This past Friday, Vice President Mike Pence spoke before an audience at the annual CPAC Convention. He said:
You know, the freedom of religion is not just enshrined in our Constitution; it’s enshrined in the hearts of the American people. But make no mistake about it: Freedom of religion is under attack in our country. Lately, it’s actually become fashionable for media elites and Hollywood liberals to mock religious belief.
My own family recently came under attack just because my wife Karen went back to teach art to children at a Christian school....
But let me be clear on this point: This is not about us. It’s about all of you. It’s about the sincerely held belief of millions of Americans who cherish their Christian faith and Christian education. And so I’ll make you a promise: Under this President and this administration, we will always stand with people of faith. We will always defend the freedom of religion of every American of every faith, so help us God.
This administration has indeed taken the lead in religious liberty, an important step in a culture where it acceptable to mock and scorn religious beliefs. It’s not just media elites or Hollywood, either. Modern culture, CPAC panelist Matthew Spalding observed, “has tried to push religion into a smaller and smaller and smaller box. ‘You got to keep it at home or you got to keep it in the confessional.’”
Washington has jumped on the bandwagon, too, as FRC reports—senators have doggedly questioned nominees for public office about their religious beliefs in order to “unmask particular tenets of potential (nominees’) religious faith that the interrogators fear run counter to their own political stances on issues such as abortion and gay rights,” as a Washington Post opinion piece points out.
The same could be said of the vilification of Second Lady Karen Pence and many of the latest attacks against people of faith. As our VP of Policy Travis Weber wrote, this should be a wake-up call to all Christians.
But Pence is also right about another thing—freedom of conscience and the ability to live out one’s faith is enshrined in the hearts of the American people, put in place by God himself. That is why in 1786 Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia General Assembly said in the timeless Act for Religious Freedom, “we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind.” Any political or cultural effort to renege on those values “will be an infringement of natural right.”
We are eager to stand with the administration to keep fighting for the right to exercise our faith. Click here for the full text of Pence’s remarks.