* Click here to go to Joe Biden’s main profile page. * Click here to go to Kamala Harris’ main profile page. Throughout his 2020 presidential campaign, Joe Biden pledged that, if elected to the White House, he would “respect religious freedom,” calling it the “foundation” upon which America was built. Kamala Harris, for her part, […]
Throughout his 2020 presidential campaign, Joe Biden pledged that, if elected to the White House, he would “respect religious freedom,” calling it the “foundation” upon which America was built. Kamala Harris, for her part, said in the early days of her term as vice president: “Religious freedom and tolerance have been core principles of this country since our founding, and Joe and I will uphold and protect them — while protecting believers of all faiths.”
Biden & Harris on Abortion & Marriage
But Biden and Harris’ respect for religious freedom comes with many qualifiers, exceptions, and caveats. For one thing, it ends abruptly at the door of the abortionist’s office. Biden, for instance, was staunchly pro-life in the 1970s and ’80s, but in more recent years he has become a hardline extremist for unrestricted abortion rights. From 2001-08, the National Right to Life Committee rated Biden’s voting record on pro-life issues as very close to 0%. In 2005, for instance, Biden voted against the so-called Mexico City Policy, first implemented in 1985 by the Reagan administration to block U.S. federal funding for overseas non-governmental organizations that provide either actual abortion procedures or ancillary services like pro-abortion counseling, referrals, and advocacy. Also during his years in the Senate, Biden voted repeatedly to require that taxpayer dollars be used to cover the costs of U.S. military service members’ abortions.
During his tenure as vice president (2009-17), Biden fully supported the positions of Barack Obama, by far the most pro-abortion president in American history. At an October 2012 campaign rally, for instance, Biden articulated his view that abortion – even though it involves the life (and death) of a human being who is separate from the woman seeking the abortion — is essentially no different than any other medical procedure, from a heart transplant to a pap smear. “I got a daughter and lost a daughter,” said Biden. “I’ve got four granddaughters and Barack has two daughters. And this is to our core. Our daughters and our granddaughters are entitled to every single solitary operation, every single solitary opportunity!”
Biden today states proudly that he supports abortion “under any circumstance.” But his support does not end there. He also has made it clear that as president, he intends to force all religious individuals – including Christians — to pay for other people’s abortions through taxes, regardless of their moral or religious objections to doing so. This is made especially evident by Biden’s opposition to the Hyde Amendment, a law that since 1976 has barred the use of federal funds to pay for abortions through Medicaid.
The process by which Biden’s stance on the Hyde Amendment evolved is worth examining, as it was exceedingly clumsy and inarticulate. Specifically, on June 5, 2019, the Biden presidential campaign stated that although Biden supported Roe v. Wade without reservation, he still backed the Hyde Amendment as he always had. But when pro-abortion groups, left-wing activists, and other Democrat presidential hopefuls – most notably Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand – criticized Biden for that statement, he suddenly reversed his position 180 degrees within 24 hours. On June 6, Biden announced that he could “no longer support” the Hyde Amendment, and that it “can’t stay” because “times have changed.” Consistent with Biden’s new position, the 2020 Democratic Party Platform states: “We will repeal the Hyde Amendment.” The Democrat platform also vows to “restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood,” the largest abortion provider in the country – yet another conduit through which Christians’ tax dollars will be used to fund abortions.
Kamala Harris’s position on abortion is every bit as radical Biden’s. In every year which she served as a senator, she had a 100% voting record with NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Congressional Record on Choice.
Before dropping out of the Democrat presidential primaries in December 2019, Harris announced a Medicare for All plan that promised to cover comprehensive abortion services for all women, and to establish a list of politically conservative states that would be required to get approval from the Department of Justice before they would be permitted to pass any pro-life legislation into law. As Vox.com explains:
“Under Harris’s proposal, states whose abortion-related laws have recently been struck down by courts for violating Roe v. Wade would have to obtain federal approval from the Justice Department before they’re able to implement any new abortion laws. It’s similar to a key provision of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, which required states that had implemented discriminatory voting practices in the past to get Justice Department clearance to enforce additional laws.… Harris’s plan … would establish a list of states that aren’t able to impose abortion-related laws without Justice Department approval. Any state that’s demonstrated a pattern of violating Roe in the past 25 years would be on this list…. In states like South Carolina, Iowa, Georgia, and Mississippi, federal judges have already ruled that laws approved by state legislatures contradict Roe. Such decisions would land these states on a ‘preclearance’ list.”
