Join Jim and Greg for a very lively Friday podcast! First, they cheer the Supreme Court for telling the 9th Circuit to reconsider a case where churches face tighter restrictions than non-religious gatherings. They also hammer Los Angeles and California as their COVID restrictions even forbid “unnecessary walking” and effectively make people prisoners in their own homes. And they react to Joe Biden’s confusing comments about what would happen if he and Kamala Harris ever have a major disagreement over principle, and somehow that leads to a really fun pop culture tangent.
Whether a member of the House or Senate, Jim DeMint was known as one of the most conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill. But what does it mean to be conservative? That’s what DeMint and colleague Rachel Bovard address in their new book “Conservative: What to Keep.”
In an interview with Greg Corombos, DeMint explains that conservative means keeping what works best for people.
“It’s keeping our covenants, keeping our faith. It’s keeping our differences, keeping our republic, which is the decentralized idea that our founders. (It also means) keeping our traditions and keeping our land of opportunities which is all about free market economics,” said DeMint.
Listen to the first part of the conversation in the this podcast as DeMint also discusses why progressives see religion as a threat to their political agenda, how politics is becoming a religion to many, and how to defend capitalism at a time when it is constantly labeled a system of greed and selfishness.
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act. Supporters say they want to add anti-discrimination protections for sexual orientation and gender identity similar to the existing provisions for people based on sex, race, ethnicity, and religion. However, critics contend the legislation would ramp up inequality for Americans who do not agree with the LGBT agenda.
Emilie Kao directs the Devos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation. She says the Equality Act actually leads to more inequality.
“We don’t think anybody should be discriminated against simply because they are gay or transgender. Everyone should be treated with respect. But the problem with the Equality Act is that it doesn’t treat everyone with respect. It basically codifies ideologies about sexual orientation and sex differences into civil rights law. That will lead to the punishment of people who don’t agree with those viewpoints,” said Kao.
Kao says the bill would lead to an erosion of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and parental rights.
To begin, the Equality Act would trump the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, meaning wedding vendors such as bakers and florists who feel servicing a same-sex wedding would violate their consciences would not be able to cite their sincerely-held religious beliefs when sued under this law.
Kao says it would also strip legal protections for people who simply disagree with same-sex marriage or the transgender agenda. She says teachers have been fired for refusing to use the preferred pronouns of a student identifying as a different gender and hospitals have been targeted for refusing to perform gender reassignment surgery.
According to Kao, the Equality Act would also gut parental rights. And she cited a transgender case in Ohio as a preview for what the Equality Act would do nationwide.
“A Catholic family lost custody of their daughter when the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital said that she should be taking testosterone for gender dysphoria. When the parents disagreed, the state charged the parents with child abuse and a judge terminated their custody,” said Kao.
Parents would also find themselves powerless in confronting an increasingly activist curriculum on these matters.
“In many cases, the parents are not even informed that children as young as kindergarten are being read stories in which they are told something that is a fallacy, which is that a person can transition from one sex to the other sex,” said Kao.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Kao explain how the Equality Act would lead to greater inequality and why the promoters of the legislation are determined to criminalize those who disagree with their agenda.
She says there is a lot more at stake here than most Americans realize.
“I think what people should be aware of is the endangerment of religious freedom – it’s already happening at the state level – the endangerment of parental rights, and the endangerment of women and girls’ safety and privacy, not to mention fairness in sports,” she said.
A new Family Research Council report alleges that nine different Trump administration nominees have been the subject of unconstitutional questioning because Senate Democrats are concerned that the strong faith of the nominees makes them unfit for service as a judge or in some executive branch capacity.
The final paragraph of Article VI in the Constitution reads: “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
But the report, entitled,”Rebels Without A Clause: When Senators Run Roughshod Over the “No Religious Test” Clause of the U.S. Constitution,” accuses 11 Democrats and Independent Bernie Sanders of using a nominee’s faith to deem them unqualified.
“The idea is that the line of questioning from primarily Democratic senators over the past two years has been a violation of the spirit, if the not the text, of that clause,” said Alexandra McPhee, director of religious freedom advocacy at Family Research Council.
The report highlights moments like Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono and California Sen. Kamala Harris being deeply troubled by nominees to were members of Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization focused on charity and service.
Trump’s nominee to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, Russell Vought, was hammered by Sanders and Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen for a private letter in which Vought said salvation is only possible through Jesus Christ.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was repeatedly asked by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker about his personal opinions on homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
Another nominee was peppered with questions regarding things his pastor had said.
Perhaps the best known example is California Sen. Dianne Feinstein explaining her opposition to the nomination of Notre Dame Prof. Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” said Feinstein.
McPhee says that sort of statement violates the Constitution.
“She’s basically saying that she distrusts Amy Coney Barrett and her ability to be impartial because Judge Barrett has deeply-held religious convictions,” said McPhee.
Listen to the full podcast to hear McPhee explain what is proper and improper in evaluating a nominee. She also answers counterarguments like how lawmakers ought to be sure a nominee will be faithful to the Constitution and how she would approach a Muslim nominee who is personally favorable towards Sharia law.
By: Joshua Paladino
The California Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on Tuesday regarding a bill that supporters say protects the LGBTQ community and critics believe is a gross violation of free speech and freedom of religion.
Pro-family groups gathered outside the California Legislature to protest AB 2943, which would make illegal “advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.”
Proponents of the bill say it will prevent counseling and conversion therapy that some psychologists believe may lead to “depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior.”
Opponents of the bill, including the California Family Council, say AB 2943 could threaten First Amendment rights.
Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Matt Sharp explained the possible implications of the bill: “It’s ultimately a restriction on speech when it comes to discussions of sexual identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, it says that this is now a fraudulent practice to engage in this. And so whether you’re a church holding a conference where you’re discussing these issues, you could see a bookstore selling a book helping people address some of these issues, counselors wanting to help a middle-aged mom that’s struggling with some confusion.”
Sharp added that such restrictions could perhaps outlaw the sale of the Bible itself.
Assemblyman Evan Low, a Democrat from Silicon Valley and a sponsor of AB 2943, says the opposition misunderstands the bill. “This bill is express in its terms of limiting the practice of conversion therapy as a commercial service in exchange for monetary compensation. It does not apply to the sale of books or any other kinds of goods. It does not prevent anyone from speaking or writing on the subject of conversion therapy in any form.”
He added that the Bible “absolutely would not be banned.”
The bill passed the California General Assembly on April 19 with a 50-18 majority vote. The bill is expected to clear the California Senate Judiciary Committee and head to the full Senate, where Democrats hold a super majority.