Tag Archive for: Congress

Mayorkas Impeachment Effort Progresses as Urgency at Border Intensifies

On Wednesday, the House Homeland Security Committee approved two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for violating 12 immigration and border security laws. The move comes as traditional defenders of the Biden administration in the legacy media are now admitting that a “humanitarian crisis” is currently occurring at America’s southern border.

The articles of impeachment accuse Mayorkas of refusing to enforce multiple elements of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which requires that all illegal immigrants seeking admission be detained until they are granted asylum or parole. The articles note that Mayorkas instead “implemented a catch and release scheme … without effective mechanisms to ensure” that the migrants appear before the immigration court to determine if they can be lawfully admitted. The DHS secretary was also accused of making false statements to Congress when he claimed that “the border is secure” and that DHS had maintained “operational control” of the border.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) stated that Mayorkas “refused to comply with the laws” and “has breached public trust,” commenting that he was “proud” to advance the articles. The Mayorkas impeachment now moves to a full House vote, with House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) declaring last week that the articles will be voted on “as soon as possible.”

The potential impeachment comes as the outlook on a Senate funding bill that would include provisions to tighten border security remains uncertain. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden claimed that he needs Congress to pass the bill in order for him to have the “power” to regain border control. But border and immigration experts say that Biden already has the power to regain control of the border through executive order by reinstating the Remain in Mexico policy, among other actions.

On Wednesday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) contended that the Mayorkas impeachment articles were justified. “First of all, he committed a felony,” he observed. “He perjured himself in testimony before Congress multiple times. And I think he’s also failed to uphold his responsibilities, his sworn duty to faithfully enforce the laws of the nation.”

Palmer went on to detail what he saw during a recent visit to the southern border.

“I’ve been to the border multiple times, and literally my last trip, when 64 Republicans went down to the border in the first week of January, I broke away from the main group because I knew that the Border Patrol agents and local law enforcement would talk to me individually and say things that they wouldn’t say to the group while I was standing there,” he explained. “… As soon as [I] got to the riverbank, there [was] a group of men [that] came out from under the riverbank, waded across this little canal, and came up the bank right where I was standing. … They’re all young adult males from Venezuela and Honduras. For Mayorkas to say to the American people, much less to Congress under oath, with the threat of perjury, that the border secure, is…” Palmer shook his head.

He further described what happens when an individual presents themselves at the border.

“[The Biden administration has] thrown open the door. [Migrants] … turn themselves in to the Border Patrol. They’re processed, they’re given health care checkups, given cell phones. They’ll transport them wherever they want to go. Think about the 1.7 [million] gotaways. … [T]hat’s the thing that should frighten every American. We know we’ve interdicted 312 known or suspected terrorists on the terrorist watch list, but we have no idea who came across in that 1.7 million gotaways.”

Palmer concluded by urging believers to pray and vote for an expanded GOP majority in Congress and a Republican president in order to secure the border. “That’s another thing that people can put on their prayer list is we need to hold the majority. We need to expand our majority. Get the Senate. Get a Republican in the White House. And for God to give us one more chance to get the country back on the right track.”

AUTHOR

Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Most Justified Impeachment in American History

RELATED VIDEO: Senator Rand Paul: Senate Border Deal Went Over ‘Like A Lead Balloon’ Among GOP

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Shot Between The Eyes’ — Border Patrol Chiefs Testify On Cartel Violence Against Border-Crossers

Several Border Patrol sector chiefs testified to Congress in recent months that migrants who cross the southern border without the help of human smugglers are often retaliated against by the cartels in Mexico, according to a transcript of closed-door testimony exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Border Patrol chief of the Laredo sector, Joel Martinez, for example, testified in June to the House Homeland Security Committee that in one instance, migrants who chose to not use the cartels were shot in between the eyes and had half their head blown off. Border Patrol agents along the southern border have seen a record increase in recent years, recording more than 2.2 million encounters of migrants crossing illegally in fiscal year 2022 and more than 2 million in fiscal year 2023, according to federal data.

“For starters, if you go down the river without their permission—every section of river has a boss that owns that particular part of the river. If you go down there without their permission, they can either beat you or hit you with, like, a paddle, and they’ve been known to shoot people, you name it. That’s how they—they rule through intimidation, so that’s a very common practice,” Martinez testified.

“The other day, we had two people wash up to our shores, and they had no identification on them, but we’re thinking they were migrants that went down there without permission. One of them had his head halfway blown off, and the other one was shot between the eyes,” Martinez added.

Republicans on Capitol Hill have blamed the Biden administration and its Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for the sharp rise in illegal crossings. Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene reintroduced articles of impeachment against Mayorkas for a third time at the end of November, citing the crisis at the southern border.

House Homeland Committee Chairman Mark Green has been investigating Mayorkas because he’s allegedly been derelict of his duty in handling the southern border.

“Thanks to Secretary Mayorkas’ policies, criminal cartels now exercise unprecedented control of the Southwest border. They have taken advantage of his refusal to enforce the immigration laws passed by Congress, strategically overwhelming Border Patrol agents with illegal crossings in one area so they can push record numbers of people and deadly drugs across in another,” Green said in a statement to the DCNF.

“It’s no wonder that the former chief of the Border Patrol told Congress earlier this year that the cartels ‘control the border today’ because of illegal immigration ‘to a level that they’ve never had.’ And let’s not lose sight of the fact that the consequences have been disastrous not just for American citizens suffering from fentanyl poisonings and families shattered by illegal alien crime—the migrants themselves are suffering and dying in record numbers,” Green said.

The cartels control the traffic crossing the southern border into the U.S., making it extremely difficult to traverse the area without soliciting their help, the chiefs testified. Crossing without them often comes with a cost.

“The organizations that own those lanes get paid for every thing and person that crosses in that area. So they are afforded a payment for everything that goes through, and they don’t want to lose that payment. And so we have run into individuals who have been robbed or beaten when they’ve tried to make it through without contacting one of the people in charge of that area,” Chief Patrol Agent for the San Diego Sector Aaron Heitke testified to the committee on May 9.

Chief Patrol Agent for the El Centro Sector Gregory Bovino testified on July 12 that while it’s “uncommon,” crossing without the help of cartels would result in “consequences” for migrants.

“The transnational criminal organizations would apply a consequence to an individual that tried to cross without going through them,” Chief Patrol Agent for the El Paso Sector Anthony “Scott” Good testified on June 29.

Chief Patrol Agent for the Tucson Sector John Modlin testified on July 26 that agents in the area have come across migrants who have been “beaten” for trying to cross the southern border without paying the cartels.

AUTHOR

JENNIE TAER

Investigative reporter.

RELATED ARTICLE: ICE Nabs Fugitive Wanted For Assaulting Child Who Was Previously Released By Border Patrol

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

House Republicans Release Text Of Impeachment Inquiry Resolution For Joe Biden

North Dakota Republican Rep. Kelly Armstrong introduced a 14-page resolution Thursday that would authorize an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

“Directing certain committees to continue their ongoing investigations as part of the existing House of Representatives inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its Constitutional power to impeach Joseph Biden, President of the United States of America, and for other purposes,” the resolution reads.

The resolution is set to be marked up Tuesday, Dec. 12 and a vote could occur Wednesday.

“It’s time for the House to take the next step in the Biden impeachment investigation and adopt an impeachment inquiry resolution. The White House and multiple witnesses have repeatedly refused to cooperate with the investigation and have rejected subpoenas. Despite this refusal, the investigation has uncovered alarming details that demand further scrutiny,” Armstrong said in a statement.

READ THE RESOLUTION HERE: 

(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — BILLS 118hres918ih 0 by Henry Rodgers on Scribd

“The Biden family and associates received more than $24 million from foreign nationals. Joe Biden received $200,000 from his brother, James Biden, the same day James received a $200,000 loan from a failing rural hospital operator. Joe Biden also received $40,000 in laundered Chinese money from his brother and sister-in-law. It’s become clear that the Biden family sold influence around the world using Joe Biden’s name as the product. An investigation in any jurisdiction around the country would move forward if it had these facts. A vote on an impeachment inquiry puts the House in the best position to prevail in court and uncover the truth,” Armstrong continued.

This is a developing story. More information will be added as it becomes available.)

AUTHOR

HENRY RODGERS

Chief national correspondent. Follow Henry Rodgers On Twitter.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

New Speaker Mike Johnson Attacked for Believing Basic Christian Doctrine

On Wednesday, after three weeks of dysfunction following the ouster of former-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana was elected as the 56th Speaker of the House. Johnson’s elevation to the office caps a frenetic period in which Republicans considered multiple candidates before coalescing around the four-term congressman. Although Johnson’s unexpected rise to the speakership was welcomed by conservatives, the Left has predictably been apoplectic in denouncing Speaker Johnson’s long-standing social conservative views.

Although progressives routinely castigate those who hold convictions rooted in a biblical worldview, the sharp criticism directed toward the new speaker for his Christian faith is nonetheless revealing.

