AMERICAN Secretary of State Mike Pompeo keeps a Bible open on his desk because he’s besotted with fairy stories.
This we know because Pompeo recently spoke at the American Association of Christian Counselors’ World Conference in Nashville on what it’s like to be a “Christian leader.” His speech was then given a wider audience after it was posted to State Department’s website.
Condemnation came immediately after from various directions.
Aaron Keyak, the former head of the National Jewish Democratic Council, questioned the propriety of Pompeo’s using his platform to promote a particular religion.
There’s obviously no issue with the Secretary of Sate being a leader, nor his being a proud Christian. But it’s a problem that Secretary Pompeo thinks it’s appropriate to put those two words together and hold an official State Department event on being a Christian leader.
He’s an American leader, who is also a practicing Christian. Him talking as a Christian leader and billing it as such is an affront to our separation of church and state.
In a statement posted to Twitter, the Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned Pompeo’s speech, saying that it was “really inappropriate.” CAIR contended that Pompeo shouldn’t be a Christian leader but rather an “American leader” who is:
Leading a nation of people who have different faiths and no faiths.
The American Humanist Association released a statement saying that it is “deeply troubled” by Pompeo’s “advancement of Christian leadership” and the State Department’s “promotion” of the speech on its homepage.
AHA spokesperson Sarah Henry said in the statement:
While today may be a great day to be a Christian nationalist, it’s a terrible day to be a person who cares deeply about the United States of America, religious plurality and diversity, or true religious freedom.
And AHA President Roy Speckhardt accused the Trump administration – which is no stranger to having cabinet members banging on ad nauseum about their faith in Christ – of:
Religious favoritism. This religious favoritism is the kind of abuse of their duty to represent all Americans equally that demonstrates how fundamentalism is the driving force of this administration’s agenda.
So, what exactly did Pompeo tell the Christian Counselors?
• He draw on the “wisdom of God” to help him “be a force for good in the life of human beings.”• His “focus” is not just being a leader but also being a “Christian leader” – something he learned through his “experience with God and my own personal faith in Christ.”
• He keeps a Bible open on his desk and tries to get a little bit of time in with Scripture every morning.
The former director of the CIA and congressman continued by telling the counselors they need to remember they are:
Imperfect servants serving a perfect God who constantly forgives us each and every day. He keeps using us to do a higher work. And my work at the State Department, as it is for those who work alongside me, is to serve America each and every day.
Pompeo’s speech came on the same day Attorney General William Barr, above, criticised secularism in a speech at the University of Notre Dame Law School in Indiana. Barr spoke about the “consequences of moral chaos” and decried those who speak out against religious values.
According to USA Today, Barr noted that about 40 percent of American children are being born out of wedlock and said that the figure climbs to over 70 percent in many large urban areas.
Along with the wreckage of the family, we are seeing record levels of depression and mental illness, dispirited young people, soaring suicide rates, increasing numbers of angry and alienated young males, an increase in senseless violence and a deadly drug epidemic. By any honest assessment, the consequences of this moral upheaval have been grim. Virtually every measure of social pathology continues to gain ground.
The Commander-in-Chief himself played the God card at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC, earlier this month – a gathering of America’s most extreme wingnuts. The summit often includes panel sessions and speeches that deal with “religious liberty” and how Christians are under threat of losing rights because of LGBTQ equality movements and other progressive and secular forces.
Trump told delegated:
But despite the delusions of the radical left, all of us here today know that our rights come from God almighty, and they can never be taken away.
Trump accused the political left of:
Trying to silence and punish the speech of Christians and religious believers of all faiths. They are trying to hound you from the workplace, expel you from the public square and weaken the American family and indoctrinate our children.