In what should come as no surprise to readers of my blog, Travis Wussow of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is once again promoting globalism. You can read an article I have previously written about the progressive/globalist ERLC here.
Wussow’s article is partially reproduced below. You may view the complete article here. In the article Wussow urges the next president to advance international religious freedom by growing government. That’s right, although a bill titled the “International Religious Freedom Act” was passed in 1998, it turns out it just hasn’t kept up with modern times. (Translation: the government bureacracy created by the IRF Act was totally ineffective, but if you throw more taxpayer dollars at the problem and grow the bureacracy even larger the goal of “International Religious Freedom” will be obtained.)
The “Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2015 (H.R. 1150) has already passed the House and is languishing in committee in the Senate, but if it gets to the desk of President Trump, he will be able to get a “quick bipartisan win that advances American national security interests within the first 100 days” simply by signing the bill!
All I can say is it must be one amazing bill. It’s predecessor has not been able to bring about international religious freedom in 18 years, but this new bill will not only accomplish this noble goal in 100 days, but it will also make our country more secure. How many years has the Middle East been enduring religious strife? A few thousand?
Something tells me the average SBC church member who regularly pays his tithes to support the highly educated ERLC members who write articles like this may be just a tad skeptical of Mr. Wussow’s claims, but perhaps I am wrong; they are, after all, gullible enough to keep paying the salaries of globalists such as Travis Wussow and Russell Moore.
Wussow then continues by informing us of all the bipartisan support this effort at international religious freedom has, this even extends to the current Ambassador-at-large, who happens to be Jewish. Seeking to quickly allay any fears of the conservative, fundamentalist Baptists that make up the base of Wussow’s donors, he is quick to assure us that Rabbi David Saperstein was supported by conservatives. The “conservatives” Wussow links to is a “conservative;” Barrett Duke to be precise, another ERLC member. I have my doubts there are actually any conservatives drawing paychecks from the ERLC, but perhaps I am wrong. At any rate I am much more comfortable having Rabbi Saperstein in charge rather than Russell Moore.
Barrett Duke has a ringing endorsement of Rabbi Sapestein in the article above, and I have no reason to doubt his word. (The article may be read in its entirety here.)
What I found alarming was Duke’s appraisal of Rabbi Saperstein’s predecessor. He stated that this unamed individual was “an avowed pro-life person, and also a good person,” but was “largely ineffective.” With a little research I found this unamed woman was Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook. I know nothing about her, other than what I have just read. She has an impressive resume and earned a masters and doctorate from the ultra liberal Union Theological Seminary in New York. How liberal, you wonder? Below is a description of one of the classes offered in the current school year.
I guess this explains Barrett Duke’s rather tortured explantion that “Whether you are liberal or conservative, there is someone around the world who wants to do you harm. Consequently, the faith community broadly understood that we had better hang together, or as the saying of our Founders goes, we will all hang separately.”
Again, I believe Duke realized that the good folks who pay his salary probably would not be pleased to find their tithes are being used to forge alliances with such far left liberals. Pragmatism does have its limits.
Below are some comments Congressmen made on H.R, 1150. See if you can detect anything wrong with their support.
MARKUP BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ONE HUNDRED FOURTEENTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION ON H.R. 1150, H.R. 3694, H.R. 4939, H. Con. Res. 88 and S. 2143
APRIL 20, 2016
Serial No. 114-158
Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
Mr. Salmon of Arizona.
And finally, I would like to speak in support of Chairman Smith’s legislation, H.R. 1150, the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2015. I am a cosponsor of this legislation and I am proud to support international religious freedom.
As a man of faith, one of the greatest freedoms we enjoy in this, the greatest Nation on the Earth, is the ability to worship as we please. Our Founding Fathers fought for this principle, and Congress has a responsibility to continue that fight for others. And I really appreciate Representative Smith constantly being a reminder of this important truth and this important responsibility that we have in Congress and constantly standing up for the fight for human rights.
