Christian Terror; Christ-Psychotic Extremist Shoots Trans Woman In the Face


A Christian Extremist Shot a Trans Woman In the Face, but Indiana Doesn’t Call That a Hate Crime

Last week, a Christian extremist shot a transgender woman in the face at her place of work — and because it happened in Indiana, it’s not considered a hate crime.

Crystal Cash, 55, was shot in the face while working at the cosmetics business she runs in Evansville, Indiana. Cash is currently unable to speak, but through writing was able to help identify her attacker as Gerald Duane Lewis. Lewis also yelled an anti-gay slur at Cash before shooting her.

CrystalCashImageViolence against transgender women is an epidemic, and in incidents like this, it’s obvious that anti-LGBT bias is at play. Still, the police investigation of the incident has been murky, which is likely related to the fact that Cash is a trans woman and that there are no hate crimes laws on the books to protect against bias-based violence in Indiana:

The case has been complicated by the police — who have implied that Cash is a prostitute — and by whether her assailant, identified as Gerald Duane Lewis (AKA Gadiell Ben Israel), belongs to an organization identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a hate group.

The SPLC identifies Lewis/Israel’s church as violently anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT. The Israel United in Christ Church, on its Tumblr page, denounces interracial marriage as a sin and an abomination, and also commands its followers not to vote. In recent posts, it commented upon a recent house fire that killed seven children that it was a lesson to be learned about “defiling the sabbath.” The organization posted a note on its website denying that Lewis was a current member of the group.

Transgender women are often mistreated in the criminal justice system, whether they are being accused of a crime or have been victimized. They are frequently assumed to be sex workers and treated poorly, or their gender identities are not recognized. Both of these things happened to Cash:

When the Evansville Courier-Press reported on the arrest, it paraphrased the police report:

“Investigators noted in the arrest affidavit that Cash operates a known massage parlor in one of the spaces in the building where the shooting happened. Cash is a frequent poster on Backpage.com, an adult services website that police have expressed concern about in the past. […]

Johnny Dickens, Cash’s brother, says that his sister has been in a “committed relationship for twenty years.” He alleges that police are trying to portray his sister as a prostitute rather than as a transgender businesswoman who was targeted by a Christian extremist.

According to Courier news reports, there was initial confusion after the events as police reported that a “man” had been shot. Cash was able to describe the suspect in writing, whom she said was wearing an “Israeli-Christian” tee shirt. Lewis/Israel is being held on $5 million bond/$500,000 cash for attempted murder, robbery, and carrying a handgun without a permit.

This is where it would be helpful for the police to publicly acknowledge that Cash’s attacker committed a hate crime. Hate crimes don’t just target a person, but an entire class of people. They’re meant to intimidate, like small-scale terrorist attacks that send a threatening message to an entire community.

Hate crimes legislation, therefore, recognizes the multifaceted ways an act of violence can affect an entire community, and helps protect other members of that community who may be at risk. President Barack Obama even prioritized expanding hate crimes legislation toward the beginning of his presidency.

Despite all this information, police are not charging Lewis with a hate crime because Indiana is one of only five states in the country that do not have hate crimes protections in place. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence — who might just be our next Vice President — is a major opponent of hate crimes legislation:

“The president has used his position as commander in chief to advance a radical social agenda, when he should have used it to advance legislation that would unequivocally support our troops,” said [then-U.S. Rep.] Mike Pence, R-Ind., chairman of the House Republican Conference.

Pence also argued that the law could be used to curb free speech rights, such as with religions that consider homosexuality a sin.

Protecting people who are at risk has been a federal concern for at least the last seven years, but in states like Indiana, efforts to implement hate crimes laws are continually thwarted. This horrifying event could be a snapshot of the “values” that would govern a Mike Pence vice presidency: no recognition of populations that are routinely targeted, and no justice for those who experience such violence. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for Cash, and a speedy demise for the Trump/Pence campaign.

(via Raw Story. Image via 14News)

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Jews Must Convert or Die; The anti-Semitic Face of Christian Zionism


CUFI Leader John Hagee confirms Christian Zionism is anti-Semitic

Ben Norton

Evangelical pastor John Hagee, the leader of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the US’ largest pro-Israel organization and the most powerful group in the Christian Zionist movement, has adamantly insisted that Christian Zionism is anti-Semitic.

