Thursday, February 01, 2018

FRC's Tony Perkins furious at article spotlighting religious right takeover of HHS

FRC's Tony Perkins is furious at article spotlighting religious right takeover of HHS.

Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council sounded off a hysterical alarm on Thursday regarding an article published last month in Politico. Perkins goes on as such:

The president laid out a compelling plan for the year in his State of the Union address, but it's important to remember that the key to good policy is good personnel. So, it's no surprise that anti-faith liberals are attacking some of the appointees in this administration, especially in one of the largest and most powerful departments, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which has been the nemesis of conservatives, especially under Barack Obama. 
HHS under the previous administration promoted blatant anti-faith policies, including forcing faith-based employers like the Little Sisters of the Poor to violate their faith in the healthcare plans they provide. HHS also in 2009 had rescinded President Bush's 2008 conscience regulation which merely enforced federal laws prohibiting government discrimination against pro-life healthcare entities. They did nothing to enforce conscience protections for the likes of Cathy DeCarlo, a nurse who was forced to participate in an abortion at a federally funded hospital, or churches in California that have lost their healthcare coverage because the state mandated abortion coverage in violation of federal law preventing such discrimination. The attack on life and faith under the prior administration may have been at its most egregious at HHS in the Obama era. 
So when competent pro-life conservatives were appointed to oversee HHS, of course anti-life liberals pitched a fit. As we wrote before, Valerie Huber is an excellent choice for the team over at HHS, due to her experience in social sciences and practical public health programs encouraging risk avoidance in the context of sexual behavior. Last week, the liberal media went after two other solid conservatives working to implement the president's agenda. The left's effort to demonize qualified people over policy differences sinks lower and lower. Roger Severino, for instance heads up the Office of Civil Rights, the office at HHS that oversees helping defend civil rights laws. After HHS announced a new division to protect the conscience rights of healthcare providers who object to being forced to participate in abortion or assisted suicide -- the protections of which are in existing law -- and after HHS issued a new proposed rule to enforce 25 conscience laws on the books, Roger was slammed as a conservative evangelical along with Shannon Royce, who heads up the office of faith-based initiatives.

FRC's piece goes on like this, making sure to appropriate the word "faith" to mean only the very narrow definition the organization has.

In reality, the Politico article has nothing to do with any "purge." Instead, it spells out legitimate concerns regarding some members of HHS who seem to be sacrificing the mission of the agency in pursuit of their personal religious agendas: