William Barr, Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence, President Trump Speak on Religious Freedom, Christian Values
Much of the national US leadership has spoken recently in support of religious freedom and the value of their Christian faith.
US Attorney General William Barr spoke a particularly salient truth when he addressed the Notre Dame Law School last Friday [emphasis added]:
Barr, a devout Catholic, told students and faculty at the university’s law school that “the problem is not that religion is being forced on others, the problem is that irreligion is being forced — secular values are being forced on people of faith.”…
“I can assure you that as long as I am attorney general, the Department of Justice will be at the forefront of this effort, ready to fight for the most cherished of all American liberties: the freedom to live according to our faith,” he concluded.
Mike Pompeo was addressing the American Association of Christian Counselors when he spoke on Christian leadership:
We’re both in very people-intensive lines of work, and we’re both appealing to the hearts and minds to change behaviors. As believers, we draw on the wisdom of God to help us get it right, to be a force for good in the life of human beings.
Now, I know that even having just said that, I know some people in the media will break out the pitchforks when they hear that I ask God for direction in my work. (Applause.) But you should know, as much as I’d like to claim originality, it is not a new idea. (Laughter.) I love this quote from President Lincoln. He said that he – he said, quote, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.” (Laughter.)
And so with that in mind, I want to use my time today to think about what it means to be a Christian leader, a Christian leader in three areas:
First is disposition. How is it that one carries oneself in the world? The second is dialogue, talking. How is it that we engage with others around the world? And third is decisions, decisions that we make. How do we make choices? Upon what basis? What do we use as our bedrock to get to those decisions? These are things that you face in your work every day. They are issues that the State Department and President Trump, each of us, must face.
While some critics have attacked Secretary Pompeo for the speech, if you actually watch it the speech is entirely appropriate, and honestly, quite good. (Michael “Mikey” Weinstein said the speech was equivalent to rape and “first degree murder”. Seriously.) The speech was to a Christian audience, and Pompeo is a Christian, so it is natural he would speak on that shared faith. The speech can be watched and read on the State Department website, as is common practice for public speaking events by government officials.
Late in August, Vice President Mike Pence — who has routinely been attacked for his faith — had a “fireside chat” with ADF President Michael Farris in which he answered a question about handling attacks from critics by saying
Spend more time on your knees than on the Internet.
Finally, President Donald Trump recently spoke to the Value Voters Summit in which he said [emphasis added]
Extreme left-wing radicals [and] far-left socialists…reject the principles of our Founding Fathers — principles enshrined into the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims that our rights come from our creator. (Applause.)
But despite the delusions of the radical left, all of us here today know that our rights come from God almighty, and they can never be taken away. (Applause.)
Together, we will protect those God-given rights for our children, our children’s children, and generations of Americans to come.
In an era in which a political party has made a point of embracing secularists and in which attacks against religious beliefs are the norm — whether removing a church tax exemption because of its beliefs or requiring businesses to act in a manner contrary to their faith — can you imagine which potential 2021 presidential administration would continue to speak in defense of faith and religious liberty?