Home > Uncategorized > The Canary in the Coal Mine

The Canary in the Coal Mine

Again and and again and again I’ve written about the lack of an Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom in the Obama Administration, despite the statutory requirement that the President appoint someone.

Now the rumor mill is abuzz with reasons why the appointment has yet to come.

“Those In The Know” tell me that it is ideological and political reasons that have hampered the Administration’s commitment to rule of law and advancement of this fundamental civil and human right.

One insider said, “It’s quite simple: the appointment of an IRF ambassador hampers the ability of the Clinton State Department to advance homosexual rights and the Obama Administration as a whole to make nice with the Islamic World.”

Not ever being one to trust an unnamed source, even one of my own, I checked with another friend whom I thought would be in the know. She was just as straight-forward:

Look, Joe, the IRF office – embodied in the Ambassador at Large – highlights violations of human rights and religious freedom committed in the world at large, including in the Islamic World. And whether we like it or not, the Islamic World today is where the largest percentage of religious liberty violations take place. By not appointing an Ambassador at Large, the Administration provides the most basic, palpable, tangible outcome of the Cairo speech.

As for the issue of advancement of homosexual rights, it appears the Administration believes that it cannot advance both freedom of religion and civil rights for homosexuals at the same time.

Odd that I can do it and don’t have a philosophical/intellectual/spiritual conundrum over it, but that the Leader of the Free World and the most powerful nation on Earth cannot do it and can’t rectify the two…

When the International Religious Freedom Act was being debated during the Clinton Administration, foes of the bill argued that it would create a hierarchy of rights, placing religious freedom above others. Well now, the Clinton State Department has decided that one minority segment’s rights are at the top of that hierarchy and all religious believers and nonbelievers being discriminated and persecuted, crucified and tortured, be damned.

The Obama Administration came into office 18 months ago on the premise that it would not be “politics as usual in Washington”.

If it is true that the Administration has chosen to advance these particular ideological and political positions over implementing rule of law and upholding the most basic and fundamental of rights, then they were right: it is the worst politics we’ve seen yet.

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