A new regulation for charities and corporations that contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development — peddled by the powerful LGBT lobby — is a gross affront to religious liberty and a huge potential loss for the world’s poor.
Bradford Richardson and The Washington Times reported Sunday:
The Obama administration announced a rule last week that threatens to strip federal contracts from religious relief organizations and charities that adhere to traditional views of gender and sexuality, continuing a trend of governmental hostility toward religion.
National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice said the rule prohibits organizations that contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the administration of aid.
“[B]ut the new rule is a solution in search of a problem and threatens religious aid organizations that provide vital services in reasonable and culturally sensitive ways,” the Heritage Foundation’s Roger Severino told the Times. “For example, disaster relief agencies may now be required to open their women’s shower and sleeping facilities to biological males who self-identify as women or be stripped of all funding for alleged ‘gender identity discrimination.’”
The Human Rights Campaign, who first championed the rule in 2015, reportedly want to make sure that the new rule is enforced “as robustly as possible” — including the possibilty of reducing or ending USAID funding to organizations who don’t share the government’s new views on sex.
And this isn’t the end of it for the powerful D.C.-area LGBT lobby shop, it would seem. HRC’s next step is to ensure that the rule expands to the hiring practices of these various charities, meaning that traditional religious organizations who disagree with the government would be forced to curtail their missions in order to operate in a manner consistent with their beliefs.
For reference, The Washington Times states that some $16 billion in USAID funding is channeled through private contractors and nonprofits every year. These are funds that go to build schools and hospitals, fight diseases, and provide general humanitarian assistance that could simply dry up for many of these religious charities among them unless they violate their institutional consciences.
This wouldn’t be the first time that the administration toyed with taking food out of poor people’s mouthes over President Obama’s LGBT policies, as it has threatened to pull federal funds (including those for free lunches) from schools that do not comply with the Department of Education’s transgender bathroom guidelines.
"Our local schools are now in the crosshairs of the Obama administration, which maintains it will punish those schools who do not comply with its orders,” said Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R) in May, whose administration is suing over the guidelines. “He's taking money from the poorest of the poor. The president of the United States will be ending the free breakfast and free lunch program — that's what he's saying.”
Additionally, the administration has forced other similar overhauls in our foreign policy apparatus, to the detriment of mission readiness and morale.
The newest USAID rule is more than the latest in a long line of affronts and hostilities to traditional religious belief by the Obama administration...
Recently, President Obama threatened to veto the current version of the NDAA — i.e., the spending measure that allows the United States to have a military and keeps our armed forces supplied with bullets, meals, and paychecks — over a provision that protects the religious freedom of federal contractors who do business with the Pentagon.
The provision, put forward by Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla. (F, 53%) months ago would effectively undo a 2014 edict from the Oval Office that directly assaulted the religious liberty of everyone who did business with the Department of Defense.
The absurdity is even more acute in the Department of the Navy, where the branch got rid of the centuries-old tradition of calling sailors by their job titles because so many of them included the suffix “-man” in September, according to Navy Times. Rather, the department opted for a “gender neutral” system where personnel would be referred to by their ranks only.
A recent editorial from the New York Post probably most effectively captures the situation with its headline, “US Navy gets PC makeover – while its ships fall apart.” It points to the recent name/ranking controversy, while pointing out that “its littoral combat ships are still plagued with bugs eight years after the first one launched.”
Of course, this itself is nothing new. As Daniel Horowitz pointed out on CR in late July, the social engineering of our armed forced has taken oxygen away from actually military readiness and mission capability for quite some time now.
And now the problem has spread into our international aid mechanism, meaning that not only could our military be hamstrung by social engineering going forward, but that our humanitarian response will now face the same kind of barriers as well.
The newest USAID rule is more than the latest in a long line of affronts and hostilities to traditional religious belief by the Obama administration; it’s also a further delineation of priorities.
The President has already shown that preserving his “progressive” legacy and shoring up his street cred with the LGBT lobby is more important than the readiness, wellbeing, and morale of our fighting men and women. But now we can add the entire developing world to that list along with them.
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Nate Madden is a Staff Writer for Conservative Review, focusing on religious freedom, jihadism, and the judiciary. He previously served as the Director of Policy Relations for the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. A Publius Fellow, John Jay Fellow, Citadel Parliamentary Fellow and National Journalism Center alumnus, Nate’s writing has previously appeared in several religious and news publications. Follow him @NateMadden_IV.