Today on his radio bulletin Breakpoint, Manhattan Declaration co-author Chuck Colson claimed that the Obama administration has abandoned freedom of religion in order to advance LGBT rights. While attacking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech on LGBT rights abroad as “disastrous foreign policy,” Colson claimed that “in one fell swoop, she changed our God-given right to freedom of religion, a public act, to a much more restricted ‘freedom of worship,’ a private act, which any Chinese official could go along with,” while placing the “‘right to love in the way they choose’ as a fundamental human right.”
Of course, this argument that the mere use of the phrase “freedom of worship” has negated the freedom of religion ignores Secretary Clinton’s speeches on the freedom of religion, and as Kyle pointed out earlier, even former President George W. Bush frequently talked about the “freedom of worship.” Bush used the phrase four times in a 2008 proclamation, which if issued by Clinton or President Obama would surely have created uproar from the Religious Right.
But never mind all that, because for Colson, whipping-up anti-gay paranoia is far more important than the facts:
It started as a drip, drip, drip. Then the flow increased, and now it’s a gusher: The Obama administration has decided to promote and emphasize lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered rights—and it is doing so at the expense of everyone’s God-given freedom of religion. Those are tough words, but regrettably, true words.
In December 9, 2009 in a major address entitled, “Human Rights Agenda for the 21st Century,” Secretary of State Clinton said people “must be free to worship, associate, and to love in the way that they choose.” Did you catch that? In one sentence, little noticed at the time, Mrs. Clinton showed the Administration’s true priorities. In one fell swoop, she changed our God-given right to freedom of religion, a public act, to a much more restricted “freedom of worship,” a private act, which any Chinese official could go along with. And at the same time, Mrs. Clinton, speaking for the administration, elevated the quote “right to love in the way they choose” as a fundamental human right.
Lest you think I’m overreacting to an isolated statement, the intervening years have amply borne out my concerns. Freedom of worship has been substituted for freedom of religion in speech after speech by administration officials. Just last month, the Secretary told a gathering of diplomats that “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.” She also said the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” As I mentioned before on BreakPoint, this is a disastrous foreign policy. African nations are already up in arms, and it certainly isn’t going to help us with Muslim nations, who view U.S. advocacy for homosexuality as proof of Western decadence.
Not to be outdone, President Obama told a pro-gay-rights group, “Every single American—gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender—every single American deserves to be treated equally before the law.” Does that include marriage? Well, the President’s secretary for Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, has just said that he “absolutely” supports same-sex marriage. The Administration has already refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. And before the EEOC, officials have said in a contest “between religious liberty and sexual liberty,” sexual liberty triumphs.
Can you see where all this is headed?