Secretary Ben Carson: America's Dr. Politically Incorrect
“This whole concept of political correctness … it’s going to destroy our nation.”
That was the no-nonsense response of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson to Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) earlier this week. Wexton was trying for a “gotcha” moment in a congressional hearing when she asked Dr. Carson if he would “apologize” for being quoted for expressing concern over “big, hairy men" trying to gain entry into an Alaska women’s homeless shelter.
I could not have said it better. On Friday's edition of Washington Watch, Dr. Carson – or Dr. Politically Incorrect as I’ve called him - joined me to make it clear he will not kowtow to political correctness.
"It’s foolishness because, you know, the First Amendment guarantees people freedom of speech. What political correctness does is it makes people afraid to express themselves. So coming in the back door, it actually suppresses the First Amendment. And we need to be very, very wary of anything that takes away our constitutional rights.”
Secretary Carson went on to nail the consequences of caving into the Left’s tantrums.
“Anything that doesn’t agree with them is a hateful word, and that’s what I mean when I said we need to be more mature than that. That’s what I might expect from a third-grade playground. If we make everything such a sensitive subject and everybody has to sit down and filter everything that they say, and we’re listening carefully to their words instead of what their meaning is, what do we become as a society and as a people? We’ve got to nip it in the bud before it gets to the place where everybody just is silent. And they can’t say anything because it’s going to offend somebody.”
He is speaking up for what is a commonsense policy: sexually-assaulted and abused women seeking shelter should not be forced to sleep next to men who think or act like they are women when they are biological men. But he is also speaking up for free speech and freedom of religion. The Left portrays the Trump administration as lacking compassion for people who need housing, but the opposite is true. It is the Department of House and Urban Development under Secretary Carson’s leadership that has expanded access to people who need housing because they are once again allowing faith-based organizations to partner with the government who were excluded during the Obama years. This inclusion of faith-based organization helps meet the needs in local communities all across America.
The Obama administration required faith-based groups to leave their faith at the door and pushed bizarre policies that put men in women’s homeless shelters. Thankfully, we have a HUD Secretary who understands the principle that has guided America for centuries – equal rights for all, special rights for none. That’s what makes America work – not political correctness.
Originally published here.
Remember the Persecuted: An Upcoming Opportunity
“Are people still praying for me?” That is the question Pastor Andrew Brunson asked his wife Norine each week when she visited him in a Turkish prison where he was unjustly detained for nearly two years. Less than two weeks ago at FRC’s Faith, Family, & Freedom Gala, we celebrated and praised God together with the Brunsons on the one-year anniversary of Andrew’s miraculous release from Turkey. That evening he shared why he had repeatedly asked Norine if people were still praying. He said, “I needed that connection to the Body.”
Andrew feared being forgotten, as do hundreds of millions of other brothers and sisters in Christ around the globe who suffer religious persecution on a daily basis – most of whose names will never be in the headlines. In China, unregistered house churches are shut down and destroyed. In parts of the Middle East, converts to Christianity from a Muslim background must hide their faith or risk death from their community and even their own families. Some of these believers are in Northeast Syria, where they and other Christians are in danger due to Turkey’s recent invasion and other events. In Nigeria, the terrorist group Boko Haram targets Christians to be kidnapped and killed. And as we heard from North Korean defector Ji Hyeon-A at our recent Values Voter Summit, believers face unspeakably horrific conditions in North Korea.
When faced with the evil of religious oppression, we can and should advocate for religious freedom – and one of the ways we advocate is in prayer. As Hebrews 13:3 tells us, “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.”
On Sunday, November 3, 2019, I am encouraging you and your church to join Christians around the world by observing the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Ask your pastor or church leaders to make this a priority, and encourage your family to make it a priority as well. This is a day to draw our attention to the plight of our brothers and sisters who place their faith in Jesus Christ, regardless of the cost.
FRC has resources available right now to better inform your prayers at rememberthepersecuted.org, and we’ll be adding more throughout next week as we approach Sunday, so check back often.
Originally published here.
RSC Unveils New Plan for Personalized, Affordable Health Care
While Democrats race to the Left to get behind socialized health care plans like Medicare For All, the Republican Study Committee (RSC) is taking the lead for Republicans by offering a conservative market-based alternative that emphasizes providing quality health care coverage and reducing costs. On Washington Watch this week, I hosted Republican Study Committee Chairman Mike Johnson (R-La.) to unveil the first phase of their new health care plan.
As he told our audience, this is “a framework for personalized affordable care.” The RSC has worked in close coordination with White House on this plan which seeks to expand upon the principles of health care reform that the president has already taken. Even better is the fact that this plan is not offered with the interests of big business and big insurance companies in mind. Instead it seeks to achieve more personalized affordable care that benefits the American people, not the insurance companies that supported Obamacare.
Johnson laid out the specifics:
“this plan … has two basic premises. One, we want to protect vulnerable Americans. That includes […] everybody with preexisting conditions, chronic illnesses, serious health issues. But at the same time, we can reduce premiums and deductibles and the overall cost of health care. We have to do both of those things and we’ve got the plan to do it.”
How exactly does this plan seek to protect vulnerable Americans and cut costs? First, by applying HIPAA portability laws to the individual market in order to eliminate the gaps in coverage for people with preexisting conditions. Second, by cutting back regulations that stop innovative health care ideas from flourishing like telemedicine, and direct primary care. Finally, by unleashing Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) so that Americans can put even more money into their HSA and use those funds on a variety of health care expenses.
Ever since the Republican majority in Congress failed by one vote to repeal and replace Obamacare in 2017, Democrats have taken the lead in offering health care proposals. They made health care reform their priority in the 2018 elections, propelling them to take back the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. If we allow Democrats to lead the charge on the next health care reform debate, not only would they outlaw private insurance, but also mandate taxpayer funding for abortion and repeal any conscience protections for health care providers that object to performing abortions. So far, the RSC is the only group with an alternative to the big government plans proposed by Democrats. With Rep. Johnson taking President Trump up on his offer to reclaim the narrative on health care reform, there is real hope for the affordable quality health care that everyone deserves.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.