By Gary L. Bauer
By almost every account, President Trump's speech was a success. Even some of Trump's most vociferous critics were impressed. For example:
A snap poll by CNN confirmed the critics' observations.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- FRC Action released its annual Vote Scorecard for Members of Congress showing which Members demonstrated an unwavering commitment and consistent support of faith, family and freedom during the second session of the 114th Congress. U.S. Rep. Robert Wittman (R-Va.), along with 138 other representatives, scored a perfect 100 percent on this year's scorecard.
Votes in the U.S. House included:
Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins made the following comments:
"We thank Representative Wittman for consistently voting to uphold faith, family and freedom. Rep. Wittman voted to repeal key parts of Obamacare, protect unborn children and their mothers, end the forced partnership between taxpayers and Planned Parenthood, allow students to attend the school of their choice, and protect pro-life organizations and employers from being forced to hire individuals who disagree with pro-life principles.
"We can be encouraged by elected officials who are willing to be criticized as they stand for family values. Members like Rep. Wittman deserve praise for their unwavering commitment to stand for life, family, marriage, and religious liberty.
"Family Research Council Action and the hundreds of thousands of families and churches we represent are proud to recognize these men and women for their faithful work. Our hope is that in the next Congress, he will be joined by many more like him," Perkins concluded.
To view a copy of the Vote Scorecard, visit https://www.frcaction.org/scorecard
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On Thursday, Aaron and Melissa Klein, formerly of Sweet Cakes by Melissa at the center of a national religious freedom case, will appear before the Oregon Court of Appeals for oral arguments. The Kleins lost their Sweet Cakes by Melissa Bakery over the course of litigation on the case and were ordered to pay $135,000 for declining to create a custom cake for a same-sex wedding. Thursday will mark the first time the couple will have an official day in court. Until this week, they have been at the mercy of a patently biased administrative body which even imposed a gag order on them restricting their First Amendment freedoms.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement:
"The Kleins are finally getting their day in court to defend what every American is constitutionally guaranteed, the freedom to not only hold religious beliefs but live by them, including in how they make a living.
"This couple believes in the truth that millions of Americans hold to, that marriage is between a man and a woman. They only ask that they be left free to follow that belief as they live as they always have — in a quiet, peaceable manner, running their daily lives.
"A government able to bankrupt people for standing by their deepest beliefs is a government of unbridled power and a threat to everyone's freedom. The heavy hand of the state must not be used to punish and fine people for merely seeking to live according to their beliefs. There has to be space in our society for people who hold differing views.
"It is my hope that the Oregon Court of Appeals will do the right thing and rule on the side of the freedom of religion, which is the freedom to follow one's religious beliefs in daily life.
"If we are to protect people like the Kleins going forward, protections for those who dissent from the Court's view of marriage must be enacted in Oregon and nationwide," concluded Perkins.
Family Research Council's Travis Weber, Director of the Center for Religious Liberty, released the following statement:
"Despite what you will hear from most 'reporting'on this issue, the Kleins were happy to provide any item from their shop to gay and straight customers alike. The Kleins welcomed all customers to come and buy from the bakery. The only thing the Kleins declined to do was become part of a same-sex wedding ceremony; they didn't want to be forced -- by any customer -- to create a cake for a same-sex wedding in violation of their beliefs. This is true of any event contradicting their faith -- such as a celebration of a divorce -- for which they would also decline to create a cake," Weber concluded.
For more on the Kleins case and other Americans who have been targeted because of their beliefs, go to www.freetobelieve.com.
February 28, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC - Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who attended tonight's address, released the following statement in response to President Donald Trump's first address to a joint session of Congress:
"As I watched from the gallery, I was struck by the stark difference between President Trump and his predecessor. President Trump left no doubt that his confidence in the American people is far greater than his confidence in Washington. We now have a president who is doing something rare in American politics -- fulfilling campaign promises.
"Tonight President Trump gave encouragement to Americans of all backgrounds who have suffered the loss of their freedoms, especially religious liberty, because of destructive Obama-era policies.
"President Trump is taking his first steps to reverse the devastating trend of the government punishing those who live their life according to their deeply held beliefs. That's why it's no surprise that recent polling finds the most enthusiastic supporters of Trump are evangelicals, the same ones who helped deliver one of the most stunning upsets in election history.
"President Trump understands that if Americans don't have the freedom to live according to their faith -- whether it's in the home, in the workplace, or in school -- then we really can't be free. That's why I remain confident that President Trump will sign an executive order reinstating government-wide protections for religious liberty.
"The president spoke tonight about rebuilding the military. The military faces not only a serious depletion of resources but of morale. Troop morale has dropped to dangerously low levels in recent years as the previous administration treated the military as a laboratory of liberal social experimentation. These policies have led to chaplains being disciplined for their faith, and religious speech being censored. Religious liberty in the military needs to be reinforced with policies that reflect the law, which allows men and women to not only believe, but act on those beliefs.
"I am hopeful that tonight's speech will provide new momentum toward fulfilling the GOP's promise of dismantling the disastrous Obamacare law and ending the forced partnership between taxpayers and organizations like Planned Parenthood. We are committed to assisting the president and Congressional leaders in repealing and replacing Obamacare with a program that is patient-centered and respects the principle that federal funding and subsidies do not go to health care plans which include abortion.
"After the spectacular failures of Obamacare, the demoralization of our military, the explosion of lawlessness, tolerance of corruption, and obsession with social engineering, Americans finally have the opportunity to rebuild the country they love.
"Tonight, President Trump opened the door wider to solutions that put America back on the right track. As the president continues to fulfill his promises, I believe he will see more Americans rally to his side to join him in making freedom mean something again in America," concluded Perkins.
"By the way, the word democracy appears in none of our founding documents.
"The Founders of our nation recognized that we need government, but because the essence of government is force, and force is evil, government should be as small as possible. The Founders intended for us to have a limited republican form of government where human rights precede government and there is rule of law. Citizens, as well as government officials, are accountable to the same laws. Government intervenes in civil society only to protect its citizens against force and fraud, but does not intervene in the cases of peaceable, voluntary exchange."
We Believe . . .
That the free enterprise system is the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice
That all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and should assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society
That fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government
That the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing constitutional limitations
That peace is best preserved through a strong national defense
That faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers, is essential to the moral fiber of the Nation