Pence Defends Religious Liberty
I was honored to be part of a select group at the State Department today, with representatives of 106 countries, to hear Vice President Mike Pence deliver a powerful defense of religious freedom as a fundamental human right that should be protected in every nation.
Sadly, Pence noted that "a stunning 83% of the world's population lives in nations where religious freedom is threatened or even banned." As a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, I can assure you that the challenge is enormous and far worse than most Americans realize.
The vice president called out some of the worst violators, including China, Iran and North Korea. Referring to China, Pence said:
"The United States is engaged in ongoing negotiations and discussions over our trading relations with China and those will continue. But whatever comes of our negotiations with Beijing, you can be assured that the American people will stand in solidarity with the people of all faiths in the People's Republic of China. And we will pray for the day when that they can live out their faith freely without fear of persecution."
The vice president noted that in North Korea possession of a Bible is a capital offense and that regime officials have pledged to "wipe out the seed of Christian reactionaries."
Pence vowed that as the Trump Administration pursues nuclear talks with Kim Jong Un,
"the United States will continue to stand for the freedom of religion for all people of all faiths on the Korean peninsula."
You can watch the vice president's speech here.
Yesterday, President Trump met with victims of religious persecution, including Pastor Andrew Brunson, at the White House. You can watch his remarks here.
More Meaningless Votes
According to a recent CNN poll, 74% of Americans said the situation at the border is a crisis. Yet what is Congress doing about it? Nothing.
After wasting time Tuesday debating the president's tweets, House liberals wasted Wednesday debating impeachment and holding meaningless contempt votes.
Rep. Al Green (D-TX) forced a vote on impeaching President Trump basically because Green doesn't like the president. His impeachment resolution contains the usual list of insults liberals hurl at conservatives, declares Trump to be unfit for office and a general menace to society. (And given Green's past embrace of Louis Farrakhan, he's got a lot of chutzpah introducing this resolution!)
But the resolution is noteworthy for what was missing. There was nothing you might expect about Robert Mueller, nothing about colluding with Russia and no "high crimes" -- the constitutional standard for impeachment -- identified anywhere in Green's resolution.
As a reminder, Bill Clinton was impeached for real crimes -- perjury and obstruction of justice. There was nothing remotely close to that in Green's screed. As a result, the vote to table (or dismiss) the resolution was 332-to-95.
After brushing off Green's impeachment effort, progressives wasted more time by voting to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to turn over documents related to the administration's decision to put a citizenship question on the census.
Keep in mind that:
- The president had asserted executive privilege over the documents, meaning it wasn't up to Barr and Ross to hand them over.
- The overwhelming majority of Americans support the administration's position on the citizenship question.
- And the issue is moot now due to a tortured opinion from the Supreme Court.
So what was the point of yesterday's contempt vote?
Love It Or Leave It
President Trump got into hot water earlier this week with the liberal media for channeling his inner Merle Haggard and telling left-wing politicians that if they don't love America they are free to leave it. Well, he's not the only one who has expressed similar sentiments.
Remember when Governor Andrew Cuomo told pro-life, pro-family, pro-Second Amendment conservatives that "they have no place in the state of New York"? That sounds a lot like "love or leave it," and I don't recall any outrage by the media then or resolutions condemning Cuomo's bigotry.
Remember all the "woke" Hollywood liberals who promised to leave the country if Trump won in 2016? Presumably that meant they would no longer love the country if he won. Well, he did win, and I'm still waiting for them to leave!
Yesterday we reported that Dr. Leana Wen had been fired from her position as president of Planned Parenthood after just eight months on the job. Reports indicated that Wen and the board had "philosophical differences over the direction" of the organization.
Evidently those philosophical differences were significant. According to the left-wing outlet BuzzFeed, "Two sources [said] that Wen also refused to use 'trans-inclusive' language."
Maybe Wen was just as confused as I was when one of the progressive presidential candidates endorsed abortions for trans females. Or perhaps she refused to buy into the progressive insanity that "men can get pregnant" and must be permitted access to taxpayer funded abortions.