House Dems: Ask No Questions, Hear No Allies
It’s not an alliance the media is rushing to cover — and who can blame them? After weeks of talking up this phony consensus on the Equality Act, imagine if the story got out that it’s not just conservatives who are opposed — but grassroots liberals too! Even in a country as divided as ours, there is no Right or Left when it comes to one thing — our children. And the message from these unlikely allies is simple: Hands off!
We saw some of these unusual partnerships when President Obama picked a fight over privacy. Even some of the staunchest activists realized that the debate wasn’t just about bathrooms — but kids’ safety too. Now, the political lines are even more blurred, as House Democrats aren’t just moving to force gender-free locker rooms on America, but the most extreme version of LGBT indoctrination in classrooms, sports, business, and social services too. And for movements like the feminists’, suddenly, party affiliation doesn’t matter.
Monday night on “Washington Watch,” Jennifer Chavez, a board member of the Left-leaning Women’s Liberation Front, talked about just how dangerous the Equality Act is — and how important it is for a coalition as diverse as ours to fight it. It’s crucial, she said, “for us to acknowledge that we disagree on so many, many things. But… the only way that people in a really polarized society can ever get to a point where we can work on problems is if we can agree on the fundamental importance of things like basic truth.” And one of those basic truths is that “regardless how you feel about various different issues — that the word ‘woman’ is meaningful, and the word ‘girl’ is meaningful.”
This radical ideology — the same one the American College of Pediatrics calls “child abuse” — is no respecter of persons. It will haunt families — and rob futures — on both sides. Jennifer talked about this and how sad it is that the mainstream media refuses to talk about the threat of the transgender agenda. “Here in the United States, very few journalists with national reach and national name recognition are willing to even touch the issue of gender identity and transgender movement — unless it’s in a completely 110 percent… supportive way.”
“When you search the term ‘transgender’ or ‘gender identity’ in, say, the New York Times or the Washington Post,” she said, “you see story after story of sappy hero stories or heart-wrenching stories about [children]. But what you don’t see here are the opposing views of women who are raising concerns… about this ideology and an increasing number of young women who did at one point identify as transgender and have now dissented and who are now saying that there are serious problems with the movement and its ideas. And it’s manifesting ideas that are really very harmful to young girls who are vulnerable.”
In most cases, she points out, parents aren’t even aware that their kids are talking about this. That’s because schools, she argues, are taking great pains to cut families out of the loop — even now, before the Equality Act. “What we’re seeing in schools is not just a push to support children and nurture them and accept their questioning… But instead, what we’re seeing is an aggressive push to dictate a particular way of looking at it — a way that says that if you have the feeling that you might be the opposite sex — if you really identify with the stereotypical things that are associated with the opposite sex — then you may actually, in fact, be the opposite sex.”
That’s terrifying for parents, who are starting to see that these classrooms are being hijacked by an aggressive, take-no-prisoners LGBT agenda that doesn’t care about your rights as parents — or your children’s wellbeing. If they did, they’d know that “98 percent of gender-confused boys and 88 percent of gender-confused girls accept their biological sex after puberty.” (Listen to some of the brave young people who are speaking out after going through it.) In a lot of these cases, Jennifer explains, teachers and counselors are pushing kids in this direction, and it’s “a very, very confusing thing for a child to hear from anyone, much less from an authority figure.” But it’s in their assemblies and reading assignments — and most importantly, their curriculum, which she warns parents “is being developed by advocacy organizations.”
As an attorney who’s represented a lot of liberal families, Jennifer is convinced this is no longer a Republican-Democrat issue. “We have heard from many parents who have reached out to us and expressed a great deal of concern and alarm… that they’re sort of losing their ability to work through these sorts of issues with their children in a loving way, in a way that they think is best.” And it’s not just anecdotal.
“You can see it in school policies. For example, in the policy of the school where my child attends, it’s written right up there that if my child were to tell a teacher that he identifies as the opposite sex and said he didn’t want me to know, the teachers at the school would be prohibited from telling me. So there could be something really serious that my child was going through… and he’s trying to deal with, but I wouldn’t even know it.”
Parents aren’t just being locked out of the conversation. They’re being locked out of the decision-making process. Right now, at this very moment, there are 240 men and women in the U.S. House choosing whether moms and dads will have anything to say about how their kids are raised, what they’re taught, the kind of medical decisions they make, even who they share a shower with. That’s just one aspect of the Equality Act — but it ought to be enough to get every parent on the phone with their member of Congress, demanding to know how anyone could support a piece of legislation as profoundly unAmerican as H.R. 5.
Originally published here.
Graduated Persecution against America’s VP
It’s a rare day when Vice President Mike Pence isn’t criticized for something in the mainstream media. And last weekend, after Pence’s commencement speech at Liberty University, his detractors had plenty to work with. There’s just one problem. The Left is picking a fight over his warning that American Christians are being persecuted — forgetting, apparently, that they’ve helped make he and his wife Exhibit A.
