Trump Uses UN Speech To Declare Religious Freedom Is Crucial – ‘No Right Is More Fundamental’


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

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