For example, some House Democrats took exception to the portion of Johnson’s speech on Wednesday in which the new speaker referenced God. “Welcome to the Republican Era of not even pretending they aren’t forcing their religion on Congress and the American people. This is a slippery, dangerous slope to theocracy,” warned Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.). Another Democrat, Jamie Raskin, tweeted, “Speaker Mike Johnson? Anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ, anti-gun safety, anti-democracy. This is what theocracy looks like.”

Although allegations of Republicans wanting to install a theocracy are not new, the dire warnings of Huffman and Raskin, and the parroting of these claims by some in the media, reveal remarkable ignorance of basic Christian beliefs. Significantly, Johnson has said nothing about theocracy or forcing his religious beliefs on anyone. Rather, the new speaker simply articulated the commonplace Christian perspective that God providentially raises up leaders.

In his speech, Johnson stated, “I don’t believe there are any coincidences in a matter like this. I believe that Scripture, the Bible is very clear that God is the One that raises up those in authority. He raised up each of you, all of us. And I believe that God has ordained and allowed each one of us to be brought here for this specific moment and this time.”

Far from advocating for a theocratic takeover of the House of Representatives, Johnson’s comments merely reflect well-known biblical passages such as Daniel 2:21 which states, “He changes times and season; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding” and Psalm 22:28 where it says, “For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.”

Other passages that affirm God’s role in raising up civil leaders include Isaiah 40:22-23, which says, “It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.” Likewise, Proverbs 21:1 teaches “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.”

To put it simply, Johnson’s understanding that “God is the One that raises up those in authority” is a widely-held Christian belief that has been taught for centuries. The fact that articulating this basic conviction triggered ominous warnings of an impending theocracy demonstrates the ever-widening gulf between those with a biblical worldview and those without one.

Second, Johnson’s elevation to the speakership prompted scores of opposition researchers to investigate the congressman’s past writings and speeches for potentially damaging material. Johnson’s past comments on same-sex marriage, abortion, and homosexuality were immediately targeted. For example, within hours of Johnson’s election, CNN investigative reporters Andrew Kaczynski and Allison Gordon published a piece provocatively titled: “New speaker of the House Mike Johnson once wrote in support of the criminalization of gay sex.” According to the reporters, Johnson once supported an amendment to Louisiana’s constitution that defined marriage between a man and a woman.

Moreover, in a 2004 op-ed, Johnson described homosexual relationships as “inherently unnatural.” After mentioning other examples of Johnson’s purported extremism, the authors note, “Now, Johnson is the speaker of the House at a time when a majority of Americans are strongly supportive of gay rights.” Of course, CNN was not alone. Hours after his election, ABCNBCNew York TimesVanity Fair, and other outlets published stories that highlighted Johnson’s opposition to same-sex marriage.

On abortion, media outlets and Democratic campaign operatives seized on Johnson’s past statements. Politico noted that Johnson once served as a senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, “the conservative legal powerhouse behind the case that overturned Roe v. Wade.” The article specifically highlighted the congressman’s support for a federal heartbeat law. Other criticism came from DNC Chair Jamie Harrison who released a statement describing Johnson as a “anti-abortion MAGA extremist.” Harrison also noted Johnson’s sponsorship of what he characterized as “an extreme abortion ban nationwide.” Sarah Posner, a contributor for MSNBC, also pointed to Johnson’s pro-life record as proof that he is the “most unabashedly Christian nationalist speaker in history.”

From a worldview perspective, the criticisms and denunciations of Johnson are predictable. We live in highly partisan times, and the reality is that whoever Republicans elevated to serve as Speaker of the House would be portrayed in the worst possible light. However, it is still significant that much of the initial criticism hurled at the new speaker overlaps with basic Christian convictions.

From the first century, Christians have affirmed the personhood of the unborn and opposed abortion. Likewise, Christians have believed marriage is the relationship between one man and one woman and taught that homosexual behavior is outside of God’s design and purpose for human sexuality. The fact that convictions held by Christians for millennia are now openly mocked and disparaged by so many speaks to the rapid secularization of the times.

The newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is a Southern Baptist who subscribes to the basic tenets of the Christian faith. Like tens of millions of Americans, Johnson’s views on a range of issues are informed by Scripture, science, and reason. Although the news media and opposition party are working overtime to convince the nation that Johnson is a “Christian nationalist” with outdated, subversive policy views, that characterization could not be further from the truth.

Johnson’s views are in line with an overwhelming percentage of American Christians who share the speaker’s worldview. As we will soon find out, this is good news for Republicans, but more importantly, good news for America at a time when convictional, principled leadership is sorely needed.

AUTHOR

David Closson

David Closson is Director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘It’s a New Day’: Mike Johnson Brings Principles and Purpose to Speakership

While D.C. politicos scramble to figure out who House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is, here at Family Research Council, we needed no introduction. To most of us, the young-looking Louisiana lawyer represents the best the movement has to offer. “He’s a social conservative’s conservative,” Politico pointed out in a lengthy piece about his relationship with FRC. But more than that, he’s a man who deeply loves God and this country. So as senators like Susan Collins (R-Maine) turn to Google to find out who the new speaker is, we can tell you simply: he’s the real deal.

My boss, FRC President Tony Perkins, met Mike more than two decades ago when the future speaker was just an up-and-coming law student at LSU. During Tony’s days in the Louisiana legislature, the two crossed paths a lot, eventually working together on a blockbuster bill that became one of the first abortion clinic regulation laws in the country.

“You mentioned how far back we go,” Johnson said in an interview on “Washington Watch” a couple years ago. “I saw you as a young state legislator, and I remember that your banner and your motto when you ran for office was ‘raising the standard.’ And that resonated with me, because I felt that same call on my life. And in so many ways, Tony, you were a huge influence on my life. I saw that you could do it. … [Other] people that I knew [also] did it right and did it well, and they followed the Lord first. And it showed in all their work and their life and their family. And that was a great encouragement to me.”

As Johnson alluded to in his speech before the House chamber Wednesday, the road to Congress was paved by his God-fearing parents. “I was blessed,” he emphasized to Tony. “I was raised in a Christian household, and my parents — I was actually the conception of a teenage pregnancy my parents’ junior year in high school. And they dropped out, decided to have me, and keep me. And that’s why I’m so pro-life today. I’m a living example of faithfulness. … They just trusted God.”

And made sacrifices. “My dad went to work early. They didn’t finish high school. Then he went back later, got his GED, but I don’t have any memory of not being a Christian,” Mike said. “I got saved when I was seven years old. I got baptized in a horse trough out behind our old country church in northwest Louisiana. And I was just raised to know and understand and believe that faith is very real. And it was just part of the fabric of our family, and who we are.”

But the fabric of that family was tested when Mike was just 12. His dad, an assistant chief for the Shreveport, Louisiana fire department, was a training officer. “And on September 17th, 1984,” he remembers, “he went into work on a hazardous materials leak in a cold storage plant. And the building blew up. He was burned 80% of his body, third-degree burns — and given a 5% chance to live. His co-captain died in the fire, so it was a terrible tragedy. [But] God miraculously saved my dad’s life.”

“He had a long journey back,” Mike said. “He lived another 30 years. And he was in pain every day — but he survived. … I was the oldest of four kids in my family,” he pointed out. “[And I learned that] our faith was real. … God saved my dad’s life … and I just knew that prayer worked. So that’s never left me. It’s been with me my whole life.”

When Tony asked Mike what surprised him most about his time in Congress, he replied that his answer was “kind of a sad one.” “I was surprised to see that many members of Congress are elected to serve, and they don’t truly have a fully formed philosophy of government. Some of them are not even crystal clear on what their worldview is, you know? And so it has an effect on their work and the decisions they make. … If you don’t have a fully formed philosophy of government, if you don’t have your principles set in stone … before you get there, then you’re going to be easy prey for all the influences that are out there.”

That’s why, he says, he’s been trying to encourage his colleagues to think about what it means to be a Christian in public service. “The only seedbed of virtue,” Johnson insisted, “is in religious faith. I mean, men have to understand that they owe an allegiance to a higher power, and they have a judge that is above all others. And that is what has guided our country since its founding. And that’s what’s going to continue to guide it. So we shouldn’t make apology for it. We should go out and live that boldly and encourage others to do the same.”

He owes that strength of conviction to a number of people who encouraged him along the way. “I had a mentor when I was really young, [and he] told me one time — he said, ‘Mike, you know what? Always remember this: What is popular isn’t always right, and what is right isn’t always popular.’ And we have to remember that even in politics, you know, highest levels of elected office in the country, that’s a pretty simple axiom that everybody needs to follow.”

Now, Johnson is passing that advice along to his four children — and all of the young leaders he meets. At the time, his son, Jack, was just starting high school, and he wanted to make sure that his son was firmly rooted in truth. “I said, ‘Listen, I want you to be real intentional about this. You know, the calling of a Christian young man or young woman is that you are not called to be a thermometer. You’re called to be a thermostat. What does that mean, Jack? You know, what does a thermometer do? Well, a thermometer goes into a new environment, takes a temperature, and adjusts to it. That’s not what we do. The Christian young man or woman is called to be an atmosphere changer, to be a thermostat. So you walk in, and you hold that standard, raise the standard.’”

