This week’s blog focuses on Florida Faith and Freedom’s efforts to impact civil government with faith and Biblical principles. During October, we’ve been busy signing up new voters and welcoming, Dr. Ralph Reed, National Chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Dr. Reed came to Florida to speak alongside pastor, Apostle Guillermo Maldonado, at Miami’s El Rey Jesús Church. Among other topics, Dr. Reed and Apostle Maldonado explained the current need for people of faith to impact the world.
Miami’s El Rey Jesús Church Welcomes Dr. Ralph Reed
Approximately 90 million Christians are eligible to vote in the United States, but less than half that number actually turn out on Election Day. Furthermore, about 15 million Christians aren’t even registered to vote!
As part of our ongoing voter registration efforts in Florida, we held a major voter registration event last weekend. Hundreds of citizens took the first step toward exercising their civic duty by registering to vote at El Rey Jesús Church in Miami. In addition, Faith and Freedom Coalition National Chairman, Dr. Ralph Reed, joined pastor, Apostle Guillermo Maldonado, to discuss important issues such as appointment of pro-life judges, limitation of the Johnson Amendment, and restoration of the Mexico City Policy.
Pro-Life Judges: What’s Our Current Status?
Noting that he was not speaking on behalf of any candidate for president or political party, Dr. Reed, emphasized that President Trump has appointed 150 conservative, lifetime federal judges and two pro-life Supreme Court Justices.
In addition, we note, at this point in his term, President Obama had not confirmed nearly as many appeals court or district court judges while President Bush had confirmed more district court judges by now. That said, President Trump is way ahead of past presidents on appeals court judges, who have the final say in most federal appeals.
Nearly 1 in every 4 seats on U.S. appeals courts is now filled by a judge appointed by Trump.
Protecting Pastors’ and Churches’ Freedom of Speech
Dr. Reed also discussed the importance of limiting enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits organizations that are exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code from engaging in political campaign activities. It is this amendment that causes many pastors and churches to fear loss of their tax-exempt status simply by exercising their right to free speech. In 2017, President Trump signed an executive order directing the executive branch to limit its enforcement of this unfair provision.
Preventing U.S. Taxpayer-Funded Abortion Abroad
Lastly, Dr. Reed pointed out that President Trump restored the policy preventing organizations that promote abortion overseas from receiving your taxpayer dollars. Sometimes called the “Mexico City Policy,” the rule was put in place by President Reagan in 1984 at an international population-control conference in Mexico City. It requires private organizations to avoid promotion of abortion.
Pastor, Apostle Guillermo Maldonado, summed up the spiritual basis of these worldly public policy issues: “Contrary to what many believe, life begins in heaven, not on earth…We were a fully formed idea in His mind before we ever got our physical bodies.” He continued, “Abortion is a sin, not only because it is the taking of a human life, but also because it is an attack on a divine purpose…Nobody has a right to truncate that divine purpose.”
Policy matters. Voting matters.
The Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition will continue to work with our national leadership to register voters and help elect leaders who faithfully adhere to our shared principles. May God empower us to impact civil government with faith.
Be sure to read our blog next week about how faith shapes government through God’s leaders. We’ll explore Biblical and early American people of faith who admonished civil government leaders to act righteously and protect all of humanity.