Harris believes that practicing Catholics who take seriously the doctrines of their faith are fundamentally unfit for office. Consider, for example, how she treated Nebraska District Judge nominee Brian Buescher during his November 2018 Senate confirmation hearing. Harris emphasized the significance of Buescher’s 25-year association with the Knights of Columbus (KOC), a charity organization that embraces Catholic doctrines stipulating that abortion is “a crime against human life,” and that marriage is a sacred union that should only involve one man and one woman. In a written question to Buescher, Harris asked: “In 2016, Carl Anderson, leader of the Knights of Columbus, described abortion as ‘a legal regime that has resulted in more than 40 million deaths.’ Mr. Anderson later said ‘abortion is the killing of the innocent on a massive scale.’ Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman’s right to choose when you joined the organization?” Harris also questioned whether Buescher was “aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed marriage equality when [he] joined the organization” and whether he had “ever, in any way, assisted with or contributed to advocacy against women’s reproductive rights.”
During her tenure as California’s attorney general (2011-16), Harris refused to defend the California state law — which Californians themselves had voted for in 2008 — defining marriage strictly as a relationship between one man and one woman. “Adding insult to injury,” notes Tyler O’Neil in PJ Media, “Harris rushed to officiate the first same-sex marriage after a court struck down the will of the people.”
On August 1, 2011 – nearly 17 months after the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) had been signed into law – then-Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius announced a new mandate that required all Obamacare-compliant insurance plans to cover at least one form of female birth control, including sterilization. This mandate was unacceptable to many individuals and businesses whose moral and religious beliefs did not permit them to fund or participate in such insurance plans. Such was the case with Hobby Lobby, an arts-and-crafts store chain owned by devout Christians who are openly dedicated to “honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.”
As the attorney general of California, Harris in 2014 filed an amicus brief exhorting the Supreme Court to refuse a request in which Hobby Lobby asked that, because of its religious convictions, it not be forced to abide by the Obamacare mandate requiring employers to provide their workers with health insurance plans covering contraception, sterilization, or abortifacients. Asserting that “every American deserves access to quality, comprehensive healthcare,” Harris argued that “a woman’s access to essential services, including contraception, should not be restricted because of the religious views of her employer—particularly when the right to these services is protected under federal law.” The Supreme Court eventually sided with Hobby Lobby and struck down the Obamacare mandate in 2014.
When the Supreme Court in July 2020 ruled that the Trump administration had the authority to exempt the Little Sisters of the Poor — an order of Catholic nuns who care for low-income elderly people – and similar organizations from the HHS contraception/sterilization/abortifacient mandate, Harris called the ruling “a shameful decision by the Supreme Court.”
Joe Biden said he was likewise “disappointed” by the Court’s decision, and he vowed to renew legal action against the Little Sisters of the Poor if elected president. “If I am elected I will restore the Obama-Biden policy that existed before the Hobby Lobby ruling,” he explained, “providing an exemption for houses of worship and an accommodation for nonprofit organizations with religious missions.” “This accommodation,” said Biden, “will allow women at these organizations to access contraceptive coverage, not through their employer-provided plan, but instead through their insurance company or a third-party administrator.” But the Little Sisters of the Poor have pointed out that this “solution” still violates their religious beliefs, because it would require them to provide contraception to their employees, through a third party.
Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference (USCCB), lamented on March 5, 2021 that the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package known as the American Rescue Plan of 2021 did not include traditional restrictions on abortion funding. “We urge President Biden and the leadership on Capitol Hill not to force upon Americans the wrenching moral decision whether to preserve the lives and health of the born or unborn, all of whom are our vulnerable neighbors in need,” said Gomez in a statement. The president of March for Life Action, Tom McClusky, said the relief bill “has the potential to be the largest expansion of abortion funding since Obamacare.”
In April 2021, the Biden administration cited the coronavirus pandemic as a justification for reversing Trump administration restrictions on the remote prescription of abortion drugs, and for allowing the prescription of the abortion pill mifepristone through the mail. The FDA stated that because “the in-person dispensing of mifepristone for medical termination of early pregnancy may present additional COVID-related risks to patients and healthcare personnel because it may involve a clinic visit solely for this purpose,” it would allow doctors and nurses to prescribe the medication remotely.
On April 27, 2021 — not long after the Biden administration had rescinded a Trump-era ban on the use of aborted fetal remains for scientific research — White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki stated that President Biden “respectfully disagrees” with the U.S. Bishops’ objection to the use of such remains for that purpose.
