Trump, Religious Liberty and the Snippy Elevator Lady

He'll likely protect religious liberty. Hillary? Not a chance.

By William M Briggs Published on October 1, 2016

The monumental importance of the election was made vivid in, of all places, a Manhattan elevator.

There were four or five of us crammed in. As we descended somebody said, “My wife and daughters found out that I was going to vote for Trump and they were not happy.” A second gentleman said only one or two people on his staff knew he was considering Trump, and that he didn’t want others to find out. As we stopped on a lower flow to pick up a sixty-something very New York-looking woman, the fear and experiences they’d had of admitting their preference was echoed and amplified.

And then somebody said, “After all, what’s wrong with saying that you’re considering one of the two Presidential candidates? We shouldn’t be afraid to mention it.” The doors opened, and, as we were gentlemen of the old school, we let the lady exit first. Over her shoulder, she said in a tone at once accusative and sarcastic, “You should be afraid.”

As the lady beetled away, I laughed and said in a loud voice, “And that right there is the problem.”

Hillary was on to something with her “basket of deplorables.” Folks who, she said, are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.” It’s what a lot of people think. The elevator lady thought it. A lot of our own families’ members think it. Even our government does.

Condemning “Religious Liberty” and “Religious Freedom”

Couple of weeks back, Martin R. Castro, chairman U.S. Civil Rights Commission, issued a report which said, with the full authority of the government, “Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights.”

When pushed on this, Castro said, “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.”

It was Castro’s hatred of Christianity, and the fear — I say the positive guarantee — that his bigoted ignorant foolish illogical preposterous anti-Constitutional stance will be made official policy and become law if Hillary is elected that makes understanding Mr. Trump’s views on these matters crucial.

Consider that Hillary would have the opportunity of appointing from one to maybe even five Supreme Court Justices, not to mention that she’d stack the lower courts and bureaucracy with Castro-like clones who think orthodox Christianity is no longer tenable or welcome in civil society.

Plus don’t forget that, as is to be regretted, much the government does is now by non-appealable executive action. Doubtless, Hillary already has on order barrels of red ink for her poison pen.

Trump and the Choice for Liberty

But not every conservative Christian is convinced that Trump is a solution to the Hillary apocalypse. I’ve been present for these debates. One side paints the election in the starkest possible terms, while others resent the simplification and the moral quandaries this election creates. It’s not that these Trump skeptics don’t realize the dangers of a Hillary presidency, but they don’t want their lack of ardency for Mr. Trump to be used to paint them as any less devoted Christians.

Here is a misunderstanding. Some of the ardency may really be a compliment. Perhaps it is because the pro-Trump faction knows how dedicated, earnest, and faithful the not-quite-convinced are that the pro-Trumpers are so anxious to win them over. They will make terrific allies. But you know how political discussions go. Emotions run hot. Dissension we don’t need. We know who the real Enemy is — and I don’t mean Hillary.

So let’s just deal with the basic choice before us. All indicators are that Mr. Trump supports religious liberty; there are none that he is against it. If Trump were to make his support for freedom known, beyond his frequent attack on the speech-squelching Johnson Amendment — it will rally Christians and help him win the election. As long as he — and you, dear reader — can put the matter in a way the public understands. Never forget the leftist, mainstream media controls the narrative. A lot of what you and I know the greater public scarcely hears about, and the media consistently reports it in a way that makes Christians appear as intolerant bigots.

Yet we know the truth. We can point up any number of absurdities. A grandmother florist refusing to serve an anti-Christian wedding, a fire-chief sacked because he upholds (off the job) the Biblical view of sexuality, a group of nuns forced to buy birth control. Keep pushing these stories — and keep laughing at those who would justify these idiocies.

Will Mr. Trump guarantee the religious freedom of Christians once he’s president? Nobody knows for sure. Some Christians want greater assurance that he wouldn’t turn out to be like every other leader we’ve had these many years, mouthing the right words but doing the wrong deeds. If that happened, Christians would have no political party left to turn to.

But Christians already have no political party to turn to. What victories for religious liberty were won by Republicans in recent memory? What victories of any kind? The questions answer themselves.

I think Mr. Trump is on the side of the free exercise of religion. He has a track record of withstanding political correctness wind storms. He has shown us what we thought were gales were in reality anemic puffs. He has taught us to take the offensive and to stop ceding ground. Every indication is that he would be his own man.

My opinion is as far from proof as you like. But consider the alternative. As Joseph Conrad said, “The horror, the horror.”

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