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Religious Liberty

Thanksgiving: A Day to Honor the Lord

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Thanksgiving is a time to remember the ways in which the Lord has blessed us. It’s a time to reflect on where we are, and how we got there. In this spirit, we offer the following commentary by former-CWA National Field Director Barbara Plating. It is taken from Barbara’s November 2004 Prayer Action Leaders Memo (PALM), the regular update to leaders of CWA prayer chapters.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year. It’s to important to recall the history behind it as we celebrate with family and friends and give thanks to God.

When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth on that fateful day in November 1620, little did they know they would set a pattern in motion that would bless this land from “sea to shining sea.”

William Bradford, Pilgrim historian and governor, wrote the following about their arrival in his book Of Plymouth Plantation: “Being thus arrived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth, their proper element. And no marvel if they were thus joyful.”

Bradford continued to wonder at “this poor people’s present condition no friends to welcome them, nor inns to entertain or refresh their weather-beaten bodies, no houses, or much less towns to repair to, to seek for succor.

“Whichever way they turned their eyes (save upward to the heavens) they could have little solace or content in respect of any outward objects. For summer being done, all things stand upon them with a weather-beaten face; and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hue. If they looked behind them, there was the mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar and gulf to separate them from what weak hope of supply and succor they left behind them. What could now sustain them but the Spirit of God and His grace?”

Indeed, the Lord did sustain them. Sixteen men were sent from the ship to gather firewood that cold November day. Along with the firewood, the men found an abandoned cache of corn buried in a large iron pot. This was their introduction to the food that would later save their lives. It reminded Bradford of the Israelites when they sent spies into the Promised Land and returned with abundant fruit.

During their first fall in the new land, the Pilgrims harvested a bounty that was cause for a celebration. They shared that bounty with the Indians around them. For three days, the Pilgrims hosted Indian Chief Massasoit and 90 of his tribe of the Wampanoag, as well as the lone Patuxent Indian Squanto, whom the Pilgrims likened to a latter-day Joseph.

Squanto was a fierce Patuxent Indian who had been captured and taken to England by Capt. George Weymouth. Squanto learned English so he could provide critical information to help the English establish colonies in the best locations. After nine years in Europe, he returned to New England, where he was again captured and taken to Spain to be sold into slavery. Rescued by local friars, who taught him to know Jesus Christ as his Savior, Squanto soon attached himself to an Englishman bound for London. He had returned to his homeland a mere six months before the Pilgrims arrived.

Finding the land deserted by his tribe, Squanto wandered aimlessly and was befriended by Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoags. He stayed with the tribe through the winter. The following spring, Samoset, chief of the Algonquins, discovered the Pilgrims and sent for Squanto and Massasoit to meet with them. When the Pilgrims learned Squanto’s story, they realized that God had prepared him through slavery-like Joseph-to save them from famine. Squanto taught the Pilgrims to fish, stalk deer, plant corn and pumpkins. He taught them about herbs for cooking and medicinal purposes and other things necessary to survive in the new land.

Squanto learned from Samoset that a mysterious plague had killed his tribe four years earlier. Fear had kept other Indians from settling the land, making it the only safe ground in that part of the country for the Pilgrims to settle.

The Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving with an abundance of food, but later that fall there were more mouths to feed as others arrived from England. This began to deplete the stores of food and during the Pilgrims’ second winter; they were ultimately reduced to a ration of five kernels of corn per day. Through all of these trials, they shared what they had and cared for the sick left in their care. They continued to trust in the Lord who never abandoned them.

In future Thanksgivings, the Pilgrims would place five kernels of corn on their plates to remind them of that second severe winter, which tested their faith doubly. The Pilgrims focused on giving thanks as a way of life.