Biden & the “Muslim Ban”
Virtually all Americans have heard elected Democrats and the media condemn President Trump’s infamous “Muslim ban.” In January 2020, Joe Biden characterized that “ban” as an ugly expression of “anti-Muslim bias” that was not just “morally wrong,” but also constituted “a betrayal of all our foundations of American history and American freedom, religious freedom.” Six months later, Biden thundered: “Muslim communities were the first to feel Donald Trump’s assault on Black and brown communities in this country with his vile Muslim ban.”
The term “Muslim ban,” as employed by Biden and fellow Democrats, refers to the fact that President Trump, professing a desire “to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America,” issued a 2017 executive order calling for a temporary suspension of most travel and refugee admissions to the U.S. from seven nations that were hotbeds of Islamic terrorism and/or civil war: Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Syria. The order also mandated the implementation of an “extreme vetting” process for any and all immigrants and visitors to the U.S.
And how did Trump arrive at his list of targeted nations? Was the list merely a manifestation of what Joe Biden has characterized as Trump’s innate propensity to “fa[n] the flames of hate in this country” and thereby ignite “an unconscionable rise in Islamophobia”?
Not at all. In fact, Trump selected precisely the same seven countries that had been named in the Visa Waiver Program Improvement & Terrorist Travel Prevention Act, which passed easily through Congress and was signed into law by President Obama in December 2015. In January 2020, Trump altered and expanded the list so as to exclude certain nationals from thirteen countries, Muslim and non-Muslim alike: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, and Venezuela.
On his first day in office in January 2021, President Biden issued an executive order revoking the Trump policy, which, according to Biden national security advisor Jake Sullivan, was “rooted in xenophobia.”
Religious Liberty & Xavier Becerra, the Pro-Abortion Extremist Whom Biden Appointed As HHS Secretary
In October 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump Justice Department announced that, pursuant to President Trump’s Executive Order No. 13798, they were issuing “guidance to all administrative agencies and executive departments regarding religious liberty protections in federal law.” Key components of the new guidance policy included recognition of the fact that:
But California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, President Biden’s pick for the post of U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) — the department responsible for implementing federal health policy across the United States — has a troubling history of hostility toward religious freedom. During his 2017 A.G. confirmation hearings in California, for instance, Becerra made clear his belief that “the protection for religion is for the individual” only, and not for organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor, or for businesses like Hobby Lobby. “I think it is important to distinguish between protections that you are affording to the individual to exercise his or her religion freely,” Becerra explained, “versus protections you are giving to some institution or entity who is essentially bootstrapping the First Amendment protections on behalf of somebody else.”
When the Trump administration in 2017 expanded the ability of healthcare providers and insurers to claim religious and moral exemptions to Obamacare’s mandate that employers offer their workers health-insurance plans that cover such things as contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization procedures, Becerra quickly filed suit against the administration. In Becerra’s view, it was unreasonable and discriminatory for an organization like the Little Sisters of the Poor to be exempt from having to purchase such health-insurance plans. Said Becerra at the time: “These anti-women’s health regulations prove once again that the Trump Administration is willing to trample on people’s rights.” Under Becerra’s leadership, the state of California spent the next several years engaged in a legal battle with the Little Sisters of the Poor.
In 2020, Becerra boasted he and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey were co-leading a movement where 21 attorneys general had signed on to an amicus brief in support of efforts by Pennsylvania and New Jersey to have the aforementioned Trump administration exemptions to the Obamacare mandate repealed.
When pro-life activists in California leaked undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood employees discussing the prices for which fetal tissue and dismembered body parts from aborted babies could be sold, Becerra prosecuted them.
Becerra also advocated for a law that would require crisis pregnancy centers that consider abortion antithetical to their mission, to post information advertising and promoting abortion referral services. Denise Harle, senior counsel for the pro-life Christian nonprofit organization Alliance Defending Freedom, notes that “Alliance Defending Freedom had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to stop Becerra from forcing religious pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for abortions.”
According to Justin Butterfield, deputy general counsel at First Liberty Institute, a nonprofit group that assists individuals and organizations “in legal battles over religious freedom and First-Amendment issues”: “As California’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra repeatedly attacked long-held religious freedom protections for doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals and labeled federal protections that protect health care professionals from being coerced into performing abortions against their will as ‘offensive’ and ‘dangerous.’”
The Pro-Abortion, Pro-LGBT Extremism of Vanita Gupta, Biden’s Nominee for Associate Attorney General
On April 21, 2021, Vanita Gupta, an Obama-era Justice Department official with a history of pro-abortion and pro-transgender extremism, was confirmed by the Senate as President Biden’s choice for Associate Attorney General. At her Senate confirmation hearing in March 2021, Gupta would not directly answer questions asking what restrictions on abortion, if any, she favored. When Republican Senator Ted Cruz, for instance, asked if she believed that the government could ban the late-term procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion, Gupta responded that “my duty, if confirmed, will be to federal laws and the Constitution.” “Roe versus Wade is established precedent and has been reaffirmed numerous times by the courts,” she added.