At the end of the day, Mike said, “You live according to that truth that you know, and it will change the atmosphere you’re in. And people will look to you. … [They’re] dying for truth and authenticity. They want to know that there really is an absolute … that there’s a standard.” He pointed to Chronicles 6:9. “The eyes of the Lord range throughout the whole earth, seeking those whose hearts are holy, committed. There’s only a few in every generation, but if you’ll do that, God will give you His blessing. He’ll give you His platform. His promotion principles will set in place, and He’ll give you things that will amaze everyone.”

They were prophetic words for a man whose heart is holy, whose God has just given him that enormous platform he spoke of. And yet, back in January, Mike would have been the last to guess that when he and a handful of Republicans knelt in the House chamber to pray for the speakership, they would ultimately be paving the road to him.

As Tony said in a Newsmax interview Wednesday, America can be proud to have a man of substance at the helm. “That’s why he’s the first speaker, I think since 2011, to have unanimous support from his colleagues on the Republican side. … I’ve known Mike for 25 years, and he is going to be an excellent speaker for the times in which we live.”

Looking back on the arc of their long friendship, he said with pride, “He has a sense of purpose, and that comes from his faith. … And this is what’s important, because in politics this has gotten lost. It’s really about people. And he cares about people,” Tony insisted. “… He told me this morning, I was talking to him as he was working on his speech, and he said, ‘It’s a new day. They’re going to see a new thing in this Congress.’”

And those of us who admire him believe it.

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: Tale of Two Speeches: Speaker Johnson, Minority Leader Jeffries Articulate Different Visions for America

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

House Speaker Mike Johnson ‘Radiates the Love of Jesus,’ Conservatives Laud

House Republicans have selected “a tremendous man of God,” “a strong Christian,” a “servant leader,” and a “genuinely nice guy” by elevating Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) to the position of Speaker of the House, according to those closest to the legislator.

After 22 days without their top leader, House Republicans elected Johnson speaker by a 220-209 vote on Wednesday, winning the unanimous support of the chamber’s Republicans. All 209 dissenting votes went to House Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). Johnson needed only 215 votes, as 429 congressmen were present; Rep. Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (R-Texas), Lou Correa (R-Calif.), and Derrick Van Orden (R-Wisc.) did not attend the vote.

“It is the honor of a lifetime to have been elected the 56th Speaker of the House,” said Johnson moments after his victory. “It has been an arduous few weeks, and a reminder that the House is as complicated and diverse as the people we represent.”

“I don’t believe there are any coincidences in a matter like this. I believe that Scripture, the Bible is very clear that God is the One that raises up those in authority. He raised up each of you, all of us. And I believe that God has ordained and allowed each one of us to be brought here for this specific moment and this time,” Johnson continued. “I believe that each one of us has a huge responsibility today to use the gifts that God has given us to serve the extraordinary people of this great country — and they deserve it — and to ensure that our republic remains standing as the great beacon of light and hope and freedom in a world that desperately needs it.”

He went on to note previous generations chose the national motto, “In God we trust,” as “a rebuke of the Cold War-era philosophy of the Soviet Union. That philosophy was Marxism and communism which begins with the premise that there is no God,” a “critical distinction” between atheistic socialism and our faith-based democratic republic.” America’s founders, said Johnson, believed “all men are created equal — not born equal, created equal,” and Americans need to “remember our creed.” He also shared that he was once inspired by seeing the carving of the face of Moses, which adorns the chamber.

Johnson took a moment to praise the faithful Christians in his life, as well. After acknowledging his colleagues, Johnson thanked his four children and wife, Kelly — an adviser to Louisiana Right to Life, teacher, and Christian counselor who had not yet gotten a flight to the nation’s capital to be at his side. “She spent the last couple of weeks on her knees, in prayer to the Lord, and she’s a little worn out,” he explained. After remembering his late father, a Shreveport fireman, Johnson said, “I want to thank my faithful mother, Jeanne Johnson, who bore me at the age of 17.”

Johnson directly quoted the Bible at a conference on Capitol Hill after the vote. “I was reminded of the Scripture that says suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. What this country needs is more hope,” he said. “Congress over the years has not delivered for the American people enough.”

Prayer has been a recurrent theme of Johnson’s decisions about who should to serve as Speaker of the House. “In January, [Rep. Mike Johnson] joined me on the House floor while we were in a deadlock over who our next Speaker would be. We lifted up the speaker’s race to the Lord and asked for his divine guidance. Immediately after the prayer, 14 members changed their votes, ultimately leading to Speaker McCarthy securing the gavel by the end of the day,” noted Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) two hours before the vote. “Mike Johnson is a strong conservative, but above all else, he is a strong Christian. He’s not afraid to look to his faith for guidance.”

“America needs that more than ever in the U.S. House,” noted Steube.

In his announcement for speaker, Johnson wrote that only “after much prayer and deliberation, I am stepping forward now.” On Tuesday night, Johnson’s first act after winning the Republican conference’s nomination was to ask his fellow Republicans to join him in prayer.

The Johnson family attends Cypress Baptist Church in Benton, Louisiana, where Pastor John Fream described the new Speaker of the House as “a tremendous man of God, a historian, constitutional expert, biblical scholar and great family man,” as well as a “humble servant” who — together with his wife, Kelly — is “willing to follow the Lord wherever and however He leads.”

‘We’ve Been Praying for This’

Praise rained in on Johnson, the 51-year-old vice chair of the House Republican conference, for his voting record, faith, personality, and willingness to stand up for a biblical worldview.

Johnson “radiates the love of Christ,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) told “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” on Wednesday. The new Speaker of the House is “full of love of Jesus,” in addition to being an “effective scholar.” House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) noted Johnson’s “faith that drives him so deeply that some actually mock him,” but he holds to “the principles that make this country great.” He predicted the American “people are going to come to know and love what he represents.” Others praised Johnson’s low-key personality. “Mike epitomizes servant leadership,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) — who spoke on behalf of Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Scalise, Jim Jordan, and Johnson during speaker votes.

“I’m so proud of Mike,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told Newsmax on Wednesday afternoon. “I’ve known Mike for 25 years, and he’s going to be an excellent speaker for the times in which we live. … He has sense of purpose, and that comes from his faith. He’s a strong believer.” Perhaps most importantly, Johnson “cares about people,” said Perkins. “It’s going to be a new day” in the nation’s capital.

American Family Radio host Rick Green described Johnson as “a champion for liberty … This man has a biblical worldview.”

“We’ve been praying for this. We’ve been praying for leaders who have a fear of God” and “a biblical foundation of truth,” said Green. “This is a moment to stop what you’re doing and thank God for this.”

A Conviction Politician

Since his election to Congress in 2016, Mike Johnson has earned a lifetime FRC Action score of 99.4%, reflecting his sterling pro-life, pro-family voting record. Last October, Johnson introduced the Stop Sexualization of Children Act, which would have barred federal funding from any sexually oriented school material intended for children under the age of 10. “[P]arents and legal guardians have the right and responsibility to determine where, if, when, and how their children are exposed to material of a sexual nature,” it states.

In House hearings, Johnson has strongly denounced transgender surgeries on minors as “barbarism. This is the mutilation of children, and it should be prohibited by our law. … This is adults deciding to permanently alter the bodies of children who do not have the capacity to make life-altering decisions on their own.” Johnson called the extreme gender ideology underlying these experimental surgeries “nightmarish and surreal.”

Johnson has acted as lead sponsor of pro-life legislation, as well. Johnson “has boldly championed life as an activist, litigator, state legislator, and as a member of Congress,” said SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Rep. Mike Johnson is a pro-life champion with an A+ on SFLAction’s Pro-Life Generation Report Card,” said SLFAction President Kristan Hawkins. Speaker Johnson “will make the right to life and protecting women and their unborn children a priority in Congress,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life.

That record also earned him the ire of the abortion lobby. Reproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America) branded Johnson “a dangerous threat to reproductive freedom, just like the rest of his caucus.” EMILY’s List stated, “Unlike the new speaker, we know abortion care is health care.”

Other Democrats denounced Johnson for his defense of biblical marriage and sexual morality. Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.), who openly identifies as a lesbian, shouted “Happy anniversary to my wife!” as she voted for Jeffries during Johnson’s successful speaker vote. House Democrats applauded her outburst.

A constitutional attorney, Johnson advised President Donald Trump during both impeachments. He has voted against every transfer of U.S. taxpayer funds to the government of Ukraine, which has cracked down on religious liberty. And he noted that then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to rip up the official copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address constituted a felony. “He will be a great Speaker of the House,” said Donald Trump after the election, calling Johnson “a tremendous leader” who is “going to make us all proud.” Trump, who previously endorsed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), promptly noted that he had “put out the word” for others to back Johnson before the vote.

Johnson is an across-the-board conservative who earned a 90% score from the Heritage Action scorecard, as well as an A+ from SBA Pro-Life America, 72% from Freedom Index (constitutional order), and 90% from the immigration watchdog NumbersUSA. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) called Johnson “a fellow conservative and a man of deep Christian faith.” Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, attested that Johnson is “a proven conservative who is honorable, smart, and will do a great job leading the House Republican Conference.”

