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Mario Diaz, Esq.

Inside the Courtroom on Masterpiece Cakeshop

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This week, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  This is the case where Jack Phillips, a Christian baker, is arguing that the state does not have the constitutional authority to force him to use his artistic talents to express beliefs that are contrary to his deeply held convictions. Concerned Women for America submitted a brief in support of religious liberty.

To put it plainly, Jack believes in the Biblical model of marriage and sexuality and, in this case, he was asked to prepare a custom-made wedding cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony.  He declined, and a complaint was filed with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

As expected, the interest in the case was tremendous. On the steps of the Court, large groups rallied in support and opposition to religious liberty for Jack. A long line of hopefuls curved around the side, some having waited all night to be sure to get a seat.

Entering the bar member’s line, the interest was palpable for the attorneys as well.  The line immediately announced the courtroom and the lawyer’s lounge would both be full.

As usual, the Justices were ready.

Kristen Waggoner, a lawyer with the Alliance Defending Freedom, started the arguments arguing on behalf of Jack Phillips.  She was stellar all throughout and started with a strong statement that set the tone: “The First Amendment prohibits the government from forcing people to express messages that violate religious convictions. Yet the Commission requires Mr. Phillips to do just that, ordering him to sketch, sculpt, and hand-paint cakes that celebrate a view of marriage in violation of his religious convictions.”

But that was as far as she could get before Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg eagerly jumped to attack mode. Ginsburg, having seniority, wins out to ask, “What if it’s an item off the shelf?”  Ms. Waggoner pointed out that Jack did not refuse off-the-shelf-items; the case concerns custom-made wedding cakes.

Jack’s contention is not with the same-sex couple.  This is something the other side will continue to try to argue, that the only thing Jack objected to was the “identity of the people.”  But this is false, no matter how many times the other side says it.  If the same-sex couple had asked for a wedding cake for their parents (a man and a woman), Jack would have sold them a wedding cake.  Jack objects to designing a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding, no matter the identity of the buyer (they could be heterosexual, and he would still object).

I wish Ms. Waggoner had been given the opportunity to make that point a bit clearer, but alas, some Justices (Justice Sotomayor especially) seemed to have had some points they wanted to argue themselves, and it was difficult to maneuver the situation.

The Court pressed Ms. Waggoner most about where the line should be drawn when it comes to the protection of creative expression (of speech). This, of course, is something the Court has to do often, and it is very difficult.  But just because something is difficult doesn’t mean that the government is entitled to trample our First-Amendment rights.

Justice Ginsburg recognized that it’s unconscionable to force somebody to speak in a manner that violates their conscience, so she broached excluding any writing from the government’s compulsion: “Well, suppose we exclude that and say let’s make the assumption that he — if he makes custom-made cakes for others, he must make it for this pair, but he doesn’t have to write anything for anybody.  He doesn’t have to write a message that he disagrees with.”

That was the liberal side of the Court’s best argument, “It’s too difficult.” Well, boo-hoo.

On the other hand, the consequences of inaction would undermine the very essence of justice.  The liberal justices would run every time U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who argued for the U.S. in support of Jack Phillips, brought up whether the Court thought it consistent with the First Amendment to force an African-American sculptor to design a cross for a celebration of the KKK. Justice Kagan’s response at one point: “Well, I — Mr. — General, really, I mean, could we just — I guess I would like an answer to my hypothetical.” That one was too hard, apparently.

Justice Kennedy got to the heart of the matter on the case, giving us the most pivotal moment of the oral arguments: “Counselor, tolerance is essential in a free society.  And tolerance is most meaningful when it’s mutual. It seems to me that the state in its position here has been neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ religious beliefs.”

And there it was.  Out in the open. Truth.

This is what we at Concerned Women for America (CWA) argued in our amicus brief before the Court.  What the government is doing in the context of LGBT rights vs. religious liberty is not to stomp out discrimination but to merely substitute the target, putting people of faith right in the middle of the bullseye.

The Commission’s treatment of Jack Phillips in this case was reprehensible.  Justice Kennedy also brought it up, saying that one of the commissioners saying “religion [is being] used to justify discrimination [was] despicable piece of rhetoric.”

