Hillary Clinton claims to be a defender of religious freedom. But her definition of it is limited mostly to worship. And even houses of worship appear to be targets of “compelling government interest” when it comes to abortion and same-sex marriage, two progressive pillars of the Obama administration.
“As Americans, we hold fast to the belief that everyone has the right to worship however he or she sees fit,” Clinton said in an August 10 essay targeting Mormons. “I’ve been fighting to defend religious freedom for years.”
However, Clinton publicly opposes the long understood definition of religious freedom and, like President Obama, reduces it to “freedom of worship,” which means that outside of church worship, the Christian must comply with the agenda of secular progressives.
For instance, among other offensive policies, Clinton supports the Obama administration’s mandate that religious organizations provide employee health coverage of sterilization and contraception, including drugs that cause abortions. Many religious organizations oppose the application of these provisions, but are forced to comply with them or close their organizations.
“[Clinton’s] own words suggest that even churches will not evade her understanding of the kind of ‘compelling government interest’ that she considers abortion and same-sex marriage to be,” said Thomas Farr, Georgetown University professor. “Last year she told an international conference that religious groups who oppose abortion are going to have to change,” he said.
Farr, who directs the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown’s Berkley Center, said that Clinton’s focus on the “right to worship” relegates religion to the private sphere “with no capacity to influence public matters.”
“Her use of the term, and its deeper meaning, are quite consistent with her attacks on churches and religious organizations that oppose the progressive agenda of abortion on demand and same-sex marriage,” he said.
Clinton is also hypocritical in her self-proclaimed defense of “religious freedom.” Speaking of her term as Secretary of State, Clinton said she and the U.S. government made defense of religious minorities a cornerstone of foreign policy and stood up for Coptic Christians in Egypt, Buddhists in Tibet, Chinese Christians, and other minorities “because Americans know that democracy ceases to exist when a leader or ruling faction can impose a particular faith on everyone else,” she said.
But the State Department was “highly rhetorical” and “program-poor” said Farr. “Under her watch, the National Security Strategy’s discussion of fundamental American values virtually ignored religious freedom,” he said. The Clinton State Department “accomplished virtually nothing (other than a few fine speeches and reports) in the arena of religious freedom,” he added.
“While there are other reasons for State’s ineffectiveness under Secretary Clinton, one is quite clear: it is difficult to sell to others a product which you no longer understand, and in which you do not believe,” Farr said.
Clinton is not a defender of religious freedom as it has been understood in the United States since its inception.
“As religious aggression subverts the liberties of our nation, those who would stand for freedom of conscience will be placed in unfavorable positions.” Counsels on Health, page 506.