April 13, 2018
If Americans weren't impressed with Mike Pompeo before yesterday's Senate hearing, they certainly were after. The CIA director did the president proud in a five-hour grilling that showed off his expertise on issues that literally circled the globe. Unfortunately for Pompeo, some liberals couldn't let go of their social extremism long enough to care.
In a surprising exchange, Pompeo found himself on the same hot seat as Russell Vought and Amy Barrett -- the two other targets of the Democrats' new religious litmus test. This time, it was Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) on the table, insisting that a person's religious views somehow disqualified him from public office. Of course, the irony, Thomas Lifson points out in American Thinker, is that Booker set himself up as an advocate of religious liberty, "angrily quoting something Pompeo earlier said about the need for Muslims to speak out against jihad terror attacks." Then, within a matter of minutes, he showed what a sham that was, implying that Pompeo's own beliefs should exclude him from serving as secretary of state.
BOOKER: So, so you do not believe it's appropriate for two gay people to marry?
POMPEO: Senator, I continue to hold that view...
BOOKER: And so, people in the State Department, I've met some in Africa, [who] are married under your leadership, you do not believe that that should be allowed?"
POMPEO: I believe it's the case we have married gay couples at the CIA. You should know. I treated them with the exact same set of rights...
BOOKER: Yes or no -- do you believe gay sex is a perversion?
POMPEO: Senator, I'm going to give you the same answer I just gave you previously. My respect for every individual, regardless of sexual orientation, is the same.
Obviously, that's not the answer Booker -- or any liberal -- wants. They don't want to admit that it's possible for people of faith to have respect for everyone, while also believing in the biblical definition of marriage and sexuality. Instead, they want to marginalize an entire half of the country for sharing the same view that every secretary of state except John Kerry held when they were confirmed. In fact, most of us would argue that Pompeo's beliefs are more aligned with other countries' than Booker's!
Under Barack Obama, world leaders were furious with the way the president used the State Department to export his LGBT agenda globally. Trump's predecessor not only sent openly gay ambassadors into countries that are culturally opposed to homosexuality, they used foreign aid to bully other nations into accepting Obama's twisted agenda. He flew rainbow flags over our embassies in Muslim countries and appointed a special taxpayer-funded LGBT envoy whose sole purpose was forcing the president's radical social agenda on reluctant countries. Under both Kerry and Hillary Clinton, DOS changed the rules for same-sex diplomats and openly demonized other countries that refused to recognize homosexuality as an international "human right."
The Evangelical Association of the Caribbean was so outraged by the Obama administration's harassment that when Donald Trump was elected, church leaders across the region pleaded with Donald Trump to stop using the State Department to browbeat the world into submission on issues that are still fiercely controversial in most of the world.
"We were coerced into accepting [the administration's LGBT] agenda," Pastor Paul Mursalin told me last year, "threatening fund withdrawal and a number of other things. And our governments are under severe pressure to relent. We now see a ray of hope under President Trump and Vice President Pence, where some of this can be reversed and give us a chance to maintain our traditional conservative Christian values on the issue."
Mike Pompeo is that ray of hope. It's unfortunate that a shill for the Human Rights Campaign like Cory Booker would smear a good man simply because he disagrees on an issue that still divides most of America. "I have to wonder," Lifson writes, "if Booker would quiz a Muslim nominee for office on the topic of his religious beliefs about marriage. He seems to think you can't ask Muslims about their views on jihad terror, but it's okay to hector believing Christians on their adherence to doctrine."
The Senate's intolerants may refuse to put aside their anti-faith hostilities -- but interestingly, other corners of the Left are warming up to Pompeo at exactly the right time. Today's Washington Post surprised plenty of people when its editorial board endorsed Mike for the job, insisting that "[R]ejecting or delaying his nomination, as Mr. Trump juggles multiple crises without adequate counsel, probably would make an already parlous situation worse. Mr. Pompeo should be deployed to Foggy Bottom in the hope that he will fulfill his promise to revive and reassert U.S. diplomacy."
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Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.