But Justice Kennedy merely needed to open his window and hear the liberal’s chanting this all morning.  This is the commonly accepted liberal narrative.  The liberal media loves this suggestion.

But it is factually untrue and was accepted as so in this case.  Still, regardless of the evidence and truth, the left continues to demonize people of faith as bigots and, in many places, they are using the force of government to punish them as such.

Obergeffell, the same-sex marriage decision, promised tolerance for religious people who abide by God’s model of marriage and sexuality, but in practice, the attacks have been relentless, as predicted by many.  Now it is up to justices like Justice Kennedy, the very author of the marriage decision, to stand up for his own words and protect religious liberty and freedom of speech unequivocally or confirm the suspicions of so many who have cautioned against the current anti-liberty trends.

A Lot Wrong with Sen. Franken’s Behavior

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Fifty percent of voters believe Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) should resign from office, following the recent sexual misconduct allegations, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll.  Forty six percent believe he should be expelled.

Good.

There is a lot wrong with Sen. Franken’s behavior. And it is not just in the distant past.  Just a few weeks ago, he harassed a female judicial nominee at her nomination hearings.  It was not sexual harassment, but harassment it was.

I am talking about now-Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit. Several Democrats, including Franken, unnecessarily and unjustly barraged the judge for her faith.  But Franken was especially condescending, hammering Judge Barret for speaking at a conference for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

ADF is one of the premiere religious liberty organizations in the country with an impeccable reputation. But Franken went on and on about Judge Barret getting paid by this organization that (horror of horrors) believes in God’s model for marriage and sexuality.

“I question your judgment,” said the man in the picture acting like he is groping a woman sleeping. “The root word of judgment is judge,” he said to a supremely qualified female judicial nominee with an impeccable record.

The woman Sen. Franken groped said about the incident on the picture:

I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep.

I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.

How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?

How can he think it is funny, she asks? It sure sounds like bad judgment, doesn’t it? But yet, he is the one sitting in judgment of Judge Barrett and others as a U.S. Senator?

No, count me in with the 50% that think he should resign.

He should resign and then learn to respect others, especially those with whom he disagrees.  His SNL-style politics often provide him with big laughs and a big ego, I’m sure, but that is precisely the opposite of what we need in the U.S. Senate.

News that taxpayers have paid $17 million to settle a plethora of Congressional sexual misconduct and discrimination suits is a painful reminder that we must demand a higher moral standard of conduct from our public officials.

Speaking on the topic, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Penny Nance told FOX NEWS, “We have to expose this in order to get rid of the moral decay.”

Penny correctly pointed out that, “because we have ignored this, it’s been allowed to flourish.” She is absolutely right.

Sen. Franken’s antics inside and outside the Senate have been reprehensible, and they should not be ignored any longer.

For America (Day 86)

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foramericaprayerjournal
Oh Lord, our God,
Keenly aware of our blessed state,
We come before You with grateful hearts,
Full of humility and awareness of Your goodness.

May Your name be praised
In every corner of our land,
As we remember Your works of old
And witness the miracles of life.

Not because of who we are,
But because of Your character,
We’ve received the wonders of Your Love,
Your merciful Gospel of Truth.

Thank You for grace;
Thank You for rest;
Thank You for family and friends;
Thank You for love and forgiveness.

Thank You for second chances,
And thirds, fourths, and fifths …
You have provided for us every step of the way;
Thank You for Your Word.

We thank You for reason, imagination, and faith.
Thank You for pain;
Thank You for the Spirit
And the reminders of conscience.

We marvel at the beautiful mystery of marriage;
We praise You for our daughters and sons.
Thank You for opening the heavens for us —
Thank You, thank You, dear Father.

As that word, “Father,” rolls off our lips,
We stand in awe of You, our beloved Father.
What is man that You are mindful of him?
Yes, indeed, we give You thanks.

We stand proudly as the adopted,
The sinners, the prodigals, returned.
Received by Grace into the arms
Of He who owed us nothing but contempt.

“Jesus paid it all,” we sing in praise.
“All to Him [we] owe
“[Our] sin had left a crimson stain,
“He washed it white as snow.”