I will extol You, my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Everyday I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts. I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works. (Psalm 145:1-6)

CWA Calls for President Trump to Ensure Full Release and Religious Asylum to Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi

By | Blog, News and Events, Press Releases, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Washington, D.C. — In 2010, Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman, was sentenced to “death by hanging” for blasphemy against Islam. Her crime for the death penalty was allegedly making derogatory remarks about Islam to her neighbor. After this mother of four spent eight years on death row, Pakistan’s Supreme Court overturned her conviction on October 31, 2018.  However, this decision was condemned by Pakistani Islamist parties — most prominently by the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) party, which sparked mass protests in major cities and continued to call for her imprisonment and death.  Succumbing to pressure, on November 2, the Pakistani government signed an agreement with TLP to bar Asia Bibi from leaving Pakistan while the Supreme Court ruling in her favor is under review for possible error.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, issued this response:

“Asia Bibi’s life is obviously in grave danger.  Islamists are calling for her beheading. Two Pakistani politicians, Governor Salmaan Taseer and Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, were assassinated for supporting her release and opposing Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Dozens more people in Pakistan have been killed as a result of blasphemy accusations.

“If any religious persecution case is critical and in need of quick attention, it is the case of Asia Bibi. This is a landmark verdict in Pakistan as two distinct groups — those promoting religious tolerance and the fundamental Islamists who oppose it — battle over the future of Asia Bibi. It is extremely rare that a blasphemy case is overturned in Pakistan, and we must act quickly.

“As the leader of religious freedom around the world, the U.S. must remain committed to promoting the tolerance of religious minorities and respect for the fundamental human right of religious freedom. As the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization, with religious freedom as one of our core issues, we ask President Trump to call for the full release of Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi to allow her to exit safely from Pakistan. And as she is in dire fear for her life, we ask President Trump to grant Asia Bibi religious asylum in the U.S. as soon as possible.”

 


For an interview with Penny Nance contact Annabelle Rutledge at arutledge@cwfa.org or 916-792-3973.
Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee is the legislative arm of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with members across the country, over 450 Prayer/Action Chapters and Home Teams, 600 trained leaders, and over 30 years of service to our nation. For more information visit www.concernedwomen.org

CWA Files Brief on Important Religious Liberty Case

By | Hawaii, LBB, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Aloha Bed & Breakfast v. Cervelli

Phyllis Young operates the “Aloha Bed & Breakfast” out of her home, renting about three rooms to guests in Hawaii. The house is a four-bedroom house that is not sectioned off. Guests are treated as part of the family during their stay.

For these reasons, as a Christian, Phyllis applies the same rules to guests that she would to family members. She does not facilitate sexual relationships outside of marriage as defined by her Christian beliefs. This means that she would not rent one room to unmarried couples or those in a same-sex relationship.

When two women in a same-sex relationship sought to rent a room with her, Phyllis declined, and they filed a complaint with the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission for sexual orientation discrimination.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, representing Phyllis, argued that Hawaii’s public accommodation law, which makes sexual orientation discrimination unlawful, did not apply in this situation because of the nature of the business (renting only three rooms in her primary residence).

The Constitution also protects the free exercise of religion so that Phyllis should have the right not to promote behavior that her faith teaches is immoral. She should be able to conduct her small business in a way that can respect her deeply held religious beliefs.

As we have seen in other cases, the lower courts have ordered Phyllis to violate her Christian beliefs if she wants to make a living. This is a plain violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Americans should be able to operate a business according to their deeply held religious beliefs and without being compelled to endorse a government-approved view that contradicts those.

That is why Concerned Women for Americas has joined a brief asking the United States Supreme Court to take the case and reverse the lower court’s decision penalizing Mrs. Young for refusing to condone that which is contrary to her faith. In it, we argue:

Mrs. Young, the homeowner, acted out of her religious conviction that renting a single room to other than a married husband and wife would engage her in facilitating and endorsing immoral sexual conduct. She not only held a sincere belief to that effect, well buttressed by Biblical teaching, but her action in refusing quarter to the unmarried and same-sex cohabitants was conduct protected by the First Amendment’s prohibition of state interference with her free exercise of religion and with its similar prohibition of interference with her freedom of assembly, which incorporates the right not to associate with those engaging in behavior with which one disagrees.

