'He Just Fell... and I Didn't See Him Move Again'


'He Just Fell... and I Didn't See Him Move Again'

October 17, 2019

Anywhere else, it would've been a normal night on the train. But this is Hong Kong, and nothing is normal. Not anymore. When Ng Chi Fai changed out of his chef's clothes to go home, he did what five months of protests have taught him: he checked his phone to find out where the worst riots were. Stepping onto the crowded train, he noticed some protestors -- but silently hoped the police wouldn't. Wiping away tears, he remembers the moment he knew they had -- the moment, he says, when "all hell broke loose."

Running down the stairs toward the platform, the city's Tactical Squad started beating people with batons. Ng cries just thinking about a young man, who had blood pouring from his neck. Like so many of the victims, he wasn't a demonstrator. "He just fell," Ng sobbed to a pair of Los Angeles Times reporters, "and I didn't see him move again." People were terrified. "I saw a mother holding her two little daughters. They were all crying. I saw two young women who probably just came back from shopping or a night out because both were dressed in nice clothes. They were clinging to each other, huddled in a corner, crying. There were old people holding onto their shopping bags, shaking with fear."

The police worked in teams, landing blow after blow with their batons, while another pushed the bodies over. The crowds who weren't bludgeoned were burned with pepper spray or tear gas. Ng hears the screams when he tries to sleep, sees the images replaying in his mind -- the bloodied bodies, the chaos. And yet, every day, the brutality continues. Wednesday, the carnage involving one pro-democracy leader was so graphic that some news outlets blurred the picture. Jimmy Sham, part of the Civil Human Rights Front, had been attacked by men with hammers and knives. When they weren't smashing his skull, they were slashing open his arms and legs -- presumably following the orders of communist dictator Xi, who threatened: "Anyone who attempts to split any region from China will perish -- with their bodies smashed and bones ground to powder."

Seven thousand miles away, the violence is hard to imagine. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) was so disturbed that he got on a plane to see the situation for himself. He "loped through the streets," the Federalist's Ben Domenech wrote, "standing head and shoulders above the crowd." The protesters and organizers knew who Hawley was, Domenech observed, as he started conversations with protestors and the press, occasionally pulling out his phone to take pictures. "His staff had to work to pull him away from the scene, even when the loudspeakers are ordering crowds to disperse."

Wednesday, on "Washington Watch," he explained that the terror was real. "It's becoming a police state," Hawley warned. And the NBA players and U.S. corporations -- who are at best silent about China's abuses, and at worst excusing them -- aren't helping. When LeBron James accused Hong Kong sympathizer (and Rockets' owner) Daryl Morey of "not being educated on the situation" in Hong Kong, Hawley couldn't contain himself. "News flash," he fumed, "People ARE being harmed -- shot, beaten, gassed -- right now in Hong Kong. By China. By the Communist Party the NBA is so eager to appease."

It's just disgusting, Hawley told listeners.

"It's terrible to see all of these corporations -- and the NBA [is] at the top of the list -- put their own monetary interests [first]. It's about making money. I mean, let's be honest -- that's what the NBA is most interested in. If they have to sell out America and American values to do it, then they're happy to... They ought to remember that they are an American organization. [Or at least,] they used to be. And they ought to start acting like Americans, which is that we don't bow down to dictators. We don't salute and take orders from communists. And when Beijing told them that they... couldn't say anything about Hong Kong, the NBA should have said, 'Take a hike!' They should've said, 'We're canceling all of the exhibition games in China until the Hong Kong situation is peacefully resolved.' But they're not willing to do that. And listen, this is just the beginning...

Let's not forget, Hawley went on, that the Communist Party of China is trying to censor American speech. (Just ask Hollywood.) "They're trying to make the NBA a part of their propaganda machine. They're trying to make Apple a part of their propaganda operation. They're trying to bully us into being quiet. And that's why I went to Hong Kong, because I said, I'm not going to be bullied." At the end of the day, he warned, "I think most people don't understand how urgent the situation is in Hong Kong. They don't realize that Beijing is escalating. And if we don't take a stand here -- if China is able to dominate Hong Kong -- they'll dominate Taiwan. They'll dominate the region. They'll dominate us," he said soberly. "If they could shut us out of Asia, they would absolutely do it. And, that's their goal."

If there is reason to hope, it's that U.S. leaders from both parties are on the same page. They've moved legislation that would trigger an annual review of Hong Kong's autonomy -- and another bill that would stop any tear gas exports to the region. They understand that the situation isn't just about Hong Kong. For once, we can all agree with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): "If America does not speak out for human rights in China because of commercial interest, then we lose all moral authority to speak out for human rights anyplace in the world."