Before his election to Congress, Johnson served as a national spokesman for the Alliance Defending Freedom and a trustee of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), then led by conservative scholar Dr. Richard Land. A constitutional attorney and onetime talk show host, Johnson won FRC’s “Family, Family, and Freedom Award” in 2005 for successfully defending his state’s constitutional marriage protection amendment before the Louisiana Supreme Court. As a Louisiana legislator, he proposed a Marriage and Conscience Act, which would not allow politicians to withhold or cancel the state occupational licenses of workers with a religious objection to same-sex marriage.

“Some people are called to pastoral ministry and others to music ministry, etc. I was called to legal ministry, and I’ve been out on the front lines of the ‘culture war’ defending religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and biblical values,” explained Johnson to a Louisiana Baptist newspaper when he first ran for national office in 2016.

Johnson became the fourth Speaker of the House candidate endorsed by the House Republicans, who had previously nominated  Scalise, Jordan, and Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.). Emmer, one of just 39 House Republicans to vote twice for the so-called “Respect for Marriage” Act, withdrew without proceeding to a floor vote hours after winning the nomination. Former President Donald Trump came out swinging against Emmer, saying the “Republican Party cannot take that chance,” because “America First voters” will not support “a Globalist RINO [Republican In Name Only] like Tom Emmer.”

An Ambitious Agenda to Rebuild America as Speaker of the House

In his victory speech, Johnson laid out an ambitious agenda to rebuild American strength and regain the trust of the American people, which he said Congress stands “in jeopardy” of losing. “A strong America is good for the entire world. We are the beacon of freedom, and we must preserve this grand experiment in self-governance,” he said.

Johnson referred to rising international tensions in Israel and China, as well as soaring prices, and interest and mortgage rates at home. Johnson “has a keen understanding of the threat posed by China and the urgent need to pass legislation to counter the CCP, including important trade policy issues like tariffs and repealing China’s Most Favored Nation Status,” said Michael Stumo of the Coalition for a Prosperous America. Two-thirds of voters were more likely to support a candidate who favors tougher economic policies and higher tariffs against China; and 66% of voters say the Pentagon “needs to do more to prepare for military threats from China,” although a plurality oppose sending U.S. troops to fight the People’s Liberation Army on behalf of Taiwan, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

Johnson then mentioned the porous southern border, which had led to an unprecedented influx of fentanyl and a record-breaking number of American overdose deaths. “The status quo is unacceptable. Inaction is unacceptable, and we must come together and address the broken border,” he said to massive applause from the chamber’s Republicans.

“The greatest threat to our national security is our nation’s debt,” which now stands at more than $33 trillion and increased $20 million during his relatively brief speech. He promised to form a bipartisan commission on reducing the national debt and “bring relief to the American people by reining in federal spending and bringing down inflation.”

“We will defend our core principles to the end,” he said, citing “the seven core principles of American conservatism”: individual freedom, limited government, the rule of law, peace through strength, fiscal responsibility, free markets, and human dignity.

Johnson promised to return to normal order on the nation’s budget and appropriations process, to decentralize power away from the speaker’s office, and to preside over an ethical and transparent tenure as speaker.

“Our system of government is not a perfect system. It’s got a lot of challenges, but it’s still the best one in the world, and we have an opportunity to preserve it,” Johnson exhorted Congress. “The time for action is now, and I will not let you down.”

“Let the enemies of freedom around the world hear us loud and clear: The people’s House is back in business!”

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) then swore in Johnson as the 56th Speaker of the House.

Rep. Roy summed up the Republican Party conference’s consensus with one word: “Onward.”

AUTHOR

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘Crimes Have Been Committed’: Steube Highlights Articles of Impeachment Against Biden

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) decision to launch an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden on Tuesday has put Rep. Greg Steube’s (R-Fla.) four articles of impeachment against Biden back into the spotlight, which were further discussed on Tuesday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins.”

“I felt compelled to file the articles of impeachment based on the evidence that I had seen, and now … the Speaker of the House has determined that we should open an impeachment inquiry,” Steube said. “It allows us to have further power as it is the logical next step to move forward. And I hope that these different committees will move in earnest.”

Steube further explained how the impeachment inquiry exposing the evidence may prove beneficial in helping “more moderate” members of the conference who may not have developed opinions be more educated on what is happening.

Perkins emphasized how the media appears to be dismissing the subject by claiming there is “no evidence” of Biden’s alleged federal crimes. He further spoke on Biden lying about having no knowledge of Hunter Biden’s business deals and various forms of criminal behavior. “It’s hard not to see this and not come to a conclusion as well that this affected the outcome of the 2020 election,” he said. Additionally, Perkins shared his concern of this affecting the 2024 election.

“This absolutely affected the last election,” Steube agreed, while also sharing concerns regarding the upcoming election. “All of this is calculated, all of [what] is going on,” he added. “And it’s gotten worse since Joe Biden’s been president because he’s in control of appointing the people that [are] in charge of the DOJ and the FBI.”

Amid these circumstances, Perkins said, “I know from the Bible, Luke, chapter 18, Jesus says men ought to pray and not lose heart. I think we need to be praying right now for where our nation is, praying for the truth to be revealed.” He added, “But we also need to roll up our sleeves and go to work.” There is a profound level of corruption within our government, Perkins stated. “We need to be bold enough to talk about this.”

Steube concluded that the evidence against Biden is substantial. “[I]t’s hard looking at that, regardless of your political affiliation, … and not see that crimes have been committed.” For Steube, Congress sitting back and not doing anything “would be a complete miscarriage of justice.”

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

5 Biblical Reasons for Skepticism on UFO Testimony to Congress

Scores of people lined up early to get a seat for today’s UFO hearing in the House Oversight Committee’s National Security Subcommittee. Lawmakers from both parties plied three former military officials, including whistleblower David Grusch, a former Air Force intelligence officer, on the nature of known UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena, the technical jargon for UFO) sightings and direction on how they could dig deeper. There was also bipartisan agreement on the “pressing demand for government transparency and accountability” regarding UAP reports.

The witnesses testified to seeing or hearing reports of colleagues seeing objects that appeared as a “dark gray or black cube inside a clear sphere,” with the cube’s corners touching the sphere, or red cubes the size of multiple football fields, which accelerated at uncanny rates. They alleged the military had conducted a multi-decade program for UAP crash retrieval and reverse engineering, which was funded without Congress’s knowledge or authorization.

Unfortunately for the curious public, Grusch and the other witnesses often declined to present new evidence of their claims to lawmakers outside a secure and confidential setting. Grusch complained that he and others faced “administrative terrorism” for speaking up about the UAP sightings and said he feared for his life at times because of the “brutal” treatment, making him afraid to disclose classified information.

Some of the whistleblowers’ sensational claims could be true — some people already believe them — but many people won’t be persuaded until the long-promised evidence has actually been presented. Some people naturally prefer to stick to the facts, while others have adopted a more cautious attitude in light of the proliferation of brazen hoaxes. Some people will credit some of the claims (such as the military running a secret UFO investigation program) more than others (such as the military recovering the deceased remains of extraterrestrial lifeforms). And others will write the whole business off as a fiasco dreamed up by paranoid conspiracy theorists.

Now, I enjoy intergalactic science fiction as much (possibly more) than the next guy — “Star Trek,” “Star Wars,” “Doctor Who,” etc. Perhaps a part of me could even wish that Vulcans, lightsabers, and spatially anomalous phone booths were real.

But a biblical worldview cautions against making more of these daydreams than what they really are — fiction. Granted, the Bible nowhere explicitly states that there are not living, intelligent creatures on other worlds, nor does it state that life on other planets is insupportable.

Nevertheless, there are solid, biblical reasons to doubt the existence of extraterrestrial life (spiritual beings excluded), particularly life forms intelligent enough to build vessels for travel to earth. These biblical reasons can provide Christians with a useful context for evaluating claims about UFOs or UAPs, even when they are made under oath in a congressional hearing. Here are five:

1. The curse affects all creation.

In Genesis 3, God cursed the world for Adam’s sin, introducing suffering, pain, and death to human experience. In Romans 8:18-25, Paul states that this curse, the “sufferings of the present time,” has affected all creation. “We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now” (Romans 8:22). One day, the sons of God will be revealed, and the curse will end, at which point “the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption.”

It may seem puzzling that God would curse all creation for the sin of man alone. But there is a solution in Genesis 1:26, where God gives man “dominion … over all the earth” and all its inhabitant creatures. Thus, the curse for man’s sin affects the realm man was given to rule.

That solution would be absurd if God created other living beings on a separate world, which were outside man’s dominion and yet suffered for man’s sin. What is the logic in such a move? And why would a just God curse a world whose inhabitants had never sinned for a rebellion that occurred on another planet? But if a race of sinless creatures was exempted from the curse, then “the whole creation” would not be “groaning together” under its effects.

