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The Religious Litmus Test

by FRC Action

June 26, 2017

 

Family Research Council Action launched a video ad calling on Americans to tell their Senators “to denounce Bernie Sanders’ religious test” upon the nomination of Christian nominee Russell Vought for the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Vought’s nomination drew national attention after Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) deemed Vought unfit for public service due to his Christian belief that salvation is found through Jesus Christ alone.

In the confirmation process, Sen. Sanders fires off probing questions that had nothing to do with the job Vought was being considered for, experience, or qualifications, but had everything to do with the nominee’s faith. Sanders referenced a piece Vought wrote in The Resurgent defending his alma mater, Wheaton College, for its decision to stand by Christian doctrine when the school decided to fire a professor for equating Islam with Christianity.

Sanders pulls out a quote from Vought’s piece in the Resurgent stating, “‘Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned.’ Do you believe that that statement is Islamophobic?” says Sanders.

Vought: “Absolutely not, Senator. I’m a Christian, and I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith …

Sanders: “… Forgive me; we just don’t have a lot of time. Do you believe people in the Muslim religion stand condemned? Is that your view?”

….

Sanders: “… Do you think that’s respectful of other religions?… I would simply say, Mr. Chairman that this nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.”

Nominee, Russell Vought, was criticized for what seemed to be a religious test by Sen. Bernie Sanders when Article VI of our nation’s Constitution clearly states “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

Christians have been sued and bullied out of their livelihood for “bringing their faith into the workplace” even as business owners in the private sector! Now one is required to have a certain set of religious beliefs to be qualified for a specific job?

In response to Senator Sanders’ religious bigotry, Family Research Council (FRC) started a petition calling on Senator Sanders to apologize for his unconstitutional religious test and urged the U.S. Senate to reject the religious test. Over 55,000 Americans have already signed FRC’s petition.

In case you haven’t had a chance yet, you can still sign the petition today here.

Please call your Senator TODAY at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to confirm Vought! They need send a clear message and vote to confirm Vought based on principles — the principles of religious freedom, freedom of thought, and constitutionalism.

Parts taken from original article published here on The Christian Post.

 

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Georgia’s Pro-Life 6th District: Money Does Not Equal Votes

by Philip Rhein

June 22, 2017

In the most expensive congressional race in history, the election for Georgia’s 6th district demonstrated that spending a greater amount of money will not necessarily translate into a decisive win. While Planned Parenthood and its affiliates had intended this election to serve as an example of how worn out the country is of Republican legislators, it has had the opposite effect of re-asserting Georgian voters’ commitment to pro-life leadership.

Pro-life candidate, Karen Handel, defeated her pro-abortion challenger, Jon Ossoff, by 3.8 percent. According to Open Secrets, the two outside groups that spent the most to help Ossoff were the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Planned Parenthood Action Fund – the latter of which spent close to $800,000.

Although June 20th was the closest the Democratic Party has come to winning this district in 40 years, comparing how much each candidate spent per vote reveals a striking contrast.

This election is one example of how far this country has come in its support of the pro-life movement. Contrary to what Planned Parenthood would have Americans believe, recent polls have shown that at least 78 percent of Americans favor strong abortion restrictions. Massive campaign funds, aggressive door-to-door advertising, and hundreds of TV and radio commercials, funded by out-of-state donors, are not enough to convince pro-life voters to abandon their values at the election booth.

The election on June 20th infers that the 6th district of Georgia has voted pro-life, despite the incredible pressure placed on voters from the over $32 million of pro-abortion/pro-Ossoff advertising. This election should reassure and inspire pro-life advocates around the country. It demonstrates that regardless of how much is spent, staunch Georgian voters will not be bought or convinced to vote for a pro-abortion candidate.

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Sign the Petition to Remind Senator Sanders that Faith Is What Our Country Is About!

by Philip Rhein

June 12, 2017

The recent comments made by Senator Bernie Sanders, in regards to the statement of faith by Russel Vought, are full of contradictions. In his comments to the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Sanders openly stated that he believed that Mr. Vought’s faith makes him at odds with American values. However, silencing religious liberty in the public square, in an effort to support tolerance, not only contradicts itself but dramatically harms our country and the dialogue that should happen between politics and religion.

