Kavanaugh Moves One Step Cloture

Kavanaugh Moves One Step Cloture

October 05, 2018

It was a 51-49 vote to end debate -- but for so many people, the end to debate is nowhere in sight. Regardless of what the Senate decides tomorrow, the conversation will go on -- not just about Brett Kavanaugh, but about the entire process, our nation, and what this moment means to a bitterly divided America.

If Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) got anything right these last few weeks, it was this: “The well was poisoned from the outset.” He may have been talking about the FBI investigation, but the rest of us know the truth – that for Democrats, it didn’t matter whose name was on the nomination. They would have opposed it no matter what. As the Women’s March so perfectly reminded us with its “fill-in-the-villain” press release, the Left’s scorched-earth campaign had nothing to do with Dr. Christine Ford or the longtime D.C. Circuit Court judge. It was about “XX,” whoever that turned out to be.

When Brett Kavanaugh dreamed about becoming a Supreme Court justice, he never knew that his time would come when the country had reached a pivotal moment. For the first time in decades, this nomination -- his nomination -- had the power to create the first constitutionalist court in generations. And for that, he and his family have paid a tremendous price.

“The conduct of left-wing dark money groups and allies in this body have shamed us all,” Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said soberly before cloture. “The fix was in from the very beginning.” A seventh FBI investigation wasn’t going to solve anything – and more importantly, wasn’t going to find anything that six previous background checks had not. “[W]hat I can say is that the most notable part of this report is what’s not in it,” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) told reporters. What’s missing, conservatives would tell you, is a justification for the Left’s horrible treatment of the Kavanaugh family. If it is a “cover-up,” as she’s now calling it, it’s the most successful one in history – since no one’s found a scrap of evidence in the 28 years that they’ve been looking.

“There’s nothing in it that we didn’t already know,” Senator Grassley explained. “These uncorroborated accusations have been unequivocally and repeatedly rejected by Judge Kavanaugh, and neither the Judiciary Committee nor the FBI could locate any third parties who can attest to any of the allegations. There’s also no contemporaneous evidence.” The only evidence we do have is of the Left’s attack, and that may be what Americans remember most. “The harsh and unfair treatment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh is having an incredible upward impact on voters,” President Trump tweeted earlier today. “The PEOPLE get it far better than the politicians. Most importantly, this great life cannot be ruined by mean & despicable Democrats and totally uncorroborated allegations!”

For now, Brett Kavanaugh is one floor vote away from a seat that took him through a personal valley no justice should have to walk. “I was very emotional last Thursday,” he tried to explain, “more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said. I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters.”

“Going forward, you can count on me to be the same kind of judge and person I have been for my entire 28-year legal career: hardworking, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the Constitution and the public good. Every day I will try to be the best husband, dad, and friend I can be. I will remain optimistic, on the sunrise side of the mountain. I will continue to see the day that is coming, not the day that is gone.”

For Kavanaugh’s sake, and the sake of everyone after him, let’s hope the day that’s coming is one of renewed respect – not just for the process, but for each other.

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

Trump Administration: Favoring Freedom, Not Faiths

October 05, 2018

After eight years of Barack Obama, it must come as a shock to a lot of people that Christians are finally getting a fair shake from the White House. The country’s largest faith group spent the better part of a decade dodging blows – not just in speeches (like this doozy equating Christians to terrorists) – but in policies designed to drive them out of the public square. It’s no wonder Americans feel a little disoriented under an administration that shows Christianity more respect than reproach.

And while a lot of people would argue that President Trump’s tolerance was a long time coming, others aren’t so happy. In today’s Politico, a few human rights groups grumble that the administration is showing favoritism to Christians by trying to free Pastor Andrew Brunson or moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Even the idea that the president would make international religious freedom a priority has rankled some – despite the fact that the State Department has poured as much energy into protecting Muslim minorities like the Rohingya as anyone. “The sense that human rights apply universally doesn’t carry weight with most people in this administration,” said Sarah Margon of Human Rights Watch.