While serving at the Justice Department during the Obama administration, Gupta clearly articulated the agency’s position on transgenderism: “Here are the facts. Transgender men are men – they live, work and study as men. Transgender women are women – they live, work and study as women.”
Over the years, Gupta has argued that religious freedom should, at times, be sacrificed so as to avoid discriminating against LGBT individuals. In 2017, for instance, she argued that Christian business owners should be forced to provide their services, if requested, for causes to which they are morally opposed. Regarding the case of Colorado Christian baker Jack Phillips, who declined to create a custom cake for a same-sex wedding and was subsequently sued by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, Gupta likened the case to segregation-era cases where business owners routinely denied all service to people because of their race. Wrote Gupta in a blog post: “On that principle, there ought to be no question that Colorado’s law allowing Charlie Craig and David Mullins to buy a wedding cake from any bakery they choose – notwithstanding that they are gay – should trump claims by a bakery that providing the cake would violate the owner’s religious beliefs. At times, the free exercise of religion yields to other foundational values, including freedom from harm and from discrimination.”
In 2020, Gupta argued that the Little Sisters of the Poor — an order of Catholic nuns who care for low-income elderly people – should not be be granted a religious exemption from the Obamacare mandate requiring employers to provide their workers with health insurance that covers the costs of contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients. “Religious freedom does not create a license to discriminate,” said Gupta. When the Supreme Court eventually ruled that the Little Sisters were entitled to receive the exemption they sought, Gupta said: “This troubling decision allows employers and universities to refuse to provide contraceptive coverage based on religious or moral opposition.”
In the summer of 2020, Gupta said: “[D]epending on where they live, too many people in America face insurmountable obstacles to obtaining an abortion. Congress must pass the Women’s Health Protection Act” — a proposed law that would subject state abortion laws to greater legal scrutiny — “to ensure [that] reproductive freedom is available to all.”
Biden’s Opposition to Anti-LGBTQ “Discrimination”
In an October 2020 interview, Biden told Philadelphia Gay News that President Trump had given “hate” a “safe harbor” by promoting what Biden described as “discrimination.” Proceeding from the premise that a traditional Christian, Jewish, or Muslim view of sexuality and gender constitutes “discrimination,” Biden said:
“Donald Trump and Mike Pence have given hate against LGBTQ+ individuals safe harbor and rolled back critical protections for the LGBTQ+ community. By blocking the ability of transgender individuals to openly serve their country, denying LGBTQ+ people access to critical health care, proposing policies allowing federally funded homeless shelters to turn away transgender people and federally funded adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples, […] the Trump-Pence Administration has led a systematic effort to undo the progress President Obama and I made.”
Biden’s allusion to “blocking the ability of transgender individuals to openly serve their country,” referred to an August 25, 2017 memorandum by which President Trump directed the secretaries of defense and homeland security to reinstate what had been, prior to the Obama-Biden years, a longstanding policy that disqualified most transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military. Trump’s memorandum stated that his new policy should remain in effect “until such time as a sufficient basis exists upon which to conclude that terminating the policy and practice” would not “hinder military effectiveness and lethality, disrupt unity cohesion, or tax military resources.” Such “hindrances” included the fact that: (a) transgender individuals who suffer from gender dysphoria tend to experience extremely high rates of mental health disturbances and suicidal tendencies, and (b) people who undergo expensive cross-sex surgeries and hormone treatments tend to require long recovery periods during which they are not capable of properly fulfilling their duties as members of the military, and are particularly prone to potentially serious medical complications.
On January 19, 2021, Biden’s choice for Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, said he supports overturning the Trump administration’s policy on transgender troops and the military.
Biden’s lament vis-a-vis instances of “denying LGBTQ+ people access to critical health care” was a veiled, deceptive reference to the Trump policy that simply sought to protect religiously affiliated employers, organizations, and medical groups from being forced to pay the enormous costs associated with transgender surgery – a procedure that is morally unacceptable to them.
