Joe Biden spent much of his first year undoing the policies of his predecessor. Biden has taken special relish in wiping out Trump’s protections for the religious. Christians in particular have a target on their backs under Biden. He routinely calls them “discriminatory” for simply upholding historic teachings of Christianity.
Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services is the tip on his spear against Christians. In December, Republican senators and congressmen sent a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra blasting him for his attempts to exclude faith-based adoption and foster care agencies from government contracts.
“According to the Administration for Children & Families’ annual Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) report, 407,493 children are in foster care, 117,470 of whom are waiting to be adopted. With these staggering numbers in mind, our primary goal should be safe, loving, and permanent placements for all children,” they wrote.
Becerra would rather see those tens of thousands of children languish without homes than turn them over to adoption and foster care agencies that do not conform to Biden’s LGBTQ agenda. This is utterly perverse. Those agencies, precisely because they operate according to moral and religious principles, are the best for children.
“The freedom to work with faith-based agencies is vital to many foster families,” note the Republicans. “Many studies have shown that faith is often a key motivator in a family’s decision to foster children. Families recruited through church or religious organizations on average foster more than two and a half years longer than other foster parents. One study found that 82 percent of families cited faith or church support as a factor that facilitated successful fostering. Another study revealed that 36 percent of families recruited by one religious organization would not have become foster or adoptive parents were it not for that organization’s efforts.”
The Republicans pointed out to Becerra that his policy runs counter to recent Supreme Court jurisprudence. “Earlier this year, a unanimous Supreme Court in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia validated the principle that religious adoption agencies have a right to be free from discriminatory exclusion from adoption and foster care programs because of their beliefs,” they wrote. “The Supreme Court found that ‘the refusal of Philadelphia to contract with Catholic Social Services for the provision of foster care services unless it agrees to certify same-sex couples as foster parents cannot survive strict scrutiny, and violates the First Amendment.’”
Becerra’s policy rests on a twisted view of the First Amendment, one that changes it from a protection for the religious to a protection against the religious. This warped view leads directly to what the Founding Fathers feared: a federal government that mandates an orthodoxy for all the states. Biden wants to preside over a kind of federal religion of wokeness, forcing everyone to embrace abortion and all things LGBTQ. No agency is more essential to this evil project than HHS. Through its regulations, it can make life miserable for groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor.
“Health” has become the Left’s alibi for a secularist tyranny that seeks to control both body and soul. Biden made sure to select as his HHS secretary an activist adamantly committed to that vision. In addition to hassling faith-based adoption and foster care agencies, Becerra is planning to force religious hospitals to perform abortions and transgender surgeries.
Trump set up an office at HHS to prevent it from abusing the religious. Becerra is in effect shutting that office down. He has “personally stripped the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of existing authority to receive, handle, investigate, and oversee resolution of complaints under RFRA and the religion clauses of the First Amendment,” say the Republicans who wrote to him. Becerra had promised at his confirmation hearing that “nothing” would change at that office, but with “these and other anti-religious freedom actions you have taken, you have betrayed your promise,” they say.
The depth of Biden’s secularism made this inevitable. Over the next three years, we will see innumerable collisions between the Biden administration and the religious. The suppression of religious freedom is at the center of his coercive agenda. It cannot succeed unless the religious are marginalized. The space that Trump carved out for them is rapidly closing under Biden.
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