Fresh off her defense using the Second Amendment to raise campaign dollars, Representative Cindy Pugh is speaking out on Facebook in defense of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution for Christians who worship in the Church of England.
Forget marriage licenses, security for a spouse and children or any of the at least 515 state laws that discriminate against families based on marriage before the Minnesota legislature legalized marriage equality for all loving adult couples. That's not what same-sex couples are after, Pugh writes on a Facebook friend's wall.
No, North Star Tea Party co-founder and probable ALEC member Pugh (R-Chanhassen) knows what same-sex activists are really after, if Bluestem is to believe a comment she made on Nicole Bengston's Facebook posting of a link to Millionaire Gay Couple Sues to Force Church Wedding, a Charisma News story, with the headnote, "Here's what "gay marriage" is after.... Taking away YOUR rights and freedom of speech."
Cindy Pugh VERY upsetting, Nicole. YOU are RIGHT that 'this' is what the 'same-sex' activists are after ... OUR First Amendment RIGHTS [Religious & Freedom of Speech]! : (
Here's a screenshot of the exchange between Bengston and Pugh:
Who is Nicole Bengtson and why might it matter?
And who is the "Nicole Bengston" to whom Cindy Pugh responding? A source tells us that she's been associated with Bradlee Dean's You Can Run But You Can't Hide International, although there are rumors of a falling out by Bengtson and her husband with the organization in 2012.
Bengtson shows up on this notice of a position at the ministry from November 29, 2011, and the late Karl Bremer noted in 2010 at Ripple in Stillwater:
You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International is run by President Bradley Dean Smith of Annandale, who is better known to his followers as “Bradlee Dean,” and Secretary Jacob McMillian MacAulay, a/k/a "Jake McMillian," the only two paid members on the organization’s board. Other directors include Nicole Bengston, vice president; Heather MacAulay (Jake’s spouse), treasurer, Ron Stone, director; and Todd Bergren, director.
Bluestem found a "Nicole D. Bengtson" listed as vice-president in YCR's 2011 IRS 990 report at Guidestar.
Her Linked In profile, which uses the same photo as her Facebook page, she served as the Campaign Coordinator for YCR from March 2002 – July 2012. We do not know if she continues to serve as Vice President of the controversial ministry. Perhaps State Fair goers could ask the people staffing the YCR booth at the Great Minnesota Get Together.
She appears to be married to Daniel Bengtson, who also lives at the address on the 990 filings for 2011. According to his Linked In profile, Daniel Bengtson served as Director Of Street Teams, Minister, Fundraiser for YCR from 2001 until September 2012.
While many Republicans claimed to have no knowledge of toxic metal rocker Bradlee Dean after his stint as chaplain for the Minnesota House in May 2011 in which he delivered a prayer questioning the President's faith, Pugh (who was not yet serving) could not have made that claim.
As Bluestem posted in What's so extreme about Cindy Pugh?...: in July 2012:
Tabling with Bradlee Dean; listening to Birchers
To judge by the parade of speakers in the videos online at the SW Metro Tea Party that she played a key role in founding, yes.
Avidor found Photos of SW Metro Tea Party Activists Tabling at Screening of Bradlee Dean's "My War" back in early 2011. Bluestem has looked at the Southwest Metro Tea Party sponsorship of a Bradlee Dean & Jake "McMillian" MacAulay movie night. Since then, there have been anti-Agenda 21 presentations, John Birch Society nights, and Idaho's own Curtis Bowers, just between he traipsed off to Browerville to Tea Party with Mary Franson and friends.
Pugh appears to have maintained her friendship with a long-term YCR employee.
What's Cindy Pugh reacting to on Bengston's Facebook wall?
The Charisma story the Pugh and Bengtson are reacting to taken from the Chelmsford Weekly News' article, Gay dads campaign for church wedding, is about Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow who hope to get married in their local church, St John the Baptist, in Danbury. Under Britain's new law, "religious organisations have to opt in to offer weddings.
The Church of England and the Church of Wales are not offering weddings." Barrie Drewitt-Barlow claims that his legal action “ . . .is no reflection on our local church, who have been nothing but supportive towards us . . .We understand their hands are tied by a higher group of people within the church.”
The Charisma article quotes an earlier article from the paper but does not link to it. Bluestem found two prior reports (here and here) but apparently the entire text of the article Charisma cites is not available online.
And of course, since America is still governed by British law (okay, Bluestem is kidding), if those to lovebirds get their way in St John the Baptist Church in Danbury, Chelmsford, Essex, then "OUR First Amendment RIGHTS" are such goners.
On the other hand, Bluestem remembers when a Tea Party really meant something.
Images: Cindy Pugh wins the 2012 primary against sitting incumbent Steve Smith (top); a screenshot of the exchange (middle); Cindy Pugh tables at a 2011 screening of Bradlee Dean's biopic, "My War" (below).
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