Trump Puts Fed Wokeness to Sleep
September 8, 2020
President Trump took another step toward fulfilling his promise to “Drain the Swamp” on Friday when he authorized Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought to ensure that federal agencies no longer hold “woke” re-education trainings. The memo directs agency heads to “cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions.”
The White House directive was drafted in response to reports that mandatory trainings told employees in executive agencies that “virtually all white people contribute to racism,” that racism is “embedded in the belief that America is the land of opportunity or the belief that the most qualified person should receive a job,” or forced them to admit they “benefit from racism.”
Christopher Rufo of the Discovery Institute has worked for the past six months uncovering how Marxist ideas have crept into our government on the taxpayers’ dime. “What I’ve discovered,” he said, “is that critical race theory has become, in essence, the default ideology of the federal bureaucracy.”
Rufo’s research has uncovered “wokeness” training programs in the Treasury Department, the National Credit Union Administration, Sandia National Laboratories, Argonne National Laboratories, the Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI. And of course, we’ve all seen more public examples, like the graphic from the taxpayer-funded Smithsonian Museum in July, which claimed to identify the nuclear family, Judeo-Christian values, and objective, rational, linear thinking aspects of “whiteness.”
The “wokeness” trainings are part and parcel with the civil unrest afflicting our cities. Last year, the New York Times embarked on a massive propaganda campaign, known as the 1619 project, to redefine America’s founding as irredeemably racist. The 1619 Project has ushered in a summer of rioting in America’s cities (and now suburbs). What began as peaceful protests over police brutality and concerns about lingering racism has given way to looting, burning, direct assaults on America’s most prominent founders, and organized, violent assaults on government property and law enforcement officers.
As a chronicle of history, the 1619 project is a failure; prominent historians quickly objected to its many errors, forcing a “muted, microscopic correction” from the Times. But as a propaganda campaign, the 1619 Project has found far more success than it deserved, largely because the mainstream media is willing to promote any argument, however bankrupt, which might damage their number-one enemy, President Donald Trump. The president has already instructed the Department of Education to investigate how the 1619 Project has infiltrated America’s public schools. Now, President Trump has determined to root out the 1619’s Marxist propaganda from the federal bureaucracy. The White House memo rightly condemned the “wokeness” trainings for opposing “the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception.”
The White House memo also disparaged the “division and resentment” engendered by critical race theory. Instead of celebrating the diversity of race, ethnicity, and religion in America, the doctrine seeks to paint some as evil oppressors and others as innocent oppressed.
More detailed guidance will follow, but the memo directed all agencies to identify and make plans to cancel any “training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.”
Americans face a critical juncture in the 2020 election. Openly Marxist forces in our schools, our media, our government, and our streets, threaten to destroy the liberties we prize. While most career politicians apologize and flip-flop at the first sign of conflict, President Trump is one of only a few public leaders who has demonstrated the courage to stand up to them.
Tony Perkins’s Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.
Mulan Rouge: Disney Film Betrays a Shade of Red China
September 8, 2020
Coinciding with its long-anticipated release, Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan has become the source of mounting international controversy. Fans of Disney’s 1998 animated tale of a young Chinese woman who disguised herself as a man to fight the Huns in her ailing father’s place may find themselves disappointed in the way Disney created the film.
Parts of the movie were filmed in Xinjiang, the northwest region of China where the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has launched an unparalleled campaign of suppression against Uyghur Muslims. Tucked away toward the end of the credits, Disney thanks eight Chinese government entities from Xinjiang. The region is now famous for its “re-education” camps where Uyghurs are detained without cause to be taught Party propaganda. Witnesses from the camps detail instances of torture, forced sterilization, and unsanitary living conditions.
Among the entities Disney is thankful for is a local branch of the regional Xinjiang public security bureau, which is directly involved in operating the camps. The entity is so clearly involved in human rights violations that the U.S. government issued Global Magnitsky sanctions against it, the hardest hitting sanctions that target human rights abusers. Disney also thanked local propaganda departments in Xinjiang.
The rise of China’s “re-education” camps from 2017-2018 occurred within the likely timeline Mulan would have been filmed. The world was waking up to the stark reality that internment camps were operating in the 21st century. Disney, as a company that often prides itself on being progressive, should have shown concern over filming in the vicinity of an international human rights crisis. China researcher Adrian Zenz called Disney “an international corporation profiteering in the shadow of concentration camps.”
But this isn’t the film’s first controversy. Hong Kong pro-democracy protestors first called for a boycott of the movie last year when lead actress Liu Yifei shared a social media post from a Chinese government-run newspaper that read: “I also support Hong Kong police. You can beat me up now.” At the time, hundreds of thousands of young pro-democracy protestors were taking to the streets and enduring brutal and violent crackdowns from the police.
Liu lives in the United States as a naturalized citizen and benefits immensely from its freedoms. Thus, protestors were justifiably angered when she showed no concern for the Hong Kongers desperate to maintain their freedoms in the face of the encroaching Chinese government, which fails to respect rule of law, freedom of speech, or religious freedom, among other basic rights.