May this truth live forever,
Foremost in our minds and on our lips.
May it make every day Thanksgiving Day
Until the day of Christ’s return.

Amen.

Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

CWA Prepares for the Supreme Court

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Fresh off our brief in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) legal team is already working on our next amicus (friend of the court) brief to be submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court.  This week, the Court said it would hear arguments in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra.  This is an important pro-life, First Amendment case where it is crucial that the voices of conservative women are well represented. Rest assured, CWA will answer the call and represent your voice before the Court.

Our involvement will be especially sweet for our leadership team in California.  CWA of California fought long and hard against the vicious law that is being challenged in this case.

California’s Reproductive FACT Act (AB 775) was specifically designed to curtail pro-life clinics’ effectiveness by requiring them promote abortion services.  Unfortunately, our efforts were not well received in such a liberal state, and the law was passed.

Under this law, pro-life clinics must post printed notices in several languages urging women to contact state facilities where they can get a free or low-cost abortion.  The notice must read: “California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number].”

It also asked unlicensed pregnancy centers to put up large signs saying: “This facility is not licensed as a medical facility by the State of California and has no licensed medical provider who provides or directly supervises the provision of services.”

Thankfully, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), a network of pregnancy resource centers, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), challenged the law’s unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment.

Both the district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California denied NIFLA’s motion for a preliminary injunction to halt the implementation of the law.  Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, and we hope the Justices will reverse the lower court’s decisions and protect the constitutional rights of pro-life clinics.

As you probably notice, in this case, the law seeks to both restrict speech and force unwanted speech, under threat of considerable fines. Even more dangerous is the fact that it is all motivated by a specific ideology — by the content of the speech.  The purpose is to discredit pro-life views and elevate abortion as a legitimate form of family planning.

The engagement of government in such pernicious manipulation of political and cultural debates through the violation of the constitutional rights of its citizens under threat of law is not only shameful and dangerous, but it is simply unconstitutional. Whatever your views on abortion, we should all agree that the government should not harrass its citizens in this way.

Please pray for your legal team here in Washington, D.C., as we prepare to represent your voice before the Court.

Victory for Children, Families, CWA, the Pro-Life Community and Our Nation

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The Adoption Tax Credit is saved! We told you recently about some rumblings at the Capitol where some congressmen were considering dropping this important adoption incentive.  As Penny Nance, our CEO & President, told Axios, we immediately went to “work to clean up the mistake” and that is precisely what we did.

Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) legislative team reached out to members and commenced working behind the scenes. We are thankful to the thousands of you who also followed through with phone calls and emails and social media outreach so that members understood how important this issue was to conservative women.

We are happy to report now that Congress acted quickly and decisively to respond to our request. We are thankful to many of our pro-life friends who took leadership on the issue and made it happen.  Please call your senators and representatives and thank them for keeping the adoption tax credit.

Of course, we are most thankful for the children and those involved with the beautiful process of adoption.  This tax credit actually saves lives. JT Olson, Executive Director of Both Hands, a wonderful adoption ministry that helps families overcome the financial burdens of adoption, told me about the practical implications of the tax credit:

The Adoption Tax credit is the great equalizer in the adoption world. Adoption is so expensive, and the “tax credit” is the only way a middle-to-lower class family can swing it. Most families can easily graft one more child into their routine, but the initial cost of adopting makes it almost impossible. Having a baby is just as expensive as adopting. The only difference is insurance pays for most of the costs of having a baby.

JT’s own miraculous life, captured in his book, “The Orphan, the Widow & Me,” gives him an inside understanding of the process that is second to none.  After being orphaned as a child, alongside his four siblings, God has used him to touch many through his life and ministry.

He exemplifies why CWA and the pro-life community rallied together as soon as we became aware of this issue. Adoption represents the best of America—the best of humanity.

As Christians, we understand the power of adoption through the Father’s eternal love for us and it is precisely that loving message that we want to share with the world.

In every way imaginable, this is great news. Here is the way Penny put it:

We are thankful to see that, as of today, the Adoption Tax Credit is back! Thank you to Chairman Brady and House Leadership for listening to the voice of the people and reinstating the adoption tax credit in the amended Tax Cuts and Job Act.

