Rogue Embassies: Along for the Pride?


Rogue Embassies: Along for the Pride?

June 10, 2019

It's a bit of a shame these days that Flag Day falls in June. Now that LGBT activists have hijacked the month, you can't blame Americans for wondering: which flag are we celebrating? At some U.S. embassies, it's tough to tell.

At diplomatic posts in India, Austria, and Chile, there's one thing people are noticing about our flagpoles -- how crowded they are. That's because the Stars and Stripes aren't the only thing flying. At some embassies, U.S. officials are ignoring the Trump administration's decision and hoisting the rainbow anyway. Apparently, after eight years of rubbing their extreme agenda in other countries' faces, some ambassadors are having a hard time letting go.

Some American diplomats have gotten around Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's directive by tacking the LGBT banner on their buildings or making balloon bouquets on the ground spelling out PRIDE. Others have flat-out ignored the president's team, sending a message to the administration -- and the world -- that their radical sexual agenda is more important to them than their relationship with the host country.

Under Barack Obama, world leaders were furious with the way the president used the State Department to export his LGBT agenda globally, a form of cultural imperialism. Trump's predecessor not only sent ambassadors who identify as gay into countries that are culturally opposed to homosexuality, they used foreign aid to bully other nations into accepting his twisted policies. From appointing a special taxpayer-funded LGBT envoy to changing the rules for same-sex diplomats, he openly demonized nations that refused to recognize homosexuality as an international "human right."

Now, fortunately, after an eight-year LGBT pride parade, Americans' have a new vision for diplomacy -- one that respects other nations and their beliefs. Under Secretary Pompeo's leadership, ambassadors were told that there should only be one flag on embassy poles. It's the same one we drape on the coffins of our heroes coming home. The same banner our soldiers fought to raise in places like Iwo Jima -- and the same one dotting the cemeteries of the men who died trying. It's the one flag capable of uniting an entire country: the Stars and Stripes.

FRC's Travis Weber applauded the move, arguing that America's diplomatic platform "is intended to strengthen our ties to other countries. The State Department should not use its influential role in world affairs to push a social agenda onto vulnerable countries. Yet that is exactly what President Obama did, and what President Trump and Secretary Pompeo are trying to stop."

As Franklin Graham points out, that's not an easy task -- especially not when the administration has to fight the entitled diplomats still operating in the Trump State Department. "I want to thank President Donald J. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for making the decision not to fly the gay flag over our embassies during June in recognition of gay pride month. That is the right decision. The only flag that should fly over our embassies is the flag of the United States of America. The gay pride flag is offensive to Christians and millions of people of other faiths, not only in this country but around the world. The U.S. flag represents our nation -- everyone -- regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation."

Imagine how outraged the Left would be if we called on the president to fly the Christian flag! At least that would represent the majority of Americans -- not a tiny LGBT fringe. The point is, it's a double standard. Liberals are horrified at the thought of promoting religion because they think it's offensive -- but they have no problem flaunting a morally offensive ideology that stomps all over the traditions and beliefs of many of the countries that host our embassies.

The United States has the chance to reset our relations with the countries that Obama's push for LGBT policies have alienated. It's time for the men and women in U.S. embassies to start working with the president -- not against him.


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


Dems: Abortion Should Get a Free Ride on New Minibus

June 10, 2019

The Hyde amendment has survived a lot of challenges over the years, but can it survive the new House Democrats? Americans are about to find out.

Starting this Wednesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) chamber will be back in familiar territory: trying to pass a slew of complicated appropriations bills. To speed up the process, Democrats are using an old trick -- bunding five bills together in one massive package, worth almost $1 trillion dollars. But in a "minibus" that spans everything from Defense to HHS, legislators can hide a lot of things -- including attacks on President Trump's pro-life policy.

"Most Democrats want to repeal Hyde," one former House Appropriations Committee spokesman told the Washington Post. But even they know it would be a steep climb. "While we loathe the amendment, the view was: Okay, let's proceed in this fashion," Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) explained. Although Hyde is grabbing headlines in the presidential race, Pelosi's party thinks they'd have better luck overturning the ban on overseas abortion funding (Mexico City Policy), Title X "family planning" restrictions, and zeroing out abstinence education.

That's not to say that some Democrats won't take aim at the 40-year-old ban on taxpayer-funded abortion. According to Roll Call, a group of liberal House Democrats, including Barbara Lee (Calif.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) filed an amendment with the Rules Committee on Friday that would strike the Hyde amendment from the mammoth 667-page bill. "It would also go further, requiring the federal government to 'ensure coverage for abortion care in public health insurance programs' and prevent the federal government, as well as state and local governments, from restricting abortion coverage by private health plans."

