Family Research Council

A Legacy of Leaky Justice

May 17, 2017

There are two men in the news today: one who is accused of sharing new intelligence with world leaders that might stop terrorists and another who risked countless lives by leaking America's top secrets to terrorists. Can you guess which one's being criticized? Donald Trump! Welcome to the backward thinking of the liberal media. The president is being torched for sharing information about terrorists with our allies in the fight against ISIS, while Chelsea Manning is celebrated for leaking classified information about our allies to terrorists!

The former Army intelligence agent, convicted in 2013 on more than 20 counts and six espionage violations, was freed from prison 28 years early today -- thanks to an eleventh-hour pardon by President Obama. "For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea," the transgender activist said last week. "I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world." To the cheers of the Left, who continue to hold Manning up as some sort of hero, the publisher of more than 750,000 U.S. secrets left Fort Leavenworth in the early morning hours, tweeting a photo of his first steps away from base.

To so many patriots, it was a shameful snapshot of Obama's legacy. FRC's Lt. General Jerry Boykin (USA-Ret.) could only shake his head. "Bradley Manning's actions were the actions of a traitor. He was sentenced to 35 years and he deserved 35 years given the amount of intelligence that he leaked to WikiLeaks. No one can calculate the damage that was done by his actions. We don't know how many people have been put in jeopardy or have lost their lives or been incarcerated as a result of the leaks that Bradley Manning is responsible for. I think it was a miscarriage of justice for the president to allow him to leave incarceration after seven years rather than serving the full 35 that he deserved."

A coward who gave away deadly information by the truckload, Manning is living proof of the last administration's disdain for the military. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for years without breaking, could only shake his head in disgust. "It is a sad, yet perhaps fitting commentary on President Obama's failed national security policies that he would commute the sentence of an individual that endangered the lives of American troops, diplomats, and intelligence sources..."

Now, to the disgust of most Americans, Manning is not only being released but rewarded. Earlier this week, Army officials confirmed that he would remain on active duty in a "special, unpaid status that will entitle [him] to taxpayer-funded medical care." Of course, Manning had already managed to put taxpayers on the hook for his expensive gender transition. Wounded veterans were literally dying for medical attention while the last administration financed its agenda of gender anarchy. That was the Obama military: distinguished veterans die while dishonorable traitors get sex changes.

For now, Manning is hoping to settle somewhere in Maryland with the more than $150,000 raised by supporters for his living expenses. Then, there's the matter of his military court conviction which is being appealed. If he loses that case, Manning could still be dishonorably discharged -- a small price to pay for his heinous crimes against America.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Trump Speaks up for Pastor

May 17, 2017

Yesterday, President Trump raised the issue of imprisoned U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson multiple times during his meeting with Turkish President Recep Erdogan in Washington. This is the type of significant attention that such religious freedom violations warrant, and we are glad President Trump raised the issue.

Pastor Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for 23 years and served as pastor of the Izmir Resurrection Church during that time, has been detained on vague "national security" charges since last October. Information about his case and the charges have been less than forthcoming from Turkey's government, and advocates in the U.S. and elsewhere are concerned that he is being held as a pawn on baseless charges in a violation of his religious freedom. We look forward to his release.

Many similar violations of religious freedom occur elsewhere around the world on a frequent basis, yet most never hear of them because they lack an advocate in high places. This is why we in the West need to speak up for those persecuted for their faith around the world—something that was highlighted last week at the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians, hosted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association last week in Washington, D.C. At this event, persecuted Christians from around the world gathered to show solidarity with one another and call attention to the suffering of their brothers and sisters in many places throughout the globe.

When we make our voices heard, leaders like President Trump listen. This is why we must continue to do so. In addition to pressing the case of Pastor Brunson, President Trump should appoint a strong advocate to the position of Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, and again prioritize religious freedom in U.S. foreign policy.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

The Wages of Biblical Illiteracy

May 17, 2017

The rampant biblical illiteracy in the media (not to mention religious hostility) isn't exactly surprising these days. Even some reporters who cover the religion beat don't always understand the subject they are covering. Sadly, this biblical illiteracy has consequences as a California teacher found out this week -- a lost job.

It all began when the San Luis Obispo high school newspaper published several pro-LGBT articles including a cover photo of a kissing same-sex couple. Michael Stack, a special education teacher at the school, was approached by several students concerned by what they read. Mr. Stack then decided to exercise his First Amendment right to submit a letter to the editor that contained a passage from the first chapter of Romans. His letter declared his love for the staff, the students -- but above all his love for God.

Out of this love, he proceeded to warn them "we are all accountable for our actions and that teachers are especially held accountable. I'm a teacher and I don't want to displease God any more than I already have with my sinful life so in obedience to Him, I'm asking you to please slowly read and consider the following excerpt from the book of Romans, Chapter 1, verses 16-32, in the New Testament." He concluded his letter saying, "I write you these things in order to lift up those who have stumbled, or may stumble, and put you back on the right path. I pray you each have a great summer, a wonderful life, and a perfect eternity." After the letter was published, a media firestorm ensued. News headlines falsely claimed he believes "gays deserve to die" – all pointing to verse 32 as evidence. Verses 26-27 do declare the sinfulness of homosexual acts; but it is only after verses 29-31 add a long list of other sins -- including "greed," "envy," and "gossip" -- that verse 32 says that "those who practice such things are worthy of death" (NASB).

You may recall, last summer, news headlines leveled the same accusation at a member of Congress who referenced the first chapter of Romans. At the time, Mollie Hemingway, a senior editor at the Federalist, called out the media for distorting Scripture: "Maybe notice that the listing of sins indicts literally every single human on the planet. So if you're thinking that Christianity calls for the execution of gays, you have to think, on the basis of the same passage, it calls for the execution of everyone. And if you're thinking that, and you know anything at all about Christianity, maybe ponder whether everything you've written is embarrassingly wrong."

Mollie was exactly right then and the same is true now. Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans can in no way be interpreted as a call for literal execution by human authorities. It is a reference to spiritual "death," or the denial of eternal life with God, which every single human being in the world is "worthy of" because every single human being is a sinner. It is only through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and faith in Him can any of us be spared the eternal "death" that we are "worthy of," and is instead granted eternal life with God.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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