Overhauling our tax system is a huge undertaking but it’s important that we work to get it right for American families and this is a huge step in the right direction.

The Adoption Tax Credit is crucial for adoptive families who make significant financial sacrifices for their children. The substantial upfront cost of adopting a child should never be the reason why a family has to forgo adoption. Restoring the Adoption Tax Credit is integral to ensuring that tax reform is pro-family.

Trump, Senate Laying a Strong Foundation for the Third Branch

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Recent nominee Allison Hartwell Eid, now a United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit.

Although you may be frustrated with the U.S. Senate’s work in other areas, on judicial nominations they are working hard and achieving much progress under the leadership of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

Five judicial nominees in four days last week is no small feat, given that Democrats are doing anything and everything they can to obstruct nominees, no matter their record.

I wrote to you about the shameful anti-Christian attacks on Judge Amy Barrett who was nominated to the Seventh Circuit.  But they have tried to obstruct all nominees, for whatever reason and no reason. Their strategy is to just stall.

In the past, when non-controversial nominees (which is the majority of them) came before the Senate, it was an amicable process that went fairly quickly.  But Democrats, having destroyed the judicial filibuster under Harry Reid so that they can’t stop nominees from being confirmed, are using every procedural hurdle they can in order to stall even nominees they support.

Democrats are forcing cloture votes, which require 30 additional hours, for nominees they strongly support. They even required it for an Obama nominee. Scott Palk was first nominated by President Barack Obama and re-nominated by President Trump to the Western District of Oklahoma. He was ultimately confirmed with overwhelming support, but only after these unnecessary procedural hurdles where cleared. Democrats have required cloture vote for all 13 judicial nominees confirmed so far this year.

In a recent op-ed, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) gave a sense of the unprecedented nature of the obstruction:

At this point in President Barack Obama’s first year, when Republicans were in the minority, the Senate took cloture votes on fewer than 1 percent of the executive and judicial branch nominees we confirmed. This year, with Democrats in the minority playing confirmation spoiler, the Senate has been forced to take cloture votes on more than 27 percent of the nominees we confirmed. In fact, including those we will take this week, Democrats have forced us to take 51 cloture votes on President Trump’s nominees so far this year. That is seven times as many as during the combined first years of all nine presidents since the cloture rule has applied to nominations.

Even though he included the numbers for all nominees, not just judges, you can see what the majority is facing when trying to move on President Trump’s nominees.  So, it is to their great credit that they have not backed down, instead pushing through with increasing resolve, leading to that admirable effort last week in confirming Amy Barrett, as we mentioned, alongside Joan Larsen to the Sixth Circuit, Allison Eid to the Tenth, and Stephanos Bibas to the Third.

These are all well-qualified nominees who will lay a strong foundation for our judiciary for many years to come.  And many more still await Senate action (49 to be exact), among them: Kyle Duncan, Don Willet, and David Stras — all solid constitutionalists who understand their role as judges.

They are also desperately needed. The number of vacancies under President Trump continues to climb and stands now at 145 (compared to 108 when he started).

Concerned Women for America (CWA) has been working tirelessly with the White House and the Senate to obtain the positive results we have so far, and we will continue to push for even more progress in this area.

We have an incredible opportunity for positive change in an area that has been, unfortunately, dominated for decades by a liberal ideology that has been disastrous to our nation.  Many of the divisions we so lament today are not the creation of the political divide, as we are prone to believe, but of judicial malpractice — the imposition of personal preference under the guise of constitutional requirement.

CWA is committed to changing that, and we are pleased to see the exceptional leadership of the president and Senate leadership in this area.  Let us continue to lift them up in prayer and stay engaged in the process.  There is much work ahead.

Please Tell Me You Are Not Trying to Get Rid of the Adoption Tax Credit

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Getting rid of the adoption tax credit is a bad idea.  Trying to do so during National Adoption Month is just unthinkable. But that is exactly what the GOP is considering as they debate tax reform.

It’s a stark contrast.  President Donald J. Trump’s proclamation of November as National Adoption Month is a beautiful display of the incredible value of adoption to our nation.

“During National Adoption Month,” he wrote, “we celebrate the thousands of families who have expanded through adoption, and we acknowledge the strength and resiliency of the children who are still waiting to find their forever home.”

