Pompeo utterly unfit to be top diplomat

1Pompeo 300x492The anointing of Mike Pompeo as U.S. secretary of state will be a disaster for the world, says the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

FFRF has been on to Pompeo for a while. When he was chosen to lead the CIA, the state/church watchdog highlighted his darkly dangerous way of thinking based on evangelical Christian notions.

"To worship our lord and celebrate our nation at the same place is not only our right, it is our duty," the then-Kansas congressman began a speech to a Wichita congregation in 2015 that encapsulated his worldview. He bemoaned the supposed official campaign to "rip faith from our schools." Pompeo also exposed his Christian fundamentalism in stating, "America had worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism." Pompeo concluded by describing politics as "a never-ending struggle ... until the rapture."

Contrary to Pompeo's assertions, FFRF pointed out, the United States of America was founded as a secular country and remains one — a nation where every individual has the right to worship whomever he or she pleases or choose not to worship at all. FFRF expressed its deep discomfort with the soon-to-be CIA head.

Pompeo set about proving FFRF right. Soon after assuming control, he cancelled an event in which the parents of hate crime victim Matthew Shepard were to talk to CIA employees about LGBTQ issues. This wasn't surprising. "Pompeo, who attends weekly bible studies held in government buildings, referenced God and Christianity repeatedly in his first all-hands speech and in a recent trip report while traveling overseas," Foreign Policy magazine reported in a lengthy account of how Pompeo was quickly transforming the CIA for the worse. Agency employees felt pressured to go along with the religiosity, Michael Weinstein, founder of Military Religious Freedom Foundation (which represents secular folks in the Pentagon and intelligence agencies), told the publication. "Our clients at CIA feel extremely isolated in a way they have not felt before."

Pompeo's Christian fundamentalism is also expressed in his hostility toward other religions, especially Islam. "Pompeo embraces anti-Muslim bigots, and defames Muslims, with almost as much gusto as Trump himself," states The Atlantic. His views have led him to align with fringe conspiracy theorists such as Frank Gaffney and Brigitte Gabriel, notorious for far-fetched beliefs regarding Muslim penetration of the Obama administration and about the allegiance of American Muslims.

The CIA chief's piety is manifest in his anti-science approach, too, most conspicuously on the issue of global warming. Pompeo criticized President Obama's efforts on this front as a "perverse fixation on achieving his economically harmful environmental agenda" and as "worshiping a radical environmental agenda." He evaded questions on the issue during his CIA confirmation hearings by claiming that it would be outside his purview, a claim that would be ridiculous for his new post.

Mike Pompeo was unfit to even run the country's premier intelligence agency. But now he'll be in charge of the U.S. diplomatic apparatus and be its face to the rest of the world. His extreme views make him utterly unfit for this tremendous responsibility.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

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