The divide that has erupted between family members who support/don’t support President Donald Trump, and friends who support/don’t support President Donald Trump is aiding in tearing the heart out of our great country. In fact, those who don’t support the president would often best be described as hating him.
Just look at the daily protests and nightly riots in cities throughout America. Those are horror-filled mobs.
Interestingly, while I’ve experienced many former friends avoiding me, or holding their nose when around me, or mocking me behind my back, I have never done the same to them (and most of my conservative friends would agree with me). If allowed, I could actually get along quite well with those liberal friends. If allowed, I could easily have a conversation with them about life in general without getting political at all. And, if allowed, I could easily talk politics without losing my cool in the least. Why? Because I’m confident of my positions–because the truth always prevails.
But, very few of my liberal friends would ever allow any such conversation to happen because they are steaming mad.
Instead, some take to social media with snarky posts filled with false or incomplete information to support their opposition to Trump.
What particularly hurts is when my Christian brothers and sisters get caught up in this war. I dedicate this post to Christians who not only do not support President Trump, but they inwardly (or outwardly) despise him.
Right off the top, I’ll just tell you I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016. I live in California where, as a conservative, my vote doesn’t mean a thing. That said, I made a personal statement by voting for Ben Carson. Prior to his running for President, I had been a big fan of Trump for years because of his larger-than-life personality and business savvy, however I wasn’t sure he would really align with my values politically if elected.
And then he won.
And then his first act was to reinstate and expand the Mexico City Policy which blocks funding for international organizations that perform or promote abortion. The new program is known as Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA), and covers $8.8 billion in family planning and global health funds that go to organizations abroad(none of whom may perform or promote abortion).
I was blown away.
As many of you are aware, my wife and I have dedicated much of our lives to the pro-life cause. The Mexico City policy was blocked by President Obama early in his first term.
As a follower of Jesus, there is so much more to rejoice over regarding the Trump Administration including all the devout Christians in his inner circle: Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Director of Health and Human Services Alex Adar, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, and Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany to name a few.
And then there are the policies put forward by this Administration. This is not a comprehensive list, but these are a some that jump out at me:
- On January 23, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which blocks funding for international organizations that perform or promote abortion. This new program is known as Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA), which now covers $8.8 billion in family planning and global health funds that go to organizations abroad(none of whom may perform or promote abortion).
- On February 22, the Department of Education, in conjunction with the Department of Justice (DOJ) rescinded President Obama’s guidance that required public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and showers of their choice.
- on October 6, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed two regulations to deal with the Obamacare “HHS contraceptive mandate”that had for years violated conscience and religious liberty. These new regulations exempt organizations that have moral or religious objections to purchasing insurance that includes coverage of contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs and devices.2018
- On January 19, HHS issued a new proposed regulation on conscience protections related to abortion. Specifically, the regulation proposed to implement 25 laws that protect pro-life healthcare entities against discrimination by federal agencies — or state or local governments receiving federal funds — due to their objections to participating in abortion, sterilization, and other morally objectionable procedures.
- On April 26, Mike Pompeo was confirmed as Secretary of State. In choosing Pompeo for this position, President Trump chose a born again Christian who cares deeply about religious liberty and will make it a priority to see the issue advanced through this administration. Pompeo joins other devout Christian’s in Trump’s inner circle including: Alex Azar, the Director of Health and Human Services,
- On May 22, HHS issued a new proposed regulation reversing the Title X family planning regulations implemented by President Clinton. The proposed regulation would restore the separation of abortion services from the federal Title X family planning program, which President Reagan first implemented. The proposed regulation would also ensure parents are more involved in the decisions of minors to obtain services from Title X clinics. It reverses the discriminatory abortion referral requirement the Clinton regulations implemented and is poised to put a dent into Planned Parenthood’s roughly $60 million annual revenues from theTitle X program.
