Family Research Council


Commander in Common Sense

July 31, 2017

The media and Democratic Party share a lot of things -- and their miscalculation of voters seems to be one of them. In the days since Donald Trump wrestled the military back from the radical transgender policy of the Obama years, liberal commentators are desperate to show that it will hurt the president politically. But good luck proving it.

Please don't tell the Left, but according to a number of pundits, the same Democrat leaders who underestimated Trump in November may be making the same mistake now. As far as most are concerned, winning the war against political correctness in the military only strengthens the president's hand in the red and purple pockets of the country that elected him. "Let the Dems be the transgender party," George Neumayr writes in the American Spectator. It will just make it easier for Trump to win a second term: "Trump's uncomplicated defense of common sense is nothing if not conservative. He doesn't need 'commissions' to tell him whether or not enlisting men who pretend to be women and women who pretend to be men hurts military readiness. Anyone with five senses and a functioning intellect can see that it does. It is only under the vast experiment against common sense that is liberalism could such obvious truths fall into disfavor."

The only thing that confounds people like Neumayr is why some Republicans are teaming up with the Left on a failed strategy that not only cost them the White House but the congressional majority. "According to this confederacy of dunces, Trump is making a grave political mistake. The Dems naturally agree and have announced to the press that they 'welcome this culture war.'" No one is quite sure why, since the majority of observers blame that same social agenda for Hillary Clinton's epic collapse. Now, with a president in the oval office who can't be cowed by the media or its phony notions of "tolerance," voters finally have a champion for the common sense that Barack Obama rejected. That same fearlessness, Neumayr argues, is what drew people to Trump in the first place.

"In a time of terrorism, the American people are not going to punish at the polls a commander-in-chief for insufficiently prizing political correctness," he writes. "If anything, the hidden Trump vote will increase. Perhaps most parents don't want to say this out loud, but the onslaught of transgender propaganda scares the hell out of them. They don't want their sons to grow up to be mutilated 'women.' And most taxpayers don't want to pay for this grotesque delusion.

To these Americans, the Dems lift up their middle finger and declare them 'intolerant.' This gives Trump an enormous political advantage. With very little effort, he can pick off uneasy religious voters in the center while pulling down almost all of them on the right."

If the Left is surprised by these cultural course corrections, they haven't been paying attention. "The president has expressed concerns since this Obama policy came into effect [in 2016], but he's also voiced that this is a very expensive and disruptive policy," said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. "And based on consultation that he's had with his national security team, came to the conclusion that it erodes military readiness and unit cohesion, and made the decision based on that." Trump showed the same boldness on Obama's social agenda in the first few weeks of office, rolling back a hugely unpopular school bathroom mandate. Like the military policy, it too had the broad disapproval of the American people -- including a number of leaders inside the administration.

Former Texas Governor-turned-Secretary of Energy Rick Perry sees the wisdom of Trump's ways. "I totally support the president in his decision," he told reporters. "The idea that the American people need to be paying for these types of operations to change your sex is not very wise from a standpoint of economics... Or military culture, says White House security aid Sebastian Gorka. "The military is not a microcosm of civilian society," he said on BBC Radio. "They are not there to reflect America. They are there to kill people and blow stuff up. They are not there to be socially engineered."

The military has never been -- and should never be -- used as a vehicle to advance civil rights, political correctness, or workplace fairness. It does not exist, the editors of the Washington Examiner point out, "for personal enrichment, leisure, community, the pursuit of happiness, or for its own sake, as civilian institutions do. The military's sole purpose is to smash and destroy enemies." Fortunately, our nation has a commander-in-chief who recognizes this. If November was any indication, America also has an electorate who will reward him for it.


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


Judge's Faith Judged by Left

July 31, 2017

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) isn't the only one who wants to drive Christians out of the workplace. After the red-faced senator went on an angry tirade over the faith of Trump's budget pick, the backlash was so intense that even the media chimed in. The idea that the Left would impose a religious litmus test seemed shockingly un-American. But if liberals learned their lesson, you wouldn't know it in Alabama, where LGBT activists are suggesting that a judge should be disqualified from a case simply for being a believer.