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


A Surgical Strike against Obama's Doctor Rule

October 17, 2019

Dr. Miroslav Djordjevic has spent almost 25 years in the world of gender reassignment surgery -- and even he has concerns. "Definitely reversal surgery and regret in transgender persons is one of the very hot topics," he admitted. He understands that this kind of "medicine" isn't for everyone. In fact, he's not even sure enough research has been done to prove whether his practice is actually helping people. So, like a lot of the medical community, he probably couldn't believe that America would actually force doctors into it.

But in 2016, during the last gasp of the Obama era, that's exactly what the 44th president did. Under an HHS rule, the most radical administration in history decided that doctors and hospitals would have to perform gender transition surgery -- or pay sky-high penalties. It was a shocking mandate -- even from Obama. After all, genital mutilation is still a highly controversial procedure with devastating side effects. Most doctors, who were taught to "Do no harm," would have obvious reservations -- whether they subscribed to a faith or not.

For religious doctors, nurses, and health care workers -- who believe in God creating them "male and female," the idea is even more distressing. So, a religious hospital network called Franciscan Alliance and the Christian Medical & Dental Associations sued. District Judge Reed O'Connor stopped Obama's rule from taking effect in 2016 -- and Tuesday, he finalized that decision, ruling that the policy "substantially burdens" religious freedom.

The victory -- won by our friends at Becket -- is a major affirmation of the conscience rights the Trump administration has spent its entire first term protecting. Wednesday, on "Washington Watch," attorney Luke Goodrich explained that this isn't the only challenge to the Obama rule. "There are cases in other parts of the country trying to force religious doctors and religious hospitals to perform these gender transition procedures." And here's what most people don't understand, he explained. These doctors and nurses aren't refusing to see people who identify as transgender. In fact, quite the contrary.

"They treat transgender patients joyously and with compassion for everything from cancer to the common cold. It's just there are certain procedures where you're giving male hormones to a woman or removing a healthy uterus from a woman who thinks that she wants to live as a man. And there are very serious health consequences from these types of procedures. So the doctors that we're representing are saying, 'Look, we love these patients. We want to treat them with compassion, but these procedures can be harmful. And so we can't do it both because of our religious beliefs, but also because of our medical judgment."

Ironically, Luke explained, even the Obama administration looked at the evidence and decided there wasn't enough to prove that these dangerous surgeries helped. What the research community has found, however, are significant harms. "[And that's] where compassion for people and religious freedom are fully aligned," Luke pointed out. "Imagine you're a Christian parent and your child is struggling with his or her gender identity. You want a doctor who has a biblical understanding of what it means to be male and female."

Unfortunately, liberals continue to push these radical "conform-or-be-punished" agendas on everything from abortion to sexuality. And as a result, they're driving more Americans out of the health care profession. People of faith want to serve others, but when they have to choose between moving into that career and violating their faith, some will reconsider. In the end, that hurts everyone. Thank goodness for the Trump administration and Judge O'Connor, who understand that the practicing medicine should leave plenty of room for practicing faith.


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


Site Unseen: DOJ Crushes Global Porn Network

October 17, 2019

"Do not upload adult porn." That was the stomach-turning warning from one of the most heinous child pornography sites on the dark web. Thanks to the Department of Justice, that horrible corner of cyberspace was just the target of an international takedown -- a victory months in the making.

"According to the indictment we're unsealing today," U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie Liu announced Wednesday, "the site hosted more than a quarter million videos, and users downloaded more than one million files." Files, she explained that included children, toddlers, and even infants in "sexually explicit conduct." "As a parent," Liu said, "this horrifies me. And it should horrify everyone."

Working with law enforcement in South Korea, the U.K. and Germany, U.S. officials have arrested 337 people connected to the ring -- including 53 pedophiles in America. "The sexual exploitation of children," Liu insisted, "is one of the worst forms of evil imaginable. Indeed, these crim es are so heinous, they are difficult even to speak about... Our message for those who produce, distribute, and receive child pornography is clear: You may try to hide behind technology, but we will find you, and we will arrest and prosecute you."

Thanks to the DOJ's hard work, 23 kids were rescued from their abusers in countries from Spain to England. Now, because of the U.S.'s involvement, the leader of the world's "largest dark web child porn marketplace" -- Jong Woo Son -- can finally be held accountable.

Unfortunately, liberals are too busy shaming Attorney General William Barr's faith to stop and consider all he's doing in defense of children. Led by leaders like him, America is saving hundreds of tiny victims from the horrors and violence of trafficking. Maybe if we had more religion, as Barr said, there wouldn't be a need for crusades like DOJ's. Maybe if there were more "moral education," fewer people would fall into the trap of sexual addiction. In the meantime, we can all be grateful that there is a man at the helm who takes the world's problems seriously -- and who understands that the real solution is more of God, not less.


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



Previous Washington Update Articles »