Has Global Religious Freedom Seen Its Best Days?

May 27, 2021 by


In late March, the news media jumped all over a statement from Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“Human rights are also co-equal; there is no hierarchy that makes some rights more important than others,” Blinken said at a press conference. Then he took a shot at the Trump administration: “Past unbalanced statements that suggest such a hierarchy, including those offered by a recently disbanded State Department advisory committee, do not represent a guiding document for this administration. At my confirmation hearing, I promised that the Biden-Harris administration would repudiate those unbalanced views. We do so decisively today.”

He didn’t come right out and say it, but the news media knew what he was talking about. The advisory committee, pulled together by former vice president Mike Pence, didn’t prioritize religious liberty but did point out that it was prominent among the founder’s “unalienable rights.”

“Blinken blasts the Trump administration’s ‘unbalanced’ emphasis on religious liberty over other human rights,” USA Today reported. “State Dept. Reverses Trump Policies on Reproductive and Religious Freedoms,” read the New York Times headline.

“In a sharp rebuke to Trump-era policies, Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday formally scrapped a blueprint championed by his predecessor to limit U.S. promotion of human rights abroad to causes favored by conservatives like religious freedom and property matters while dismissing reproductive and LGBTQ rights,” AP wrote.

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