Trump Defends Religious Liberty
The Trump Administration announced Friday afternoon that it was rolling back an Obama-era regulation that tied the hands of faith-based organizations involved in adoptions and foster care efforts.
In recent years, conservatives have grown increasingly alarmed as Catholic Charities and similar groups have closed their doors as various left-wing states and cities (here, here and here) have forced them to choose between their values and their desire to serve their communities.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that it would no longer enforce the Obama regulation that expanded nondiscrimination protections beyond existing law and Supreme Court rulings.
In a statement, HHS declared that it would "require grantees to comply with applicable nondiscrimination provisions passed by Congress . . . including legislation ensuring the protection of religious liberty, and . . . all applicable Supreme Court decisions."
In other words, organizations that receive federal grants only have to comply with provisions that are part of existing federal law, not provisions that the Obama Administration and its left-wing allies created on their way out the door in 2016.
The new Trump regulation will prevent government bureaucrats from discriminating against faith-based organizations that believe children deserve mothers and fathers.
Once again, the Trump/Pence team has demonstrated its commitment to the rule of law and to religious liberty.
A Partisan Abuse Of Power
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz is a self-identified liberal Democrat. He voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. He defended Bill Clinton against impeachment in 1998. And he's adamantly opposed to what Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats are doing today in their attempt to impeach President Trump.
In his latest opinion piece, Dershowitz warns that the current impeachment effort is a raw partisan power grab, exactly what our founders like Alexander Hamilton feared most. Consider this excerpt:
"Hamilton warned of the 'greatest danger' that the decision to move forward with impeachment will 'be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties than the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.'"
Meanwhile, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy suggests that opponents of impeachment need to move beyond process arguments and start making the case for why Trump's call with Ukraine's president is not an impeachable offense. President Trump did nothing wrong.
As we have repeatedly noted, there is significant evidence of foreign involvement in the 2016 election, including between elements of our Deep State and the security agencies of other countries. That's what U.S. Attorney John Durham is investigating.
We know that elements of the Ukrainian government played a major role in all of this. We know that former Vice President Joe Biden was assigned responsibility for managing Ukrainian foreign policy. We know there are issues of corruption involving his son. We know Biden had his own quid pro quo with Ukraine, demanding the firing of a top prosecutor.
The left-wing media desperately doesn't want any of this to get traction.
The Left's Agenda
Montgomery County, Maryland, is all in on the left's agenda, including the anti-police mentality that dominates the left. Here's the latest example.
James Shelton and his young son created a wooden Blue Line flag to honor Montgomery County police officers on National First Responders Day. The officers expressed their appreciation to Mr. Shelton and his son, and said that the wooden flag would be displayed in their station.
Opponents of the flag claim that it has been appropriated by white nationalists and is racist. Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich branded the Blue Line flag "divisive" and "a symbol of dismissiveness" and ordered police not to display the flag.
Montgomery County, Maryland, has always been liberal. But this shows just how extreme it has become. One of the left's favorite chants in recent years is, "Cops and the Klan go hand in hand." It's disgusting and absurd, especially when today's police force is the most racially diverse in the history of our country.
But once again, we see how the left is taking normal conservative impulses, like support for law enforcement, and equating it with racism. Now that's divisive!
The reason I bring this up is because it shows what happens when the left is totally in control. An act of kindness by a young boy for the police gets twisted by woke progressives who just can't tolerate it.
By the way, Montgomery County is a sanctuary county where at least nine illegal immigrants, who should have been deported, have been arrested on charges of rape and sexual assault.
In New York City, also dominated by the left, there was a mini riot this weekend that was triggered in part by police officers enforcing subway fares. Fare evasions and crime are so prevalent that city officials recently announced the deployment of an additional 500 officers.
The city is losing hundreds of millions of dollars because some people think they have a right to ride the subway for free. Evidently, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez agrees with them.
Everyone knows what a failure San Francisco is when it comes to homelessness and illegal immigration. Well, Austin, Texas, has swung hard left in recent years. So, where does the mayor of Austin go to get advice on homelessness? California!
Guess what? Austin now has a huge problem with homelessness. Governor Greg Abbott is stepping in and sending state officials to clear out Austin's homeless encampments.
Speaking of California, many in the Golden State are seriously reconsidering an effort to relax enforcement of minor property crimes. The liberal experiment, backed by the ACLU and other progressive groups, had predictable results: Shoplifting, vandalism and other property crimes have skyrocketed in recent years.
My friends, we don't have to guess at what the country will be like if the left takes back the White House and the Senate next year. From Montgomery County, Maryland, to Austin, Texas, from New York to San Francisco, there are plenty of case studies warning us against the left's agenda.
Pray For Persecuted Church
Yesterday Christians around the world came together in spirit for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. This annual event is observed every year on the first Sunday of November. The sad reality is that nearly 250 million Christians around the world face high levels of persecution simply for their faith.
As you know, President Trump appointed me to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. The Commission monitors religious persecution against any group anywhere in the world. But let me be clear: The evidence is overwhelming that no group suffers more persecution that Christians.
From China to Nigeria, Syria to North Korea, Christians suffer unbelievable pain and penalties. All too often it is ignored by international organizations and the news media.
The Pew Research Center reports that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the entire world. According to Open Doors just in the past year alone:
- More than 4,300 Christians were killed for their faith.
- More than 1,800 churches were attacked.
- More 3,100 Christians were imprisoned for following Jesus.
As men and women of faith, we are not powerless. Please pray that God would comfort those who are suffering. Pray that Christians facing persecution would remain strong in their faith. Pray that their witness would inspire others.
If your church did not recognize the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church yesterday, please urge your pastor to address this urgent issue from the pulpit soon, and to mark it on the calendar for next year.