Family Research Council

July 22, 2014 - Tuesday

Persecution a Mute Point at Obama White House

As Iraqi Christians fled Mosul this weekend, the horror of having to leave home because of one's faith was met with the further indignity of being stripped of all but the clothes on their backs. The jihadists of ISIS forced out the last remaining Christians whose legacy in Mosul goes back to the very origins of Christianity. According to early church history it was two of Jesus' original disciples that carried the gospel to what we know today as Iraq. Not only are the Christians being driven from their homes -- when fleeing families reached checkpoints out of the city, they were told to get out of their cars and leave all their money and possessions behind. The generosity of the ISIS extremists extended only as far as allowing them to keep what they were wearing -- after they had removed any jewelry, of course. An entire city purged of Christians.

So far, the response from the Obama White House has been consistent with its standard practice when Christians are the target of persecution: silence. Even the United Nations Security Council has weighed in, condemning the persecution of Christians in Iraq. Can't the White House at the very least offer a simple condemnation? The only response from the administration since the expulsion of Christians occurred yesterday at a State Department press briefing where a spokesperson gave a fumbling answer to the press which merely referred to last week's statement about ISIS. A reporter's question, "So you're currently not doing anything?" was met with, "I can check and see specifically. I just don't know."

As I told Megyn Kelly last night on Fox News, President Obama has been silent continuously when Christians have been persecuted. The administration is more concerned about offending Islamic states and Islamic nations than they are defending the longstanding policy that American has always had: that religious freedom is a human right, not just an American right.

Tomorrow, I'll be testifying before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on the importance of religious freedom, specifically about the case of Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim. The hearing will be streamed live Wednesday from 2:00-5:00 p.m. ET here. To watch the rest of my interview with Megyn Kelly last night, click below:

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Nurse sent packing for pro-life beliefs

A federally funded "health center" in Florida hung out the "not welcome" sign for an applicant to a nursing job after learning of her pro-life and faith-based views and membership in a pro-life medical association, alleges a federal lawsuit filed against the Tampa Family Health Centers.

The lawsuit arose out a series of communications in which applicant Sara Hellwege was questioned about her membership with the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists after she submitted a job application for a nurse-midwife position with the health center. Sara confirmed her membership and said that her religious beliefs prevent her from prescribing hormonal birth control drugs that can result in an early abortion. Consequently, the center's human resources director informed her in an e-mail, "Due to the fact that...you are a member of AAPLOG, we would be unable to move forward in the interviewing process."

For this outright viewpoint discrimination against her, Sara's attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a lawsuit along with several employment discrimination complaints. In her lawsuit, Sara alleges that "TFHC's refusal to consider [her] application for employment on the basis of her religious beliefs and association with the pro-life group AAPLOG violates multiple federal laws."

As ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden said, "Willingness to commit an abortion cannot be a litmus test for employment." His colleague Matt Bowman added: "No one deserves to suffer discrimination just because they're pro-life. Federal and state law make it clear that being pro-abortion cannot be a prerequisite for employment, nor can federally funded facilities force nurses to assist with practices that could lead to an abortion." Indeed. Hopefully, the courts will see the sense in this and agree.

A Cruz Booked in DC!

Many politicians won't step out on issues that might draw ridicule from the mainstream media. But Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) isn't one of them. He knows that doesn't fit the definition of courageous leadership. The conservative superstar will be one of the many pro-family heroes at FRC Action's Values Voter Summit this fall. He'll be joined by a who's who of conservatives like Sen. Rick Santorum, Mark Levin, Michelle Malkin, Todd Starnes, Erick Erickson, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, and U.S. Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) and by other invited speakers like Gov. Mike Huckabee, Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Marco Rubio, Dr. Bill Bennett, Dr. Ben Carson, Sean Hannity, Kirk Cameron, and more. So what are you waiting for? Register today to spend Sept. 26-28 in Washington, D.C. and enjoy a special movie screening, celebrity book signings, jam-packed exhibit hall, exciting breakout sessions, a student mixer, and the Faith and Freedom Gala dinner! Tickets for the event are just $99 for adults and free scholarships are available for students! Click here or call 877-372-2808 to reserve your seat for what CNN has called "One of the Top 10 Political Events of the Year."


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

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