Ken Blackwell

So, we see, laws intended to protect Americans’ basic civil rights are now being used as sledgehammers to destroy the most basic of our civil rights—the right of conscience. President Obama’s radical appointees to the EEOC include Stuart Ishimaru. Named on Inauguration Day, acting chairman Ishimaru pledged to attack “both traditional and emerging forms of workplace discrimination. [emphasis added]” Emerging forms could readily include employers who would prefer not to hire or promote employees who dress as members of the opposite sex. Would you rather not have a receptionist or customer service representative of your company who has tattooed his or her face with fierce Maori markings? You could be forced by the EEOC to make that hire.

The Belmont Abbey case is currently being litigated. President William Thierfelder acted in 2007 to remove abortion and sterilization coverage from the college’s health insurance plan. He rightly noted that such “procedures” are in total violation of the Catholic Church’s well-known opposition to abortion as the taking of innocent human life. It is doubtless because of his fidelity to church teaching that President Thierfelder’s little college has been singled out for persecution.

It takes no stretch of the imagination to see how all religious colleges are endangered by the persecution of Belmont Abbey. President Thierfelder says he will close down the 150-year old college rather than submit to EEOC’s radical demands.

Will Evangelical colleges permit transvestite employees on campus? Will Evangelical or Lutheran colleges give their employees access to abortifacient drugs and devices? Most colleges in America accept students whose tuition is financed by federal student loans. This could well be the “hook” by which these religious schools are pulled into the federal net.

This aggressive EEOC action only promises to get worse. President Obama’s latest appointee to EEOC is Georgetown University Law professor, Chai Feldblum. A longtime activist for radical gay and lesbian causes, Commissioner Feldblum has openly acknowledged that gay liberation trumps religious liberty wherever they collide.

Not since King Henry VIII seized church lands in England has there been such a radical threat to religious freedom. I hope President Thierfeld never has to carry out his firm resolution of closing this wonderful old school rather than submit. I pray that all Americans who cherish religious liberty will awaken to this new militancy being unleashed against them.

President Washington said it best in his 1790 Letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport. The government of the United States gives to “bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” The members of the EEOC should be required to read that letter. More important, they should be required to abide by its enlightened spirit.

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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