Obama Pledges to Pope to Support Religious Liberty - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Obama Pledges to Pope to Support Religious Liberty

This morning, Barack Obama welcomed Pope Francis to the White House, holding a joint press conference on the White House lawn before hosting a meet and greet with several thousand guests. As expected, the Pope didn’t bring out the big guns on any open objection to Obama Administration policy – he is, after all, a global leader, and will probably restrict his suggestions on policymaking to tomorrow’s address to Congress – but he did ask the President to take religious freedom seriously. 

The President, of course, didn’t seem to quite understand the request.

You remind us that people are only truly free when they can practice their faith freely. Here in the United States, we cherish religious liberty. Yet around the world at this very moment, children of God, including Christians, are targeted and even killed because of their faith. Believers are prevented from gathering at their places of worship. The faithful are imprisoned. Churches are destroyed. So we stand with you in defense of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and intimidation.

Oh, the irony. 

Now, obviously, the mass murder of Christians in the Middle East is a very real threat to global religious freedom (though even the Pope has spoken about military action being justified against ISIS, rejecting the idea of the ‘interfaith dialogue’ the President prefers). But it seems Barack Obama thinks that’s the only type of threat on the Pope’s radar. Regardless of how interested the President thinks the Pope may be in reform, the Pope is not likely to be unaware of the Obama Administration’s routine attacks on the religious freedom of Americans. 

After all, the Obama Administration’s record is long. As Erick Erickson points out, the President’s pledge to protect religious liberty is rather specific. In just a few short years, the Administration has managed to:

  • Challenge the Constitutionality of the “ministerial exemption,” which allows a religion to define for itself the parameters by which its ministers are selected
  • Challenge the concept that religious people might engage in private commerce, but do not give up their religious convictions at the door
  • Argue that Churches who do not perform same-sex marriages should lose tax exempt status under the law
  • Attempt to the ever-living snot out of a bunch of nuns from Middle America

I’m sure there are other examples, but that list seems comprehensive enough to demonstrate that the Administration’s commitment to religious freedom stops with their own freedom to challenge its existence through litigation.

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