles. 

 In other news: 

At age 25, kids in the longest-running study of same-sex parenting are doing just fine - Yet the religious right are still attempting to erase these families. 

Scarlett Johansson’s Film Exit Puts Struggle For Trans Actors In Spotlight - The possible resolution of this situation can yield good things for transgender actors. More roles.

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