2. Salvation is for mankind.

Another problem with the hypothesizing a race of extraterrestrials is, if they had sinned, the gospel of salvation is not offered to them. Before his ascension, Jesus told his disciples, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). He did not say “beyond the earth” or “to the ends of the stars.”

Nor does the Bible say it is God’s will to save members of other races. The Scriptures say God “desires all people to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4) and the word translated “people” refers specifically to human beings.

3. Jesus died once for all sin.

Nor is it possible that the Son of God reenacted has salvific mission on multiple worlds, initiating a church on each. “Christ also suffered once for sins,” wrote Peter (1 Peter 3:18). This fact is vital to the sufficiency and permanence of his blood’s saving power. He offered a sacrifice for sins “once for all when he offered up himself” (Hebrews 7:27), and “he entered once for all into the holy places … by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12).

Clearest of all, Paul wrote, “We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God” (Romans 6:9-10). His dying once and living again once is a model for us of baptism, forsaking sin, and our future hope of eternal life.

Beyond that, there would be the difficulty of the second person of the Trinity becoming incarnate through another virgin conception in another race. When he took on a human body, his divine nature was permanently united to his human flesh; he ascended in that same body, and he will never shed it. “In him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9).

Would Christ’s sacrificial atonement avail for sinners on another planet? It wouldn’t be for lack of power. But it’s hard to see how his death and resurrection on earth, as a human, could have the same significance for members of another race on another planet. They did not join in the conspiracy to kill him, as representatives of all mankind did (Acts 4:27). He would not be “made like [them] in every respect,” which is noted as essential to fulfilling the office of high priest on their behalf (Hebrews 2:17). If Jesus appeared to extraterrestrial creatures, the gospel would be so different as to be an entirely different gospel.

4. Man is made in God’s image.

Returning to Genesis 1, there we read that “God created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:27). This statement is foundational to the doctrine of man and is developed and fleshed out throughout Scripture.

Among other things, the image of God in man means that ensouled human beings are more precious than the living creatures over which man was given dominion — though those creatures, too, have value (see Proverbs 12:10, Jonah 4:11, Matthew 12:11-12).

But if there are extraterrestrial races capable of visiting earth, it raises all sorts of confusing questions for this doctrine. Do they have souls and moral agency? Do they too bear the image of God? If so, do they resemble humans? The questions could run on and on.

5. God created the heavens and the earth.

Lastly, the existence of life on other planets upends the biblical categories of heaven and earth. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). God gave man dominion over earth (Genesis 1:26), while he dwells in the heavens (1 Kings 8:30, etc.). These categories appear together hundreds of times throughout Scripture.

It is true that Scripture mentions various heavenly bodies. God created the sun, moon, and stars on the fourth day of creation (Genesis 1:14-19). And modern technology allows us to see the stunning variety and beauty God has created throughout the heavens. It is even true that man has managed to propel himself out of earth’s atmosphere and into the very nearest corner of the heavens. None of this fundamentally changes the categories of heavens (where God dwells) and earth (where man dwells).

But, if we ever discovered that another race dwelt on another planet somewhere else in the universe, there would be heavens and earths.

One might argue that the categories of heaven and earth were merely God stooping to describe his creation in a way that ancient readers, who had no concept of space travel, could understand. After all, the Bible never discusses other planets, as distinct from stars, but we now know God created them too. The problem with this theory is that the Bible also describes the fiery destruction (2 Peter 3:7) and recreation (Revelation 21:1) of heaven and earth, implying these categories still apply to our future.

By contrast, the existence of life on other planets is far more compatible with a secular-naturalist worldview: that the universe formed in a Big Bang, planets gradually and randomly took shape, and somehow life began on earth. In this interpretation, Planet Earth occupies no special role in the cosmos, and finding life anywhere else is just as plausible as finding it on earth. So, why not search for it? But this is not the biblical view.

Do these five reasons absolutely rule out life on other planets? The Renaissance-era controversy over a heliocentric model of the solar system stands as a caution against elevating one interpretation of the Bible over hard, scientific proof to the contrary. However, the existence of extraterrestrial life of any kind — particularly hyper-intelligent life forms capable of building vessels to traverse outer space — would pose significant challenges or complications to core Christian doctrines as they have stood for thousands of years.

For any Christian who believes these doctrines to be what God has communicated in Scripture, the choice should be clear. On one hand stands the infallible Word of God, who has proven himself faithful and true more times than we could imagine. On the other hand stand thus far unsubstantiated claims made by men, and men have been known to lie, be mistaken, and change their minds. Even if the evidence seems to tip in favor of extraterrestrial life (which it hasn’t yet come close to doing), it’s always safer to trust the Word of God rather than the shifting consensus of men.

Of course, dismissing extraterrestrial explanations does not make military sightings of UAPs less concerning or dangerous. It still points to (a possibly hostile) intelligence with technology beyond our own, or even beyond our ability to track. It just means we should look for an explanation to our geopolitical rivals on this planet rather than another.

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Sarah Idan, Miss Iraq and Ardent Zionist, Now Running For Congress

Sarah Idan is a former Miss Iraq who, at the Miss Universe pageant in 2017, met and became close friends with Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman. She took a selfie of them together, and posted it on social media, with the caption “Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel.” To make matters worse, in the swimsuit competition, she appeared in a bikini. Both these transgressions — the selfie with Miss Israel, and the bikini she wore — caused a terrific backlash from angry Muslims; Idan was stripped of her Iraqi citizenship, and was deluged with death threats. Her widowed mother and siblings were forced to flee Iraq. The two beauty queens continued to meet and post joint messages, with photos, on Instagram. The accounts of both girls were, of course, hacked.

In June 2018, Sarah Idan accepted Adar Gandelsman’s invitation to visit Israel. After all, once she had received thousands of death threats, a few thousand more weren’t going to stop her from traveling to Israel. In for a penny, in for a pound. She fell in love, she says, with Israel, and with its people, who greeted her in the market of Mahane Yehuda like a movie star. In Israel, she said later, she felt right at home in an environment that was strangely familiar: the sights and sounds of a Middle East open market, so much like what she had experienced in Baghdad and Damascus.

While in Israel, she spoke with many Jews from Arab countries, and learned about the 850,000 Jews who had had to flee Arab lands during and after the 1948 war. She posted photos of herself visiting Israeli sites, and eating Iraqi food in Jerusalem restaurants. Later she reminisced about her trip: “It actually felt weird—the people look like my people. And the city looks like Damascus, like Syria, and I’ve been there, so everything seems familiar to me.”

In August 2019, she testified on behalf of Israel at a meeting in Geneva of the UN Human Rights Council, in what must have been a most uncomfortable appearance for the Arab and Muslim delegates.

In December 2019, at the invitation of Israel’s UN ambassador, Sarah Idan attended an event held at Israel’s UN Mission to mark the expulsion of Jews from North Africa and the Middle East following the establishment of the State of Israel. She spoke feelingly about what she had learned about this issue when she visited Israel, according to a report in Algemeiner“I was very surprised and especially touched by the experience of visiting the Babylonian Heritage Museum in Or Yehuda — which serves as a center to honor the heritage and history of Iraqi Jews.”

She said she felt a strong bond with Iraqi-born Jews in Israel: “I was born in Baghdad and felt very connected to the Iraqi Jews I met in Jerusalem, who welcomed me with open arms and with so much love, even though my country treated them unfairly. I was overwhelmed when I saw pictures of Iraqi government stamps on their passport saying ‘one-way exit — not allowed to return.’ I told them I was utterly ashamed.

Sadly, the 3,000-year chapter of Jewish life in Iraq, along with the larger Middle East and North Africa, came to an abrupt and traumatic end – and much of this is the result of antisemitism,” she said.

She has become a kind of unofficial ambassador for Israel, speaking up passionately for the Jewish state from her unusual perspective as a Muslim Iraqi. She believes the conflict is perpetuated by “the belief systems taught in Muslim countries, which are antisemitic” and is reinforced by biased media.

Idan had worked as an interpreter for the American army in Iraq, and as a result she was given a green card. She moved to America, and in 2015 became an American citizen. She is now living in California.

In March, she announced she would be running for Congress in 2024, as a Democrat, from the 30th Congressional District. She should win in a walk. She’s made all the right enemies. She’s already had a few exchanges on Twitter with the unbearable Ilhan Omar, responding to one of Omar’s tweets with this:

I don’t stand for your anti-American, antisemitic, Muslim Brotherhood agenda, using this democracy to further your…Islamic socialism goals of dividing and weakening our country.”

And in announcing her candidacy for Congress, she said: “I would just be the opposite of Ilhan Omar. I’m a Democrat and liberal, but I don’t think like her – I don’t hate this country.” Idan has said she wants to make war on “wokeism.”