Biden’s reference to “policies allowing federally funded homeless shelters to turn away transgender people and federally funded adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples” relates to the fact that, as Tyler O’Neil notes, “many homeless shelters and adoption agencies are run as religious charities.” “Mandating that homeless shelters must house biological men who claim to identify as female with vulnerable women is a recipe for disaster,” O’Neil explains, “and it violates the religious freedom of faith-based shelters that do not accept transgender ideology. Similarly, adoption agencies should be able to abide by their own standards and many adoption agencies do place kids with same-sex couples.” Requiring such entities to violate their moral and religious values would force many of them to shut down their operations rather than continue to violate their own dearly held principles, and this, in turn, would cause vital services for the needy to be in far shorter supply.
On April 22, 2021, the Biden administration withdrew a proposed Trump-era rule that would have allowed federally-funded single-sex shelters to turn away biological males identifying as transgender females, though those shelters were still required to refer the client to another shelter that would accept them. According to the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the Biden policy — which required, as a condition of federal funding, the admission of biological males identifying as females — would compromise the safety of biological women in shelters. As ADF senior counsel Kate Anderson put it, the Biden administration had “abandoned women and girls under the guise of being ‘inclusive.’” ADF senior counsel Kate Anderson said of the rule change. The U.S. bishops’ conference (USCCB) had praised the Trump-era rule as a “step in the right direction.”
In April 2021, College of the Ozarks — a private, Christian school in Missouri which believes that biological sex is not changeable, announced that it was suing President Biden over his anti-discrimination executive order that would force the school to violate its religious principles by placing biological males who identify as transgender, into female dormitories with female roommates.
HHS Assistant Secretary Rachel Levine & LGBT Issues
On February 22, 2021, The National Pulse wrote the following about President Biden’s Assistant HHH Secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine:
“Levine has advocated for sex changes for pre-pubertal children. A professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine, Levine has given lectures in various settings since at least 2012 on how to perform sex changes and gender conversion therapy on children. According to Levine, children ought to be given the latitude to choose their own gender. Levine has advised adults to ‘try not to force them one way or other [sic]’ and instead to follow the child’s lead…. Levine has described children as young as five or six as ‘knowing’ which gender they wanted to be.
“Once, however, the child reaches the ‘young adolescent’ stage, Dr. Levine recommends puberty blockers, a practice which Dr. Levine apparently followed at Penn State Hershey Medical Center as Chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders. In speeches, Levine describes prescribing puberty blockers and cross-gender hormone injections to children who expressed anxiety about the natural process of puberty. Additionally, Levine has expressed doubts about the ‘controversial’ requirement in some standards of medical ethics that patients receive psychological evaluations before undergoing such drastic medical regimens.”
A Religious Test for the Supreme Court?
In the fall of 2020, Nikitha Rai, the Biden presidential campaign’s deputy data director for Pennsylvania, suggested that traditional religious beliefs opposing homosexuality and same-sex marriage should be regarded as sufficient cause to disqualify an individual from even being considered to serve on the Supreme Court. “I’d heavily prefer views like that not be elevated to SCOTUS [the Supreme Court of the U.S.], but unfortunately our current culture is still relatively intolerant,” Rai tweeted. “It will be a while before those types of beliefs are so taboo that they’re disqualifiers.” In short, Rai advocates the equivalent of a religious litmus test for Supreme Court nominations and confirmations – a direct violation Constitution Article VI, Clause 3, which reads in part that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
Biden Derides Religious People Who Are “The Dregs of Society”
Joe Biden, too, has voiced his utter contempt for religious people who oppose LGBTQ dogma. Speaking to the Human Rights Campaign in 2018, Biden described religious conservatives who have “tried to define family” as a mother-father-children unit, as “forces of intolerance” that “remain determined to undermine and roll back the progress you all have made.” They are “virulent people,” said Biden, “some of them the dregs of society.”
DNC Resolution to Limit “Religious Freedom” Defense Against Discrimination Charges
In 2019, the Democratic National Committee adopted a resolution condemning those who cite religious freedom concerns when defending themselves against “discrimination” charges. Said the resolution: “[T]hose most loudly claiming that morals, values, and patriotism must be defined by their particular religious views have used those religious views, with misplaced claims of ‘religious liberty,’ to justify public policy that has threatened the civil rights and liberties of many Americans, including but not limited to the LGBT community, women, and ethnic and religious/nonreligious minorities.”
Biden & The Equality Act
In another address to the Human Rights Campaign in June 2019, Biden said, “I promise you if I’m elected president it [passage of the Equality Act] will be the first thing I ask to be done. It will send a message around the world, not just at home.” “This is our soul, dammit, this is who we have to be,” Biden expanded. “… This is our real moral obligation. Using religion or culture to discriminate against or demonize LGBTQ individuals is never justified. Not anywhere in the world.”
