There’s been much ado about the fact the State Department declined to authorize US embassies to fly “gay pride” rainbow flags from the main embassy flagpoles. (The wailing and gnashing of teeth failed to acknowledge the “ban” only applied to flagpoles, and such flags or other similar decorations were allowed to be flown elsewhere. In fact, one report seemed to think the continued displays were “defiance”, when Vice President Pence explicitly stated no other restrictions were placed on the display of “pride”.) President Obama had begun declaring June “gay pride month,” a “celebration” that has largely fallen silent under President Trump.
US Rep Ilhan Oman even claimed the denial was “bigotry and discrimination” by the Trump administration — strong words, given the traditional treatment of homosexuals by her Islamic faith.
And while the US State Department would not allow “gay pride” to join the US flag around the world, a US Air Force AWACS crew decided they’d advertise on the flight line of in a deployed location:
“On our deployment Read more
Speaking at the Liberty University commencement, 11 May 2019:
The truth is, when you leave Liberty Mountain, you’re going to find an America filled with promise…
We live in a time when the freedom of religion is under assault. Yesterday, I was informed by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom that today Christians suffer more persecution around the world than any other religion…
The freedom of religion is enshrined in our First Amendment and in the hearts of every American. And these attacks on Christian education are un-American. I’m proud to report our administration has already taken decisive action to protect religious liberty, and we’ll continue to do just that. And I promise you: We will always stand up for the right of Americans to live, to learn, and to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience.
The American people cherish our tradition of religious education, and as President Trump said at this very podium two years ago, on our watch, “No one is ever going to stop you from practicing your faith or from preaching what is in your heart.” That’s a promise… Read more
Tulsi Gabbard is a Democrat representing Hawaii’s 2nd District in the US House of Representatives. She is also a Major in the Army National Guard and a recently declared presidential candidate.
She is also a Hindu.
In response to criticisms regarding her religion and her political aspirations, Gabbard wrote a strongly worded rebuttal published at Religion News Service saying “religious bigotry is un-American” [emphasis added]:
While the headlines covering my announcement could have celebrated this historic first [a Hindu presidential candidate], and maybe even informed Americans about the world’s third largest religion, some have instead fomented suspicion, fear and religious bigotry about not only me but also my supporters…
Some media outlets have chosen to craft a false narrative of intrigue by profiling and targeting all of my donors who have names of Hindu origin and accusing them of being “Hindu nationalists.”
Today it’s the profiling and targeting of Hindu Americans and ascribing to them motives without any basis. Tomorrow will it be Muslim or Jewish Americans? Japanese, Hispanic or African Americans?
While Gabbard is right to protest Read more
Vice President Mike Pence has been raked over the coals in recent weeks and months. He and his family have been the target of criticism, vitriol, and hate.
Some of it has come from random internet blogs or “celebrities” who might otherwise be ignored, except their acrimony was then repeated by the media as “news” — in some cases, it was seemingly promoted by the media.
Pence was attacked not because of a policy decision, a political position, or any action that was illegal or unethical.
Mike Pence has been attacked simply because he’s a Christian.
Notably, at no point did those same media organizations remotely defend Pence’s human rights, and rights under the US Constitution, that protect his ability to believe and do the things so vilely attacked.
By all accounts, Mike Pence is a good and honorable man — though that’s Read more
While the issue of transgenders in the US military has been at a low simmer for more than a year, it continues to be a source of consternation and angst within the military itself, just as any unresolved policy matter would be. While it seems transgenders would ultimately contribute little in the form of military readiness (some public reports indicate actual transgenders in the military number in the high-two digits), the manner in which to address this demographic continues to substantially draw on senior leader time and every troops’ moral conscience.
In an apparent effort to establish their argument as one beyond Donald Trump, the LGBT community Read more
Though it isn’t being reported this way, last Friday President Trump actually rescinded the ban he previously implemented on transgenders in the military last August. The new memorandum (PDF) explicitly withdrew his prior policy:
I hereby revoke my memorandum of August 25, 2017, “Military Service by Transgender Individuals,” and any other directive I may have made with respect to military service by transgender individuals.
The new memo did not institute a new presidential directive. Rather, the President deferred to the Department of Defense — that is, the “independent judgment” of the DoD — with regard to its policies. He said [emphasis added]:
These [DoD-produced] documents set forth the policies on this issue that the Secretary of Defense, in the exercise of his independent judgment, has concluded should be adopted by the Department of Defense.
It’s a clever move. Lawsuits and Read more
Vice President Mike Pence made waves a few months ago when word got around that, as a rule, he would not spend time alone with a woman who was not his wife. It was almost immediately coined “The Mike Pence Rule,” though it was actually “the Billy Graham rule” for the preceding few decades, and it has been a fairly common “rule” in the Christian community just as long.
As was pointed out several months ago, many in media and society strained to portray the “Pence rule” as a bad thing. Katelyn Beatynov wrote an OpEd at the NYTimes on “A Christian Case Against the Pence Rule,” essentially saying the rule was an admission that men were uncontrollable “beasts”:
The Pence rule arises from a broken view of the sexes: Men are lustful beasts that must be contained, while women are objects of desire that must be hidden away. Offering the Pence rule as a solution to male predation is like saying, “I can’t meet with you one on one, otherwise I might eventually assault you.”
Awkwardly, Beatynov is unable to square her takedown with her own comments in that same article saying “there’s wisdom” in the rule. David French did a more than adequate rebuttal of Beatynov’s Read more
The newest American Religious Freedom Ambassador is Kansas Governor Sam Brownback:
The chamber voted 50–49—calling on Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie vote for the second time that day—to install Brownback in the vacant State Department position, which monitors persecution and discrimination on a global scale through the Office of International Religious Freedom (IRF).
The at-large ambassadorship was created in 1998, though Read more