Commentary

Biden: Silent on Religion, Backwards on Racism

By Bill Donohue | April 29, 2021 | 11:56am EDT
Joe Biden gives a press conference. (Photo credit: ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)
Joe Biden gives a press conference. (Photo credit: ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

In his address to Congress, President Biden spoke to many of his constituents, mostly in the way of promising an expansion of existing government programs or starting new ones. He did not address the concerns of religious Americans.

Over the past year, the faithful have had their religious rights abridged, if not eviscerated, by COVID restrictions. There were several court battles, reaching to the U.S. Supreme Court. Biden said nothing about these First Amendment restrictions. Nor did he mention the words "religion" or "religious liberty" in his speech.

The president did, however, speak to the rights of men who think they are women and women who think they are men.

To all transgender Americans watching at home—especially the young people who are so brave—I want you to know your president has your back.

He did not explain what is "so brave" about being sexually confused. 

Biden said he wants Congress to support the Equality Act "to protect the rights of LGBTQ Americans." He did not tell the American people that this piece of legislation is the most anti-religious liberty act ever proposed, and that it would cancel the protections afforded by the historic Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, a bill supported by then-Sen. Joe Biden and signed by President Bill Clinton.

The first of four challenges we face, Biden said, is "access to a good education." African American and Hispanic parents are stuck on a waiting line seeking to enroll their children in the local charter school—the demand outstrips the supply—seeking "access to a good education." They want more charter schools, not fewer. 

No matter, Biden is opposed to all school-choice initiatives, including charter schools. He certainly does not support any voucher program that might give minorities the chance to send their children to a Catholic school. The record shows that minority students do much better in charter schools and Catholic schools than they do in public schools, but that does not matter to our "devout Catholic" president.

The Biden administration, led by the president, is convinced that America is a racist country. He said it again in his speech, arguing that we need to "root out systemic racism." Given that he has spent his entire adult life in public office, it behooves him to disclose why he has never talked about "systemic racism" until recently. After all, over the past half-century he has been a U.S. senator and vice president. We need to know: What has he done to ''root out systemic racism?"

If there is systemic racism, it is rooted in those who want to keep blacks in their place, denying them the same choice to send their children to quality schools that the affluent can afford. Perversely, this means President Joe Biden is part of the problem he says exists. 

Bill Donohue is president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of eight books and many articles.

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