Regardless of his understanding of evangelical doctrine, Mr. Vought made it clear in his statements that he sees each person as a unique gift from God with inherent dignity. Further, this belief will in no way inhibit his abilities to act as Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Senator Sanders’ line of questioning did not focus on Mr. Vought’s abilities as a Deputy Director, rather, they focused on his understanding of salvation and contradicted his right to live out his faith.

Similarly, in a misguided attempt to encourage diversity, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wrote an article defending Senator Sanders’ remarks. The views within the ACLU article also contradicted themselves, by asserting that individuals like Russel Vought, who express their faith in the public square, infringe on the faith and diversity of others. However, the right to religious liberty is not meant to become a vacuum that sucks all religion out of the public square. Rather, the right to religious liberty should encourage individuals to live out their faith in a way that promotes dialogue through mutual respect.

Senator Sanders’ response to the faith of Russel Vought is a blatant example of bigotry against Christians. Please join with Christian leaders and Family Research Council by signing this petition today in support of religious liberty and the right to live out our faith in the public square!

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Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech

by FRC Action

June 2, 2017

For nearly 40 years, Washington and much of the American public have held up disclosure and campaign finance laws as ideals that have helped pave the way to cleaner and freer elections. In her new book, The Intimidation Game, Kim Strassel provides first-hand accounts detailing how these laws have been hijacked by the Left and used as weapons against free speech and free association, becoming powerful tools to help silence their political opposition. Strassel, an editorial board member for the Wall Street Journal, spoke to the Family Research Council about her book, outlining the in-depth reporting that reveals what is happening:

  • The political Left’s shift of stance on free-speech and what the catalyst was for this shift.
  • Examples of the shift, such as the IRS’ targeting of Tea Party groups.
  • The politicization of government agencies like the IRS, FEC, and SEC by the Obama administration.

This video lecture provides valuable insight into the political Left’s shift on free speech and free association and how this developed into tactical intimidation to quiet their political opponents. Strassel provides concrete and startling evidence to show how the Left may not actually be the party of free speech.

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Dr. Snelling and the War on Religious Freedom

by FRC Action

May 24, 2017

The war on religious freedom is still being waged by Obama-era bureaucrats even during the Trump administration. The latest bureaucratic attack is being waged by the National Park Service and the Grand Canyon National Park, both of which fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of the Interior. These organizations are teaming up against experienced geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling. Dr. Snelling, a Christian and an acclaimed scientist with many published works to his credit, has been attempting to conduct research on rock formations in the Grand Canyon for the last three years.

When a request was made by Dr. Snelling to the Park to acquire a handful of rock samples, he was denied. That denial was followed by years of bureaucratic red tape, delays, and excuses for the denial. It was later discovered through public records that the involved government bureaucrats were explicitly discriminating against Dr. Snelling for his Christian faith and beliefs surrounding the earth’s formation.

Dr. Snelling commented, “This case is all about giving the freedom for a scientist to do good science without having to undergo a religious litmus test. The samples I have been blocked from collecting in the GCNP are to be subjected to routine lab processing and investigations any good scientist would perform. The results are to be openly reported for all scientists to draw their own conclusions, whether they agree with my worldview interpretation of the history of the Earth.”

Regarding the park’s opposition, Dr. Snelling added: “We expect debate about what the evidence means, but the park shouldn’t prevent us from collecting data just like other scientists. I am merely asking for equal treatment by the government.” Dr. Snelling is fighting back by taking this case to court, but he needs to know that people are standing with him.

We now have the opportunity to take back the religious liberties that have been under attack over the past eight years. Signing this petition on behalf of Dr. Snelling will show him that he is not standing alone, and it will show bureaucrats who have targeted him that this is an issue the American people will not overlook.

Please sign the petition below and stand with Dr. Snelling in the fight against unconstitutional discrimination.

