Dobson Policy Center's panelists (L to R): Michael Farris of ADF International, Michael Donnelly of HSLDA, Jenna Ellis and Dr. Tim Clinton of Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, Tony Perkins of FRC and United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
This week, the United States Department of State held an historic summit for international religious freedom. Delegates, foreign ministers, and non-government advocates from approximately 80 countries gathered in Washington, D.C. to discuss how to better preserve and protect religious freedom globally. This is incredibly encouraging and helpful to families and individuals all over the world.
The State Department has held other similar events, but never in the history of our country has the emphasis been specifically on the issue of religious freedom. Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback led the 3-day event, encouraging conversation and action on this fundamental right for all.
Secretary of State Pompeo said, "The United States advances religious freedom in our foreign policy because it is not exclusively an American right. It is a God-given universal right bestowed on all of mankind." He also wrote in a piece on the event for USA Today, "Countries that champion individual freedoms are often the most secure, economically vibrant, and prosperous in the world. Religious freedom is an indispensable building block of free societies."
Vice President Pence also reiterated why it’s so important for the United States to be a leader in religious freedom here in America first, so that we can help other countries through our foreign policy. He rightly said that no one follows a hypocrite. America has since the founding of our country recognized why the God-given fundamental right to religious freedom must be protected and preserved by the government. In fact, the only legitimate purpose of government is to protect our individual rights.
The Dobson Policy Center, a ministry of the James Dobson Family Institute, exists to continue Dr. Dobson’s passion to encourage and protect the family. Our government’s policy, law, and how well our elected officials continue to recognize this purpose of government will directly impact how well the American family is protected and how well our country is able to help protect the family abroad.
As director of the Dobson Policy Center, I was honored to attend this event at the State Department this week, and also partner with ADF International (an important organization that advances religious liberty through legal work globally) to hold a workshop at the event specifically focusing on parental rights as a critical element of religious freedom.
Yesterday we held this open-invitation event for those who attended the State Department summit and invited them to gather at the Museum of the Bible and discuss the right of the parent to make choices for their children. The family is a central element of a moral society, and the fundamental right of parents to train their children is a right that the government has an obligation to protect. We must continue to advocate and act to ensure that parents can train their children according to the Word of God.
Dr. Tim Clinton, our executive director of the James Dobson Family Institute, spoke on how parents affect and impact their children and the sacred bond between a child and parent must be preserved and encouraged. Parents make decisions for their children grounded in their faith and without religious freedom, it’s impossible to fully preserve parental rights.
We are encouraged that the United States is once again a government leader in the areas of religious freedom and parental rights to protect the family. The Dobson Policy Center continues to advocate for the family and provide you with important resources, education, and information about our law and policy so that you can continue to love and serve your family according to God’s design.