The Republican Party released a video this week targeting Hispanics addressing religious freedom It’s somewhat accurate, but not completely.
Hillary Clinton has tried to put forth that she has “fought for religious freedom for years.” Perhaps internationally she has made some statements as Secretary of State. When it comes to protecting the right of conscience which is fundamental to religious liberty she is woefully lacking.
On this the Republican video is spot on.
In the video Gustavo Portela, the CRNC Executive National Director, pointed out that Hillary Clinton would support a liberal Supreme Court justice who is opposed to religious freedom. He also added, “Hillary wants to limit your rights as a business owner to make decisions based on your beliefs.”
That is true. This would have been a great video if he stopped there.
But he doesn’t. “Donald Trump understands that individual religious freedoms are enshrined in our constitution and must be defended at all levels,” Portela added.
He understands this? I’ve not heard Trump make a vibrant defense for religious freedom. He conditionally supported the First Amendment Defense Act. He said he wouldn’t veto it, but he didn’t say he would work to pass it. Not exactly inspiring leadership.
He did say he would get rid of the Johnson Amendment that prevents non-profit organization from lobbying and making political endorsements. When Christian bakers and florists are being fined for not participating in same-sex wedding ceremonies that is hardly a pressing issue.
There is Donald Trump’s Supreme Court list. The promise he made to try to gain conservative support. How hard will he fight for those appointments? He’s already indicated he would walk that back. Prior to this list he lauded his liberal sister as a model for the types of judges he could pick.
Even as recently as the meeting that some evangelicals had with Donald Trump he avoided the question on protecting the right to conscience and these were scripted questions that he received in advance.
Kelly Shackelford, the president of First Liberty Institute, asked about judges, but also asked LGBT rights being used to trump religious liberty:
So a baker, like the couple that’s a Christian baker in Oregon, because they couldn’t do a gay-wedding cake, they’ve been prosecuted by the state. They’re bankrupt. They’ve been fined $135,000 and told by the judge that they need to be, quote, rehabilitated. Have you thought that through yet, or do you know yet, where you’re going to stand?
So, on the judges: The Federalist Society is the gold standard on judges, are you happy with that? I think, right? Also Heritage [Foundation], Jim is fantastic. Jim DeMint and the Heritage [Foundation] is — I think they’re doing a great job. And they’ve done it also. Plus, we’re going to probably put four or five additional [judges on the list] as I’ve said before. And we’re going do that. We’re going to do that very quickly. And frankly, the decision that you’re looking at is ultimately going to be a court decision. And the people that go on the court over the next period of time are going to have a lot to do with that decision. Because right now, that decision does not look — and I know where you stand on it — and that decision is not looking very good for you. And by the way, if you are pro-life, it’s not going to be very good for pro-life right now. And if Hillary gets in, honestly, Mike, if she picks two more judges — not three, four or five — pro-life is a whole different story.
Your question is a whole different story. Because ultimately, the court is going to decide that question. They’re going to decide that answer. And I will say this and I’ve said before: I’m putting pro-life judges on. … The justices that I’ve put on, and you can look at their names and we have them posted, but the justices, I have gotten tremendous, rave views from the people that we’ve picked. Eleven, we’ve picked 11 so far. And we’ll pick a few more and they’ll be very similar. I’ve gotten tremendous reviews. The alternative is the opposite. There won’t be any pro-life judges put on there. They will be all pro-choice. They will be all, 100 percent.
The issue was then dropped and they then moved to the 2nd Amendment. This doesn’t suggest to me that he has a deep understanding of the issue.
So attack Clinton, she deserves it, she’s awful, but don’t make Trump into something he’s not. We really don’t know what Trump will do on this issue. Most likely he’ll do nothing.
HT: The Pulse 2016