 

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Watch Do No Harm: The Peril of Physician-Assisted Suicide

by FRC Action

May 19, 2017

By authorizing doctors to violate the Hippocratic Oath of “do no harm,” physician-assisted suicide undermines our nation’s most cherished values of providing compassionate care to the sick and dying. Assisted suicide prevents vulnerable citizens with life-limiting illnesses from receiving the best palliative medical care when they need it most. Earlier this year, Washington, D.C. joined six other states in legalizing physician-assisted suicide.

As a physician of over 25 years and a strong supporter of patient rights and access to quality care, Congressman Brad Wenstrup has led the charge in Congress to repeal the D.C. law and ensure that safeguards stay in place to protect our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. Congressman Wenstrup shared with the Family Research Council why physician-assisted suicide should not be a partisan issue, but a human issue. Some of his arguments that he used include:

  • Moving personal accounts of families who were drawn closer together through the death of a loved one, experiences that would have been cut short or missed altogether if assisted suicide.
  • The lack of accountability in tracking potential abuses that comes with these laws.
  • The lethal drug that is used to commit assisted suicide has in many cases been used to kill people who do not have a terminal illness.
  • Assisted suicide decreases options for patients, because insurance companies would rather fund lethal drugs instead of potentially life-saving procedures, since it is often the cheapest means of “treatment.”

Do No Harm: The Peril of Physician-Assisted Suicide provides valuable information on why physician-assisted suicide isn’t just bad policy, but bad for humanity. Congressman Wenstrup’s extensive medical background and personal experience with cancer in his own family gives him unique insight into why this policy is detrimental to society by way of its devaluing of human life.

Click here to view

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A New Chapter in American History

by FRC Action

May 16, 2017

Yesterday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins was interviewed by Fox News anchor Shannon Bream on President Trump’s commencement address to the graduates of Liberty University.

Tony’s statements echo the sentiment of many evangelical Americans who are finally seeing steps taken on the issues that motivated them to go to the ballot box. In this interview, Tony details some of the promises that have been kept by the Trump administration. As Tony states, we are truly seeing the beginning of a new chapter in American history.

See the transcript of his comments below:

>> Shannon: Tony Perkins, Family Research Council president and Liberty grad, joins me now. Thank you for joining us this morning Tony.

>> Tony: Good morning Shannon.

>> Shannon: To me the line that stood out was “we don’t worship the government; we worship God as Americans.” It’s a different message than what we’ve heard over the past few years and it seems like one the president tailored to that audience.

>>Tony: Without question. I think this was the president at his best. This was not only a great day for the graduates of 2017, I think it was a great day for the university. As a graduate of Liberty University, I’m proud of where this university has come in its short tenure, relatively speaking. I think the president really set the stage. He was not only speaking to the graduates, but I think he was speaking to his evangelical base across the country. One of the things that stuck out to me was this; he said, “We will always stand up for the right of all Americans to pray to God and to follow his teachings. America is beginning a new chapter.” If you look at what we’ve seen over the past eight years with the hostility toward religious expression outside of the four walls of a church, I do believe we have begun a new chapter in American history.

>> Shannon: He signed an executive order a couple of weeks ago and there were people within the evangelical community who were disappointed. They said it didn’t have enough teeth and that it was too watered down by people in the administration, possibly the Trump family, who may not have understood its aims or may have thought it could be construed to be negative and discriminatory. What did you make of the order?

>> Tony: I was there in the Rose Garden when he signed this and I had been discussing this for weeks with the administration. They’ve learned how every move they make is being challenged in the courts and I think they’ve grown wise in that. I think they’ve taken a strategic approach. Even so, most people don’t realize that portions of that order have already been challenged in court by atheist organizations. But I think this executive order is just one of many examples. Look at the selections he’s made to the Supreme Court and the lower courts. Look at what he’s done on the repeal and replace of Obamacare. There are pro-life provisions in there; defunding Planned Parenthood. Look, his speech matters; rhetoric is not just pure rhetoric. There is a record that he is amassing to back that up. We have truly begun a new chapter in American history where we have an administration that is not only welcoming of faith, but he said in his executive order that they will “vigorously protect and promote religious freedom.” For evangelicals that’s music to our ears.