The brief was filed alongside the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritan’s Purse, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, the National Legal Foundation, and the Pacific Justice Institute sending a strong message to the Court of the importance of the religious liberty interests and concerns at play.

Please continue to pray for this case and the justices as they consider this case in the coming weeks.

A Call to Prayer for CWA Members: International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church 2018

By | Blog, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

On November 4, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, Concerned Women for America (CWA) will join thousands of Christians all over the world in praying for those who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. Will you join and pray with us? As Americans, God has blessed us with a country abounding in prosperity and founded on freedom of religion, belief, and conscience — all of which we enjoy and continue to fiercely defend. But, in our busy and full lives, sometimes we forget that our sisters and brothers in Christ around the world are being persecuted for the same beliefs and endure political, economic, or social discrimination, beating, imprisonment, and even tortuous death.

According to a Pew Research Center report in 2015, Christians are “harassed”in more countries than any other religious groups in the world; Christians are harassed in a total of 128 countries, a number which increased from 108 in 2014. Harassment includes both social hostilities and government restrictions and takes many different forms, such as verbal or “physical assaults, arrests and detentions, desecration of holy sites, and discrimination … in employment, education and housing.”

A pertinent example of growing harassment against Christians is in the People’s Republic of China. This week we learnedthat the Chinese government, in its escalating campaign to “Sinicize” religion and solidify loyalty to the Communist Party, has closed and raided churches in Beijing and several other provenances, burned Bibles, destroyed crosses, and forced Christians to sign statements renouncing their faith. Freedom House reportsthat since 2012, when Xi Jinping took over the Chinese Communist Party, religious persecution for all religion in China intensified. China’s 72 to 102 million Catholics and Protestants experience moderate to high levels of persecution, and protestants, who make up 60-70 million of China’s Christians, have in particular experienced a rise in government campaigns to remove their Christian crosses, demolish their churches, and punish their leaders and the human rights lawyers who defend them.

According to the U.S. Department of State, China has been designated as a Country of Particular Concern since 1999 under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 for either “engaging in or tolerating particularly severe violations of religious freedom.” As Secretary of State Pompeo commentedin the International Religious Freedom Report of 2017 about the state of religious freedom in China: “In China, the government tortures, detains, and imprisons thousands for practicing their religious beliefs.”

Like in China, all around the world the news reports and pictures of persecuted Christians can be overwhelming. Truly, it can be hard to understand what we can do individually, but this is why our prayers for the protection and freedom of our brothers and sisters are so important. Will you commit to prayer with us?

Throughout September and October, in anticipation of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on November 4, CWA will send you updates on persecuted Christians around the world. We will also offer weekly prayer suggestions that you, and your Bible study, prayer group, or church may use to join with us in prayer.  At the end of October, CWA will sponsor an event at Capitol Hill dedicated solely to praying for our Christian brothers and sisters.  We hope that you and your communities will join with us in agreement and “pray without ceasing.”

 

Dr. Shea Garrison, Vice President, International Affairs, Concerned Women for America

 

How to Protect International Religious Freedom from the Politicization of Human Rights

By | National Sovereignty, Religious Issues, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Join CWA for a panel event co-sponsored by The Heritage Foundation on “How to Protect International Religious freedom from the Politicization of Human Rights”. This event is a side event for Secretary of State Pompeo’s Ministerial for Advancing Religious Freedom held at the U.S. Department of State July 24-26th 2018.

Panelists will discuss how our “natural” or fundamental human rights, such as religious freedom, protect the fairness of the political process by ensuring that individuals are free to think, speak, and act according to their convictions. Increasingly the human rights of individuals are being conflated with the social and economic policy priorities of particular groups and governments.  This undercuts the moral legitimacy and persuasive power of our natural rights, including our freedom to live according to our religious convictions.