In late October 2020, Biden again pledged that “I will make enactment of the Equality Act a top legislative priority during my first 100 days — a priority that Donald Trump opposes.” The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives had passed an Equality Act bill in 2019, but the Republican-controlled Senate did not bring it up for debate or a vote.
The Equality Act would force employers and workers to either accept and abide by leftwing dogma regarding marriage, sexuality, and gender, or lose their businesses and jobs. The most widely publicized example of what the Equality Act seeks to achieve involved Colorado Christian baker Jack Phillips, who declined to create a custom cake for a same-sex wedding and was subsequently sued by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. As the Alliance Defending Freedom explains: “In an exchange lasting about 30 seconds, Phillips politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them any other type of baked item they wanted, but that he could not design a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith.” Phillips’ case eventually went all the way to the Supreme Court.
When the Trump Justice Department in September 2017 sided with Jack Phillips, Kamala Harris tweeted: “Shame on the Justice Department for siding with discrimination. It has no place in our society.”
In June 2018, the Supreme Court issued a 7-2 ruling which held that although a baker is a business person who serves the general public and thus “might have his right to the free exercise of his religion limited by generally applicable laws,” the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s complaint was objectionable because the Commission itself had exhibited hostility towards Mr. Phillips’ religious views.
As the Heritage Foundation points out: “Other cases involving disagreement over the meaning of marriage feature florists, bakers, photographers, wedding venue owners, videographers, web designers, calligraphers, and public servants.”
Shortly after the Supreme Court ruling in the Jack Phillips case, an activist attorney who identifies as transgender requested that Phillips create a “gender transition celebration” cake for him. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission again alleged that Phillips had discriminated on the basis of gender identity, and Phillips in turn sued the Commission for targeting him specifically because of his Christian beliefs. Both sides ultimately dropped the case, but as the Heritage Foundation points out: “Even when victims win legal battles like Jack Phillips, conflicts like these have a chilling effect. They discourage people from opening new businesses or entering into certain fields entirely.”
The Equality Act would also politicize the medical profession by forcing hospitals and insurers to provide, and pay for, various gender-reassignment surgeries and therapies against any moral or medical objections they might have. Such abominations are already occurring. Catholic hospitals in California and New Jersey have been sued for refusing to perform hysterectomies on physically healthy women who said that they wished to transition themselves to male. Similarly, a Catholic hospital in Washington was sued by the ACLU for refusing to perform a double mastectomy on a sixteen-year-old girl with gender dysphoria.
The Equality Act also calls for the banning of all sex-specific sports teams and sex-specific facilities such as bathrooms and locker rooms. Neither schools nor charities would be exempt from this mandate.
The Equality Act would cause grievous harm to faith-based charities and the populations they serve. Indeed, state and local laws regulating sexual-orientation and gender-identity issues have forced faith-based adoption and foster care agencies in Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, California, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia to permanently close their doors – all for the sin of promoting the “discriminatory” belief that wherever possible, children should be placed in a home with both a female mother and a male father.
Biden’s Silence While Catholic Churches Were Vandalized by Black Lives Matter & Antifa Protesters in 2020
When a large number of Catholic churches and statues in states like Massachusetts, Florida, Montana, Tennessee, California, and Connecticut were being attacked and vandalized by Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters throughout the spring and summer of 2020, Joe Biden remained entirely silent. Said the conservative political advocacy group CatholicVote in early September 2020: “Catholic churches across America are literally burning, and Joe Biden has said nothing. Leading members of the Democratic Party have fueled a climate of hate against Catholics, and these attacks have now led to acts of vandalism and violence. These attacks on the Church raise serious questions about the commitment of Joe Biden, a self-professed Catholic, to stand up to the rising climate of anti-Catholicism across the country.”
Kamala Harris & the Do No Harm Act
In February 2019, Kamala Harris introduced the Do No Harm Act in the U.S. Senate, to counter the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993 and similar legislation in approximately 20 U.S. states. As Kenneth Craycraft writes in First Things: “The purpose of RFRA was to … carve out exemptions from generally applicable laws for some religious practices that are fundamental to religious belief. For example, a RFRA law might protect a church from another law that prohibits consideration of sexual orientation for employment, promotion, or retention. Or it might protect a physician who participates in public health reimbursement programs from a law requiring such physicians to perform a broad scope of so-called healthcare services, such as abortion.”
On the website introducing the Do No Harm Act to the American public, Harris explained that the bill’s overriding objective was to prevent RFRA laws from “being used to deny” such things as “healthcare access,… coverage or services to which persons are otherwise legally entitled,” or “services that the government has contracted to be beneficiaries through a government . . . grant.”
