House Dems Clash on the Free Way
If you're wondering what Washington would look like with a radical liberal in charge, Thursday's House hearing was a pretty good preview. Maybe you're thinking we already know what to expect after eight years of Barack Obama -- but trust us. As bad as the last administration was on religious freedom, those policies would feel like a love pat compared to the army of the new Left.
If there's one thing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has made clear, it's that House Democrats don't want a gavel -- they want an eraser. And the first thing they'd take it to is the U.S. Constitution. For years, liberals tried to play it coy on their ultimate goals. But now that they've gotten a lot of what they wanted out of same-sex marriage, there's no point in hiding the rest of their agenda: destroying religious liberty. And at Thursday's Oversight hearing, Democrats pointed out that they don't take too kindly to the president getting in their way.
"The Trump administration," Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) ranted, is turning the government "into an instrument of hostility towards LGBTQ rights..." Like his colleagues, he can't stand the fact that this president has had the nerve to roll back some of the attacks Obama launched against men and women of faith. It's not that Democrats don't support religious freedom, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) tried to explain, it's just that they don't want people practicing it. If you want to exercise your faith, they argued, do it at church.
They took turns railing against the administration's rules on conscience rights and faith-based protections, calling them an insult to people in the LGBT community. "Religious liberty," the legal director of the Human Rights Campaign testified, "doesn't mean that you get to engage in discrimination." But just because someone doesn't agree with the Left's radical ideas about sex and gender doesn't mean they don't respect the dignity and decency of other people. The White House pointed that out in a statement to the committee, explaining that the president is just trying to "eliminat[e] unfair and unequal treatment by the federal government."
Congressman Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), who's been a huge advocate for leveling the playing field for religious groups, doesn't understand why everyone can't co-exist. "The faith community has deeply-held religious beliefs. The LGBTQ community has deeply-held beliefs. We do not discriminate against those beliefs -- and we say if that's what you choose, fine. All we ask is that [the government doesn't] discriminate against somebody... because they don't hold those same beliefs."
But unfortunately, that's exactly what the government has done. And the people who've suffered, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) points out, aren't the LGBT activists. They're the men and women of faith. "[W]hen Obama was president, [they] became a target. And now that President Trump is in office, he's trying to right the wrong of the Obama administration with respect to faith-based organizations. And the Democrats don't like it. That's what today's hearing was about." To be honest, he said, "Over the last two years, it's just become shocking to me how obsessed the Democrats are with [so-called] LGBTQ rights. And, you know, LGBT individuals have rights just like everyone else has rights. But what the Democrats are trying to do is create new rights, create a special category [that supersedes everyone else's rights]."
And it's creating havoc in medicine, health care, adoption and foster care, even places like homeless shelters. The church can't even have something as simple as a drug rehab program, Rep. Comer said, without committing to an LGBT policy so radical that most of them couldn't agree to. Homeless shelters, he pointed out, can lose their funding if they won't put a biological man in with the other females. "It's ridiculous," Comer argued. "Our founding fathers would be rolling over in their graves if they knew that that was even a topic of debate in Washington. The president is trying to stop [it]. And the Democrats are crying, "discrimination, discrimination, discrimination' -- and it's not!"
Unfortunately, he warned, "Democrats are going to continue to double down on their assault on religious liberties. And we're going to just have to continue to band together and evangelicals are going to have to continue to be active and informed as far as elections go. And hopefully we can reverse this trend. I think President Trump's gone a long way in reversing some of the excessiveness of the Obama administration. And hopefully we can win this war of ideology, because that's what we're fighting right now in Washington..."