Conservative Women Rally to Support Judge Kavanaugh

By | Blog, Kennedy, Legal, News and Events, Religious Liberty, Sanctity of Life, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

This week many Americans were glued to our TV’s waiting to see who President Trump had chosen to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.  For many of us, it was our first opportunity to hear directly from the man whose young daughter’s basketball team calls “Coach K.” He did not disappoint.

Judge Kavanaugh, who currently sits on the D.C. Circuit – considered the “Second Highest Court in the Land” – shared with us his story which highlighted so many values we, as Americans, hold dear, including family, faith, and hard work.

As the Senate begins the process to “advise and consent” the president’s nominee, it’s important to take a measure of the man in judging his fitness for office.

Here are some glimpses into his influences and his character:

Judge Kavanaugh in his speech last week gave thanks and praise to both of his parents who each attended law school, his father working full-time while putting himself through law school at night. But it was Kavanaugh’s mother to whom he paid a special tribute, Maryland Circuit Court Judge Martha Kavanaugh. “My introduction to law came at our dinner table,” he said. Kavanaugh called his mother a trailblazer for women in the legal profession. She pushed through barriers and overcame obstacles as one of the few female prosecutors at the time to become a trial judge. As he accepted President Trump’s nomination, Judge Kavanaugh credited his mother and her legacy. “The president introduced me tonight as Judge Kavanaugh, but to me that title will always belong to my mom.”

Judge Kavanaugh devotes time and energy to his family and his faith. He is involved in his church and spends his time serving meals with Catholic charities and tutoring. He is a leader in his field.

Throughout his tenure as a judge, Kavanaugh has worked to diversify the legal field through the people he chose to work for him. Rebecca Tailbelson, a former Kavanaugh Clerk, not only spoke about Kavanaugh as a judge but also to the quality of his character as a boss and advocate.

“Judge Kavanaugh has had a really outsized role in helping to diversify this little sliver of the legal profession, and he’s done so by hiring predominantly female – I think a majority of his law clerks have been women which is sort of unheard of at this level. And then after he hires us, he goes to bat for us in every way. It’s impossible to get that Supreme Court clerkship if you don’t have an appeals court judge like Brett Kavanaugh going to bat for you. He goes to bat for us, and then he goes to bat for us for every job after that.”

From the respect with which he honors his mother, to his devotion to raising strong daughters, and his work diversifying the legal field, Judge Kavanaugh has shown through action, not just words, his choice to esteem women.

There are just nine individuals who safeguard our Constitution, the document that has protected our God-given rights for 231 years. There could not be a more qualified candidate to sit on this esteemed bench at this time.

Concerned Women for America is honored to stand behind Judge Kavanaugh and support him during his confirmation. We have launched a $500,000 campaign called “Women for Kavanaugh.” We are devoting considerable resources to this effort and rallying our happy warriors across the nation to use their voices in support of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. We were active in Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation and plan to be equally active for Judge K, because we trust that he will be another great justice!

CWA stands with Judge Kavanaugh, because his life and his work exemplify what we want to ensure for this generation and generations to come. This is about our children, our grandchildren, and the future of the home that we love. #ConfirmJudgeK


Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by The Stream. Click here to read it there.

Conservative Women Celebrate Freedom as the U.S. Supreme Court Decides Masterpiece Cakeshop

By | Blog, News and Events, Press Releases, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Washington, D.C. – Minutes ago, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion (7-2) in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Penny Nance, President and CEO of Concerned Women for America (CWA), the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization had this to say:

“The Court is right in recognizing that it ‘is the right of all persons to exercise fundamental freedoms under the First Amendment.’ All Americans, whatever their view of same-sex marriage, should celebrate the Court’s strong stance for religious freedom.

“Those who want to promote tolerance should celebrate most of all. This is what true tolerance looks like. It was sad to see some of them stand on the wrong side of this case, trying to exercise a new form of intolerance against people of faith.

“As Justice Kennedy said during oral arguments, ‘tolerance goes both ways.’