WorldNetDaily (WND), a far-right website published an article in March 2015 about the “Blood Moon Prophecy,” an end-of-times theory that lunar eclipses are a sign that the world is on the brink of destruction and that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is near. The lengthy piece is about Hagee’s film Four Blood Moons, which endorses the eschatological theory. Toward the end of the article, WND quotes a spokesperson for Hagee:

“WND falsely claimed that Hagee does not believe that Jews need Jesus to be saved. In fact, Hagee never made such a claim and years ago directly denied assertions that he holds a dual-covenant theology,” he wrote. “In addition, while WND acknowledges that Hagee rewrote sections of ‘In Defense of Israel’ to clarify his relevant position, WND failed to note that the associated video promotion was also changed to accurately reflect his theology.”

Translated: WND claimed that Hagee believed the Jewish people could be saved by God without abandoning Judaism and converting to Christianity. Apocalyptic Christian Zionist John Hagee censured the publication for spreading a lie and defensively clarified that he does indeed believe that the Jewish people are going to burn in Hell for all of eternity unless they abandon Judaism and convert to Christianity.

In short, Hagee firmly insisted that Christian Zionism is anti-Semitic, and that the reason CUFI so obsessively and blindly defends Israel is not because they care about Jews (who, in their mind, will face eternal damnation unless they renounce their religion and become Christians) but rather because they genuinely believe the world is on the verge of total annihilation and the Bible supposedly tells them they must do so.

Christian Zionism

Christian Zionism is the belief that God gave the Jewish people the land of Israel in historic Palestine. Christian Zionists hold that this is part of a biblical prophecy, and is a necessary prerequisite before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the ensuing Day of Judgment.

This is not a view shared by all Christians, yet is very common among Evangelicals and conservative Protestants. In recent years, it has gained prominence in the US, particularly in the Bible Belt. A late 2013 Pew Research study found 82% of white evangelical Christians in the US believed God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people, while only 40% of US Jews believed the same.

John Hagee is the leader of CUFI, the most powerful Christian Zionist organization in the US, and likely in the entire world.

Some Jewish and Zionist organizations have criticized Hagee and the Christian Zionist movement. Eric Yoffie, former president of the Union for Reform Judaism, publicly proclaimed that, vis-à-vis “Israeli-Palestinian politics, John Hagee and the CUFI are extremists.” Yoffie “called for Reform congregations to not participate in CUFI’s events and to continue to call for public condemnation of inflammatory and bigoted statements from Christian Zionist leadership.”

Many Jewish and Zionist organizations, however, see Hagee and CUFI as important allies. At the CUFI 2013 Summit, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations—a coalition of 51 US Jewish groups, including some of the most prominent—voiced support of biblical Christian Zionist prophecies. “The prophets were not prophets of doom but prophets of hope; you just have to read it right,” he told them. “Here’s my advice: Don’t bet against the Jews. And the ‘Jewish lobby’ is a myth, but it’s our job to make it a legend.”

Israel itself has been more than happy to support CUFI. Ron Dermer, Israeli Ambassador to the US, spoke glowingly of the organization at its 2014 summit. Prime Minister Netanyahu has also enthusiastically supported the group, and has spoken at several of their annual summits.

Hagee’s History of Extreme Views

Hagee, who thinks we are the last generation of humans, is no stranger to controversy. In late 2014, he claimed that Ebola (along with the civil rights protests in Ferguson and elsewhere) was God’s way of “punishing” America, because Obama was trying to “divide” Israel.

The pastor has even gone so far as to essentially defend Adolf Hitler.  In a 2005 sermon, Hagee asserted that God sent Hitler as a “hunter,” in order to “hunt them [Jews] from every mountain and from every hill and out of the holes of the rocks … to get them to come back to the land of Israel.”

Once again, these are the views of the leader of, in CUFI’s own words, “the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States with over two million members and one of the leading Christian grassroots movements in the world.”

The Washington Post indicates that CUFI “can boast that it has members from every congressional district in America.” Foreign Policy included John Hagee in its list of the 50 Republicans with the most influence on foreign policy. The evangelical Christian Zionist was a much sought-after figure by the Republican Party in the 2008 presidential election. He ended up endorsing John McCain.

WND’s founder and CEO Joseph Farah responded positively to Hagee’s firm insistence on his Christianity-rooted anti-Semitism. “I’m happy to hear that Hagee no longer subscribes to those anti-biblical positions,” he said. “But we never asserted what Hagee believes, only what he said on videotape. I’m gratified he has repudiated all of that. It’s time for him to clean up another mess.”

Like Hagee, Farah resolutely maintains that Christian Zionism is, in its very essence, an anti-Semitic ideology, as, in his view, it is an “anti-biblical position” to claim that Jews are not automatically damned to eternal suffering in a lake of fire merely by virtue of their being Jewish.

 

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