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Tony Perkins / Feb. 25, 2021

Biden’s Pick for Stealth and Inhumane Services

The California AG is applying for a job to oversee the biggest budget of any U.S. agency as a complete novice.

Joe Biden wouldn’t trust his health care to someone with zero experience, so why is he asking America to? That was one of the biggest questions at Tuesday’s Senate grilling of Xavier Becerra, the president’s surprising pick for HHS secretary. The California attorney general, who’s never had a lick of training in medicine, science, pharma, or the health care world, is applying for a job to oversee — not just the nation’s pandemic response — but the biggest budget of any U.S. agency as a complete novice. And Biden said Donald Trump’s COVID plan was bad?

The president could have found a better candidate on LinkedIn, Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) said — without joking. “If you’re doing a search on a LinkedIn for someone who’d be a perfect match to be in Health and Human Services, he wouldn’t even show up — because he has no health care background or experience… Becerra is not a health care professional,” he argued on “Washington Watch.” “Traditionally in this role, [there] would be someone who’s been in health care administration or a physician or a scientist. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. And you would think the group that’s going to oversee the pandemic response and all that’s got to happen would be somebody with a science or health care background. But instead, President Biden has selected an attorney. That seems to be his only criteria. And his only main qualification on this is he has been [a] very outspoken [supporter] of abortion — and not just the existence of abortion, but the [radical promotion] of it.”

In his opinion — and the opinion of several Republicans in Tuesday’s hearing — this isn’t a nominee that should even be considered. “He may be qualified to be something like an attorney general, but definitely not leading Health and Human Services.” The only real experience he has with the industry is suing hospitals, pregnancy care centers, and other entities that aren’t pro-abortion enough for his liking. When he served as attorney general of California, people didn’t just object to his extreme views (which are bad enough), they objected to how he forced those views on others — stripping conscience protections, suing states with pro-life laws, even ordering pro-life centers to advertise for abortion.

When David Daleiden’s undercover videos exposed Planned Parenthood for its baby body parts market, what did Becerra do? “Instead of going [after] those that were selling the body parts of children, he immediately filed suit against the individuals that exposed it,” Lankford said in disgust. “So he went after the whistleblowers instead of going after those that were selling the body parts.” Imagine what he would do with a $1.286 trillion budget and 80,000 employees.

Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) tried to pin him down on that, asking if he would “commit to not using taxpayer money to fund abortion and abortion providers?” Becerra replied that he would follow the law. When Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kans.) pressed him on chemical abortion and why he supported removing the safety regulations, he dodged, saying that it was important for women to have “access to health care without COVID being a danger.” But what about the dangers of the drugs, conservatives wanted to know, which have resulted in thousands of hospitalizations, blood transfusions, infections, and deaths?

Even moderates like Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) seemed stunned by Becerra’s barbaric views. “Most people agree that partial-birth abortion is awful,” Romney insisted. “You voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion. Why?” Becerra gave the standard reply, saying he respected other people’s views and thought they could “find common ground” — to which Romney fired back, there is no common ground on a procedure that half-delivers, then kills, a healthy baby. It’s bad enough that he is unqualified, but to double down on being inhumane should be a deal killer in his bid to head the nation’s health agency.

Like most people, Lankford says he wants to believe “that the person who leads Health and Human Services is actually helping humans receive services rather than taking human life. I’m proud to be able to say I believe all children are valuable. For whatever reason, he believes only some children are valuable.”

Worse, he wants to force everyone who doesn’t agree with him to destroy those children — whether they’re morally opposed or not. That’s why Lankford introduced a bill, SB 183, that would protect basic conscience protections. They may be in federal law now, but, as he pointed out, they “only work if the government actually [enforces them].” If an administration like Biden’s won’t, then he thinks these men and women who got in the health care profession to save lives should have some way to fight back — in court or otherwise. The point is “to say to all of my colleagues, Republican and Democrat alike, why can’t we at least agree to be able to honor the basic rights and conscience of individuals?”

Of course, if they vote to approve this radical, there’s no guarantee any freedoms — or lives — will stand. “The only reason he was selected,” Lankford argued, “was because of his outspoken support for abortion. This was a hat tip to the Left and the most progressive elements of the president’s party to be able to say, ‘I’m going to be the most pro-abortion president ever’ after having President Trump [as] the most pro-life president ever.”

Join us in stopping President Biden from appointing a know-nothing abortion activist at the helm of one of the most important government agencies in the country. Contact your senators and urge them to vote NO on the confirmation of Xavier Becerra.

Originally published here.


Equality Act: ‘The Left’s New Woke Heresy Code’


The U.S. House today will vote on the Equality Act. It will almost certainly pass, without a single Republican cosponsor. Then its fate will be decided in the Senate. It’s hard to imagine just how damaging this bill would be. Essentially, it takes every issue the Left feels is a sacred cow and wraps it into one bill — a legislative right to abortion on demand, special privileges for sexual orientation and gender identity, and the abolition of religious freedom.

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) condemned the bill Tuesday on the House floor. “The so-called Equality Act jeopardizes the wellbeing of our children. It jeopardizes the role of parents, the privacy and safety of vulnerable women, the competitive edge of female athletes, the livelihoods of charities and businesses and the integrity of our healthcare system.” It sticks the government’s long talons into practically every area of life.

Of course, the bill’s defenders cloak these horrible things in very nice-sounding terminology. After all, who wants to stand against equality? In George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm, a group of animals proceed to run a farm on the premise that all animals are equal, but they eventually discover, after one group has bullied, ridiculed, and terrorized the rest, that some animals are “more equal” than others (that is, superior). Those who identify as LGBT already have equality under the law, but the so-called “Equality Act” would give them special privileges at the expense of women, children, and people of faith. That’s why Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) called the bill “nothing more than an identity politics sell-out.”