“We applaud the U.S. Supreme Court for its strong stance for religious freedom with only two justices dissenting on this important decision. We know the work is not done. Religious liberty must be protected at every turn. But today we can celebrate this strong affirmation from the highest court in the land.”

 

Pompeo: Religious freedom is a Universal Human Right

By | Blog, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

This week, newly appointed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made international religious freedom “a front burner” issue for the U.S. Department of State, declaring it a “universal human right” for which the United States will fight around the world. These statements came in conjunction with the unveiling of the State Department’s 2017 International Religious Freedom Report which Pompeo deemed critical to the U.S. mission to defend religious liberty and “a testament to the United States’ historic role in preserving and advocating for religious freedom” across the globe. Furthermore, he underlined religious freedom as a fundamental right which the Founders recognized, saying:

Religious freedom is in the American blood stream. It’s what brought the pilgrims here from England. Our founders understood it as our first freedom, that is why they articulated it so clearly in the first amendment. As James Madison wrote years before he was President or Secretary of State, “Conscience is the most sacred of all property.”  Religious freedom was vital to America’s beginning; defending it is critical to our future. Religious freedom is not only ours, it is a right belonging to every individual on the globe. President Trump stands with those who yearn for religious liberty; our vice president stands with them, and so do I.

The 2017 report documents religious freedom abuses and violations committed by “governments, terrorist groups, and individuals” in 200 countries and territories. For example, the report calls out North Korea for denying rights to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion and estimates between 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners in North Korea who are jailed “in remote areas” and under “horrific conditions,” some for religious reasons.

Additionally, Secretary Pompeo announced that the U.S. will host the first-ever ministerial to advance religious freedom at the U.S. Department of State July 25-26. The event will affirm a shared commitment of advancing religious freedom as a universal human right and will include ministers from collaborative governments around the world, as well as representatives from international organizations, religious communities, and civil society. However, Pompeo declared that the upcoming event will be held not only to discuss important issues, but will be about “action,” and the identification of clear and effective ways to ensure religious freedom is respected for all people.

“Religious Freedom is indeed a universal human right that I will fight for” Pompeo declared, “The United States will not stand by as spectators. We will get in the ring and stand in solidarity with every individual who seeks to enjoy their most fundamental of human rights.” Concerned Women for America stands with Secretary Pompeo in the fight against religious persecution and for the right to religious liberty that we believe “is not a gift from the government, but a sacred right from Almighty God.”  Please join with CWA in prayer and support as we monitor religious persecution around the world and advocate for liberty, the fundamental right of all people.  

 

Dr. Shea Garrison, CWA Senior Advisor, Foreign Affairs

North Dakota, Please Respond Now! CIA Nominee Needs Our Prayers and Action!

By | North Dakota, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Gina Haspel is a strong, intelligent woman of integrity who has unquestionable qualifications to serve as our nation’s next Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director. She worked her way to the top in a male-dominated field, but she has risen based on her earned credentials and hard work. If confirmed, she would be the first woman to serve as CIA Director.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to vote on Haspel sometime next week, and they to hear from you!

Will you be a part of helping this nominee through a successful confirmation process?  It only takes a brief moment.

Please take action now!

  1. Call and email Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota) who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee.  Ask her to vote to support Gina Haspel.  Be sure to tell her office that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of North Dakota.  Call (202) 224-2043 and email.
  2. Forward this message to family and friends.  Every contact is counted!
  3. Commit to praying for Gina Haspel and the senators.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, stated this in support of Haspel:

“Haspel is undeniably well-qualified for this crucial position. She has served in the CIA for over three decades and has shown a commitment to the rule of law and to the mission of the CIA. She previously served as Deputy Director under then-Director Pompeo and now serves as Acting Director. She has served in numerous senior-level positions, rising through the ranks of the CIA, proving her worth with each earned promotion and numerous awards and recognitions.

“Haspel requested a transfer to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center to join the fight against al Qaeda. Her first day was a day our nation must never forget, September 11, 2001, the day we were attacked on American soil and almost 3,000 lives were lost. All of our lives forever changed.