God is going to have a special place for you, for all the great work you have done, my friend.
So thank you, and I will yield back my time.
Mr. Cicilline from Rhode Island.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to thank you and Ranking Member Engel for holding this markup and for once again conducting the business of this committee in a bipartisan way. I want to thank the sponsors of the bills that we are considering this morning, and I support all of the bills before us.
But I want to spend a few moments to speak about H.R. 1150, the Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act. This legislation has special significance to people in my home State, the State of Rhode Island founded by Roger Williams, because of his desire for religious liberty that he didn’t think he could quite enjoy in the neighboring Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I waited until Mr. Keating left to say that.
But I strongly support the goals of this legislation to protect and promote religious freedom around the world. Our former colleague, Frank Wolf, dedicated his career to fighting for basic human rights, and it is fitting that this legislation honors the extraordinary work that he has done in this area.
Religious minorities around the world face discrimination, harassment, persecution, and worse. Today, the Islamic State is engaged in systemic persecution against religious minorities as part of their bloody campaign in the Middle East that targets any group that doesn’t fit within its radical ideology. Just last month, the House and the Obama administration found that ISIS has engaged in acts of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide against religious and ethnic minorities in the region.
I do want to use this occasion to remind my colleagues that there are widespread abuses taking place in the world right now, in Syria, Sudan, Nigeria, DRC, and many other countries. Governments, terrorist groups, and other actors are engaged in horrific campaigns that encompass women, children, minorities, and other vulnerable populations. And it is incredibly important that we are careful not to seem to be elevating abuses against one particular group above others.
For example, around the world, those perceived to be part of the LGBT community are facing absolutely horrific violence, especially today in territories controlled by the Islamic State. ISIS has proudly advertised its crimes against allegedly LGBT individuals through gruesome social media, videos, and photos. Groups such as OutRight Action International have compiled dozens of incidents in which people, usually men, have been blindfolded, tortured, thrown off tall buildings, and brutally murdered by crowds incited by anti-LGBT slurs. I have a list here that details some of these particular instances of violence against those perceived to be LGBT, and they are horrific.
Last summer, BBC magazine ran a heartbreaking story entitled, “Why My Own Father Would Have Let IS Kill Me,” which detailed a young man who had to flee Iraq undercover after his own father agreed to turn him over to ISIS for being gay. I raise these issues not to suggest that those within the Islamic State territory or elsewhere who are being persecuted for being LGBT are more deserving of our attention than those suffering any other type of persecution, but I do want to ensure that LGBT people and other vulnerable groups who are being persecuted around the world are not forgotten and that we raise our voices in condemnation of all abuses of basic human rights and refrain from creating a hierarchy of human rights and I look forward to our consideration of legislation intended to do just that.
I hope we can learn from the important example of U.S. efforts to combat religious persecution and use lessons learned and best practices to inform the work we do as a country to combat the persecution of all vulnerable groups around the world, including women, children, and LGBT individuals. I thank you, and I yield back. Chairman Royce. Thank you, Mr. Cicilline.
While Congress may have the best of intentions in establishing religious freedom across the globe and protecting gays from inhumane treatment, could you please tell me where they derive the right to use our tax dollars to do so? This power has never been delegated to them. Therefore the president should not sign H.R. 1150 into law. As nice as it might make us all feel, it is unconstitutional. And it surprises me that Travis Wussow, and international lawyer, would not realize this. Further, I feel the good members of the SBC should be allowed a voice in the types of activities the ERLC participates in. I have a feeling this is not how they would want their hard earned donations spent. I believe it is past time for the SBC faithful to reel this rogue group of ERLC globalists in.
The Constitution of the United States
Article 1 Section 8
Powers of Congress
1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
2: To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
4: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
5: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
6: To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
7: To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
8: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
9: To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
10: To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;
13: To provide and maintain a Navy;
14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
17: To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;—And
18: To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.