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Hawley Asks Barr To Investigate States Over ‘Blatant’ Violations Of Religious Freedoms

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sen josh hawley

Senator Josh Hawley, R-MO, sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday asking him to investigate state leaders for allegedly violating the religious freedoms of Americans, while allowing protests to continue across the country.

“In the past few weeks, state officials across the country have blatantly violated the
free exercise and free speech rights of religious Americans,” Hawley wrote. “Under the First Amendment, state officials must not treat religious persons and groups worse than others, and they must not favor one kind of speech over another. State officials have violated the free speech and free exercise rights of religious Americans by treating religious gatherings and speech differently than the speech and mass gatherings of protests. I urge you to launch a full civil rights investigation.”

The letter comes as protests continue nationwide in response to the tragic death of George Floyd, which Hawley recognized as the public’s constitutional right to do so peacefully. Although thousands are able to take to the streets, Hawley explained that many state and local leaders are still keeping religious Americans away from their faith gatherings.

Hawley noted, “Now, after two weeks of nationwide protests, no uncertainty remains. Many jurisdictions across the nation are imposing extraordinarily strict caps on religious gatherings—such as restricting religious gatherings to 10 or fewer people—even as those jurisdictions allow thousands of people to gather closely in protests. States cannot allow one but prohibit the other.”

“These actions also violate free speech. The First Amendment prohibits state officials from banning meetings based on the ideas that will be expressed. State officials have determined that the message behind the current protests is worth saying. But state officials cannot block religious speech while allowing protests simply because the states think the protest speech is more valuable.”

AG Barr has been outspoken about the issue since the coronavirus pandemic began shutting down many cities and states. Moreover, he’s put many states on notice for violating religious rights, while allowing certain “essential” places to remain open for business.

Read the full letter below:

Letter Attorney General Barr Protests Religious Discrimination by Sara on Scribd

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Nation

50-Foot Christmas Tree Outside Fox News Set on Fire by 49yr Old Homeless Man

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Fox News Xmas Tree

Just before 12:15 am Wednesday morning, an arsonist set fire to the 50-foot tree in front of Fox News’ Midtown headquarters on 6th avenue. The suspect, a 49-year-old with three prior arrests, was quickly caught and taken into custody.

The man has two previous arrests for drug possession and one for public intoxication. The motive is unclear, and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said detectives are looking into whether mental illness was a factor.

Christmas Tree

The suspect accused of setting the News Corp. Christmas tree on fire is taken into custody by the NYPD.

“The suspect is identified as 49-year-old Craig Tamanaha, who is homeless, with a last known address in Brooklyn” reports ABC 7 New York. Police said the suspect climbed up “the metal superstructure” underneath the artificial tree and lit papers he had brought with him on fire, then shoved the papers into the tree structure.

He then climbed down and watched from the street level as it burned, and he was spotted by building security who pointed the man out to police officers posted in nearby Rockefeller Center,” reports ABC.

A lighter was found in his possession, and he has been charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, arson, criminal nuisance, endangering others, criminal trespass, criminal tampering and disorderly conduct.

Fox says it will rebuild the tree, which took more than 21 hours to assemble and consisted of 10,000 glass ornaments and 100,000 lights.

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