A secular church and state watchdog group is calling on the U.S. Inspector General to open an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for a speech he gave at a Christian conference, which they deem as an “unconstitutional endorsement of religion.”
Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent a letter to the Office of the Inspector General last Friday regarding Pompeo’s speech titled “Being a Christian Leader” that he gave at the American Association of Christian Counselors’ World Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, earlier this month.
During the speech, Pompeo told the counselors that, just like them, he draws on the “wisdom of God” to help him “be a force for good in the life of human beings.”
He added: “Now, I know that even having just said that, I know some people in the media will break out the pitchforks when they hear that I ask God for direction in my work. But you should know, as much as I’d like to claim originality, it is not a new idea. I love this quote from President Lincoln. He said, quote: ‘I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.’”
Americans United is accusing Pompeo’s Oct. 11 talk of being “a proselytizing speech that endorsed Christianity in his official government capacity, as well as the department’s use of its resources to promote the speech.”
The letter notes that Pompeo said in his speech that he was speaking at the event because of his position as secretary of state. The group also took issue with the State Department’s decision to post a video and transcript of the speech on its website.
“While Mr. Pompeo is entirely free to engage in religious activities in his personal capacity, he must not use his official role as Secretary of State to promote his religion,” the letter argues. “In his role as secretary, delivering a speech that enthusiastically endorses Christianity is a violation of the Establishment Clause.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski