Changed by Love: The Untold Stories
They call themselves “formers.” And Wednesday, they were on Capitol Hill telling a story the Left doesn’t want you to hear. “We exist,” Elizabeth Woning told NBC News. Surrounded by men and women who’ve walked out of the LGBT lifestyle, her message to Congress is: stop pretending change isn’t possible. Because this group knows better than anyone — it is.
So many of the House’s bills, Elizabeth pointed out, “are based on the premise that LGBTQ people only have one option, and that there are no other ways forward — when we know from our own lives that this is not true.” Wearing shirts that say “CHANGED,” the group hoped to persuade Congress that their Equality Act and therapy bans may actually be doing more harm to the community than good.
On Wednesday’s “Washington Watch,” Janet Boynes tried to explain why the Left is trying so hard to keep testimonies like theirs quiet. “We’re being silenced,” she insisted, “because we can debunk what they’re saying. They will not sit down and debate any of us that have come out of the life of homosexuality, because we can challenge their ideology. I am in the living example that change is possible through the power of God… We came here to tell our stories [believing that] they’ll impact many men and women and family members who have loved ones dealing with that issue of homosexuality, transgenderism…”
Boynes, who had a traumatic childhood, watched her dad abuse her mom — then became a victim of sexual assault herself. She says that’s when she started to associate men with “rape and abuse.” Despite knowing God, she says she met a woman who she felt safe with and started to have a sexual relationship with her. “I walked away from my faith,” she admits. “After that four or five years, I was empty.” She tried to fill the void with food, drugs, other women. “These are the things that I started medicating my pain with outside of God… I never dealt with the issues that propelled me to go into that life…”
Janet says, “There are Christians that walk away from their faith to go into the homosexual life. But the Bible says, ‘When I leave 100 sheep,’ God said, ‘I’ll leave that 99, and I’ll come after you. And God came after me.” She met a woman at the grocery store in the middle of the night who told her she was a Christian. “I told her I was a lesbian. She invited me to church. Two weeks later, I went to church and I have rededicated my heart to the Lord.” She wants people to know, “it was the church, the body of Christ, that assisted me in my journey of walking out of that life.”
She hopes Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) takes that to heart after their chance meeting outside the Capitol on Wednesday. Janet saw her across the grounds and stopped to talk to her. She handed Pelosi a book full of testimonies like hers. “I hope she takes the time to read it, because these bills they’re coming up with [are] to silence us… And as long as [we’re silenced], they’ll continue to make inroads…” And the next target, she warns, are kids.
Christians, she says, can’t afford to sit back. But in a world where they’re called “homophobes” or “haters,” some are shrinking back. “What would you say to them?” I asked her. “What should they do?” Love them, she said simply. “God never called them by their shame. He always called them by their name.” Let them know, “God is there for them. God loves them. And I believe that what He has done for me, He will continue to do for them and their families as well.”
Originally published here.
ABA Puts Nominees in a Single Defile Line
Justice may be blind, but the American Bar Association is not. That’s the biggest takeaway from Wednesday’s Senate hearing, when Ninth Circuit Court nominee Lawrence VanDyke became the ABA’s latest contestant on “conservatives don’t have talent.” Like most of this president’s picks, VanDyke probably braced himself for the Kavanaugh Treatment. But he never imagined the country’s largest attorney organization would stoop to label him “not qualified.”
How can a judicial nominee who graduated magna cum laude, “edited the Harvard Law Review, clerked for a top circuit judge, litigated extensively at the district and appellate levels, and served as solicitor general of two states be deemed "unqualified?” the editors of the Wall Street Journal ask. “Only if the group making the judgment is the liberal lawyers’ guild known as the American Bar Association, and the nominee in question is a Republican — and worse, an evangelical Christian…”
Ignoring his years of experience and credentials that are “right out of central casting” for an appellate judge, Article III’s Mike Davis insisted, the ABA’s rating dropped like a bomb. Blasting VanDyke as “arrogant, lazy” and “an ideologue” who “does not have an open mind,” the report was such an over-the-top thrashing that experts like Carrie Severino said it was time for the Senate to end the group’s role. In fact, the report was so wildly vitriolic (unsurprising, since it was authored by a donor to one of VanDyke’s political opponents in Montana) that even Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) thought the ABA should be brought in to explain.
At one point, the ABA even attacked VanDyke’s religious beliefs, implying that he wouldn’t be fair to members of the LGBTQ community — a charge so vicious and unfounded that Lawrence broke down in tears when Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) asked him about it. “I did not say that,” he insisted, his voice breaking. “I do not believe that. It is a fundamental belief of mine that all people are created in the image of God and they should all be treated with dignity and respect.”
For now, the group’s standing committee stands by its trashing of Trump’s pick as “impartial.” But Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) — like Hawley — continues to be astonished that his chamber still takes the ABA seriously. As far as he and many others are concerned, the group has lost all credibility as a “neutral arbiter” and “should be treated no differently than any other special interest group.” Until there’s a thorough investigation into the association’s prejudice, he called for “suspend[ing] the unique access” that the ABA has to the confirmation process.
That would be a tough sell for liberals, Davis argued on “Washington Watch.” “Democrats feel like they’re beholden to the ABA because of the millions of dollars in campaign contributions from trial attorneys across America. When Democrats control the White House or… the Senate, they basically outsource their constitutional duty to provide advice and consent to the ABA…” They don’t mind using the ABA’s bogus ratings as political fodder, especially when it hangs good men like Lawrence out to dry. Fortunately, Mike went on, “President Trump and the Republican Senate see right through that. They understand that it’s their duty to be independent.”
And thanks to this administration, groups like the ABA — who’ve been hiding out as “neutral” parties for years — are starting to be exposed for their unapologetic left-leaning stance. As painful as this parade of character assassination has been for the president’s picks, it could force the Senate to reconsider how it conducts its confirmation business. If not, this process — one that’s stood up to centuries of partisanship — may never be the same.
Originally published here.
Pompeo Drops the Gloves on China
Halloween’s already come and gone in Hong Kong. Protestors, who’ve been locked in months of violent protests with police, stood outside of blockades yelling, “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong!” Using the holiday as an excuse to wear costumes, protestors dressed up like everything from President Xi to tear gas canisters, while half a world away in New York, one U.S. leader decided to take the mask off the real villain of the story: China.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in the city to receive an award, the prestigious Herman Kahn honor from the Hudson Institute. But the secretary did more than thank his hosts. He took the opportunity to deliver the most stinging rebuke of the People’s Republic most people had ever heard. And the speech, he promised, would be the first of many.
Time is calling on America to act, Pompeo explained. Although the U.S. has had a long relationship with China, “we finally realizing the degree to which the Chinese Communist Party is truly hostile to the United States.” To be clear, he pointed out, the government of China isn’t the same as the people of China. And frankly, he admitted, “we’ve been slow to see the risk, because we wanted friendship with the People’s Republic.”
But that friendship, Mike went on, came at a price. “We accommodated and encouraged China’s rise for decades, even when that rise was at the expense of American values, Western democracy, and security, and good common sense.”
While the stories of persecution and torture piled up,
“We all too often shied away from talking directly about the human rights issues there and American values when they came into conflict, and we downplayed ideological differences, even after the Tiananmen Square massacre and other significant human rights abuses. We encouraged China’s membership in the World Trade Organization and other international organizations, premised on their commitment to adopt market reforms and abide by the rules of those organizations. And all too often, China never followed through.
Frankly, we did an awful lot that accommodated China’s rise in the hope that communist China would become more free, more market-driven, and ultimately, hopefully more democratic.”
That approach, Pompeo seemed to imply, has failed. “Now we know… that China threatens American freedoms by demanding our companies self-censor to maintain access to that Chinese market. We’ve all seen the stories recently of the NBA. The truth is Beijing ought to be free to run its own PR campaign; they’re a sovereign nation. But if we disagree, our companies ought to be permitted to have that disagreement. Silencing dissent simply is not acceptable.
And these aren’t just our problems. They’re problems for all nations that share our values.”
Then there’s the issue of religious targeting and oppression. “We’ve seen this in Hong Kong, where they need to live up to their promises and commitments, and we’ve seen it in the gross human rights violation of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang…” The government is demanding that everyone “think and act according to the will of the Communist elites,” Pompeo warned. “That’s not a future that I want, I think it’s not a future that anyone in this room wants, it’s not a future that other democracies want, and it’s not a future that the people of China [want].”
Despite all of that, Secretary Pompeo explained, the Trump administration doesn’t want a confrontation. What they want is “a prosperous China that is at peace with its own people and with its neighbors… a liberalized China that allows the genius of its people to flourish… [and] a China that respects basic human rights of its own people, as guaranteed by its own constitution.”
That will only happen, the world knows, if leaders like this president and his team are brave enough to stand up and speak out. While this administration hammers out a massive trade agreement with China, Pompeo’s warning is clear: the innocent people of that nation won’t be forgotten.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.