Tony Perkins: Religious Freedom Restoration Under Trump Will End If Evangelicals Don't Vote Republican
If conservative evangelicals fail to participate in the midterm elections this November, the "restoration of religious freedom and the freedom of speech" established under President Donald Trump will end, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has warned.
Addressing a crowd gathered at the National Religious Broadcaster's 75th annual convention in Nashville, Perkins emphasized that "the sun is shining right now in America when it comes to our First Amendment freedoms."
"We need to be wise and act quickly, not only using these freedoms to spread the good news, but also to put in place policies that will protect and promote these essential freedoms, not just for ourselves but those yearning for freedom around the globe and generations yet unborn," he said.
During his time as president, Trump has "appointed excellent judges like Neil Gorsuch; enacted unparalleled pro-life policies, and cut taxes and is growing our economy," Perkins said, adding that the president is working to restore religious freedom, move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and rebuild our military.
All of this, he said, is largely thanks to evangelicals, who turned out in record-setting numbers to vote for Trump.
"Evangelicals understood what was at stake and voted," Perkins contended. "But the election was not the end of our responsibility, but rather the beginning of our opportunity. First by acting upon it, but also preserving it."
Because of the importance of the evangelical voter, there is an "intense effort on the Left" to suppress their turnout in the upcoming elections by dampening the enthusiasm of conservative voters, Perkins warned.
"If they succeed and your listeners and viewers get discouraged and stay home in the midterm election, the reform is over," he said. "The restoration of religious freedom and the freedom of speech will end."
If conservatives — and in particular evangelical voters — do not turn out this November, "one of the first orders of business (if Democrats win the House) will be the impeachment of President Trump," Perkins cautioned. "They most likely will not succeed in removing him from office, but they will most likely succeed in stopping what this administration is doing."
The Left is "unhinged," Perkins said, because Trump is not just "enacting conservative policies in line with the Constitution," he's steadily dismantling the liberal policies of his predecessor.
"[The Left] won't be able to jump back in the driver's seat of big government and restart their programs," he explained. "They will have to rebuild, and that will take time, especially if they don't have the courts to help them in their activism. This is why every judicial confirmation is a fight."
Perkins urged evangelical voters to "act upon the opportunity that we have to fortify our freedoms, and to ensure government does not again try to quarantine our Christian faith within the walls of our churches."
"A lot has been done, but there is still plenty to do," he said. "The president ran and has governed by the theme 'Making America Great Again.' But America will only be great again when it has become good again, and that is not government's mission, but ours, followers of Jesus Christ."
He added, "Let's be wise and make the best use of this moment in time, this opportunity."
A recent study conducted by the Washington-based research firm Lake Research Partners and released by The Voter Participation Center found that roughly 40 million people who voted in the 2016 presidential election will not cast ballots in the 2018 midterm elections.
Similarly, a Pew Research Center Survey from 2014 found since the 1840's, voter turnout has regularly dropped by a significant margin in midterm elections.
My Faith Votes, a a non-partisan movement that represents 90 million Americans, previously told The Christian Post that while "2018 will be the most consequential voting year the nation has seen in decades," "Christians are not historically unlike other citizens in their voting habits."
"And the sad thing is that Christians who stay home will not only withhold their influence in elections for Senators and U.S. House Representatives," the group said. "In 2018, America will elect 209 state executives (36 governors, 30 lieutenant governors, 26 secretaries of state, and more), 35 state attorney generals, 6,066 state legislative seats, 74 state supreme court judges, 224 state appellate court judges, and thousands of municipal officials and school board members."
"We need to stop treating midterm elections as if they're insignificant," the group continued. "This is why My Faith Votes exists: to motivate and empower millions of Christians to bring the influence of their faith to the challenges of our nation with their vote."