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Trump Harms Religious Freedom by Intolerance to Some, Favoritism to Evangelicals, NYT Says
Christian Post ^ | 08/21/2018 | Samuel Smith

Posted on 08/21/2018 10:06:44 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Evangelical leaders have responded to the New York Times' claim that the Trump administration is undermining its own priority of protecting religious freedom by emphasizing the policy priorities of evangelical Christians.

On Saturday, The New York Times editorial board published an opinion piece titled "A Too-Narrow Vision of Religious Freedom."

The piece essentially argues that although "the Trump administration embraces a laudable desire to expand religious tolerance" across the globe, it is the administration's "own intolerance toward some" that "undermines the message."

For examples of intolerance, NYT mentions "Trump's disgraceful attempts to ban Muslims from some countries from entering the United States; his reprehensible treatment of refugees and immigrants, especially in separating children from their parents; and his continued support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has caused a humanitarian catastrophe."

The op-ed begins by applauding the administration for holding the first-ever State Department Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in July that was attended by delegations from over 80 countries.

owever, the piece says, the ministerial's good intentions are "in danger of being undermined by the administration's political agenda, which emphasizes the American strain of evangelical Christianity over other beliefs."

Additionally, the op-ed argues that the administration's immigration and refugee resettlement policies "belie its stated defense of religious rights."

"The current administration took its advocacy to a new level with the three-day conference, whose invited participants were more diverse than many expected. Despite his own strict Catholic leanings, Sam Brownback, the ambassador for international religious freedom, said the goal was to protect religious freedom for all, 'not to say we favor this faith or that faith,'" the op-ed reads.

"Yet, the event, headlined by Vice President Mike Pence, an evangelical Christian, was clearly meant to appeal most to the evangelicals who are among the president's most fervent political supporters, reflecting a selectivity that is antithetical to the very concept of religious freedom."

At least two informal evangelical advisers to the Donald Trump White House who also serve on the United States International Commission on International Religious Freedom objected to arguments made in the New York Times piece.

"It is a poor piece of journalism," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told The Christian Post on Monday. "They go on to provide nothing that supports [their argument] in this piece. I am wondering how the American strain of evangelical Christianity potentially undermines these good intentions.

"In fact, it is evangelical Christianity that understands every person has a choice that is driving religious freedom, especially given the previous eight years where evangelicals understood what it was like to have the government against you," he added in reference to the Barack Obama administration.

Fellow USCIRF commissioner Johnnie Moore, an evangelical public relations executive and author, told CP via email that the New York Times piece included a "few points of worthwhile criticism," but also included "too much cynicism."

"As for evangelicals, when we are advocating for religious freedom we are advocating for religious freedom for everyone (take my work with Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan or our inclusion of Iraq's Shiites in the Genocide resolutions against ISIS or Jehovah's witnesses in Russia or the Rohingya in Burma)," Moore, who was appointed to USCIRF by President Trump this May, wrote. "By its nature, you can't have religious freedom at all unless you have religious for all."

The New York Times piece also offered a critical view of the administration's focus on securing the release of imprisoned Pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been detained in Turkey for nearly two years on charges of terrorism that the U.S. views as baseless.

The op-ed suggests that Trump's recent actions against Turkey in hopes of securing Brunson's release has come "under pressure from evangelicals" and criticized Trump for being "silent about 19 other detained Americans, including a NASA scientist who is Muslim."

"It isn't true ... that it was evangelical pressure that drove the administration to prioritize Brunson in the way that they have," Moore, also a CP senior editorial adviser, wrote. "It was the Turkish president himself who made Brunson a special case, and we ought not to think that just because there isn't a public discussion about other detained Americans that there aren't private actions being undertaken."

The New York Times op-ed also criticizes evangelicals for "increasingly promoting religious freedom as 'our first freedom'" and states that evangelicals are doing so because "human rights are becoming politicized and conflated with economic and social goals, such as equal rights for workers, women and gay and transgender people."

Responding to that claim, Moore said, "I wouldn't have disregarded so quickly the historic reasoning behind the 'first freedom' approach of religious freedom advocates, which is principally tied to the fact that it was for such freedom that our founders left their homes and took a harrowing journey to the new world. Religious freedom was sufficiently prioritized by our founders that it merited the first clause of the first sentence of our first amendment. It is knit into the very DNA of America — we have a democracy whose footers are cemented in this freedom, more than any other, perhaps."