- On August 1, the Trump administration relied on Executive Order 13818 (which builds on Global Magnitsky Act authority) to sanction two Turkish officials over the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson due to his Christian faith. This Executive Order ultimatelyresulted in Pastor Brunson’s release.
- On November 7, HHS finalized its two regulations to protect conscience and religious liberty from long-running problems with the Obamacare “HHS contraceptive mandate.” These two final regulations exempt organizations with either a moral or religious objection to purchasing insurance with coverage of contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs and devices. The regulations took effect on January 14, 2019.
- On January 18, HHS notified California that its law requiring pregnancy resource centers to post notices about how to obtain an abortion violated the pro-life Weldon and Coates-Snowe Amendments. This marks the first time that the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division at HHS found a state in violation of these laws. This demonstrates the administration’s commitment to enforcing conscience protections and its pro-life priorities.
- On January 19, at the request of 169 members of Congress and 49 senators, President Trump sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in which he promised to veto any legislation that weakens current pro-life Federal policies and laws. This letter was a message to the new Democrat majority in the House that longstanding pro-life protections like the Hyde Amendment and safeguards protecting the conscience rights of health care providers are not negotiable.
- On June 5, after an extensive audit into fetal tissue research, the Trump administration announced a major change in the enforcement of research contracts. HHS would no longer conduct intramural (internal) research using tissue from aborted babies and would greatly increase the ethics rules and safeguards that govern extramural (external) fetal tissue research contracts. All new external contracts will be subject to a congressionally authorized ethics advisory board, making it much more difficult for fetal tissue research contracts to be awarded by the National Institute of Health.
- On August 28, the HHS OCR issued a notice of violation to the University of Vermont Medical Center for forcing a nurse to participate in an abortion despite a conscience objection.
- On October 11, 2019, Attorney General Barr delivered a striking defense of religious liberty at Notre Dame Law School. He noted, “[t]he imperative of protecting religious freedom was not just a nod in the direction of piety. It reflects the Framers’ belief that religion was indispensable to sustaining our free system of government.” The Attorney General proceeded to remind the audience that religion gives us the “right rules to live by.” Barr highlighted the recent attacks on religious liberty, and that the DOJ under his leadership has been fighting back and protecting religious liberty.
- On December 20, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a final regulation to address the abortion surcharge hidden in many plans purchased on the Obamacare exchange. This final rule aligns federal regulations with section 1303 of the Affordable Care Act, ensuring that consumers know their health care plan covers abortion and that funding for abortion is kept separate from all other covered services.
- On Dec. 20, 2019, the president signed into law Public Law 116-94, extending the EB-4 non-minister special immigrant religious worker program through September 30, 2020. The law allows these workers to immigrate or adjust to permanent resident by that date. Non-minister special immigrant religious workers include those within a religious vocation or occupation engaged in either a professional or non-professional capacity. This date on which the program will end also applies to accompanying spouses and children of these non-minister special immigrant religious workers.2020
- On January 16, HHS Secretary Alex Azar hosted 34 countries for a meeting on how to promote women’s health and protect the lives of the unborn. This meeting followed an invitation sent by Secretary Azar and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to 70 different countries inviting them to join a coalition to oppose international efforts to enshrine abortion as a human right.
- On February 4, during his State of the Union address, President Trump called on Congress to pass legislation that would ban late-term abortions. To highlight the need for this legislation, he invited special guest, Ellie Schneider, who was born at just 21 weeks gestation.
- On March 24, DOJ filed a statement of interest in a case protecting women against men intruding on their sporting competitions. The statement made clear that athletic qualifications on the basis of “gender identity” were harmful to women’s sports.
- On May 3, DOJ filed a statement of interest supporting the religious freedom of Lighthouse Fellowship Church in Chincoteague Island, Virginia. After the church held a 16-person worship service on Palm Sunday (following strict social distancing protocols), a criminal citation and summons were issued against the pastor pursuant to Governor Ralph Northam’s executive order which banned in-person religious services but allowed large gatherings for businesses like liquor stores and dry cleaners.