And once in the House, her intelligence, her knowledge of Iraqi Muslims and Israeli Jews, her clear-eyed fury at antisemites, and – let’s face it — her good looks, will be a nightmare for Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and the sour-faced crew at CAIR. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have any interest in a liberal Democrat from California. But for Sarah Idan, I’ll happily make an exception.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Under Investigation for Partisan Behavior, DOJ Commits More Partisan Behavior

House Republicans have threatened to initiate contempt proceedings against FBI Director Christopher Wray over his defiance of a House Oversight Committee subpoena, which demands an unclassified document it suspects will expose Joe Biden’s complicity in his family influence-peddling scheme. Wray reportedly agreed to turn over the document on Friday. At the same time that it has seemingly stonewalled Congress to protect Democrats, the Department of Justice (DOJ) — of which the FBI is a part — is unashamedly pursuing other legal battles that are widely perceived as partisan.

In a May 3 subpoena, the House Oversight Committee directed Wray to turn over all FD-1023 forms containing the word “Biden” produced during June 2020 by Tuesday, May 30. An FD-1023 form is a standard form for internal FBI communications. The highly specific request was based on “whistleblower disclosures” alerting them to the existence of “an unclassified FD-1023 form that describes an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions,” wrote House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in an accompanying letter. “It has been alleged that the document includes a precise description of how the alleged criminal scheme was employed as well as its purpose.”

However, the FBI refused to comply with the subpoena or even acknowledge the existence of the document. “They are not above the law,” said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who called Wray and told him to send the document on Tuesday, the deadline. “We have jurisdiction over the FBI, which they seem to act like we do not.”

In a Tuesday press release, Chairman Comer announced, “Today, the FBI informed the Committee that it will not provide the unclassified documents subpoenaed by the Committee. The FBI’s decision to stiff-arm Congress and hide this information from the American people is obstructionist and unacceptable.” He stated his intention of “taking steps to hold the FBI Director in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a lawful subpoena.”

After talking to Wray, Comer issued another press release on Wednesday, “Today, FBI Director Wray confirmed the existence of the FD-1023 form alleging then-Vice President Biden engaged in a criminal bribery scheme with a foreign national. However, Director Wray did not commit to producing the documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee.” Wray “offered to allow us to see the documents in person at FBI headquarters,” but Comer made “clear that anything short of producing these documents … is not in compliance with the subpoena” and would result in contempt proceedings.

In response to mounting pressure and possible contempt charges, Wray agreed to turn over the document on Friday.

Wray’s pretense for withholding the document was that it might reveal a confidential human source. But Grassley responded, “The FBI has apparently leaked classified information to the news media in recent weeks, jeopardizing its own human sources,” yet refuses “to provide a specific unclassified record” to Congress.

Wray’s action (or inaction) constitutes “defiance of a legitimate congressional subpoena,” Grassley warned. Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy agreed, writing that Wray is “about to be held in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena that he has no lawful basis to defy.” He explained that “the executive branch can legitimately defy congressional subpoenas” in circumstances where the legislature attempts “to usurp or undermine the constitutional authority of the president,” but that those circumstances are irrelevant to the FBI, which Congress created.

The only plausible reason for Wray’s stonewalling tactics is to shield President Biden by withholding information that is at best embarrassing and at worst criminal. The House Oversight Committee is conducting a widespread investigation into the Biden family, which has begun to unearth what appears to be a sordid web of foreign influence-peddling. From a partial review of bank records, the committee has already tracked over $10 million in foreign cash — from places like China, Ukraine, and Romania — through 21 shell corporations to at least nine members of the Biden family — for no discernable reason other than Biden’s influential position as vice president under Barack Obama.

Oddly enough, the DOJ’s protection of the Biden family seems to do less with his position as president and more with his affiliation as a Democrat. Earlier this month, news broke that a former federal prosecutor had reported bribery allegations to the DOJ as early as October 2018 — while Biden held no governmental office, and while Trump was in the White House — but was ignored.

Meanwhile, political figures who are not Democrats can expect the DOJ to target them and their family members just as zealously as they shield the Bidens. On Wednesday, May 31 — the same day Wray told Comer he would not deliver the subpoenaed document — the DOJ announced it had filed a civil action against 13 coal companies owned or operated by Jim Justice III, son of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, Jr. (R), to collect $7.6 million in penalties. The press release alleged the companies had committed 130 violations of federal law over a five-year period (2018-2022) and had received “over 50 cessation orders.”

The timing of this announcement raised suspicions. A poll conducted last week of the West Virginia Senate race showed Governor Justice leading incumbent Senator Joe Manchin (D) by 22 points. It’s too much to ask anyone to believe that, after 50 cessation orders over five years, the DOJ just happened to file suit a week after a poll showed Justice III’s father with a massive lead over an incumbent Democratic senator. “Utterly brazen,” responded Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). “When I said the Biden DOJ is the most political & partisan DOJ in history, I wasn’t kidding…” It’s also noteworthy that the alleged violations began in 2018, the year after Governor Justice switched to the Republican party.

The DOJ’s political interference was also on display in its refusal to prosecute Rachael Rollins. As U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Rollins leaked “non-public, sensitive” information acquired in her official capacity in an attempt to help Boston City Councilman Ricardo Arroyo in the Democratic primary for Suffolk district attorney against Kevin Hayden, then the interim D.A., according to a 161-page report published in May by the DOJ’s internal watchdog agency, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Rollins, who resigned in May, then “falsely testified under oath” by denying she had leaked non-public information. Although the OIG recommended prosecution, the DOJ declined to prosecute Rollins.

It’s not that the DOJ is too busy to investigate alleged wrongdoing by those on the political Left. No, they’re working hard not to investigate. An IRS whistleblower who participated in the DOJ’s investigation into Hunter Biden, the president’s son — which has dragged on since at least 2018 without charges — said last week, “There were multiple steps that were slow-walked — were just completely not done — at the direction of the Department of Justice.” He added that the “deviations from the normal process” were “way outside the norm.” Instead of correcting the discrepancies or speeding up the investigation, the DOJ (not knowing the whistleblower’s identity) got the IRS to remove the entire team from the investigation.

To the uninitiated, the notion that America’s premier federal law enforcement agency has hopelessly prostituted the integrity of its mission for the short-term benefit of left-wing politicians sounds far-fetched, even conspiratorial. But when one monitors their actual behavior, evidence of politicization soon becomes overwhelming. The question, “is the DOJ politically biased?” becomes such a foregone conclusion that it seems to belong in a TV advertisement, right after the question, “Can Geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance?”

Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis said last week, “I think the DOJ and FBI have lost their way. I think that they’ve been weaponized against Americans who think like me and you, and I think they’ve become very partisan.” He said he would replace Wray on Day One and “[clear] out people who are not doing the job.” He isn’t the only one who thinks that should be done.

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

McCarthy Proves What He’s Made Of with Gritty Budget Win

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) hasn’t had an easy path. After painstakingly working through conservatives’ gripes with House leadership this January, he finally squeaked out the votes he needed to assume the third most powerful job in Washington. But even after that chaos died down, questions loomed. Was he cut out to be speaker? Would he bring the fractious, competing corners of the GOP together? In a staring contest with Democrats, could he win? The answer, Americans learned from a hard-won victory on the budget bill, is a resounding yes.

With just two votes to spare, McCarthy accomplished something that seemed improbable even 48 hours ago: he held his fragile coalition together and passed a bill that all but forces Democrats to the negotiating table. Under the House proposal, America would not default on its loans. But there were strings attached. In exchange for raising the debt ceiling and protecting the country’s credit line, conservatives are demanding a massive overhaul of spending and deep cuts to bloated programs.

For starters, Republicans would set a $1.47 trillion limit on discretionary spending — with a 1% increase built in for each year. In a blow to the Democratic messaging machine, even the AP admits that the legislation poses no threat to Social Security and Medicare, which has been Joe Biden’s favorite scare tactic about the bill. To the cheers of most conservatives, the proposal also scoops up all of the unused COVID relief money from the series of bills passed between 2020-2022. Another way the GOP carved out savings was to roll back the $71 billion boost in IRS funding.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), all of this would make a huge difference in the country’s bleak financial picture, slashing the deficit by a whopping $4.8 trillion in a 10-year span.

Fueled by coffee and power naps, Republicans worked past 4 a.m. Wednesday to hammer out the deal. That all-nighter paid off. The bill eked through by a 217-215 margin that afternoon, putting Republicans in an unusual place — the driver’s seat.

In a triumphant press conference after the vote, McCarthy threw down the gauntlet. “We have lifted the debt ceiling, so nobody could worry about whether the debt ceiling is going to get lifted. We did it. The Democrats have not. [If] the president wants to make sure the debt ceiling is going to be lifted, sign this bill.”

Although Rules Chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.) made it clear that it’s “not the end of the road,” he insisted that “it’s a great personal and political victory for the speaker who got it done. He got a lot of people to vote for a debt ceiling increase who’ve never done that before.”

House Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry (R-Pa.) was equally complimentary, telling Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on “Washington Watch” that the vote was “quite honestly, another historic moment in modern times here in Congress.” “For most people, this is just another day in the saga of Washington. But … as far as I know in modern times, this has never happened before.” And one of the reasons it was possible, he said, is because conservatives put specific conditions on the speaker in January — things like single-subject bills. More debate. Free-flowing amendments. In other words, Congress is back to operating how the Founders intended, not as a graveyard of ideas where decisions were predetermined by a powerful few.