In making her case for the Do No Harm Act, Harris defined “religious freedom” very narrowly as “the freedom to worship,” as guaranteed by the First Amendment. But as Craycraft points out:
“‘The freedom to worship’ is not a ‘First Amendment guarantee.’ The First Amendment guarantees the ‘free exercise’ of religion, which has a much more expansive scope than mere ‘worship.’ The free exercise clause of the First Amendment provides that ‘Congress shall make no law . . . prohibiting the free exercise of’ religion. Harris misquotes the clause, changing ‘free exercise’ to ‘freedom to worship,’ betraying a definition of religious practice that would remove it from any meaningful legislative or political protection. In doing so, she turns the free exercise clause on its head, driving religious faith to the margins of public life and religious exercise out of public life altogether. In Harris’s tendentious reading, ‘free exercise’ of religion means ‘freedom to worship,’ and nothing more. If the doors of the church are not locked and guarded, or if you are not prevented from praying in your home, you have the full range of ‘the First Amendment guarantee,’ and you are guaranteed nothing more.… Free exercise of religion equals private prayer or conviction, and nothing else.”
Biden Moves To Force Doctors & Hospitals to Perform Transgender Surgeries Even if They Object on Moral/Religious Grounds
On April 20, 2021, President Biden filed an appeal seeking to force doctors and hospitals to perform transgender-related procedures and surgeries even if they objected on moral or religious grounds. The appeal was made in response to a January court ruling that had struck down a Biden administration effort to punish doctors for “sex discrimination” violations if they refused to perform transgender procedures requested by a patient. Religious freedom attorney Luke Goodrich of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty said that the Biden policy would harm “religious doctors, hospitals, and clinics” who: (a) “joyfully serve ALL patients regardless of sex or gender identity”; (b) “routinely provide top-notch care to transgender patients for everything from cancer to the common cold”; and (c) “provide millions of dollars in free and low-cost care to the elderly, poor, and underserved–care that is jeopardized by the government’s attempt to punish them with multi-million dollar penalties.” Added Goodrich: “The government’s own doctors during the Obama Admin agreed: ‘Based on a thorough review of the clinical evidence…there is not enough evidence to determine whether gender reassignment surgery improves health outcomes for [patients] with gender dysphoria.’”
Notably, Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, had a long history of publicly advocating in favor of the use of puberty blockers and the medical transition of minors. As The Daily Wire had reported on February 23, 2021:
“Levine has spoken publicly about support for the medical transition of minors and the use of puberty blockers for children who ‘just start puberty’ as a way to make sure they don’t ‘go through the wrong puberty.’
“In 2017, Levine served as Physician General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine and gave a speech at Franklin & Marshall College that touched on the transition of youths. … Levine spoke about past patients, including a 16-year-old boy who ‘always felt female.’ The minor was directed to counseling, given hormones, and transitioned. Likewise, another patient of Levine’s, a 17-year-old girl who ‘always felt male,’ went through the same medical process and transitioned to the male gender.
“Pre-pubescent children do not receive medical treatment, Levine said. But as soon as a gender confused child starts puberty, they could be given puberty blockers so they ‘never go through the wrong puberty.’ At around ages 14-16, Levine said, minors can start cross-gender hormones. Most surgical treatments start at age 18, added Levine, carving out some exceptions for surgical transitions at an earlier age.”
Biden’s Hypocrisy As a “Devout Catholic”
In a December 2020 essay, Catholic League president Bill Donohue slammed leftist media outlets for their hypocrisy in portraying Joe Biden as a “devout” Catholic while giving harsh treatment to people who actually take their Catholic faith seriously. Wrote Donahue:
“CNN ran a piece December 13 noting that Joe Biden goes to church, prays, and carries a rosary. Right after the election, America, the Jesuit media outlet, commented that Biden prays and carries a rosary. Back in September, NPR observed that Biden uses ‘biblical language,’ prays, is a ‘deeply devout person of faith,’ and, of course, carries a rosary. The Washington Post … [has] noted [Biden’s] ‘devout Catholicism.’ On December 9th, two articles were published on this subject. One mentioned that he goes to church on Sunday and carries a rosary. The other was more pointed: ‘Joe Biden goes to church. Quietly. Calmly.’
“So it is settled. Joe Biden goes to church and carries a rosary. This is empirically verifiable. Clearly the media are enamored of his faith. But why are they so kind? Recall how the media recently treated another Roman Catholic, Amy Coney Barrett. They were anything but kind. Indeed, her ‘devoutness’ was a source of discontent, even rage in some quarters.
