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tv   Washington Journal Travis Weber  CSPAN  September 24, 2019 8:46pm-9:00pm EDT

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and he didn't have to pay his tariff. the battle went on for quite some time, and eventually the supreme court ruled that tomatoes are actually vegetables. it is an interesting ruling that had repercussions beyond just tomatoes themselves. announcer: sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. announcer: today on washington journal, a discussion on the trump administration's policies on religious freedoms. : travis weber is our guest for the last 30 minutes of our program today. he serves as director of the family research council's center for religious liberty, joining us for after president trump's speech yesterday on religious freedom at the united nations. what do you mean by the term religious freedom? guest: simply defined, the freedom to choose one's faith and live it out. and this includes the ability to
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change one's faith, and this is what we see an international law in article 18, and domestically in the religious freedom restoration act, and in the first amendment, the courts have historically protected the freedom to choose and change and speak about one's beliefs. host: how does religious freedom stick with the idea of separation of church and state? guest: we have to look at the spirit of authority -- the sphere of authority of the governments, the church, and religious leaders. the government's role is to allow religious people to fulfill their responsibility to god. this is what you have in china aret now -- but there limits to the laws and the united states, but there is always a framework of understanding the religious community's obligation to
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fulfill their commitment to god and protecting them is the founding of our country, and protecting their ability to do that. host: what do you make of the president's speech yesterday at the united nations on this issue of religious freedom? guest: sure. this is the first time the president addressed the issue and made a big statement saying we welcome other nations of the world to join with us and the fight for global religious freedom. there are significant problems and a multitude of manifestations around the world. trumpe president addressing this, primarily saying we will focus on ,rotecting houses of worship and across the middle east, africa, so we will commit to that -- 25 million dollars. and welcome business community's involvement. you had a town hall in recent days ahead of the speech for ways that president trump can make religious freedom great
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again at the u.n. what were they ended president trump to any of that? guest: one recommendation with a focus on the houses of worship effort initiative. he outlined that and said we are going to focus on that. the other three were to train our diplomats, and to condemn the use of technology to repress religious freedom and to condemn the use of national security efforts that are often used to suppress religious freedoms. these are all measures that are out there and they are good policy proposals, and it would be good to see them all taken up by the united states. there are reasons to address all of these. host: coming back to president trump's speech yesterday on religious freedom for the last 30 minutes. democrats, (202) 748-8000. republicans, (202) 748-8001. independents, (202) 748-8002. having this conversation ahead of the president's address to
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the un's general assembly around 10:00 a.m.. we will go there when the president does speak. do you think that religious freedom will come back up in the full address to the general assembly? guest: i hope it does. it is possible that president trump will address iran and china, both countries that have religious freedom problems. tona is in a state effort consolidate state control under national coercive policy into alignment with hsieh he. so getting back into the articulation of church and state as discussed earlier. iran, there are significant problems for people to share faith and convert away from islam. i think it is part of our world leadership that we should address them and say these are human rights problems and take them up on the world stage of the u.n. host: back to china, how does president trump do that at the same time he is negotiating a trade to deal that is obviously
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very important? guest: good question. the key is to make religious freedom a human rights condition as a part of the trade deal. they do not get a deal unless i take steps to deal with these problems. there is evidence that shows that long-term money society says we will help religious freedom flourish, it is good for that country's security and economic growth. china is seeing a backlash right now where it is trying to freedom religious against christians and muslims. it is not even -- it is in china's own interest to do this. at the same time, we have to take the approach that no religious freedom concerns are being addressed, no trade deal. host: what provisions would you how to see in there, and do you make sure that they are actionable by china? guest: we have to work through
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the administration. congress can play a role, but the administration, state department, and other agencies can hold china to a standard where if there are violations, there are sanctions for its violation of religious freedom, and we dealt with this back in 1990's when we failed to deal with it properly and letting china favor nation trading status without properly yielding religious freedoms. on the trading front and economic front, we have to attach clear conditions and steps where there improvement has to be measured with observation inspection, verifiable if they want certain economic conditions to b improved. r-- be improved. host: phone lines, democrats, (202) 748-8000. republicans, (202) 748-8001. independents,. (202) 748-8002.
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travis weber with the family research council's is our guest. what is it? are a christian organization and arguing for all family and for every person and every faith to live out their faith fully. host: "the washington times" story noticing that in the audience, tony perkins, the president of the family research council. consultident or aides with family research council at all i head this address at the u.n.? suggest -- ands i will let tony speak to whatever he might have said to the president's administration, but these are clear steps that i would communicate to any government official in the administration when they ask me
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for recommendations that we would support and like to see pushed by the administration both the u.n. and international diplomacy. host: nate in springfield, massachusetts, an independent. caller: hi, thank god for c-span. with what yourm guest is saying, in fact, i have a problem with almost everything your guest is saying. why is it our business to go an independent state and tell them how to believe, what to believe? i don't understand it. this sounds to me like the crusades. and saudi arabia are primarily islam, if india is and if otherdi,
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countries primary religions are their primary religions, i do not think we have any business at all trying to evangelize them to the judeo-christian belief system. i think it is a disaster. i will take your comments off air. guest: sure. that is not what i am saying at all, i am saying that the freedom should be there to choose the faith they wish. we can go back to post-world war holocaust,er the they said that these are human rights and we really set them forth an international framework, so really, the way to understand what i'm explaining here is that all countries should allow people the freedom to choose as they wish. we have under the first amendment and religious freedom law, people can choose and change their faith, and that is the way it should be around the world. all.do not deal with them
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for peopledvocate free to choose wherever they are. host: milton on twitter asks this morning, how about the muslim ban? guest: this gets into the question of immigration and national security here at home. there obviously immigration and national security interests and policy questions, and one way religious freedoms can be abuses by citing national security. obviously atime, legitimate interest, and you cannot do anything in the name of religion. international law allows it to be limited, but the question is whether they are abused. with that question, that has to be dealt with the context of national security and i think
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that question has been litigated elsewhere, but it is related to the lack of verifiable information in those countries and being able to assure us of safety and security of people coming from those countries. host: alabama, darlene. n they -- salvation today instead of religion, and that is the real god. we do not need religion, we need salvation, somebody real in our hearts. thank you. host: any thoughts? as ast: i would just say, christian organization, our motivation for religious freedom is our own faith, and i can speak for myself and our organization, driven by a personal desire to see people know god, but the government should not have a role to push
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it one way or another, so the government should leave the public square open for people to be free to choose are not to choose as they wish. host: in michigan, this is mohammed. caller: good morning. watcher, and third time on c-span. i wish the guest would dive into the subject more about the abuse is going on with governments, namely china and incarceration of muslims, and what happened in vermont, and all over the world. i like the idea of president trump approaching and speaking about this religious freedom. would -- he would wear other persecution is happening. guest: i fully agree. i will reference the state
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department ministerial where the administration did point out a lot of issues around the world including china and verma, highlighting china with issues of persecution there. speaking of family members that were detained, so i fully resonate with the caller's comment, and this is an issue that needs attention and it is not being addressed. i will note my agreement and the state department announcer: president trump to the united nations in new york city. his comments focused on his america first policies and directly addressed mexico and other central american nations, saying migration from those countries to the u.s. was destabilizing. the president's remarks came before speaker pelosi announced a formal impeachment

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