At the heart of the case is a woman who now identifies as a lesbian. In her divorce proceedings, she has twice demanded that Judge Shaunathan Bell recuse himself because he preaches at a nearby Baptist church. "She also argued that Bell, a political conservative... has 'publicly expressed belief that homosexual relationships and marriages are contrary to God's law' -- a stance she believes could influence his ruling on the custody of her child with her husband..." the New York Daily News reports.

Fortunately, Bell has refused. Like us, he doesn't think that his beliefs compromise his judgment -- a reality his previous rulings would confirm. In two cases before Tiara Brooke Lycans, Bell granted joint custody of children to other same-sex couples. And he did the same in his pending ruling here. That doesn't seem to satisfy Lycans, who petitioned a higher court to remove him -- unsuccessfully.

Just because Christians believe what the Bible says about marriage and sexuality doesn't mean they're incapable of upholding the law or defending other people's rights. To suggest that judges shouldn't have any personal convictions is, ironically, its own brand of intolerance. Not to mention that if any side is guilty of misapplying the Constitution to suit their own agendas, it's the Left! Their activism -- not Christians'-- is what's led to the outrageous rewriting of America's fundamental laws on life, liberty, and family. Unfortunately, this is just a continuation of the effort to drive men and women of faith out of public life. In this age of "diversity," it's becoming more and more clear that the only group that it's acceptable to attack is Christians. That must be aggressively fought -- in Alabama and everywhere.


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


Vice Principal Schooled in Principle

July 31, 2017

At a Pennsylvania academy, students got a lesson all right -- in intolerance! When two pro-life high schoolers decided to protest abortion on the public sidewalk outside the school, they had a surprising (and profanity-laced) visit from a member of the administration, Vice Principal of Student Life Zach Ruff.

Angry that the conservative teenagers were demonstrating, Ruff grabbed one of the student's signs. When the pair explained that they were just trying to expose "the holocaust that's happening in America," the administrator snapped. While others captured the exchange on video, Ruff rejected the idea. The students tried to point out that "these [unborn children] are the people that are being murdered," despite being "image bearers of God."

In a shocking reply, the Vice Principal tells the students, "You can go to hell where they are too!" To their disbelieving faces, he goes on, "They are not children. They're cells." When the brother and sister team suggest that Ruff needs Jesus, Ruff outs himself. "Listen here, son. I'm as gay as the day is long and twice as sunny," Ruff yelled. "I don't give a [expletive] what Jesus tells me and what I should and should not be doing. Just because you choose to believe a book of fiction doesn't mean I have to," Ruff continued. "Prove it to me with science. ... You believe it, does not make it true. You and [President Donald] Trump can go to hell."

After the confrontation was posted to YouTube, school officials were suddenly apologetic. "You had every right under our Constitution's First Amendment to speak and display signs like you did, and that right was violated by Dr. Ruff," Superintendent Emilie Leonardi wrote in a letter to the siblings. "Rest assured that Dr. Ruff's actions do not represent the policy of the School District. Instead, we will be providing information to our employees on the First Amendment rights of individuals. We are committed to preventing incidents from happening in the future and will instruct school employees not to violate anyone's Free Speech rights on public sidewalks outside our schools again."

Alliance Defending Freedom, who represented the students, announced that the Downington Area School District had agreed to a settlement, rather than take the issue to court. Attorney Kevin Theriot wasn't surprised, considering how unconstitutional (and unprofessional!) Ruff's actions were.

"No government employee -- especially someone with authority over students -- should harass or threaten anyone for exercising their First Amendment protected freedoms in public," Theriot said. "Conner and Lauren Haines were peacefully expressing their pro-life views, holding signs, and talking to those passing by. The bullying and verbal abuse that Zach Ruff inflicted on Conner and Lauren, as documented in the video, made a policy clarification critically necessary, not only for the Haineses, but also for everyone in the Downingtown community. We commend the district for doing the right thing to prevent this from ever happening again."

Thank goodness for young people who stick up for what's right when adults around them don't! In my book No Fear: Real Stories of a Courageous Generation Standing for Truth, I introduce you to several of them. Consider giving a copy to a teenager you know. It just might inspire them to live out their faith with a boldness like this that changes their life -- and others'!


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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