An 'invisible' threat to religious freedom resides in DC

Monday, December 2, 2019
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

3 storm clouds over Lincoln MemorialThe "deep state" is working to oppose the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, according to one of its commissioners who recently resigned in protest.

Now-former commissioner Kristina Arriaga says the straw that broke the camel's back was a bill introduced in the Senate that would have subjected the nine USCIRF commissioners to stifling bureaucracy and potentially put conservative Christians and others in the crosshairs. The bill, introduced in September by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), mandated that the Commission monitor the "abuse of religion to justify human rights violations."

Arriaga – who had served on the Commission since 2016 – stated in her mid-November resignation that "the move towards more bureaucratic controls has undermined the independence of commissioners to the point I can no longer be an effective advocate for religious freedom."

According to Arriaga, religious freedom faces two major threats – those who are visible, dictators like Russia's Vladimir Putin and Cuba's now-deceased Fidel Castro; and those who are "invisible," on the inside of the USCIRF.

Arriaga

"… The invisible ones, which are just as insidious [as the visible ones], are bureaucrats who want to limit people's ability to live according to their deeply held convictions through regulations and through control – and I saw that happen internally at USCIRF," she tells OneNewsNow.

She argues that those bureaucrats' only job is to keep their job and maintain the status quo.

"All nine of us [the USCIRF commissioners], Democrats and Republicans, took on this appointment because we wanted to be disruptive and make a difference," Arriaga explains. "And the bureaucrats at the Commission did not want that to happen."

And while she acknowledges that most of the staff at USCIRF are good, honorable people, Arriaga adds that it doesn't take a large army to sabotage the work of a group like the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

"Unfortunately, sometimes freedom dies in the dark corridors of Senate offices that are filled with staff who may or may not be listening to what their bosses are saying," she laments.

The commission is chaired by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who could not be reached for comment.

Congress may set back religious freedom
(Related Wall Street Journal op-ed by Kristina Arriaga)

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