To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary L. Bauer
Pouncing On Pence
Indiana Governor Mike Pence held a press conference today to counter media misinformation about Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Now the same media critics who distorted the law are suggesting that Pence is abandoning the law.
The left claimed that the law created a “license to discriminate.” It did no such thing. The law simply provides a legal defense if a business owner, citing religious objections, refuses service to a customer and is charged with discrimination. There is no guarantee that the court would accept the defense. But the court is required to consider the claim of religious liberty and whether it reasonably applies.
Pence today indicated that he and the legislature want to clarify the media’s misperceptions about the law. The left pounced, claiming that Pence was caving in. That is not true either. The governor has an opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, which you can read here.
“The New Intolerance”
The Wall Street Journal editorial page has its own column today entitled “The New Intolerance.” The Journal writes, “Indiana isn’t targeting gays. Liberals are targeting religion.”
Rush Limbaugh asked on his show today, “Why does the left hate religion so much?” The answer is easy. Faith in God commands the loyalty of millions of Americans over and above the left’s demand that we worship big government.
In last 24 hours, Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Marco Rubio, former Sen. Rick Santorum and, to his credit, former Governor Jeb Bush have all expressed their support for the Indiana law, as has Reverend Franklin Graham.
I don’t know how this battle will end, but you don’t have to be a prophet to know this much: Religious freedom is the new battlefield in America and it goes to the heart of our founding — the First Amendment right to practice your faith.
In recent days, several left-wing commentators have mocked conservatives, asking, “What’s the big threat this law is supposed to address?” You have to be willfully ignorant of big government’s massive onslaught against religious liberty to ask such a question.
Obamacare attempted to force Hobby Lobby to subsidize abortion and contraception. The Obama Administration is still trying to force nuns — the Little Sisters of the Poor — to promote abortion.
In recent years, we have seen bakers, florists, photographers, college administrators and high tech executives be fined or fired for their faith. The Supreme Court is likely to impose same-sex marriage on every state of the union. There will likely be unforeseen and far-reaching consequences for radically redefining marriage and the family.
All of this is happening because the demand for tolerance extends to everybody but those who believe in Judeo-Christian values. Men and women of faith are being demonized as bigots and criminals.
Media reports strongly indicate that the Iranian nuclear talks have led to an agreement . . . to keep talking. This would be the third extension of these negotiations.
Six weeks ago, Secretary of State John Kerry said it would be “impossible” to extend the talks yet again unless “you really have the outlines of the agreement.” It is doubtful that Kerry really has the outlines of a meaningful agreement.
The reported differences are huge: Iran’s refusal to accept real inspections, Iran’s refusal to surrender its uranium stockpiles and its demand that all sanctions be lifted immediately. Without the first two, any deal is meaningless and lifting all sanctions in exchange for nothing is a non-starter.
Iran is not negotiating in good faith. But don’t take my word for it. Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s Basij force, said this week that “wiping Israel off the map is not up for negotiation.”
Most Americans Doubt Obama’s Deal
Today’s Washington Post reports on a poll that purportedly finds “wide backing for an Iran nuclear deal.” According to its findings, 59% of Americans support an agreement that lifts sanctions on Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear weapons program. Thirty-one percent oppose the deal.
When asked how confident they were that such an agreement would actually prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, only 37% of Americans said they had any confidence at all that it would work, while 59% said they had little or no confidence the deal would prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.
Those results are similar to a Pew Research poll released yesterday finding that 63% of Americans do not believe Iranian leaders are serious about limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
I wonder what kind of response the pollsters would have gotten if they had asked this question: “Do you trust Barack Obama, who negotiated a deal exchanging five Taliban leaders for one American deserter, to negotiate a deal restricting Iran’s nuclear weapons program?”
Americans Stand With Israel
President Obama’s tough line against Israel and its newly reelected leader appears to be backfiring. The Post poll also found that 50% of Americans disapproved of Obama’s handling of relations with Israel, while only 38% approved. In addition, only 39% of Americans supported the creation of an independent Palestinian state — the lowest level of support since 1998.
Members of Congress are now telling the White House to back down. Four senators — two Republicans, two Democrats — sent a letter to President Obama yesterday urging him to respect the U.S.-Israel relationship and to stand with Israel at the United Nations.
Politico also reports that last week a dozen House Democrats told White House National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes to stop attacking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. One Democrat reportedly said, “You want us to go out and say the administration’s got Israel’s back. How are you going to get us to say that when our constituents believe that the administration is stabbing Israel in the back?”
Hillary Clinton wasn’t entirely truthful during her March 10th press conference regarding her use of a personal email server for her official government business as secretary of state.
The Associated Press reports that Clinton “e-mailed her staff on an iPad as well as a BlackBerry . . . despite her explanation she exclusively used a personal e-mail address on a homebrew server so that she could carry a single device.”
The cloud of scandal that surrounds the Clintons isn’t going away. The State Department inspector general is now investigating Hillary’s email practices, and Rep. Trey Gowdy announced today that he wants Mrs. Clinton to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi “no later than May 1st.”