“Perhaps most tellingly, Haspel is widely supported by her peers in the intelligence community and from national security officials. For example, Leon Panetta, former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense during the Obama Administration, said ‘I’m glad it’s Gina because, frankly, she is someone who really knows the CIA inside out.’ It’s one thing to win awards; it is another thing entirely to earn the respect of your colleagues and superiors.

“As our nation faces numerous threats from abroad, the CIA remains a crucial element of our national security. Haspel’s career at the CIA has no doubt prepared her, but her own hard work, integrity, and expertise in the field of intelligence is what makes her the best candidate for this job.

“I urge all senators to put partisan bickering and theatrics aside, focus on what is best for our national security, and swiftly confirm Haspel to be our next CIA Director.”

Thank you ladies, for all YOU do to help bring good leaders, like Gina Haspel into places of influence!

“… that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love,” Ephesians 4:14-16.

White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative

By | LBB, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Penny Nance, CWA’s CEO & President, with United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback at the Rose Garden.

President Donald Trump has taken several steps to protect religious freedom within the Executive Branch during his time in office. On the National Day of Prayer, in his second year in office, he once again showed his commitment to people of faith by signing an executive order establishing the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative.

This is no small thing, though we have seen similar efforts in the past.  The attacks on religious freedom — and freedom of speech in general — are ongoing, and a proactive approach to protect these rights is desperately needed.

President Trump announced the initiative at a Rose Garden event attended by Concerned Women for America CEO and President Penny Nance, saying:

The faith initiative will help design new policies that recognize the vital role of faith in our families, our communities, and our great country.  This office will also help ensure that faith-based organizations have equal access to government funding and the equal right to exercise their deeply held beliefs.

We take this step because we know that, in solving the many, many problems and our great challenges, faith is more powerful than government, and nothing is more powerful than God.

He is absolutely right. One of the sad things about modern government hostility towards religious groups is the fact that they are negatively affecting these groups’ great, charitable, loving work. Remember the attacks on the Little Sisters of the Poor? Why would the government want to hinder in any way the work of these poor, religious women who are caring for the elderly in our nation? Or how about the state governments that have forced out of their state Christian adoption agencies? These are services that are needed, yet as government intolerance of differing views, especially in the area of sexuality, continues to grow, we see many are willing to let the poor and needy suffer at the altar of liberalism.

It was fitting that in announcing this initiative and commemorating the National Day of Prayer, President Trump remembered the loss of “America’s Pastor,” Rev. Billy Graham.  He said:

As we gather this morning, our thoughts also turn to the memory of a man who awakened the light of God in the hearts of millions of America’s pastors.  And that’s the great, legendary, wonderful Billy Graham.  Great, great man …

Today, we remember the words of Reverend Graham, “Prayer is the key that opens [to] us the treasures of God’s mercies and blessings.”  Always beautiful.

As you know, prayer is foundational for Concerned Women for America. Everything we do is done not in our own power, but by the strength and opportunity given to us by God Almighty. It is a reality that we know to be true personally and can attest to throughout our great history. That is why we continually remind our culture of America’s rich history of faith and prayer. President Trump is fully aware of that history.  More importantly, he is very proud of it.  At the Rose Garden ceremony, he said:

The prayers of religious believers helped gain our independence, and the prayers of religious leaders like the Reverend Martin Luther King — great man — helped win the long struggle for civil rights.  Faith has shaped our families, and it’s shaped our communities.  It’s inspired our commitment to charity and our defense of liberty.  And faith has forged the identity and the destiny of this great nation that we all love.

Americans of faith have built the hospitals that care for our sick, the homes that tend to our elderly, and the charities that house the orphaned, and they minister — and they really do, they minister to the poor, and so beautifully and with such love.

We are proud of our religious heritage.  And as President, I will always protect religious liberty.

This is our identity as American, whether many or few recognize it. It is the genius of our nation and the key to liberty and freedom.

 


Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.