The New York Times op-ed notes that the Trump administration isn't the "first to speak up for religious liberty" and goes on to mention how the International Religious Freedom Act was passed by Congress in 1998, mandating the State Department to issue an annual report on international religious freedom.

The New York Times op-ed also explained that the Obama administration and previous administrations have "tended to consider religious rights within the broad spectrum of human and civil rights."

Moore warned that, too often, there has been a "secular approach to human rights that either puts questions of religious freedom on the back burner or doesn't give sufficient recognition to the role religion plays in foreign policy, generally speaking."

"Religious freedom needs prioritized and it needs focus. It can't simply be one part of a human rights portfolio for — in the end — recent history tells us that it will always be a lesser priority," Moore argued. "All one needs to do is remember how difficult it was for us to get the Obama administration to discuss the [Islamic State's] persecution of Christians and Yazidis in religious terms. Ultimately, the genocide resolutions were opposed by most of the senior advisors in the administration."

In fact, when former Secretary of State John Kerry declared that IS had committed genocide against Yazidis, Christians and others in Iraq and Syria in March 2016, he did so by stating that the declaration was made "in my judgement." Some speculated at the time whether that was a sign that Kerry and others in the Obama administration were at odds over the genocide declaration.

"They want to claim that the Trump administration is not the first to speak up for religious liberty and then they make reference to the International Religious Freedom Act passed in 1998," Perkins said. "That is fine. But what have other administrations done with it? Certainly, the previous administration did nothing with it because it led to genocide in the Middle East. In fact, Congress had to act to force the Obama administration to recognize the genocide in Iraq."

The New York Times op-ed also stated that Hungary's presence at the ministerial last month "seemed particularly at odds with conference aims of promoting 'equality under the law,'" because Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Mihaly Orban "has turned the Christian-majority country from democracy to nationalism and Islamophobia."

A delegate from Hungary spoke at the ministerial and called on countries around the would to help religious minorities, especially persecuted Christians, resettle and rebuild in a post-Islamic State Iraq. Hungary has also donated millions directly to Iraqi Christian communities to help this effort.

"They are rebuilding homes. They are rebuilding neighborhoods and they are trying to keep the Christian minority that has been there since the beginning of the Church in that region," Perkins said. "Everyone should applaud because that is what will bring about greater stability in that region of the world or else it is going to continue to be in tumult there."

Perkins concluded by stating that he feels that the New York Times op-ed is part of a larger trend of hostility toward evangelical Christianity that has been on display from the "media elite."

"What do they want? Does that mean that if you are an evangelical Christian, if you actually believe in religious freedom — meaning the ability to live and order your life according to your religious belief — that somehow you are disqualified from serving in one of these capacities?" Perkins asked. "That is essentially what they are saying."

"This is a very subtle but determined effort to exclude evangelical Christians from shaping and directing the policy of our country," Perkins continued. "We don't hold the same view. We don't believe that people that have no faith should not be involved. But we believe that people that have orthodox Christian views have every right to be a participant in this republic of ours and they should not be excluded, which the New York Times would suggest they should be."

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: New York
KEYWORDS: andrewbrunson; armenia; cyprus; erdogan; europeanunion; evangelicals; greece; hungary; intolerance; kurdistan; mediawingofthednc; nato; newyork; newyorkcity; newyorkslimes; newyorktimes; partisanmediashills; presstitutes; receptayyiperdogan; smearmachine; trump; turkey; viktororban; yazidi; yezidi
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1 posted on 08/21/2018 10:06:44 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

“Trump’s disgraceful attempts to ban Muslims from some countries from entering the United States; his reprehensible treatment of refugees and immigrants, especially in separating children from their parents; and his continued support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has caused a humanitarian catastrophe.”

NONE of which are examples of religious intolerance.

2 posted on 08/21/2018 10:10:45 AM PDT by BenLurkin (The above is not a statement of fact. It is either satire or opinion. Or both.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Islam is a political system with a thin religious shell.

