For Congressman Frank Wolf, a Republican from Virginia, there are two ways to think about religious discrimination.
When it comes to foreign countries, Representative Wolf is eager to see the United States work to combat religious discrimination. Wolf established the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in 1998. Last week, Wolf introduced H.R. 4653, legislation to reauthorize that Commission.
When it comes to religious discrimination taking place right here in the United States, however, Frank Wolf is practiced at turning a blind eye. Just as Wolf was preparing to introduce H.R. 4653 last week, a sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court narrowly approved of religious discrimination against non-Christians by the Town Board of Greece, New York. In flagrant defiance of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, the Greece Town Board established Christian religious rituals as a part of local government meetings, excluding non-Christians from equal government endorsement of their own religious rituals. Bill Reilich, the Supervisor of the Town of Greece, told non-Christians that if they didn’t want to take part in the Christian rituals, they should “leave the room”, and exclude themselves from full participation in the affairs of their own local government.
Though he was aware of this controversial and divisive judgment in the case of Greece v. Galloway, Congressman Frank Wolf did nothing. Wolf decided not to speak, not to act, not to protest. Instead, Frank Wolf provided his silent agreement to a new regime of institutional discrimination against religious minorities by local governments across the United States.
When it comes to religious discrimination, Frank Wolf has a harsh double standard: He wants the U.S. government to oppose religious discrimination when it takes place in foreign countries, but to do nothing to stop religious discrimination when it is practiced by government bodies right here in the United States.