“What accounts for the disparate treatment? Biden rejects the teachings of the Catholic Church on abortion—he has become an extremist—marriage (he even officiated at a gay wedding), foster care, gender ideology, healthcare, contraception, sterilization, religious liberty, and school choice. Barrett is in unison with the Church on all of these issues….
“The moral of the story is plain: It is perfectly fine to be a Catholic public official just so long as he or she rejects the teachings of the Church on matters of public policy, even when those policies are life and death issues. In other words, it is okay for Catholics to bludgeon the Little Sisters of the Poor provided they carry a rosary.”
In February 2021, Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumannn, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said in an interview:
“The president should stop defining himself as a devout Catholic, and acknowledge that his view on abortion is contrary to Catholic moral teaching. It would be a more honest approach from him to say he disagreed with his Church on this important issue and that he was acting contrary to Church teaching…. When he says he is a devout Catholic, we bishops have the responsibility to correct him. Although people have given this president power and authority, he cannot define what it is to be a Catholic and what Catholic moral teaching is…. The bishops need to correct him, as the president is acting contrary to the Catholic faith.”
Also in February 2021, Father Jerry Pokorsky, a Virginia priest and the director of Human Life International, said of Biden in an essay:
“President Biden’s supporters repeatedly claim that he is a devout Catholic. In 2005, Biden himself protested those who questioned his Catholicism: ‘The next Republican that tells me I’m not religious I’m going to shove my rosary beads down their throat.’ […] But … Biden’s habitual and unapologetic sinful acts are on full display.
“In less than a month after his inauguration, he issued a statement celebrating the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. He said he is ‘committed to codifying’ the decision that legalized abortion. He promised he will be ‘appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe.’ He rescinded the pro-life Mexico City Policy, which ensured that foreign aid would not go to organizations that perform or refer for abortions.
“Biden revoked the Trump administration’s ban on so-called gender transitioning in the military, allowing troops to serve based on their gender identity. He called on Congress to quickly pass the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Washington Post called Joe Biden a ‘president who has been called the most pro-transgender in history.’
“Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, like Biden is Catholic. But contrary to the moral law, he supports legislation that permits partial-birth abortion, forces every healthcare plan to pay for abortions, forces pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise abortions, forces the Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for contraception and abortion drugs, and allows assisted suicide.
“For most of his political life—from his consistent pro-abortion record to his officiating at a gay wedding in 2016—despite his Catholic affiliation and public pious practices, Joe Biden has magnified and institutionalized countless major violations of the Ten Commandments. The hypocrisy rivals that of the chief priests and Pharisees and is worthy of the same condemnation. Indeed, Biden is the most aggressively anti-Catholic President in history.”
On May 6, 2021, Biden delivered an address to mark the National Day of Prayer, an annual tradition for American presidents since 1952. In the course of his speech, Biden mentioned the coronavirus pandemic, racial justice, and “the existential threat of climate change,” but made not a single reference to God. The closest he came to making such a reference, was a vague assertion stating that “human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet.” In a May 7 essay, Catholic League president Bill Donohue condemned President Biden’s omission:
“President Biden raised more than eyebrows when he omitted any mention of God in his National Day of Prayer proclamation. What he did was unprecedented: No previous president has failed to mention God since the day it was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress and signed into law by President Harry Truman. […] It is no secret that the Democratic Party is home to secularists. Those who have no religious affiliation, as well as agnostics and atheists, have laid anchor in the Party, many of whom are openly hostile to religion and people of faith. It is not a leap to conclude that this mentality colored Biden’s prepared remarks.
“Last summer, Secular Democrats of America was welcomed at the Democratic National Convention. They were given three panels to voice their concerns, and they did not hold back in lambasting Christian conservatives.[…] In December, Secular Democrats of America submitted a 28-page report to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris outlining their animus against religious liberty. They essentially want to secularize religious institutions, gutting most religious exemptions. Their demonization of white Christians was perhaps the most odious aspect of the report. Militant secularists have long hated the National Day of Prayer. […]
“The National Day of Prayer Task Force organizes this annual event; it is privately funded. Those who are averse to prayer are free to ignore it. But those who choose to participate are expected to pay tribute to God, which is why what President Biden did was inexplicable at best and objectionable at worst.”
In a report sent to all the U.S. Bishops on June 7, 2021, the Catholic League identified 32 separate occasions on which President Biden had already taken a public stand against core teachings of the Catholic Church.
The Biden Report: A Timeline for Catholics