3 posted on 08/21/2018 10:11:32 AM PDT by cuban leaf (The US will not survive the obama presidency. The world may not either.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The New York Slimes weighs in on Religious Freedom?

What a joke.

4 posted on 08/21/2018 10:12:06 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd
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To: SeekAndFind


Obama Harms Religious Freedom by Intolerance to Some, Favoritism to muslims, said no one.

FU Big Media!

5 posted on 08/21/2018 10:12:30 AM PDT by treetopsandroofs
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To: SeekAndFind

Did not read..

NY TIMES, enough said..

6 posted on 08/21/2018 10:14:28 AM PDT by haircutter
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To: SeekAndFind

ANY time the New York Times talks about religion of any kind, I want to spit on the ground.

7 posted on 08/21/2018 10:15:10 AM PDT by rlmorel (Leftists: They believe in the "Invisible Hand" only when it is guided by government.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I don’t have to say anything about musscums, they say IT themselves! Muslims Hold Massive Rally at Vikings USBank Stadium — Chanting “Allahu Akbar” (VIDEO)
Jim Hoft by Jim Hoft August 21, 2018

8 posted on 08/21/2018 10:16:14 AM PDT by Harpotoo
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To: SeekAndFind
Trump: "Yet today, 240 years after the Revolution, we have turned things completely upside-down." - Donald Trump

And it's not just about jobs and economic opportunity. It's about freedom, exercise of "Creator-endowed rights and liberties," and opportunity for each citizen, not just self-appointed elitists who fancy themselves as entitled, to make decisions for all.

Freedom for religious ideas to flourish and impact America's experiment in liberty was an important component of the founding period. Thomas Jefferson wrote to Roger Weightman on June 24, 1826:

" I should, indeed, with peculiar delight, have met and exchanged there congratulations personally with the small band, the remnant of that host of worthies, who joined with us on that day, in the bold and doubtful election we were to make for our country, between submission or the sword; and to have enjoyed with them the consolatory fact, that our fellow citizens, after half a century of experience and prosperity, continue to approve the choice we made. may it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the Signal of arousing men to burst the chains, under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings & security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. all eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. the general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view. the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of god. these are grounds of hope for others. for ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them."

Some time ago, I posted the following:

"Perhaps the so-called "progressive" enemies of freedom understand better than those who fancy themselves as "conservatives" that in order to reverse the Founders' ideas of "People over government," and institute "government over People," they must first marginalize and destroy the ideas from which liberty is derived.

The writings of America's Founders are replete with references which rebuke would-be tyrants and cite a Higher Source for life, liberty and rights. Early histories confirm those facts.

As so-called "progressives" have led a movement in forsaking the Founders' "reliance on Divine Providence," and belief that individuals are "endowed by their Creator," they also have forsaken the principles underlying America's Constitution and Declaration of Independence, and are systematically dismantling the greatest protections for liberty ever established for a people.

"Ideas have consequences"(Weaver).

The ideas of 1776 came out of a set of ideas consistent with liberty.

We tend to forget, or have never considered, that other world views existed then, as now.

Unless today's citizens rediscover the ideas of liberty existing in what Jefferson called "the American mind" of 1776, we risk going back to the "Old World" ideas which preceded the "Miracle of America."

There are those who call themselves "progressives," when, in fact, their ideas are regressive and enslaving, and as old as the history of civilization.

Would suggest to any who wish an authentic history of the ideas underlying American's founding a visit to this web site, at which Richard Frothingham's outstanding 1872 "History of the Rise of the Republic of the United States" can be read on line.

This 600+-page history traces the ideas which gave birth to the American founding. Throughout, Richard Frothingham, the historian, develops the idea that it is "the Christian idea of man" which allowed the philosophy underlying the Declaration of Independence and Constitution to become a reality--an idea which recognizes the individual and the Source of his/her "Creator"-endowed life, liberty and law.

Is there any wonder that the enemies of freedom, the so-called "progressives," do not promote such authentic histories of America? Their philosophy puts something called "the state," or "global interests" as being superior to individuals and requires a political elitist group to decide what role individuals are to play.

In other words, they must turn the Founders' ideas upside-down in order to achieve a common mediocrity for individuals and power for themselves.

