Washington Post in Iowa: Trans People Are Persecuted, But NOT Pro-Life Christians

January 16th, 2024 5:31 PM

Several Washington Post stories reported from Iowa this week by staff writer Meryl Kornfield displayed an interesting double standard in proof. Republican concerns have been "debunked" that Christians have been persecuted like never before, but Republicans say "without evidence, that transgender people are a threat to children or have a mental health disorder."

The first was a story on Christian Republicans headlined ‘Ordained by God’: Trump’s legal problems galvanize Iowa evangelicals.

Kornfield and several other reporters linked to a New York Times fact-check we challenged on Christian persecution, which means both papers ignored (as usual) the frightening FBI raid on pro-life Catholic Mark Houck's home with his children at home, and the FBI field office in Richmond targeting traditional Catholics: 

Trump has accused the Biden administration of discriminating against people of faith, suggesting at a campaign event in Waterloo, Iowa, that “Christians and Americans of faith are being persecuted and government has been weaponized against religion like never before.” Fact-checkers, however, have debunked that claim. Experts on religious liberty, such as John Inazu from Washington University in St. Louis, cite multiple major religion-related Supreme Court cases and say religious freedom is perhaps more protected than ever.

Religious freedom has won some court victories, but that's separate from what the Biden administration and blue states are doing. Other selected religion professors were nastier: 

"Many evangelicals now see Trump as their champion and defender — perhaps even savior,” said Barry Hankins, a history professor at Baylor University who is an expert in evangelicalism. “Unwittingly, in my view, many evangelicals are welcoming authoritarianism and courting blasphemy.

In a different story, Kornfield described a sympathy session under the headline "At Iowa’s oldest gay bar, fear over Republicans’ transgender rhetoric". The star of the story was Eligh Cade, a "trans man" and Marine veteran: 

Cade, 26, now hears Republican presidential candidates making the case to his fellow Iowans that he is a threat to children and watches campaign commercials on TV attacking his identity. The veteran knows there are Republicans around him galvanized by rhetoric. And it is all frustrating and worrisome to him, he recounts, sometimes teary-eyed.

“I fought for their rights and now they want to take away mine,” Cade said Friday, sitting in Iowa’s oldest gay bar, the Blazing Saddle. In the bar, which has offered a safe space for Iowa’s LGBTQ+ community, Cade and others shared how Republicans’ attacks felt personal, like a schoolyard bully’s abuses, but with far greater stakes.

Targeting transgender rights has become increasingly central to the pitch many Republican politicians are making across the country, a trend that has come sharply into focus here in Iowa. As the leading Republican candidates for president have barnstormed the state ahead of Monday’s Republican caucuses, they have put the issue at the forefront of their pitches, saying in some cases, without evidence, that transgender people are a threat to children or have a mental health disorder.

Couldn't someone believe that some transgender people could be a threat to children? We know the LGBT lobby doesn't want gender dysphoria to be seen as a mental disorder, but Kornfield did admit "Most Americans believe a person’s gender is determined by the sex assigned at birth, according to recent polling."