This Christians-first bias, as Politico called it, is ridiculous, fired back White House officials. “Helping persecuted religious minorities abroad is a top priority of the Trump administration,” one said, before calling the allegation “demonstrably false.” Maybe people are getting that perception because the Obama administration – and others – so rarely talked about the plight of Christians. It feels different because it is. It’s never been done with this level of openness and intentionality.

But just because the administration is focusing on Christians doesn’t mean it’s ignoring other faiths. The president’s policies have been incredibly even-handed. Obviously, such a dramatic course-correction from the Obama years doesn’t feel that way, but the truth is, Trump’s work on religious groups is more diverse than any administration before it.

FRC’s Travis Weber made that same point earlier today. “As one who has attended both the State Department’s Ministerial, and the DOJ Religious Freedom Task Force announcement, I can attest to the variety of faith backgrounds present - and to the fact that the policy and advocacy this administration presented advanced protections for all faiths equally. The only way one could come away with a different conclusion is if they simply had no interest in actually assessing the truth about the administration’s policies. If one was present at those events, and examines the policies behind them - such as that contained in the Potomac Declaration -- the only reasonable conclusion is that the Trump administration is seeking to advance religious freedom around the world for all people -- regardless of their faith.”

Just yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence took the opportunity to fire back at China for its crackdown on religion. “For a time, Beijing inched toward greater liberty and respect for human rights, but in recent years, it has taken a sharp U-turn toward control and oppression…” There was a time, he pointed out, when we “hope[d] that freedom in China would expand in all forms – not just economically, but politically, with a newfound respect for classical liberal principles, private property, religious freedom, and the entire family of human rights… but that hope has gone unfulfilled.”

Obviously, the Chinese government can’t stand the idea of a power to which its people owe a higher allegiance, and thus it severely represses religious freedom. But as Christians, we’re called to honor God above men. That’s why we advocate for the freedom of everyone to worship God as they see fit, and to freely live out their beliefs. I applaud the Trump administration for calling out the threat China poses for religious liberty. Whether they’re tearing apart Uighur families and indoctrinating them in internment camps, or its prosecuting Christians like Pastor John Cao, China needs to be taken to task. Thank goodness we finally have a president up to that challenge.

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

Bus Tour Drives Home The Importance of November

October 05, 2018

The Values Buses are cruising on dueling coasts this week! In California, the team had a busy week joining events like the Stanislaus County GOP Annual Picnic in Modesto, a local car show in Turlock, and hosting rallies everywhere alone the way -- from Stanislaus to Sacramento.

So far, our bus crews have been amazed at the support for the Pray, Vote, Stand campaign. When the FRC staff stop somewhere to grab food or supplies in their tour t-shirts, people are striking up conversations to ask them what they’re doing. In one parking lot, a man named Kevin asked what our team was doing. When they told him, Kevin said he’d never voted once in his life. That conversation led to another -- about his salvation. They could see the internal struggle taking place in his mind, because he felt he wasn’t good enough and had “too many sins to go to heaven. Our crew presented the gospel, and he was moved almost to tears. The encounter ended with the team praying over him as they stood in the parking lot.

In another city, an older woman asked the team if they were part of the “prayer bus” in the parking lot. A 20-minute conversation began, and she admitted that she’d lost faith in the “system” and didn’t want to vote this November. The team shared why she needed to “Pray, Vote, and Stand.” By the end of the conversation, she joined the pledge! Before leaving, she expressed her appreciation to the team for being so involved with making a difference in the country at such a young age.

At every event, people have expressed their gratitude for the time and effort FRC Action has devoted to California. They feel that Californians are overlooked by national organizations because the state is politically and culturally liberal. Overall, the bus crew is encouraged by their reception in the state and has no doubt the Lord is blessing their efforts. Let’s pray that the Lord has a lot more divine encounters in store!

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

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

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