The Equality Act would particularly target people who believe in a Biblical view of sexuality and gender. Congressman Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) said on “Washington Watch” Tuesday that it’s “one of the most hostile bills that I can think of in my lifetime towards religious freedom” because it “effectively nullifies the Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA).

Congress passed RFRA in the early ‘90s in response to a 1990 Supreme Court decision that gutted the First Amendment’s protections for the free exercise of religion. Essentially, it restored religious freedom by requiring courts to interpret the law in a way that guaranteed protection for religion. But since then, the courts have treated religious freedom as a statutory right (under RFRA), and not a constitutional one. Provisions in the Equality Act explicitly say that RFRA doesn’t apply, which would let special rights for LGBT interest groups trump religious freedom. RFRA passed almost unanimously; in fact, its sponsor in the House was then Rep. Chuck Schumer. But now, because of the rise of the militant LGBTQ minority in America, the Democrats can’t stand it.

Davidson argued the Equality Act would implement “a new kind of woke heresy code” that is “enforced across all denominations.” And pastors, don’t think you can hide from this policy in your church. U.S. non-discrimination law applies to any place categorized as a “public accommodation.” In fact, Colorado was able to persecute Jack Phillips because his bake shop was counted as a public accommodation. The Equality Act would expand the definition of “public accommodation” to include churches and schools — including religious schools. And then it would redefine what it means to be “male and female.” If the Equality Act became law, the federal government would severely punish any religious institution that tried to bar people who identify as homosexual or transgender from using any restroom they wanted or holding office or membership.

What should rightly be called the in-Equality Act is perhaps the most anti-biology, anti-religious freedom, anti-family bill Congress has ever considered. It leaves me asking, as Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) did, “Equality for who?”

Originally published here.


Censored? Don’t Get Mad. Get Gab.


He was canceled before the cancel culture. And looking back, maybe that was a blessing. Andrew Torba had a three-year head start to build his mob-proof business. Now, Gab is one of the only free speech havens still standing, giving tens of millions of oppressed Americans a social media platform to call home.

“When I first started this,” he explained on “Washington Watch,” “the goal was just to build an alternative social network. But really what we’ve become is an alternative to Silicon Valley.” And not a moment too soon. With companies like Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and Google banning users, dropping accounts, and slapping warning labels on proven facts, Americans needed a place to speak truth without fear. This Christian entrepreneur gave them one.

“The Lord put it on my heart about five years ago to start this company. And when I started it, everybody thought I was crazy.” He said it was like building a “digital Noah’s Ark.” Other people said, 'You’re going to take on Facebook, you’re going to take on Twitter, and you’re going to take on Google? You’re insane.“ And it probably felt that way in 2018 when one user gave the corporate world a reason to come after him. After an attack on the Pittsburgh synagogue, companies started blaming Torba — using the mere fact that the shooter had a Gab profile as an excuse to shut him down. (Nevermind that Facebook users have been implicated in murder, domestic terrorism, child trafficking, the January 6 riot at the Capitol and a whole host of other crimes.)

Suddenly, he started getting notices from his vendors — all announcing they were cutting services. "We’ve been banned from both app stores. We’ve been banned from hosting providers, from payment processors, from — you name it — 25-plus service providers that you need to operate a website on the internet.” So, Andrew did what conservatives are scrambling to do now: he built his own infrastructure completely from scratch. “We have our own servers. We have our own web browser. We have our own payment processing solution… And I believe that that is the future,” he insisted. “We can’t look [to the] failing system of Big Tech oligarchs and Silicon Valley. They’re not going to change their ways. They’re wicked. And they’re going to continue to come after Christians.”

Just look at where we’ve come in five years, Andrew shook his head. “Things are escalat[ing] to the point where they’re calling the Bible hate speech. They’re calling the words of Christ hateful and bigoted. And things are escalating. And Gab is going to be the last place on the internet where people can speak freely and share the gospel and share opinions and ideas. And it doesn’t even have to be about Christianity. Just in general. People are going to be able to speak freely on Gab.”

Now, those hard years have paid off. Gab is getting more page views than some of the major mainstream media outlets — and adding about 30 million users a month. At that pace, they’ll be impossible to stop. “People are finally getting access to the free flow of information and truth that they can’t find anywhere else,” Andrew pointed out. “So I don’t think that growth is going to slow down.”

Obviously, in a community with tens of millions of users, not everyone will share our faith and values. But, as I told Andrew, I’m fine with that. I don’t mind having a vigorous debate or conversation with people who disagree. That doesn’t scare me. What scares me is what the Left is doing in shutting down the debate.

And yet, as Andrew points out, despite the censorship and silencing, “God always wins.” “And I believe right now, in this moment in time, He’s calling us to [think creatively] and build… And I pray that other Christians are inspired by the work that we’re doing and start to build themselves, because if we’re going to escape this cancer culture, I really feel like we need to build our own economy, build our own banks, our own business infrastructure, our own internet. I mean, that’s where things are going.”

We’re called to stand for truth and proclaim it. God never intended for us to voluntarily silence ourselves. Andrew, by refusing to give up or surrender, has given Christians a platform that’s virtually cancel-proof. And that’s not — he’s quick to tell you — by his own power. “All the glory goes to God. I’m just a vessel. I don’t want anyone to remember my name. I want them to remember what Christ did for me, because He saved me. He saved Gab. The only reason I’m online right now is because God has blessed us and humbled me and helped our team persevere through the persecution that we faced over the past five years.”

So join FRC in supporting Andrew and giving free speech a platform. Go to Gab.com and sign up. Also, check out our conversation for more details about what’s available and how the community works. You can follow me on Gab @tony_perkins.

Originally published here.


This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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