Professor John Fea fired the first shot in his Washington Post feature: “Dear Mike Pence: The Real Persecution of Christians Isn’t Here in America.” Of course, the piece itself couldn’t be more ironic. Here is Fea, trying to dismiss the idea that believers are being targeted in the U.S. — and yet he spends a whole column doing exactly that. He lifts the part of Pence’s remarks where he warns graduates that they’ll be “ridiculed” for their faith — and then suggests that the vice president “needs some perspective.”
Of course, in his desperation to make that point, Fea does conservatives a favor by shining an enormous spotlight on the religious freedom crisis affecting Christians all across the globe. “According to one estimate, in 2016, a Christian was killed for his or her faith every six minutes. Today, the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities is rampant, especially in the Middle East. The Islamic State has forced nearly 5 million Syrian Christians to flee for their lives.” He goes on to cover the horrors of Boko Haram in Nigeria and the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka — sounding more like a member of Open Doors USA than an opinion writer for the Washington Post.
But as appreciative as we are for the coverage of these atrocities, Fea’s preaching to the choir. There’s no one who understands the situation better — or has raised more awareness on the issue of faith-based persecution — than the man the story’s about: Mike Pence. He’s spent the better part of three years warning global leaders that as far as this administration is concerned, religious freedom is non-negotiable. And not just for Christians — but the Uyghurs, Rohingya, Jews, Falun Gong, Sikhs, and more. The torture of innocent people for their faith is not news to the Donald Trump White House.
But, more frustrating is the suggestion that Mike Pence — or anyone else in this administration — has ever compared the world’s suffering to the harassment of Christians in the U.S. At no point has the vice president, whose family and beliefs have been more fiercely attacked than anyone in leadership, attempted to suggest that what men and women of faith here experience is anything like the torture, serial rape, and killing overseas. That’s not even responsible journalism.
And yet, Fea still accuses Pence of having a “persecution complex,” which, he argues, shouldn’t surprise us. “Evangelicals in America have seen themselves as victims since the 1960s… The movement gains strength by scaring evangelicals into believing that they are constantly under attack. Without this discourse of victimhood, the donations will stop, and the Christian Right will lose its hold on the levers of power within the Republican Party.”
With all due respect to Fea, Christians don’t think they’re victims of religious discrimination — they are victims of religious discrimination. No, they aren’t having their faces scanned or being thrown behind bars (although some have been), but you’d have to be living under a rock not to see the trend of the last ten years to punish, fine, suspend, fire, bankrupt, vandalize, and attack dozens and dozens of men and women of faith. And in all walks of life! From the Senate chamber to a corner bakery, Christians with natural or biblical views of marriage and sexuality have had a bullseye on their backs. They’ve had the fight of their lives in courtrooms, city councils, and human rights commissions just to exercise what the founders died to give us: the right to religious belief and expression.
This isn’t a figment of the church’s imagination. When Fea says, “American evangelicals should have more important issues on their plates than worrying about a few misguided progressives who do not like Christian schools,” he’s grossly minimizing the breadth of the crisis — for one — and the ferocity of the opposition, for another. Smoke always precedes the fire. This growing hostility in America is a warning. And we ignore it — at our own peril.
Originally published here.
Life Gets a Lift from an Unexpected Place
Think late-term abortion is a slam dunk in deep blue New England? Think again. Liberals have the fight of the decade on their hands in states like Rhode Island, where a single vote could decide the fate of bills as radical as New York’s. In a party that’s pushing the envelope of extremism, more than 85 Democratic state legislators have voted for legislation to protect life this year alone. And the Ocean State might just make it 86.
Late Monday night, Democratic State Senator Stephen Archambault (D) may have just thrown his entire party’s agenda in jeopardy with this announcement: “While I am pro-choice, I do believe in reasonable restrictions on abortions, once a pregnancy moves beyond viability. Simply put, viability means when a fetus is so close to fully formed that it is likely to be able to survive outside the womb — if born. Reasonable restrictions are permissible under Roe v. Wade as currently interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Contrary to the Left’s claims, he argues, “S152A… goes well beyond codifying Roe v. Wade and wipes out laws on the books that are clearly permissible under Roe v. Wade as currently interpreted, without replacing them with any new safeguards. I cannot support post-viability abortions that are based on undefined ‘health’ reasons and would permit very late term, up to date of birth, abortions. It simply goes too far.”
As it does for most Democrats. Eighty-two percent of Americans — including 77 percent of “pro-choicers” feel exactly like Archambault — that liberals are stepping into dangerous new territory. As FRC’s Matt Carpenter points out in Christian Post, state Democrats are voting against extremism and for measures to protect infants born alive, ban abortion once a baby in the womb has a detectable heartbeat, outlaw abortion when science shows that babies can feel pain, ban the gruesome dismemberment abortion procedure, and amend a state constitution to clarify there is no right to an abortion or taxpayer funding of abortion.
“Despite immense pressure from the abortion industry and party leadership,” Matt writes, “these Democrats [are voting] their consciences — and should be commended for doing so… Sudden shifts in public attitudes on abortion and bipartisan votes on pro-life legislation are sure to send ripple effects through American politics. If national Democrats continue to toe the pro-late-term-abortion line and oppose bills like the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, they are sure to continue to alienate their own voters who can clearly see these truths: life is precious, life begins in the womb, and all newborn babies are worthy of equal protection.”
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.