Even if you go back to the 2011 days of Cut, Cap, and Balance, Republicans never insisted on “real cuts in that first year.” But this isn’t your 2011 GOP. And while the prevailing wisdom in Washington may be that the House has to cave to Joe Biden and Senate Democrats without demanding concessions like meaningful spending reform, Perry insists, “We’re not going to cave.”

“We have a narrow majority,” he conceded, but “we have worked for months — right up until about 4:00 in the morning last night to get this to where we can pass it. And, it is the beginning of the conversation, but what it does is … it shows [Biden] that we can pass something and he has no choice except to negotiate.”

For Republicans, who only control one part of the legislature, this is a “landmark occasion,” Perry says. “We’re supposed to be in a completely defensive posture. [But] we are on offense. And I will also take some pride in this: 90% of this bill has been written by the House Freedom Caucus — and we are driving and pulling our entire conferences … to the Right, to the side of principles that [say] we cannot keep spending and bankrupting our country.”

In a movement that’s watched Republicans snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Wednesday’s developments were groundbreaking. “I’ve watched this process for 20 years,” Perkins said. “I’ve even watched the Republicans when they were in the majority and they had the numbers. … But the reality is, even when Republicans had a large margin to work with, they never ever drove a stake in the ground and stood on principle. That is a sea change here in Washington, D.C.”

And McCarthy’s week-long speaker drama is a big reason why. Even then, FRC believed Republicans — and the speaker in particular — would emerge stronger from that emotional debate. It was there that the California leader proved he was willing to listen, to compromise, and to pursue the tough changes voters demanded. Now, Perkins insisted, we’ve had time to see that McCarthy was sincere. “We’ve seen a succession of decisions that the speaker has made. He’s stuck to his word. … And Republicans have [also] kept their word and done exactly what they said they were going to do when they elected this speaker.” So Democrats need to realize, he warned, “you guys aren’t going to cave.”

Already, that message seems to be sinking in. Far-left senators like Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) are calling on Biden to negotiate — and negotiate now. Moderate Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) agreed, pointing out, McCarthy’s bill is the “only bill actually moving through Congress that would prevent default.”

As NRO’s Noah Rothman explains, “The White House and Senate Democrats have so far operated on the assumption that Republicans were too disunited to be worth negotiating with.” Now, the script has flipped. “And with the Republican position strengthening and Democrats’ eroding, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before the White House consents to good-faith negotiations with their Republican counterparts. The sooner, the better.”

In the meantime, Perry has a message for those “weak-kneed senators over there that always work with the Democrats: … You need to stick with your Republican colleagues [and] do the work of the American people. … There’s a fighting spirit in this House of Representatives,” he insisted, “but … we do expect our senators to stand up and stand for us.”

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘Deplatforming Works’: Left Learns Wrong Lesson from Week of Media Firings

Far-left Democrat Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) raised eyebrows — not to mention blood pressures — with her response to Tucker Carlson’s abrupt departure from Fox News. Her most offensive comment was not the mean-spirited joke, “couldn’t have happened to a better guy,” nor the possibly libelous claim that Carlson was “arguably responsible for driving some of the most amounts of death threats, violent threats, not just to my office but to plenty of people across the country,” but the political conclusion she drew, “deplatforming works, and it is important, and there you go.”

By “deplatforming,” Ocasio-Cortez means more than just someone losing a platform (in the abstract, modern sense of “platform” that includes all digital-age equivalents for mounting a literal platform to deliver a speech). For her and other leftists, “deplatforming” describes a particular form of censorship achieved by disallowing those who express undesirable views from using the media by which they reach their intended audience. She also seems to have in mind not only the act of removing someone from a platform, but the activism and pressure campaigns that lead to that result — in two words, cancel culture.

This is emphatically the wrong conclusion to draw.

For starters, Ocasio-Cortez completely overlooks the context of Carlson’s firing. Unless you’ve been reading the news about “the news” — which, let’s be honest, you probably shouldn’t — you’re probably unaware that Carlson’s departure from Fox is only one item in a string of high-profile firings across cable and network television. In just the past week, CNN booted left-wing gadfly Don Lemon, Comcast (which owns NBC) parted ways with NBC Universal CEO Jeff Shell, Disney-owned ABC (which owns election data site FiveThirtyEight) did not renew a contract with FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver, and Fox fired commentator Dan Bongino in addition to Carlson. With all this sacking, it’s a wonder the price of burlap hasn’t gone through the roof.

Surprisingly, these clustered separations seem to be unrelated to one another. Lemon got the hammer after engaging in a racially charged tirade against Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, of Indian heritage. Shell was pushed out at NBC over an inappropriate sexual relationship. Silver got swept up by Disney-wide layoffs (apparently subsidizing the rainbow renders other colors unaffordable).

Meanwhile, Fox has given no public reason for the firings, but they might be related to the company’s legal problems. The pair of firings came days after settling a defamation lawsuit in which Carlson was mentioned frequently with voting machine manufacturer Dominion for a stunning $787 million; the company still faces a defamation lawsuit from another voting machine company, Smartmatic, and a hostile work environment lawsuit from a former booker for Carlson’s show, Abby Grossberg. Another possible reason for at least Lemon’s and Carlson’s ousters is that the CEO or owner disliked them and was actively looking for an opportunity to show them the door.

These details indicate that there are many possible reasons why a network might terminate a relationship with an anchor — reasons which might be totally unrelated to a cancellation campaign against them. Without knowing the reason why a host lost his show, it’s impossible to prove that “deplatforming works” in the strategic sense Ocasio-Cortez means.

Left-wingers tried to cancel Carlson on numerous occasions. In 2021, the Anti-Defamation League called for an advertising boycott, but that failed to drive audiences away. On former White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s MSNBC show, Ocasio-Cortez herself on Sunday endorsed government action to end his show, calling for “federal regulation, in terms of what’s allowed on air and what isn’t. And when you look at [what] Tucker Carlson and some of these other folks on Fox do, it is very, very clearly incitement of violence. Very clearly incitement of violence. And that is the line that I think we have to be willing to contend with.” But what Ocasio-Cortez called for did not happen.

In fact, the coincidental cancellation campaign may have had no more effect on Carlson’s firing than a child attempting to use “the Force” on a supermarket’s automatic doors.

A separate issue from the factual accuracy of Ocasio-Cortez’s position — and a more important one — is whether the “deplatforming” she envisions is acceptable in a free society. Ocasio-Cortez explicitly called for government suppression of the distribution of opinions with which she disagrees. The policy outcome flies so obviously in the face of the First Amendment’s protection of free speech and a free press that Ocasio-Cortez felt the need to justify herself by claiming the speech that offended her was “very clearly incitement of violence.” If that case could be proven in court, surely someone would have sued Fox News over that by now.

A giant chasm yawns between what actually happened to Tucker Carlson and what Ocasio-Cortez wanted to happen to him. Opinions will differ about whether Rupert Murdoch (owner of Fox’s parent company News Corp) made the right decision or for the right reasons. But at root, Carlson’s employer no longer wanted to employ him, so he terminated his employment. One bedrock principle of a free market is that no one is forced to do business with anyone they don’t want to do business with. Ocasio-Cortez wants the government to dictate to broadcasters who they can put on air.

The Left seems not to recognize or understand this difference, as Ocasio-Cortez’s recent “deplatforming works” claim underscores. Left-wing cancellation efforts target not only Fox News, but virtually every right-wing news outlet you can think of. Ironically, the self-proclaimed opponents of fascism have ripped a page right out of the fascist playbook (and every other dictator in history) in agitating to shut down dissenting media outlets.

This trend has increased in recent years. Pew Research Center found that the percentage of Democrat or Democrat-leaning U.S. adults who agree that “the U.S. government should take steps to restrict false information online, even if it limits freedom of information,” increased from 40% in 2018 to 65% in 2021. Even more (76% of Democrat or Democrat-leaning adults) believed in 2021 that “tech companies should take steps to restrict false information online, even if it limits freedom of information.”

This notion is dangerous to America. But rather than censor it, proponents of free speech must defeat it through persuasion, which is far more challenging.

If Ocasio-Cortez and other leftists have taken the “wrong” — both incorrect and totalitarian — lesson from Carlson’s departure from Fox News, what is the right lesson? Combined with other recent media departures, it’s clear that the American news media — for all of its problems — remains capable of self-adjustment. Different outlets continue to represent different points of view, cycle between spokespersons, and remain accountable both to the public and to the legal system. The media landscape continues to remain open to independent new players, such as The Washington Stand or (possibly soon) the Tucker Carlson Network. No one has a monopoly on the facts, the right opinions, or the press. That’s how things are supposed to work in a rambunctious popular government.

There is, and will always be, a fundamental difference between government regulators taking a popular program off the air and that program’s broadcast cutting that program from its lineup. The difference is freedom.

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan Officially Subpoenas Department Of Education Over School Boards Issue

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan officially subpoenaed the Department of Education on Friday, the Daily Caller has learned exclusively.

