Voters Have a Vax to Grind with Dems

Voters Have a Vax to Grind with Dems

May 5, 2021

The New York Times wasn't laughing at Joe Biden's infrastructure plan. But the host of the paper's podcast was laughing at how popular the president's team thinks it is. In a sit-down with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the former candidate estimated that "20 or 30" Republicans might vote for the president's $2 trillion dollar joke of a public works bill. "Thirty?" host Kara Swisher guffawed. "Thirty?" she repeated. "Well, Secretary Buttigieg I'd like to be five-foot seven, but it's not going to happen," she joked. And maybe, the White House is starting to realize, their 13-digit spending dreams won't either.

On Tuesday, the president's team seemed to take a step back from their big-money proposals and return to safer ground. Instead of harping on "infrastructure" and government daycare, the White House went back to the one area where they had the public's backing: the coronavirus. And yet, after a series of missteps and mixed messages, even that support may be starting to wane. There's abundant frustration over the CDC's insistence on outdoor masking, even for people who've been vaccinated or kids at summer camps. Then came the rolling outrage over new rules in some places: a wedding reception dance ban in D.C. and continued school closures in others.

But it was the president's address to a half-empty Congress that really set conservatives ablaze. It was, as John Nolte wrote in a scathing rebuke of the Democrats, "a nationally-televised piece of performance art with one blaring message: The coronavirus vaccine does not work! Do not get vaccinated! Look at us! LOOK AT US, we're vaccinated and nothing's changed!!!" From the president to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), everyone in the chamber has been vaccinated, and yet, Nolte goes on, "through their own actions they screamed out their belief that the vaccine is, at best, worthless."

Just yesterday, Biden said his goal is to have 70 percent of adults through at least one dose of the vaccine by the Fourth of July. But you can't blame people for wondering, what's the incentive? Even if we're vaccinated, the government will still make us wear masks. (Maybe two!) "It's like having someone tell you the local water is safe in between sips of bottled water," Nolte mocked. And yet, Joe Biden, the same president who pooh-poohed the vaccine under Donald Trump, insists now that he's in charge, "you do need to get vaccinated." But once you do, he says, wearing your mask will still be your "patriotic duty." To most people, it just doesn't add up.

And now, to add to the absurdity of it all, the Left is blaming evangelicals for creating distrust about the vaccine -- when it's the Democrats' own optics that make everyone wonder: what's the point? People get vaccinated and the ridiculous government restrictions remain unchanged. Now, let me just say up front -- I'm not opposed to the vaccine. I think if you're in an at-risk category, you should strongly consider getting one of the ethical shots (Moderna or Pfizer). I'm not opposed to the science either. What I am opposed to is any government forcing people to get the vaccine -- or shaming them into getting it, which is what the New York Times, MSNBC, and others are trying to do by claiming Christians are putting the entire nation at risk. That's just another attempt to marginalize believers in the eyes of the broader community.

Of course, there's plenty of blatant hypocrisy in the Democratic Party that isn't helping their cause either. Increasingly, Americans are noticing that those who advocate for science on one hand happily discard it when it's not convenient. FRC's David Closson pointed out the double standard late last month. "People are talking about climate change and global warming. That was a big focus of the White House. But again, this is the same White House through executive orders and public statements that is radically pro-abortion, and that doesn't recognize the personhood of the unborn." This is the same administration, he argued, that insisted on executive orders that don't recognize the biological sex of male and female. So when you're so selective in the reading of the science, well... it just doesn't engender very much trust among [anyone]" -- let alone conservatives or evangelicals.

Truth is truth. It doesn't change with whatever crisis we're facing, or which party is in office. That's why as Christians, we can't shrink back in silence or hide in the shadows. We have to stand up and speak up when our faith is challenged.

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

The Real Cost of Biden's 'Families Plan'

May 5, 2021

President Biden recently announced his "American Families Plan," which proposes to "invest" $255 billion in childcare subsidies. The president said his plan will "allow roughly one million parents, primarily mothers, to enter the labor force." He promised this will save the average family $14,800 per year on childcare expenses by providing a range of affordable options for early childhood care and education -- all of which will include "developmentally appropriate curriculum, small class sizes, and culturally and linguistically responsive environments." Biden explained that this plan is necessary to avoid the "lifetime consequences" that are the result of parents' work/life balance changing to prioritize caring for their child at home.

What President Biden failed to mention, however, is what this plan will cost American families -- especially those with a religious worldview. Though the average American's wallet is certain to feel the impact of this plan's price tag, the greatest loss will not be measured in dollars and cents, but by the number of parents who will be incentivized to give up their role as primary educator of their child.

Aristotle said, "Give me a child until he is seven, and I will show you the man." As George Barna mentioned on "Washington Watch," socialist, totalitarian regimes around the world have embraced philosophy because they recognize how effective it is. In fact, the Chinese Communist Party has most recently employed this technique on Uyghur children living in Xinjiang. These children are separated from their parents, indoctrinated, and forced to go against their Muslim beliefs by doing things like eating pork. At times, even the kindergarteners are interrogated. One interviewee stated, "My daughter had a classmate who said, 'My mom teaches me Quran.' The next day, they are gone."

