Secretary of State Unveils Christian Nationalist Agenda in Commission Report
By Hemant Mehta
Yesterday, during an event at the National Constitution Center, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke about a new report from the “Commission on Unalienable Rights,” a group he assembled in May of 2019.
That announcement was disturbing on its own because Pompeo spoke fondly of the country’s “founding principles of natural law and natural rights.” Natural. That’s a word conservatives have regularly used to block trans people from serving in the military, oppose marriage equality, and prevent women from controlling their own bodies.
In other words, Pompeo appeared to be using the government to advance a conservative Christian agenda.
His speech yesterday showed that prediction had, unfortunately, come true.
The draft report cites the traditions that formed the American spirit, including a form of Christianity that embraced “the beautiful Biblical teachings that every human being is imbued with dignity and bears responsibilities toward fellow human beings because each is made in the image of God.”
It also references the “Biblical heritage” of the Founding Fathers.
At a time when conservatives are defending statues of Confederate soldiers because taking them down would rewrite history, here’s a Trump administration document that quite literally injects Christianity into our nation’s founding even though historians have repeatedly rejected that idea. There were undoubtedly Christian leaders present when the Constitution was written, but they’re hardly the evangelicals of today and our founding documents make clear that church/state separation is one of our most important values.
A number of non-theistic groups have weighed in on the disturbing report, the final version of which should be coming out soon and which Pompeo hopes “will influence U.S. and global human rights policy.”
The American Humanist Association called it an “overly narrow interpretation of human rights advocacy”:
“The report, peppered with biblical and religious references, takes a rigid and exclusionary view of human rights,” AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt reacted. “Echoing the notion that the US was built on Christian values and claiming faith is necessary to advocate for human rights perpetuates a revisionist narrative that erases a core principle that the nation was founded upon being secular and free from a state religion.”
Speckhardt concluded: “The commission’s limited interpretation of unalienable rights leaves many people around the world vulnerable to the whims of Pompeo’s Christian nationalist agenda. At a time of global uncertainty, our foreign policy must be forward-looking.”
The Center For Inquiry called it a “vehicle for Christian Nationalism”:
“This deceitful claim erases the dignity and the societal contributions of more than 23 percent of American adults with no religious affiliation,” said Jason Lemieux, director of government affairs for the Center for Inquiry. “The draft report ludicrously implies that our founding values are drawn from the ‘biblical teachings’ of Protestant Christianity:”
“Secretary Pompeo’s insistent harping on ‘God-given rights’ underscores the true intent of this report: to justify Christian nationalist foreign policy that abandons and endangers people overseas who are persecuted for their nonbelief, sexual orientation, and gender identity, as well as those who seek comprehensive reproductive health care including abortion and contraception,” said Lemieux.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation just called it “dangerous”:
The report is Christian Nationalism in print and stamped with government authority, granting the State Department permission to conduct a Christian Nationalist foreign policy. That means not supporting the rights of the LGBTQ community, giving Christian Nationalists a blank check to proselytize, restricting access to HIV/AIDS medications and abortion, and permitting the direct funding of houses of worship abroad.
“God-given rights are fragile,” says FFRF’s Director of Strategic Response Andrew L. Seidel… “God-given rights can be taken away by humans claiming to speak for that god, while human rights — rights that we possess by virtue of our shared humanity — are much stronger.”
Rights are not given by supernatural beings; they are asserted. Not only is our freedom not a gift from God, it is guaranteed by a godless document, the U.S. Constitution. The report from Pompeo’s commission is antithetical to this American principle and is thus un-American in its quest to give government sanction to favored religious beliefs. Our country was founded in large part to reject exactly this notion, and this report must be given the same treatment.
The final version of the report is expected to be released in two weeks. If there’s any silver lining here, it’s that if people vote for Joe Biden, Pompeo won’t get much time to integrate his conservative Christian beliefs into our foreign policy and we can reverse course with a new administration.
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“The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history . . . Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of man.” – John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, 1788
“I perceive they are mistaken in the design of our first Planters, whose business was not toleration but were professed enemies of it, and could leave the world professing they died no Libertines. Their business was to settle and (as much as in them lay) to secure Religion to Posterity, according to that way which they believed was of God.” – Samuel Willard, Minister, Third Church of Boston, 1681, in reply to an Anabaptist petition to the Puritan state government based on an “appeal to the tolerant spirit of the first settlers in Massachusetts.”
Natural rights are what the deist founding fathers believed in. They would be at odds with what the Christian-Zionist preach.
Ma allora i russi ed i cinesi non sono umani , occorre chiarire il significato di umani? Forse non sono figli del dio americano il ” $ ” pertanto occorre combatterli ? Pompeo dovrebbe venire a roma , dal papa e farsi benedire .
Our unalienable god given rights were captured by pirates and declared as “Human Rights” given and taken as “privileges” for a fee at their will subverting our free will. And all by contract and consent, So are Nobility rights, Alien rights, Animal and perhaps even ET rights. All as “legal fiction” which can expanded or restricted every time they want.
I seriously doubt that anyone here on VT (except maybe Jonas Alexis) has the intelectual courage and patience to dwell into the origin of human rights (universal). Of all the VT Atheists, Deists, and probably 99% of all Christians and other faiths don’t know it and are unwilling to research it. Antireligionists are a special case too. It was the work of pope Urban VIII who significantly usurped this religion/state relationship and under whose statue was incidentally? performed the signing of EU constitution.
There was most certainly no christian agenda during the revolution, and the churches were the last place soldiers and militia came from. the constitution was written from Haudenosaunee law, and the overwhelming majority of revolutionaries sought freedom not only from the crown but also the stains of the inquisition were fresh in their minds as well. It is a most insulting perversion to say the US was founded on Christian values. They cry persecution while expanding their globalist agenda while relying on welfare from the taxpayer.
Also it (constitution ) would have somewhat have roots from the ‘Enlightenment’ a getaway from the religious dogma of the Renaissance.
Pompeo is not only a Christian nationalist, he he’s a Christian Zionist. Along with Pence he has a hard-on for Armageddon. Their fondest hope is that Trump will bring the Jews back to Israel and start that transformative apocalyptic war that will bring their warrior messiah back to Earth to smite the unbelievers. That would be all of humanity but them. That war might be against Iran, Russia, China… whatever. It will be the end of the USA as we know it and usher in their dominionist wet-dream. Heaven save us from the Christian Zionists.
The Abrahamic Axis of Evil is the single biggest threat to the future of mankind!
“God-given rights ……,” are made up by humans.
Surely the universal unalienable human rights didn’t arise as a product of Founding Fathers private meditations or mr.Duff or mr.Greenhalgh personal reflections.
There is also no doubt that Pompeo and the gang distort their position on human rights by hiding behind Christianity which they use as a self promotion tool, but self critical Christians should not be disturbed by it. If Christians put their faith in Trump then they can hardly be considered Christians or human rights champions.
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