According to the subpoena, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is “commanded” to produce documents before the Judiciary Committee on March 1, 2023, at 9 a.m. ET. The subpoena comes as Jordan sent four letters to various officials Friday, calling for information and interviews the committee has been requesting, in a final warning shot before he sent the subpoena their way.

The Daily Caller first obtained the letters, which were sent to Chip Slaven, former Interim Executive Director and CEO of the National School Boards Association; Nina Jankowicz, former leader of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) “Disinformation Governance Board;” Viola Garcia with the National School Boards Association, and Jennifer Moore, the Executive Assistant Director for the Human Resources Branch at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

In the letters, Jordan accuses each official of ignoring requests for transcribed interviews, as well as not providing the committee with the documents and information they previously requested. Jordan gives the officials one last chance to come before the committee before sending subpoenas to the officials.

Cardona allegedly solicited a letter from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) likening parents to domestic terrorists, according to emails obtained by Parents Defending Education (PDE). The letter reportedly advocated for federal investigators to monitor and intervene in activities by concerned parents, PDE emails showed. After the letter was publicized, the NBSA sent out a memo to members saying, “We regret and apologize for the letter.”

AUTHOR

HENRY RODGERS

Chief national correspondent. Follow Henry Rodgers On Twitter.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Smoke Grinder Government: How Gridlock Can Be Good

Back in the ’80s, I used to watch a quirky PBS show with my dad on woodworking called “The Woodwright’s Shop.” In one episode, host Roy Underhill introduced an old wooden folk toy called a “smoke grinder,” or “do-nothing-machine.” It consisted of a block of wood with dovetails cut into the top, with a handle attached that would spin along the grooves in an elliptical pattern. Just for fun, my dad built one, and it did exactly what its name implied: nothing.

Like the wooden toy before it, the 118th Congress all but threatens to be a smoke grinder government. The 2022 midterm elections missed the anticipated “red wave,” but, the GOP did gain control of the House of Representatives, ending two years of Democrat control of all three branches of government. And with control of the people’s house, comes the return of a term all-too-familiar to the nation’s capital: gridlock. Any controversial legislation passed by a Republican-majority House likely won’t make it past the Senate’s Democratic majority, much less have any chances of being signed by a Democrat president. Likewise, any controversial Democrat-led legislation will go nowhere. Forget being off to the races, major change in Washington won’t leave the treadmill for the next two years.

But what if this was a good thing? Don’t get me wrong, dysfunction — especially in the essential functions of government — is rarely helpful. But what if instead of dysfunction, the gridlock imposed by a two-party system was a function for good? As the conservative magazine National Review launched, its founder, William F. Buckley, Jr. famously wrote that its mission was to, “stand athwart history, yelling Stop.” Indeed, it is good to bring traffic to a halt when the bridge up ahead is out. Motion doesn’t necessarily drive morality. And for governments, there are quite often times when their inaction serves their people better than action. At the very least, an inactive government can be far less expensive to the people who fund it.

But bringing government to a halt is not the only thing that happens in a gridlock situation. The Republican majority in the House of Representatives has wasted no time introducing legislation that is doomed to fail. For example, the House just passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act, which requires legal protection for babies born alive during an abortion, by a vote of 220-210. The bill will go nowhere in a Democrat majority Senate. And even if somehow it miraculously broke through a Senate filibuster and made it to the desk of the pro-abortion President Biden, there’s little mystery as to what he would do with it. All this raises the question, why bother?

For starters, 210 elected representatives of the people are now publicly on record as voting against providing life-saving protection to newborns. The significance of this one vote cannot be understated. It underscores for the nation just how polarized America is on this issue. What once may have masqueraded as middle ground has given way to a giant sink hole. The curtain on an issue once framed by abortion supporters in terms of a woman’s “choice” has been pulled back to reveal its ugly fruits, and those fruits are oozing with the fermented rot of evil.

In his letter to the Ephesian church, Paul wrote, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). This is a must for Christ’s church, and it wouldn’t hurt for Congress to follow this directive as well. The right thing to do isn’t the right thing because it’s effective. The right thing to do is the right thing because it is right. Daniel’s service in Babylon didn’t revolutionize pagan Babylonian society, but it did preserve a legacy of doing the right thing in the eyes of the Lord.

After all is said and done in the 118th “smoke grinder” Congress, we may not get the fruit we desire. Much of the fruit may be ugly, stunted, and underdeveloped. But we can help the fruit that we end up with to grow in the long run. If wrongs can be thwarted, let them be thwarted. And if right can be attempted, let it be attempted. And if darkness can be exposed, let it be exposed and allow that exposure to someday break the smoke grinder and deliver the unity we need.

AUTHOR

Jared Bridges

Jared Bridges is editor-in-chief of The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Abortion Survivors Praise the GOP Born-Alive Act

In the eyes of abortionists, every “successful” abortion ends in the death of a child — but, thankfully, not every abortion goes according to their plans. Countless abortion survivors, each one condemned to death as an innocent baby in the womb, walk among us every day. For pro-life advocates like Melissa Ohden and members of the Abortion Survivors Network, legislation that ensures protection for infants born alive after abortions holds deep personal significance.

On January 11, House Republicans successfully passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act by a 220-210 vote. The bill passed entirely along party lines, with all Republican representatives voting in favor of the bill and all but one Democrat voting against it (with one Democrat voting “present”). The Born-Alive Act seeks to “prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.”

To Sarah Zagorski, communications director of Louisiana Right to Life, the Born-Alive Act “puts the penalty on the right party” by “criminalizing doctors who do not get medical care for the child.” In my interview with Sarah, she described how an abortionist delivered her breech at 26 and a half weeks gestation. She shared, “He told my mother to let me die on the table because I wasn’t breathing. Thankfully, my birth mother resisted his coercive efforts and decided to tell him, ‘I’m going to sue you if you don’t get my daughter breathing right now.’” Sarah was sent to a trauma birth ward, where she thankfully survived.

Zagorski is part of the Abortion Survivors Network founded by fellow survivor Melissa Ohden, who lived through a failed saline infusion abortion at seven months gestation. Melissa’s organization has connected with over 600 abortion survivors in their journey of hope, healing, and educating others on the human dignity of all unborn children.

“I just want to thank members of Congress who are voting yes on that bill today. This has been years in the making, double digits of failure to get it to the floor in the making,” Melissa told me. “We are just grateful for members of Congress and their leadership showing that, as this legislative session is beginning, pro-life bills are front and center — and that means the world.”

While abortion survivors are grateful for the progress that the House GOP has made in passing the Born-Alive bill, it is significant to note that every survivor’s story is profoundly unique. Lauren, another survivor who shared her story with me, described how the Lord worked in her mother’s heart to change her mind during the middle of a second-trimester abortion. After leaving the abortionist and seeking medical care from a pro-life obstetrician, Lauren’s mother miraculously sustained the pregnancy for another five weeks — until she found herself in preterm labor at 26 weeks.

“The doctor told my mom that there was a very small chance that I would survive such a premature birth,” Lauren told me. “I was rushed to the NICU, where I weighed in at 2 lbs. 6 ounces. I had a small brain bleed and underdeveloped lungs, but I was stable. Miraculously, I had no brain damage or complications from the abortion attempt or my premature birth. My mom saw my tiny body and decided to keep me. I spent 53 days in the NICU, but I made it home from the hospital just in time to attend my parents’ wedding.”

Lauren concluded, “I can truly say that God intervened in my life in a miraculous way. He saved me physically from death, and He saved my mom spiritually.”

Another abortion survivor, Karen, turned 65 last month, having survived her mother’s multiple abortion attempts that predated Roe v. Wade. Growing up unaware of the abortions she had survived, Karen struggled with the distance she perceived between herself and her mother — until her mother revealed the truth when Karen was 61 years old. In her youth, Karen had experienced three of her own abortions, which drove her to contemplate suicide on multiple occasions.

“God intervened in my life by allowing me to finally go back to church and hear a pastor talk about life and love —something he kept saying kept me going back,” Karen told me. “I was introduced to a young lady there who herself had gone through abortions, and she introduced me to a crisis pregnancy center in our area. I was so overwhelmed by what they do, thinking, ‘I would love to share my story with others who have gone through this.’”

For six years, Karen has taught a class for women who have experienced abortions. She serves on a board with an organization that reaches out to the African-American community about the truth of abortion and providing life-affirming alternatives. She joyfully shared with me that she is completing a master’s degree in mental health counseling and plans to use her degree to continue supporting women who have undergone abortions.

Through learning about her past as an abortion survivor, Karen says, “God let me know that my ‘purpose,’ which I thought was to try to please and make my parents happy, was not the reason why He has me here. My real purpose is to serve Him and do the work that He has for me to do.”

As Congress advances legislation to ensure that infants who survive abortions receive life-sustaining medical care, it is more important than ever to hear the voices of abortion survivors reminding us that life is precious — and that every baby deserves a chance to experience it.

AUTHOR

Joy Stockbauer

Joy Stockbauer is a policy analyst for the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council.

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EDITORS NOTE: This The Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.