>> Shannon: Well after the past few years with the Little Sisters of the Poor and the Hobby Lobby cases, that’s a different message that a lot of people want to hear. He also talked about being an outsider and how you should relish that opportunity, that was his message to the students, but it seems like something that he really relishes too, kind of stirring things up and poking people and doing things in a very different way.

>> Tony: Shannon, I think that’s why evangelicals in the end were attracted to him, because while they may have a slightly different world view, they face the same critics. I spoke at Liberty last fall right before the election, and my message was not very different from his. The crowd was a little smaller, but the message was live out your faith in the face of those who criticize you and have no fear of man, only a reverence for God, and I think that essentially was his message. Face your critics and live out your faith. You have an administration that is going to provide cover for you to do that.

>> Shannon: Well the crowd was smaller when I spoke at commencement, we’re not presidents. But anyway, Tony Perkins, good to see you, thanks.

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So What’s the Big Deal About the Johnson Amendment?

by FRC Action

May 11, 2017

As you know, President Trump recently issued an executive order on religious freedom and has talked a great deal about the need to repeal the Johnson Amendment. Most are wondering what would need to happen legislatively to repeal the Johnson Amendment and restore religious freedom and free speech to churches and nonprofit organizations.

FRC hosted a Family Policy Lecture on the Free Speech Fairness Act with Congressman Jody Hice (R-Ga.) a week ago. In case you missed it, you can view the lecture here.

So what does this legislation do?

Americans should not have to give up their right to free speech when they work for a church or a nonprofit. Yet, that is the legal state of affairs under the “Johnson Amendment.” The Free Speech Fairness Act is a bill that restores free speech and religious liberty to churches and other nonprofits so that they are free to address all issues – even political candidates and causes. This bill is needed because America was built on the principle that free speech and the free exercise of religion are inalienable rights for all citizens.

This policy lecture will help you stay informed on this important piece of legislation, and it lays out the specific reasons why all Americans, especially pastors, need to be concerned about keeping speech free and fair.

Click here to view the webinar.

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10 Things to Ask Your Member of Congress During the Congressional Recess

by FRC Action

February 24, 2017

Congress has adjourned for President’s Day week, and Congressmen and Senators are traveling throughout their Districts and states hosting town halls and public forums. Asking questions at these events is a great way for you to help your elected representatives understand issues of concern for you and your family. For town hall schedules, call or visit the website of your Senators and Congressman (click here if you don’t know who your members of Congress are). Use this issue guide to raise topics related to the sanctity of life, marriage, family, and religious freedom.


To Ask Your Congressman and Senators:

 

  1. Do you support repealing Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood as Congress did in 2015 only to have President Obama veto it?
  2. Will you commit to oppose abortion funding or subsidies for health insurance in any Republican plan to replace Obamacare? The House just passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act to make the Hyde Amendment ban on funding and subsidizing insurance with abortion coverage permanent and government wide. These principles should be applied to any new GOP plan to replace Obamacare in the coming weeks.
  3. Will you support efforts to stop the onerous abuse of the “Johnson Amendment” by supporting the Free Speech Fairness Act sponsored by Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), and Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.)? This legislation ensures pastors and non-profits can engage in speech about political candidates so long as they do so during their normal non-profit activities and spend no more than a minimal amount on the candidate-related speech. It prevents liberal activist organizations and the IRS from threatening pastors and churches for speaking up on political issues.
  4. Will you support legislation to stop government discrimination against people who still believe that marriage is between one man and one woman? While the Supreme Court overturned the natural definition of marriage adopted into law by over 30 states, many people still respectfully believe marriage is between one man and one woman and should not be punished by the government for acting in accordance with that belief.
  5. Will you support passage of the “Conscience Protection Act” sponsored by Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) to ensure the federal government does not discriminate against pro-life health care entities who object to being forced to participate in abortion?
  6. Will you support a vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which bars abortion on 5-month-old unborn babies when they begin to experience severe pain? This bill is sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) and has previously passed the House twice.
  7. Will you oppose the so-called “Equality Act” which would force special protections for homosexual and transsexual lifestyles in 25 areas of federal law—with no religious liberty protections for people of faith who disagree with these lifestyles and same-sex marriage?
  8. Will you support the Born Alive Survivor’s Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ark.) and Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebr.), that requires doctors to provide the same care for infants born alive after an abortion that is otherwise provided to born alive infants? 

