President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, to announce his nomination to the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

A Big Promise Kept. Another Promise Broken.

On the campaign trail, President Trump made two promises to evangelical Christians. He promised he would nominate to the Supreme Court someone in the mold of Antonin Scalia. President Trump also promised to reverse a Barack Obama executive order that prioritizes the gay left’s agenda at the expense of helping the poor. He kept the first, but he has broken the latter.

President Trump has set up the Supreme Court for a generation of sound jurisprudence with the nomination of Neil Gorsuch. The odds are that President Trump will get one or two more picks and should be able to decisively shift the Court to the right. That would be a good thing for business, culture, and small government.

I cannot understate the relief Gorsuch’s nomination should give to Trump skeptics and critics from the right. At this point, if you cannot say thank you just for this nomination, you are more ill-mannered than a critic. Gorsuch is a grand slam, and the President deserves our thanks for it.

But President Trump has also walked away from a core commitment to the poor and to evangelicals who supported him. He should not be allowed to hang his hat on one Supreme Court nominee when there are so many other areas in which the Obama administration wrecked havoc. He should explicitly not be allowed to hang his hat on this nomination to avoid keeping a promise that, if kept, would help the poor.

President Obama, with the support of the anti-Christian left, signed an executive order that prohibits discrimination by any federal contractor, without exception, against the gay community. It sounds both good and noble. The problem is those religious organizations adhering to their faith cannot now compete on a level playing field. President Obama and now President Trump are precluding organizations that excel at feeding the hungry, taking care of the downtrodden, and rebuilding lives from helping others through the federal system.

Christian and Muslim organizations are not suddenly going to abandon their multi-thousand year old sexual ethic and views on marriage to get federal contracts. They are not going to buy into politically correct lies about human sexuality when it would mean running afoul of their faith. The result is that the religious cannot compete. This executive order treats the faithful adherents of major religions as second-class citizens when it comes to competing for government contracts. The government should not force people to abandon their faith to compete for government contracts, especially for needs-based programs that help the poor.

Catholic charities that excel at serving the homeless cannot compete for federal funds to help the homeless though no one doubts their abilities and efficiencies. Baptists, who are often first on the ground in disaster areas ahead of both the Red Cross and FEMA, cannot compete for federal funds to aid those in disaster areas.

President Trump promised to repeal that executive order because he recognized that it amounted to discrimination against the religious by forcing them to buy into secular lies about human sexuality and it hurts the poor by advancing a politically correct agenda at the expense of helping the poor and needy. Violating that promise suggests President Trump is comfortable resting on a Supreme Court pick for affirmation while still operating under the assumption that Christians can be treated as second class citizens by the government.

President Trump should be praised for Neil Gorsuch’s nomination. But that does not mean we should let him off the hook when he violates key promises and leaves in place federal policies that treat many of his core supporters as second class citizens and objectively advances a leftwing agenda at the expense of helping the poor.

And if President Trump thinks that he will be liked by doing this, he should look around. Gay rights groups yesterday strongly condemned him for even suggesting he might repeal this executive order and never praised him for keeping it. So perhaps the President should keep this promise too and help the poor.

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Erick Erickson

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