Every president since Eisenhower has spoken at the National Prayer Breakfast. But not everyone has practiced the policies they preach. Barack Obama was famous for using the event to talk about the “inherent dignity of every person” only to ride back to an office that did more to promote abortion than any White House in history. Or to insist “we can’t leave our values at the door,” while he ordered Americans to do exactly that on marriage, health care, and faith. With Obama, what you heard wasn’t necessarily what you got.In the year since Donald Trump has been in office, he hasn’t just talked a good game — he’s walked it. When he stepped up to the microphone this morning to promote religious liberty, 12 months of accomplishments already spoke volumes. Executive orders, HHS rules, Justice Department briefs, and confirmations like Sam Brownback’s point to just how sincere the president is about what he says.
This morning, he didn’t disappoint, using the opportunity to draw the country’s attention back to the importance of our First Freedom.
“Our rights,” Trump said, “are not given to us by man. Our rights come from our Creator. No matter what, no Earthly force can take those rights away.” Then, in a nod to one of the biggest struggles in our society, he took time to highlight real tolerance and what it means to a nation like ours. “When Americans are able to live by their convictions, to speak openly of their faith, and to teach their children what is right, our families thrive, our communities flourish, and our nation can achieve anything at all.”
Then, broadening his scope, he hinted at the work cut out for Brownback, America’s new Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom. “Together, as Americans, we are a tireless force for justice and for peace… We know that millions of people in Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea and other countries suffer under repressive and brutal regimes. America stands with all people suffering oppression and religious persecution.”
It was another solid speech that reminded us all: words matter. But we can all be grateful that to this president, actions matter just as much.
For more on what the administration is doing to safeguard religious freedom, don’t miss my interview with Ambassador Brownback (below).
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.