But Hong Kong activists have their own recommendation for the “real Mulan.” They look to the soft-spoken 23-year-old Agnes Chow, a student leader of the pro-democracy movement. Chow was arrested for her activism earlier this summer under Hong Kong’s new national security law when she was accused of “colluding with foreign forces.”
A devoted Catholic, she points to her faith as a significant factor that motivates her advocacy, and that of other pro-democracy activists: “I do think that the religious belief and what we learn from our religion and the Bible gives us our belief and courage to fight for freedom and rights for Hong Kong people.” Chow is the perfect example of standing firm with grace and courage in an impossible situation. When looking for a real-life hero, Hong Kongers are right to celebrate Chow.
The very way Disney chose to go about making this movie is a betrayal of the story’s spirit. Mulan was defending China’s people against invaders. But through the creation of the movie, the creators of the film acquiesced to the Communist Party, which threatens the freedoms of others.
To many, the story of Mulan represents courage and sacrifice in defense of one’s family and country. It’s disappointing that in the process of telling this story, Disney chose to collaborate with one of the world’s worst violators of human rights — the Chinese Communist Party and the entities it controls. As long as Disney continues to choose profits over people, it will not bring honor to itself.
Pastor Stands against Uneven Standard
September 8, 2020
Like thousands of pastors around the country, Jack Trieber has had to make difficult decisions over the last six months concerning his church. In early March, when the coronavirus pandemic hit California, the Senior Pastor of North Valley Baptist Church followed the guidance of local and state officials and suspended church gatherings and events. However, after six months of not being able to gather, Trieber decided it was time to re-open. Unfortunately, officials from Santa Clara County thought differently and fined the church $5,000 for holding live and in person worship services. Since then, the county has fined the church an additional $5,000 a day, whether or not they meet in person or virtually. Today, the church now faces over $60,000 in fines for holding worship services.
Pastor Trieber first made headlines on August 24, following a viral video posted on the church’s social media pages. In a heartfelt message, Trieber, who has served North Valley for 45 years, explained the rationale for re-opening. The pastor noted that at the onset of the pandemic, the church closed immediately in an effort to protect church members and others in the community. Not only did the church cease holding public worship services, they closed their Christian school, college, jail ministry, and children’s programs. According to Pastor Trieber, one of the heart-wrenching decisions was suspending the church’s bus ministry which has brought 1.5 million children to church over the last forty years. Hundreds of children served by this ministry have been unable to attend church since the onset of the pandemic.
Church leaders at North Valley made these difficult decisions out of a desire to honor local authorities and protect people from a virus that health experts projected could kill tens of thousands of people in the surrounding neighborhoods. These projections led the church to “obey to the letter” every regulation and prohibition put in place by the authorities. However, as Trieber noted in his initial video, tens of thousands of people have not died. In fact, despite dire projections, 224 people have passed away, 90 percent of whom are in assisted living facilities. And while every single human life is precious, the prohibitions that continue to be in place seem disproportionate to the threat currently posed by the virus. Moreover, as Pastor Trieber has pointed in various interviews, California is applying an uneven standard when it comes to churches compared to other organizations and businesses that have been allowed to move forward and reopen at limited capacity.
Trieber is clear that he respects the authority of health officials and wants to assume the best about their intentions to keep everyone safe from the coronavirus. However, equally important to the pastor is the spiritual health of his people. As he recently noted, “I’m in charge of the spiritual health of the people in this city and in this area. I’ve been trying to do it for 45 years. Though health is [of the] utmost importance, spiritual health is supreme. Because we’ve been locked out in this county of churches, suicide is up, domestic violence, addiction is up, homelessness is up, alcoholism is up. We need to get back to worshiping God. I am commanded to worship God.” For Pastor Trieber, the spiritual wellbeing of his congregation is essential, and failure to resume worship represents a profound threat to the church community. At this point, local and state authorities are no longer acting justly or fairly and are preventing North Valley members from fulfilling their obligation to God.
North Valley is fighting back for another reason too. Associate pastor Justin Cooper said the church is standing up to the county because they fear that the discrimination against houses of worship in California will soon fan out nationwide. “We believe that what happens here will swing across the country,” he said. “So that’s why we’re still willing to take our stand here. I believe it’s a religious liberty battle and the future of our country, as far as we know it — as far as church is concerned — is definitely at stake.”
Pastor Trieber has respectfully asked the county government to remove and revoke all fines levied against the church and let them worship in peace. He is right to make this request. It is not government’s job to tell a church when they can and cannot worship, especially if prohibitions on meetings and gatherings are not applied equally across the board.
Despite the pressure, Pastor Trieber is standing his ground. As a result, people are coming from hours away to attend worship services at North Valley. Pastors around the country are also taking note. As Billy Graham once said, “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” In an era when courage is in short supply, let’s be grateful for this pastor and congregation. And let’s pray for and emulate them in the days and weeks ahead.
Article Source – www.frc.org