March 13, 2018
With almost 14 months of the Trump administration behind us, few would attempt to counter the fact that Donald Trump has been an agent of change. While not all agree with the change, the vast majority who supported him are applauding his efforts to drain the swamp. Few federal agencies have resisted the change more than the one aptly located at Foggy Bottom, the U.S. Department of State. But with the announcement by President Trump this morning that Tillerson is out and CIA Director Mike Pompeo is in, there is now hope for change at the agency that has few if any rivals in being at cross purposes with American values and principles.
When Rex Tillerson was first announced as the president's pick for Secretary of State, I communicated my concern privately and publicly. I said that the State Department needed a strong change agent like Trump, and there was no way based upon Tillerson's record that he would do enough to roll back the harmful cultural imperialism which had been pushed in the State Department during the Obama administration, and to restore our promotion of international religious freedom to where it should be. And under Tillerson's leadership, not much did change in these areas. Religious freedom and human rights for all continues to take a backseat to the LGBT agenda as LGBT-promoting acting ambassadors remain in place around the world and our tax dollars still go to non-government organizations (NGOs) aligned with groups like George Soros' Open Society and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Now that Tillerson is on his way out, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo has been tapped to take the helm, there is hope for the United States to once again lead the world toward the promotion of religious freedom and the protection of human rights. I believe Mike Pompeo is the agent of change the State Department needs, and he has the president's ear. He cares about religious freedom, and about restoring the United States to its historically-esteemed role of human rights defender -- not cultural imperialist. And with Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Brownback also in place, the United States is perhaps better poised than any other time in recent memory to significantly make inroads in promoting religious freedom worldwide.
President Trump's recently released National Security Strategy states that the United States "remains committed to supporting and advancing religious freedom," which is not the "state's creation," but is "the gift of God to every person and a fundamental right for our flourishing society." The strategy also recognizes it is a "priority action" to "protect religious freedom and religious minorities." A policy recognizing international religious freedom as a national security issue is great to see. Now, we just need to implement it! With national security expert Pompeo at the helm, and Brownback working with him, it is possible we may be celebrating President Trump's international religious freedom accomplishments years down the road.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.