Craig James Touches Down at FRC
Craig James's beliefs may make him unemployable at Fox Sports Southwest, but they make him uniquely qualified to work at FRC. Today, we're happy to announce that the former NFL star running back will be joining another team -- ours! And after officially starting in March, Craig joked that he's already surpassed the tenure of his last job -- which Fox Sports fired him from after barely 24 hours.
As harrowing as his experience was -- being sacked for holding a view on marriage that half of the nation shares -- Craig and his wife decided to turn the adversity into an opportunity. At FRC, Craig will try to level the playing field for other Americans facing the same kind of viewpoint discrimination. "The task is great and the challenge is huge for those of us who are fighting for religious liberty and freedom under the Constitution," he said in an interview about his new venture. "After I was fired by Fox Sports, I was deeply moved and emboldened by the countless number of people and organizations like FRC that came to my side. Now it's my turn to offer encouragement to others encountering the same kind of religious bigotry. While the challenges to our freedoms are great, I strongly believe the game is far from over."
Neither is his own personal case, which, thanks to his attorneys at Liberty Institute, took a positive turn last month when the Texas Workforce Commission issued a formal charge of discrimination against the network. Officials also launched a formal investigation into the targeting of James, which was obvious back in September when a source told the Dallas Morning News, "We just asked ourselves how Craig's statements would play in our human resources department. He couldn't say those things here." Of course, the outrageous part is that Craig didn't say them there. His views on marriage only became public during Craig's Senate campaign a year and a half before.
This is exactly the kind of workplace intolerance that cultural elites are trying to force on the entire country -- the same fierce prejudice that claimed Mozilla Firefox's Brendan Eich just last week. Under the current climate, expressing a politically incorrect opinion on a cultural issue, totally unconnected to your employment, is enough to get you fired. Whether you work for Mozilla, Gallaudet University, or serve in the military, you shouldn't have to fear being fired for holding a belief in marriage as the union of a man and woman. At FRC, Craig will help educate Americans on the growing threats to our most fundamental freedoms.
Calling it a "great fit," he explained to reporters that he's honored "to join the country's premier Christian public policy organization. I have a passion for FRC's mission of faith, family, and freedom." As for his old profession, "I'm not going to give up following sports," he said. "It's in my DNA." But for now, he can help call the plays in a new defense -- of our liberty.
Holder Right There, DOJ!
It was a short commute from the Justice Department to the Capitol, but a long morning for embattled Attorney General Eric Holder. The country's chief law enforcer (or ignorer, depending on your definition) sat through an uncomfortable grilling with the House Oversight Committee earlier today, in which he was called to the carpet about everything from the DOJ's pattern of lawlessness to the legality of the ObamaCare delays.
Several members were particularly frustrated by the Attorney General's defiance of marriage law and his shocking advice to his state counterparts that they ignore their constitutions' definition of marriage. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) led off, asking why, "when you are the top law enforcement official in the country, would you tell [state attorneys general] not to defend laws constitutionally passed regardless of whether you agree with the policy?" Holder denied using the phrase "suspicious" (though this Huffington Post article clearly indicates he did). Instead, he said that "the decision to defend [laws] can't be based on politics or policy."
Congressman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) followed up later with a question about whether federal agencies are bound by the statutory requirements of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. When Holder replied yes, Rep. Franks asked why the HHS mandate, which is a gross violation of Americans' conscience, wouldn't be subject to RFRA. The Attorney General fired back that it's not "the Department's practice to disclose publicly the content of legal advice." When Congressman Franks asked to see written documents outlining his opinion of the law, Holder brushed him off.
The barrage continued when Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) essentially asked if Holder thought business owners had a right to believe in natural marriage -- or if that violated someone else's civil rights. In one of the more stunning moments of the hearing, the Attorney General refused to answer, saying that he couldn't comment on an issue before the courts. Under this White House, the Attorney General can't even affirm that private business owners have a right to simply believe in man-woman marriage. Holder may not have said a word, but his silence said plenty about the kind of extremism this administration is engaged in.
Looking for Common Cents on Equal Pay
Forget the War on Women -- President Obama is launching a war on the facts! On "Equal Pay Day," the President working on paybacks all right -- to his own party. Desperate to save Democrats' jobs in the upcoming election, the White House is going on the offensive to correct a non-existent wrong: the supposed wage gaps between men and women. Problem is, the gaps don't really exist -- at least, not how the President defines them.
At the State of the Union, President Obama used a convenient (but utterly false) talking point that women make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. The statistic was so taken out of context that even the Washington Post called the administration to the carpet for the embarrassing error. As dozens of experts from both sides have explained, "The 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women working full-time. It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week. When all these relevant factors are taken into consideration, the wage gap narrows to about five cents."
And the Daily Beast isn't alone in its disgust at the regurgitation of the 77-cent line. The Wall Street Journal, American Enterprise Institute, and others call out this fabricated crisis for the myth it is. "Every 'full-time' worker, as the [Bureau of Labor Statistics] notes, is not the same: Men were almost twice as likely as women to work more than 40 hours a week, and women almost twice as likely to work only 35 to 39 hours per week. Once that is taken into consideration, the pay gap begins to shrink," write the duo of Mark Perry and Andrew Biggs.
By and large, women also choose different career fields than men -- some of which are more lucrative than others. "Then there is the issue of marriage and children. The BLS reports that single women who have never married earned 96% of men's earnings in 2012." What the Left fails to mention is that women, at times, choose schedules and jobs that are more "family friendly." But women aren't the only ones making these choices -- men can make them too. A dad might choose to make less money at a job that has better hours so he can be home for dinner.
Women may choose to stay at home with their children, or work a part-time job, or some other alternative schedule because they have a family. But instead of embracing their choices, President Obama is using the long arm of the administration to lean on government contractors to correct these "injustices." In reality, that only hurts the women he's supposedly helping. To read how, check out the Heritage Foundation's analysis.
** If you missed last night's "Kelly File," click the video below to hear our discussion on Mozilla Firefox CEO Brendan Eich and the Supreme Court's decision not to hear the case of Elane Photography.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.