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Unalienable Rights Panel Draws Familiar Foes – OpEd

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On July 16, the U.S. State Department, led by Secretary Mike Pompeo, issued its “Report of the Commission on Unalienable Rights.” Since that time, it has become increasingly evident that its critics, at home and abroad, are using the same playbook.

In the United States, the Center for American Progress is leading the way. In the United Kingdom, openDemocracy Limited (it publishes openDemocracy.net) is the key source. Both have released statements critical of the Report and both are funded by the Ford Foundation and George Soros’s Open Society Institute, two notoriously anti-Catholic and pro-abortion entities.

The Center for American Progress is a large-scale organization that was founded by John Podesta. He was White House Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton and chairman of Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign; he also worked in the Obama administration. Today this enormously wealthy institution is run by Neera Tanden. She also worked in the Clinton and Obama administrations and was active in Hillary’s bid for the White House.

The Center for American Progress employs left-wing experts covering 21 different issues, one of which is Religion and Values. Unlike its support for LGBT rights, it shows very little enthusiasm for promoting religious rights. Indeed, it is more interested in detailing how religious liberty can be a problem.

Thus, it was not surprising to learn that it would release a letter signed by more than “30 faith leaders” warning against Pompeo’s “new push to put property rights and religious freedom at the forefront of American diplomacy.” What was surprising is that the signatories—mostly pro-abortion and pro-gay rights activists (including those who falsely claim a Catholic status)—would actually go so far as to say that by giving primacy to religious freedom, the Report “will weaken religious freedom itself.”

What’s that? Only left-wing religious leaders would argue that giving prominence to religious freedom would weaken it. These same people would never say that giving prominence to LGBT rights would weaken those rights.

They are upset with the “hierarchy of rights” outlined in the Report. They argue that when it comes to rights, “none should be subordinate to another.” Though they do not mention LGBT rights, it is clear from their political leanings and affiliations that they had these rights in mind when they expressed concern that the Report might “justify marginalizing certain rights.”

The analysis provided by openDemocracy, “Justifying American Exceptionalism: The Commission on Unalienable Rights Undermines Modern Human Rights,” is more specific.

This so-called “independent global media platform” is comprised of left-wing philanthropists and activists from around the world. It was founded in 2000 to “ensure that marginalized views and voices are heard.” For the uninitiated, that does not include the most marginalized views and voices in the Western world today, namely those of a religious or conservative persuasion.

The openDemocracy document, like the letter issued by the Center for American Progress, is not happy with the elevated status given to religious liberty in the Report. It is particularly incensed over the high profile given to the Declaration of Independence. “There is no mention of the French Revolution or the Enlightenment which formed the background for the Declaration of Independence,” it says.

Not to be picky, but it is not certain how the French Revolution, which began in 1789, could have “formed the background for the Declaration of Independence,” which was written in 1776. But who cares about history?

Perhaps Mary Ann Glendon, who heads the Commission, should have mentioned that the reason why we must give priority to unalienable rights is because the French Revolution decimated them.

She could have cited, for instance, the murder of the Catholic clergy, the plunder of Catholic property, and the bloodstained attempts to destroy Catholicism in all of its vestiges. She might have ended by agreeing with historians that the French Revolution was the world’s first totalitarian regime. But this is probably not what these sages were thinking.

Unlike the Center for American Progress, openDemocracy cites LGBT rights several times. It is these newly invented rights that really fires the globalists. They want to make sure that when the First Amendment guarantee of religious liberty clashes with the homosexual agenda, the former loses every time.

Both the U.S. and the U.K. organizations are miffed that the Report does not mirror the universality of rights noted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Report does not dodge this anticipated complaint, noting that while the Universal Declaration “does not explicitly establish a hierarchy of rights,” it is the duty of the U.S. State Department to “determine which rights most accord with national principles, priorities, and interests at any given time.”

It might also be said that among the rights mentioned in the Universal Declaration that these organizations want to put on the same plane with religious liberty is the “right to rest and leisure” (Article 24).

More rest and leisure for these geniuses is exactly what the doctor ordered.

William Donohue

William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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