Sen. James Lankford, Oklahoma’s senior senator, is making religious liberty a pillar of his political agenda and claims the White House is failing to enforce basic protections on the issue.
The senator made the remarks in an interview with the Daily Mail published Tuesday.
“My passion for religious liberty really draws from my personal faith, that I have the ability to be able to live my faith, practice my faith and speak about my faith,” Lankford told the outlet.
Lankford, a Republican, served as a Christian minister for 22 years prior to taking office. He says religious liberty is much broader than simple freedom to worship.
“Faith is not the freedom of worship. You have the freedom to be able to worship as you choose,” said Lankford. “It’s the freedom of religion. It’s the freedom to have a faith and live that faith. And so that that’s been dear to me.”
The senator went on to assert that President Biden’s administration has abandoned even basic legal protections for religious belief.
“This particular administration is not going to protect the religious liberty of conscience protections that are already in law,” Lankford said.
He drew particular attention to a legal case in which the University of Vermont Medical Center scheduled a nurse to assist with an elective abortion despite knowing her objections to the procedure. The Biden administration declined to act in the case.
“They literally just trampled on her conscience rights,” Lankford told the Daily Mail.
Lankford additionally asserted his belief that abortion is going to be one of the most prominent issues in the 2024 presidential election.
“It’s not just an election issue. It is an issue about our culture. Do we value … every child?” the senator asked. “Do we think some children are valuable and some children are disposable? Or do we think all children are valuable?”