State Dept. Respects Religious Liberty In Countries Overseas, But Not In The US

Kate Patrick Contributor
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Sen. John Kerry spent more than 20 minutes discussing the religious crises overseas during the 2013 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, advocating religious freedom for all and declaring religious liberty to be “a universal value… ingrained in every human heart… a birthright of every human being.”

“That’s what we believe,” Kerry said.

But Kerry’s speech has some ironic timing. He’s speaking on behalf of the State Dept. — that is, the federal government — the same federal government that tried to force a business to provide contraceptives contrary to the employers’ religious beliefs. (RELATED: Courts Give Last-Minute Relief To Non-Profits After Hobby Lobby)

After a selective briefing on early American history, Kerry tells us the reason why America was founded: to serve as a safe haven for those seeking freedom to practice their religion. (RELATED: Gov. Jan Brewer Vetoes Arizona’s Religious Freedom Bill)

“Freedom of religion is at the core of who we are as Americans. It’s at the center of our very identity since the pilgrims fled religious persecution and landed in my home state of Massachusetts.”

Kerry continued to tell the story of John Winthrop, the famous preacher who described the American Christians as “a city on a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us.”

“And they have been ever since then, and they are today,” Kerry said. “No place has ever welcomed so many different faiths to worship as freely as here in the United States of America, it’s something we’re extraordinarily proud of.” (RELATED: Federal Court To Atheist Group: The Ground Zero Cross Stays)

We have a funny way of expressing our pride. Take Hobby Lobby, for example. (RELATED: Obama Administration Changing Birth Control Mandate Exemption After Court Loss)

Kerry lamented recent tales of religious persecution — Mariam Ibrahim of Sudan, the persecuted Christian Church in North Korea and the persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Kerry made a show of expressing sympathy for Christians overseas but forgot that there are thousands of Christians suffering under the thumb of the federal government right here in the U.S. (RELATED: Obama’s LGBT Executive Order Threatens Religious Liberty, Say Advocates)

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