9 posted on 08/21/2018 10:17:33 AM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: BenLurkin
RE: Trump’s disgraceful attempts to ban Muslims from some countries from entering the United States;

You will notice that the NYT IGNORES and REFUSES to use certain clarifying words in their DISHONEST attempt to paint Trump as intolerant to Muslims. Let's add the clarifying BOLDED WORDS in, which makes the context right

Trump’s disgraceful attempts to ban SOME Muslims from some countries where there is no way of determining their background because their criminal justice system is in shambles from entering the United States;
10 posted on 08/21/2018 10:17:41 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (look at Michigan, it will)
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To: SeekAndFind


11 posted on 08/21/2018 10:18:56 AM PDT by BenLurkin (The above is not a statement of fact. It is either satire or opinion. Or both.)
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To: SeekAndFind

It must be easy, and fun, to write headlines for the New York Times. Just use a template, and fill in the blanks with whatever you feel like.

Old template: Obama Helps ____________ by ____________ .
New template: Trump Harms ____________ by ____________ .

Maybe tomorrow’s headline will be:
Trump Harms Trees by Wearing a MAGA Hat

12 posted on 08/21/2018 10:20:44 AM PDT by Leaning Right (I have already previewed or do not wish to preview this composition.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
The New York Slimes weighs in on Religious Freedom?

Doesn't matter to the NYT. Any stick is good enough to beat Donald Trump with.

13 posted on 08/21/2018 10:23:11 AM PDT by CommerceComet (Hillary: A unique blend of arrogance, incompetence, and corruption.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Trump or the nyt?

I’d bet Trump.

14 posted on 08/21/2018 10:30:00 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: SeekAndFind

Well that certainly puts an exclamation point on that issue!

15 posted on 08/21/2018 10:30:23 AM PDT by rktman (Enlis ted in the Navy in '67 to protect folks rights to strip my rights. WTH?)
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To: SeekAndFind

The NYT editorial board consists of far left atheistic communists who hate Whites, Christians and America. There is nothing to be gained by reading their trash.

16 posted on 08/21/2018 10:32:15 AM PDT by Russ
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To: SeekAndFind

For the ignorants, our country was founded on Christian principles and we lived with those Christian principles for a long time... long years. It is just in the last generation or 2, they are attempting to remove anything of God from the United States. They would rather have anything but Christianity.

Obama said we are not a Christian nation. His words do not make it so. His words are fromm a muslim raised and taught individual..barack hussein obama. What that man said in his 8 years, was taken as gospel by the left. They adored the lawless, disrespectful, non Constitutional, anti American, racist President. He gave them the rights to live as lawless as he did. He gave them the right to be all the things he was/is. He would have removed anything Christian.. and he led the way to hate what we stand for and what our country has stood for all these years.

They don’t know what they are wishing for when they want to remove Christianity. Yes, it makes them uncomfortable. They’d like to live in their hate and anger. They don’t know what communisim is and they don’t know what it would be like to live in a world where there was nothing good anywhere.

Some people never hear and never see.. and never learn... It’s a pitiful existance to be the sheep following the wrong one.. the wrong path, and not have enough sense to see the cliff before going over.

17 posted on 08/21/2018 10:33:09 AM PDT by frnewsjunkie
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To: SeekAndFind

Tho not much for religions in general, when it comes to pisslam, I’m one of the most intolerant SOBs in the state.

Personally, I think that moronic rock in Mecca would look best with target paint lighting it up.

Gotta wonder how many if the ass-in-the air savages would change their tune when their ‘indestructible’ icon was turned to gravel and spread over a couple square miles by the blast.

18 posted on 08/21/2018 10:33:44 AM PDT by tomkat
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To: Russ

NYT is only good for lining the bottom of a bird cage.

19 posted on 08/21/2018 10:34:14 AM PDT by ExTexasRedhead
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To: SeekAndFind
If, Trump was a tyrant and Hitler, all these people criticizing him would be DEAD or getting gassed!

Nothing the Media/DNC has breathlessly warned us about regarding Trump for the past 3 years, has happened.

20 posted on 08/21/2018 10:35:47 AM PDT by Grampa Dave ( Out of about 6 million people in the DC area, Trump is the only one not colluding with anyone!!!)
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