What’s even more relevant to our discussion, he said, “We must continue to remove barriers to adoption whenever we can, so that the love and care of prospective adoptive parents can be directed to children waiting for their permanent homes.”  And concluded, “This month, let us celebrate the gift of adoption — an act of love that provides deserving young people with the foundation they need to achieve their potential and pursue the American Dream.”

That is just beautifully said by the president.  We should all stand with him in carrying that vision to “remove barriers to adoption.”

Enter congressional number crunchers who (in good faith, we will assume) decided that the best way to do that is to take away this small (in the larger context) but significant adoption incentive within the tax code.

The reasoning is that they will increase the child tax credit by $600 to $1,600 per child.  That would indeed aid all families, whether they adopt or not. Okay, I am sure families would gladly welcome that relief, but “no.” No! That is not an adoption incentive.

Helping all families sort of defeats the purpose of incentivizing adoption. It is supposed to encourage adoption specifically, not just help all families.

Not to mention the fact that the numbers don’t add up.  The child tax credit just doesn’t help potential adopting families where they need it most.  Adoption is a very expensive process (close to $50,000 in some cases) and the prospects of such a financial burden in a considerably short period of time is a huge barrier to families considering adopting.  The Adoption Tax Credit, which was $13,570 in 2017, can alleviate that.

Telling that family, “But you will get $600 more through the child tax credit” is not the same thing.

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention sent out an email as soon as the news broke, explaining that the tax break numbers are more than outweighed by the benefits of adoption.  It read:

Over 60 percent of adopted children are adopted by middle- and lower-income taxpayers, and almost half of children adopted from foster care live in families with household incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Just as important to consider is what adoption saves the government. The government saves between $65,000 and $127,000 for every child who is adopted rather than placed in long-term foster care.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) joined the ERLC and other pro-life groups in a letter to Chairman Kevin Brady, who leads the leads the House Ways and Means Committee and introduced the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, asking him to preserve the adoption tax credit. It reads in part:

Without this tax credit, many families would not and will not be able to afford adoption, leaving more children without loving families. Over 60 percent of adopted children are adopted by middle- and lower-income taxpayers, and almost half of children adopted from foster care live in families with household incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

We urge you to ensure that the adoption tax credit is protected and preserved in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Christian adoption activist and writer Chelsea Sobolik, who was adopted herself, wrote that the credit should be preserved as it helps the most vulnerable in our society:

Chairman Brady should do everything in his power to ensure that the provisions of the Adoption Tax Credit are placed back into the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Not only will it make this tax plan a more holistic pro-family bill, it’s also the right thing to do. Republicans should continue to put policies into place that help the most vulnerable, and children in need of a loving and permanent family certainly meet that criteria.

Chelsea is a former CWA employee whose upcoming book “Longing for Motherhood: Holding On to Hope in the Midst of Childlessness” will be released next year.

The pro-life community is united on this.  Let us hope our plea is heeded and the idea of cutting the adoption tax credit dropped promptly so that Congress can focus on more productive areas.

 

For America (Day 85)

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foramericaprayerjournal
In You, O Lord, we trust and take refuge.
When all else is unreliable and enemies assail us,
Be to us a Rock of refuge,
That we may stand firm and endure,

That we may be bold in lifting Your name
Above all others,
That we may lift our voices in thanksgiving
To the God of our salvation.

In Your righteousness and grace, rescue and deliver us
From the evils of this present age.
Bring consolation to the afflicted,
And restore the many families who suffer today.

In You there is hope in the darkest of times.
At the sound of Your voice the winds and rain bow.
Upon You alone we lean for our stability.
Give us spiritual vision and lighten our pathways.

Our praise will be continually before You.
A song of gratitude for the freedom You have granted;
A song of mourning for our perversion of it;
A lament for our national blindness and rebellion.

Do not cast us off to our own devices,
For our foolish hearts and minds deceive us
Into pursuing the shallow profits of this world,
While ignoring the priceless blessings of eternity.

O God, do not be far from us,
Make haste to help and deliver us, yet again.
Evil creeps at our doorsteps and seeks to entice us
Into a worthless battle of the flesh.