To Ask Just Your Senators:

  1. Will you support a vote on the recently House-passed “Disapproval Resolution” to block the Obama administration’s Title X regulation issued last December which punishes states that redirect family planning funds from Planned Parenthood to more holistic community health centers?
  2. With the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy of Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court, will you vote to approve him since he will defend the original meaning of the Constitution and overturn Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges that forced abortion and same-sex marriage on all 50 states?

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What Americans Want In Their Next Supreme Court Justice

by FRC Action

January 31, 2017

President Trump has set January 31 as the date of announcing his Supreme Court pick to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. In 2016 Election exit polling, 2 in 10 voters (21 percent) said that appointments to the Supreme Court was the most important issue to them. These voters broke for Trump 56-41 percent. Exit polling also revealed that 7 in 10 voters nationwide say Supreme Court appointments were either the most important factor or an important factor in their decision to support a candidate.

This is a critical appointment by President Trump as he seeks to solidify the trust the American people have placed in him and provide leadership that will preserve their values, freedoms, and rights of conscience.

A recent poll conducted by the The Marist Poll revealed that 8 in 10 Americans (80 percent) say it is an “immediate priority” or an “important” one to appoint Supreme Court Justices that will interpret the Constitution as it was originally written. Fifty-three percent of Independents, 80 percent of Republicans and more than 4 in 10 Democrats (42 percent) also say it is an “immediate priority.” Almost 9 in 10 Americans (89 percent) also see protecting religious freedom as a priority, including 57 percent who describe it as an “immediate priority” and 32 percent who consider it an “important” one.

The American people clearly have overwhelming support for a Supreme Court Justice who will uphold the original intent of the constitution and protect religious freedom.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recently vowed that he and his party will do everything they can to block a conservative Supreme Court nominee by the Trump administration—saying  he is prepared to fight “tooth and nail” should Trump not choose a “mainstream” nominee.

In reality, Schumer’s statement is extremely out of touch with “mainstream” America.

What he fails to recognize is that the mainstream does not support his views. The GOP has control of the White House, U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and a majority of governorships and state legislatures for a reason.  The fact is that one of the Republican Party’s most conservative platforms ever was adopted in 2016 and was accepted by the majority of America. Post-election polling showed that a majority of registered voters said the social issues in the Republican platform impacted their vote (51 percent), and 59 percent of Trump voters said that this impacted their presidential vote, compared to just 48 percent of Clinton supporters.

The American people have clearly spoken, and unfortunately for the Left, it was not in their favor. Voters went to the polls and chose a more conservative president to pick a conservative originalist Justice to the bench. 

In the 5-4 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, the High Court inserted itself into a significant moral debate and attempted to redefine the meaning of marriage for every American. In Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a 5-3 bench decision, the Court ruled that placing Texas abortion clinics in the same safety category as any other out-patient surgical clinic is too burdensome. This would have simply required abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility in case there is an emergency or complications. Do we need to be reminded of Gosnell?

These are just a couple of the many rulings that have made the Supreme Court a top concern for American voters. President Trump’s promise to nominate a Justice in the mold of the late Justice Scalia was a breath of fresh air to an American public that is increasingly concerned about judicial activism and how it is impacting the moral fabric of the country. While there is little doubt that Sen. Schumer will do everything he can to stop a conservative, originalist Justice, his views do not represent the mainstream views of the American people. The nation is eager for a Justice who will not legislate from the bench but instead respect the Constitution and interpret it as our Founders intended.

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The Religious Litmus Test
by FRC Action (June 26, 2017)

Vought's nomination drew national attention after Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) deemed Vought unfit for public service due to his Christian belief that salvation is found through Jesus Christ alone.

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