Commentary

Soros-Funded Groups Hasten International Assault on Religious Liberty

By Bill Donohue | May 5, 2020 | 3:51pm EDT
George Soros, Founder and Chairman of the Open Society Foundations arrives for a meeting in Brussels, on April 27, 2017. (Photo credit: OLIVIER HOSLET/AFP via Getty Images)
George Soros, Founder and Chairman of the Open Society Foundations arrives for a meeting in Brussels, on April 27, 2017. (Photo credit: OLIVIER HOSLET/AFP via Getty Images)

The assault on religious liberty quickened when dozens of international left-wing organizations recently signed a statement lecturing the U.S. State Department's Commission on Unalienable Rights. Leading the pack are the Center for Reproductive Rights, Human Rights Watch, and the International Women's Health Coalition.

Their opposition to religious liberty was on grand display. As usual, it's all about sex. In their world, every time religious liberty clashes with abortion rights or the LGBT agenda, the former must bow to the latter.  

The letter addressed to the Commission on Unalienable Rights says, "we urge the Commission to reject the prioritization of freedom of religion as a cloak to permit violations of the human rights of women, girls, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people."

The hostility to religious liberty could not be more evident. In their formulation, religious liberty is not a foundational right. No, it is a "cloak" designed to rob people of their newly discovered rights. 

The fact is that religious liberty has long been recognized throughout the world as a foundational right. Therefore, it should never be put on the same moral or legal plane with reproductive or sexual rights. To do so is to devalue religious liberty. This, of course, is exactly what these organizations seek to do.

It is illuminating to note that early on in the letter, the signatories list reproductive rights as "essential to the realization of fundamental human rights, including the rights to health, life, equality, information, education, privacy, non-discrimination, and protection from torture and other ill-treatment." These sages obviously don’t see the irony in mentioning the right to life in a statement that rejects it. And, of course, religious liberty is intentionally left out of their list of "fundamental human rights."

It has not escaped the Catholic League that many of the most prominent organizations attacking religious liberty have a history of bashing religion, especially Catholicism. Let's begin with the three organizers. 

Center for Reproductive Rights has attacked the Catholic Church with such venom that I once registered a formal complaint with the United Nations after it released its highly politicized report, "The Holy See at the United Nations: An Obstacle to Women's Reproductive Rights." It is funded by George Soros.

Human Rights Watch also labels the Holy See "obstructionist" for standing up for the rights of the unborn. When Filipino bishops merely stated the Church's position on contraception and abortion, it launched an attack on them. It is also funded by George Soros.

International Women's Health Coalition went bonkers when the Commission on Unalienable Rights was launched.

"Despite its innocuous name," the group said, "the concept of natural law and rights is rooted in 13th century theology and used by anti-rights actors to attack women's and LGBTQI rights."

It noted that Mary Ann Glendon was chairing the commission, no doubt another red flag. 

Much the same could be said about the other signatories. Here is a sampling.

Guttmacher Institute has consistently criticized Catholic hospitals for buying secular hospitals. It is appalled when Catholic-owned hospitals follow Catholic norms. 

Human Rights Campaign opposes laws that allow a religious exemption for adoption agencies, and relentlessly opposes religious liberty whenever it clashes with the LGBT agenda.

International Planned Parenthood Federation has attacked the Catholic Church for its sex education curriculum and has sought to delegitimize the Holy See's role at the U.N.

NARAL Pro-Choice America opposes Catholic hospitals exercising their right to buy secular entities, and has a well-documented record of anti-Catholicism dating back to its origins in the 1960s.

Catholics for Choice is an anti-Catholic front group that specializes in disseminating disinformation about the Catholic Church, especially its teaching on the sanctity of life. It is funded by George Soros.

Center for Constitutional Rights provided assistance to an anti-Catholic victims' group when it petitioned the International Criminal Court to prosecute Pope Benedict XVI for allegedly covering up clergy sexual abuse. Its bogus campaign failed. It is funded by George Soros.

National Center for Transgender Equality opposes the conscience rights and religious freedom protections afforded by the Trump administration. 

Planned Parenthood Federation of America has a long history of attacking Catholic teachings on sexuality. It also opposes Catholic faith-based initiatives. It is funded by George Soros.

Population Institute calls the Holy See an "anti-contraceptive gestapo" and works to undermine its work at the U.N. 

In other words, these left-wing organizations have long harbored an animus against the Catholic Church. Were it not for its atheist-billionaire benefactor, George Soros, many would be struggling and some crash.

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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