They who hate You seek to destroy us;
Therefore, for Your own glory, and
In Your Holy Name, rise up to meet them,
And let them run in fear.

We will wait for Your salvation, O Lord,
For we know there is no other,
And much blessing awaits those who wait on You.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Amen.

Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

Dogma Lives On, For Now

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It’s a big win for religious liberty and Concerned Women for America (CWA) this week, as the U.S. Senate confirmed by a vote of 55-43 Prof. Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. A big “thank you” to all of our CWA members who made their voices heard on this important nomination.

I hope you got to see our CEO and President, Penny Nance, as she stood up strongly against the shameful religious test that several liberal senators used to evaluate Judge Barrett.  It will forever be a stain on their records.

“I’d like to thank Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Chairman Chuck Grassley for their leadership in following through on the American people’s eagerness for constitutionalist judges who respect and embrace their role as judges and not legislators.
 

“Let me also say, “Thank you,” to all the senators standing here today in support of Professor Amy Coney Barrett. In standing for her, you stand for women of faith who are routinely mocked and derided for our beliefs.

 

“As the CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, the largest public policy organization for women in the nation, I am honored to support Professor Barrett as a more-than-qualified candidate for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Professor Barrett is unquestionably qualified for this appointment. She graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa at Rhodes College and summa cum laude from Notre Dame Law School. She has held distinguished clerkships at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and later for Justice Scalia at the Supreme Court. Later, she became an accomplished attorney in private practice and a celebrated law professor. No one questions her professional and academic credentials.

 

“I was disappointed to see in her confirmation hearing the inappropriate questioning of her faith. This Christian “dogma” that a few find appalling embodies the best of humanity. It calls us to love others as we do ourselves, to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and attend to the widow and orphan and those in prison. It teaches us to be truthful, honorable, and content. It teaches us to respect governmental authorities and, yes, it teaches judges to be impartial and to love justice.

 

“These character traits should be celebrated in any judicial nominee – religious or not.  For any senator who chooses to vote against Professor Barrett based on her religious beliefs, I would suggest that you can do that, but it says more about your fitness for office than it does hers.

 

“Democrats should support Prof. Barrett and confirm her with their most sincere apologies. Thank you.”

This is an important point for us to remember.  Despite this important victory, the battle for religious liberty in nominations for public service is not over.  Judge Barrett was confirmed despite the religious test used, but the test was actually imposed.  Those senators who derided Judge Barret because the “dogma lived loudly within her” because of her Catholic faith, or who condemned her for speaking to the Alliance Defending Freedom indeed voted against her.  This is disturbing and dangerous.

I am sure every senator would deny using a religious test, but we can’t ignore the facts before us.

I’ve written to you before about Sen. Bernie Sanders’ recent use of a religious test against Russell T. Vought’s nomination to be the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.  He is still awaiting confirmation. This is a troubling pattern among radical liberals that we must continue to decry.

The Constitution is clear.  Article 6, section 3, expressly states that “no religious test shall ever be” applied as a condition for public service in the United States. But as we have seen throughout several years, a subversive hostility towards the Constitution and the whole founding of our nation is what drives these efforts.

Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) put the issue in its broader context at the press conference, “It is one of the grand issues of our day that amazingly enough is unresolved,” he said, “Can you have a faith in America and live it?”

 

We must not be naïve in ignoring that it is this sort of sentiment that has driven some of the criticism of media rumors that CWA President Penny Nance was being considered for an ambassadorship.  Just as it was the pro-life issue that got Judge Barrett in trouble, because of her Catholic faith, it is also this issue, alongside others Penny holds because of her Christian faith, that makes her unpalatable to the left.

The implications are the same.  The radical left wants any serious Christian barred from public office.  You can surely call yourself a Christian, as long as you don’t really believe in the teachings of your faith.

If there are any indications you are actually sincere in your faith and wrestle with the important issues it addresses and how they play out in real life, as Amy Barret did, and as Penny does on a daily basis, you are treated with deep contempt.

As Christians, we wear that contempt as a badge of honor, and as Americans, we must rise up against it as the unconstitutional actions they are and the threat to liberty they represent.  All Americans, religious or not, should unite against this.