In our opinion: Timing is right for the appointment of an ambassador for international religious freedom
With religious persecution reaching alarming levels worldwide, leading to the displacement of entire communities as well as torture and death, the need for the United States to take a firm leadership role has never been greater.
It was good to hear this week that President Obama has at last nominated someone for the post of U.S. Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom, which has been vacant for nine months. The vacancy was beginning to speak as loudly as any nomination might, signaling to the world that religious persecution might not be a top concern.
Obama nominated Rabbi David N. Saperstein, who would be the first non-Christian to hold the post. His denomination matters little. What counts is his dedication to religious liberty and the rights of conscience and his ability to effectively press U.S. interests in this regard.
Saperstein seems well-qualified. He holds liberal positions on some recent domestic issues involving religion, but the issues with which his new post will deal are far more stark and clear-cut, and on these he appears to be solid and capable.
Saperstein’s efforts were instrumental in the passage of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which strengthens the First Amendment and keeps the federal government from infringing on the exercise of religion. He knows how to gather influence and use it.
Saperstein’s nomination came at the same time the State Department issued its annual report on religious freedom worldwide. The timing couldn’t have been better. Millions of oppressed believers worldwide are hoping for U.S. support.
- 5 reasons Mitt Romney will probably run for...
- Janna Darnelle: Redefining marriage hurts...
- Catherine Rampell: Reasons behind the bad...
- In our opinion: Let FAA, not Utah...
- John Hoffmire: Save capitalism by focusing on...
- In our opinion: Here's how the Obama...
- My view: Don't make women optional in marriage
- Letter: Enforcing the dress code
- My view: Don't make women optional in... 103
- Janna Darnelle: Redefining marriage... 92
- 5 reasons Mitt Romney will probably run... 66
- In our opinion: Religion in public life... 53
- John Hoffmire: Save capitalism by... 42
- In our opinion: Here's how the Obama... 41
- Letter: Lateralist logic 40
- Drew Clark: Either view of marriage... 37