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.