White House Rolls Out the Welcome Mat for the Religious Right

To say that the Religious Right has been opposed to Barack Obama’s presidency from the moment he was elected would be something of an understatement.

Since taking office, the Right has opposed just about every aspect of his agenda, from his choice of nominees to the economic stimulus legislation. But nothing has outraged them more than reversals of President Bush’s stem cell and “Mexico City” policies.

When Obama reversed the Mexico City policy, the Family Research Council lashed out, saying that while he was for “banning the torture of terrorists” he was signing “an order that exports the torture of unborn children around the world” and that because of his action “U.S. taxpayers will be forced to take part in exporting a culture of death.” Concerned Women for America likewise claimed that the moved “offends the morality of millions of Americans, funds abortion efforts in countries where abortion is illegal, and breaks a campaign promise to reduce abortions” and also asked why he was “concerned about the higher moral ground with the terrorists who murder for ‘Allah,’ and yet you won’t honor and obey Christ and defend the defenseless unborn baby.”

When Obama reversed the stem cell policy, CWA’s Wendy Wright called it “politics at its worst,” saying it was “driven by hype” and “fuels the desperation of the suffering, and financially benefits those seeking to strip morality from science” while FRC said it was “yet another deadly executive order” and “a slap in the face to Americans who believe in the dignity of all human life.”

Given that FRC’s and CWA’s stance regarding life issues is to vehemently oppose anything that does not move the country toward curtailing, and eventually outlawing, of reproductive choice, what is the Obama administration’s best option for dealing with such groups?

Why, inviting them to White House for a discussion on how to reduce the need for abortion, of course:

The Brody File has learned that conservative Evangelical groups will meet with the head of the White House Faith-Based Office on Tuesday.

Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council will meet with Joshua DuBois, the man who leads the administration’s office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Wendy Wright, the president of CWA reached out to the Obama administration and they responded by inviting CWA and some of these other conservative Evangelical groups to The White House. The meeting plans to focus on the need to reduce abortions in the country and on responsible fatherhood programs. Also present at the meeting will be Tom McClusky, Senior Vice-President of the Family Research Council as well as representatives from the Christian Medical Association and Care Net, a pro-life Evangelical pregnancy crisis group.

Wendy Wright from CWA sends the following via email to The Brody File:

“The Obama administration says they want to be inclusive and represent all Americans. The White House faith-based office is now tasked with reducing the number of abortions – something that pro-life groups have very good experience in accomplishing. Pregnancy resource centers and regulations on abortion have a terrific track record in helping women choose alternatives to abortion. Funding abortion or abortion providers is one of the worst things that could be done. What the government funds, we get more of. We hope to begin a dialogue that results in policies which actually work, not just financially benefit certain interest groups like abortion providers.”

If the Obama administration thinks that it is going to win support for anything that it does on this issue from groups like CWA and FRC, it is sorely mistaken … which is something they will presumably learn once this meeting takes place.

These are not moderate, open-minded groups looking for common ground – they are militant, anti-choice groups committed to, above all, making abortion illegal everywhere and for everyone, with no exceptions.

It is hard to understand what the administration expects to gain by meeting with such groups to discuss efforts to reduce abortion considering that the only option such groups support is to outlaw them entirely.