It was so clear, even a United Nations liberal could have understood it.
In an appearance Monday at a gathering at the U.N. to promote religious tolerance, President Donald Trump harkened to the founding of the United States in declaring his support for freedom of worship around the world.
Then he pledged some serious money toward helping promote religious liberty and preserve religious sites worldwide.
“The United States is founded on the principle that our rights do not come from government, they come from God,” Trump said, according to the New York Post. “This immortal truth is proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence and enshrined in our First Amendment to our Constitution, Bill of Rights.
President @realDonaldTrump just delivered a critical message on religious freedom and global persecution.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 23, 2019
“Our Founders understood that no right is more fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous and virtuous society than the right to follow one’s religious convictions. Regrettably, religious freedom enjoyed by American citizens is rare in the world.”
“Approximately 80 percent of the world population live in countries where religious liberties are threatened, restricted or even banned,” Trump said. “When I heard that number I said, ‘Please go back and check because it can’t possibly be correct.’ Sadly it was: 80 percent.’
“As we speak, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, many other people of faith are being jailed, sanctioned, tortured and even murdered even at the hands of their own government simply for expressing their deeply held religious beliefs,” he said.
The president used the speech to announce the United States would establish a fund of $25 million to promote religious freedom and protect religious relics and sites from attack.
Naturally, liberals were going to howl about the speech. Trump’s words had barely been spoken before the backlash began, with many on the left claiming Trump was hypocritical because of his attempts to halt immigration from countries with histories of terrorism — a move widely mischaracterized as a “Muslim ban.”
But Trump’s measure was eventually deemed acceptable by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled — correctly — that it was not, and never had been, a ban on religion. It was a ban on citizens from nations where the possibility of terroristic violence was far higher than in other countries.
As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the ruling affirming Trump’s ban, according to Courthouse News, the prohibition covered only 8 percent of the world’s Muslim population, and it covered nations that the Obama administration had also considered to be terrorist threats.
“The proclamation is expressly premised on legitimate purposes: preventing entry of nationals who cannot be adequately vetted and inducing other nations to improve their practices,” Roberts wrote.
“The text says nothing about religion.”
But Trump’s administration has said a great deal about religion since January 2017, virtually all of it in support. The contrast with the Obama administration’s thinly disguised contempt for some religions, especially conservative, pro-life Christianity, has been refreshing.
On Monday, in that address at the United Nations, the contrast Trump drew between the United States and the rest of the world was just as clear.
For most of the globe, “rights” are what a government grants its citizens. In the United States’ foundational document, the Declaration of Independence, individuals are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”
Governments exist to secure those rights — humans don’t exist to serve their governments.
The difference is so clear even a U.N. liberal should be able to see it.
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