That sets up an interesting dilemma for Pelosi's party, who will have to decide just how far Democrats are willing to go to fund their culture of death. Will they go to the mat on Hyde, risking a government shutdown in a few months? Or will people like DeLauro talk sense into the radical wing? Brendan Buck, who worked for former Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted "Watch out." "If you think a long shutdown over immigration was bad, wait until we have one over abortion funding."

Even if abortion extremists prevailed, President Trump has already vowed that he won't sign a single bill that doesn't include Hyde protections. So, just how far are Democrats willing to go to make their point? We'll see.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden, who destroyed his "moderate" cred by siding with the party's radicals on abortion funding, is desperately trying to move past the embarrassing triple flip-flop on Hyde. But that's easier said than done, most pundits say. CNN contributor S.E. Cupp couldn't believe the week's events. "Talk about whiplash," she said. And what's to say he won't change his mind on another core value? But that's not even the most troubling thing about it. "Now that Biden has caved to progressives on the Hyde Amendment," Cupp asks, "what's the point of his candidacy exactly?"

"...I thought Biden's raison d'etre in this election was to occupy a moderate lane that far-Left progressives had abandoned over the past few years. I thought he was attempting to capture the forgotten Democrats in the middle of the country. I was told he would speak to working-class Americans that his party had left behind for coastal elites. In flipping on Hyde, he just made himself ideologically indistinguishable from the other 23 candidates." Moderates, she warned, "you've just been dumped."

Regardless of how this affects Biden or any other Democrat, the takeaway for conservatives is simple. This is a make-or-break moment. After decades of bipartisan support, the Hyde amendment -- which managed to survive three liberal administrations -- is the most vulnerable it's ever been. This is a winner-take-all battle we're in, and pro-lifers will need to work harder than they ever had to hold the line. America is with us, but we can't afford to take anything for granted. Not now.

For more on the Biden debacle, check out my interview with Breitbart News Saturday.


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


Abortion Incorporated: CEOs Push States to Ditch Life

June 10, 2019

Stop me if you've heard this one before: conservative values are "bad for business." That's what executives from 100-plus companies are hoping Americans will believe, despite years of failed predictions just like this one. Maybe this time, with a full-page ad in the New York Times, people will finally take their word for it. But I wouldn't hold my breath.

It's one of the biggest myths of the last five years: passing pro-life or pro-privacy bills will hurt your state. That same liberal soundbite was on repeat around-the-clock from North Carolina to Texas and Georgia. Now, after a string of common-sense abortion laws, the lie is back -- and liberals are hoping people across the country will finally buy it. "It's time for companies to stand up for reproductive health care," the headline screams at readers. "Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence, and economic stability of our employees and customers." More importantly, they argue, it hurts business.

That's interesting, since the last time we checked, the most socially conservative states also happened to be the most prosperous. How long will corporate America trot out this tired argument in the face of success stories like North Carolina (#1), Texas (#3), and Georgia (#6), who continue to top Forbes's Best States for Business List despite high-profile campaigns for religious liberty, privacy, and life? Even in the Tarheel State, where the fiercest bathroom fight ever took place, the outlook has never been rosier. "Job growth and gross state product growth are expected to rank among the strongest in the country over the next five years," Forbes argues. "As for all of those people moving out of the state because it dared to protect women and children? "The population is growing twice as fast as the U.S. average..."

If these companies want to throw away their money recycling talking points, that's their choice. But if they think consumers are going to be swayed on core beliefs because MAC Cosmetics has weighed in, they've seriously overinflated their influence. Not to mention, most observers will point out, they know good and well what's going on behind closed doors in these companies, which is nothing more than blatant hypocrisy.

Do you think Disney and Apple stopped doing business with China because of their forced abortion and sterilization policy? Of course not. "Disney," Fox News's Tucker Carlson argued on a recent show, "just filmed its upcoming live-action Mulan film in China, which is -- safe to say -- in a police state, where huge parts of the internet are banned, and people are executed for having the wrong opinions." This is a country, by the way, that's sent millions of Uyghurs to reeducation camps to be tortured, brainwashed, and punished for what they believe. Where was there moral indignation then? And not just for Disney but hundreds of supposedly "equality-minded" CEOs?

These businesses don't care about principles -- they care about profits. And if a full-page New York Times ad can somehow distract America from that, they've gotten their money's worth.


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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