Certainly, this is an extreme example -- and this type of overt indoctrination is unlikely to happen in America in the immediate future -- but Americans cannot be naive. Whether it's through explicit sex-education in California that pushes an LGBTQ agenda beginning in kindergarten, the silencing of teachers who share biblical stories, or the promotion of critical race theory, the public school system has shown that the Left has no problem with indoctrination.

As Barna pointed out, "Thanks to COVID, more and more parents are becoming aware of what their children are actually taught, how they're being taught, who's teaching them, what kind of documents they're being forced to read. And so what we've seen is that the portion of children being homeschooled has risen from three percent to eleven percent in the last 18 months." As Barna stated, "maybe all parents can't do the homeschool route...they still have that primary responsibility to know what's going on in their child's education."

In the same way, having one parent stay at home full-time may not work for every family, but parents still have the primary responsibility to know what's going on in their child's most formative years. When parents, not the government, decide what is best for their children, Christian parents can ensure they are fulfilling, what George Barna pointed out is their primary responsibility, "raising children to be spiritual champions, young people who grow up to love the Lord and serve Him with all their heart, mind, strength and soul."

Though raising children who love and serve the Lord is the goal of parents with a biblical worldview, it certainly is not the goal of an administration who supports destroying life in the womb, denies that God made human beings male and female, and rejects the biblical teaching on marriage. So, while getting $14,800 per year from the government may sound enticing, for Christians, the lifetime consequences of the "American Families Plan" come at far too great of cost.

On the National Day of Prayer, Let's Pray for Religious Freedom

May 5, 2021

Last year, the annual National Day of Prayer was marked by the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. Across the country, many turned to prayer out of fear, others out of habit. Some prayed as a last resort. Amid panic, prayer brought peace to many of our friends and neighbors. As our nation emerges on the other side of the pandemic, we have much to be grateful for. However, deep political divisions, threats around the world, and persistent threats to religious freedom remind us that the urgent need for prayer remains.

The legacy of America's National Day of Prayer reminds us of the importance of the freedom to practice our faith in the public square. This year's theme asks that the Lord would pour out "life, love, and liberty" on our nation. As we come together to pray for these and other blessings, let us pray specifically for a culture that values and respects religious freedom at home and across the globe.

Calls for the nation to come together in prayer has deep roots in American history. Informally practiced by the majority of our nation's leaders, the National Day of Prayer was officially established as an annual event on the first Thursday of May in 1952 after evangelist Billy Graham urged Congress to pass legislation that formalized it. Since then, every president has recognized the day.

President Ronald Reagan said of the National Day of Prayer, "This occasion provides our Nation with an opportunity to further recognize the source of our blessings, and to seek His help for the challenges we face today and in the future."

For believers, prayer offers an opportunity to bring our needs directly to God, the Creator, Savior, and Sustainer of the world. The discipline of prayer is rooted in the belief that God hears our prayers and desires for us to bring to Him our cares and concerns. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and omnipresent, and yet, He still wants to talk with us through prayer.

As our nation grapples with division and navigates various challenges, the National Day of Prayer is an opportunity to pursue unity. President Abraham Lincoln -- who oversaw the nation in its most divided and turbulent state -- believed that despite challenging circumstances Americans should remember God and our shared values.

Lincoln reminded Americans, "We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven... But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own."

As we express gratitude for our blessings and pray for our nation, we ought also to pray for those around the world longing for the freedoms we have, especially religious freedom. Scripture exhorts us to remember and pray for those being persecuted for their faith in Christ. For example, the Apostle Paul asked for prayer while confined in prison himself (Eph. 6:18-20). Similarly, the writer of Hebrews encouraged his readers to "Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body" (Heb. 13:3). United by our common faith in Christ, our brothers and sisters suffering persecution around the world ought to be regularly in our prayers.

Those facing persecution abroad have often found hope in the knowledge that they are being lifted up in prayer. When Pastor Andrew Brunson was held captive in a Turkish prison for his faith, he found deep encouragement knowing people were praying for him. In his darkest moments, Brunson valued the prayers of those around the world.

Remembering and praying for the persecuted church is an important way to love our neighbors (Mark 12:31).

In today's challenging times, there is much that warrants prayer. This National Day of Prayer, the following are worth remembering in our prayers:

  • Pray for God's blessing on the United States. Specifically, pray that our society, culture, and politics would honor God.
  • Pray for revival and the spread of the gospel. Pray Americans would unite around our shared values and reject the voices sowing division and discord.
  • Pray for perseverance and protection for Christians around the world. Unfortunately, religious freedom is not the norm around the world. Pray that governments and those in authority see the value in protecting religious freedom and conscience rights.
  • Pray for wisdom and discernment for those in authority, including government and church leaders (1 Tim. 2:2).

Much of the recent political discourse has been focused on unity. Yet, true unity is not found in politics. Unity is found in Christ. By joining together to pray for our nation and our neighbors at home and abroad, we can find hope, peace, and unity.

This piece was originally published in the Western Journal.