Some stories seem too crazy to be true.

Like many federal agencies, the Unites States Department of Agriculture (USDA) serves an important purpose. Unfortunately, too often today politically-motivated federal agents can abuse the power these offices have been given by the people.(We all remember the when the IRS targeted conservative groups under the Obama administration.)

I’m sad to say, that even though we’re under a new administration, we’re seeing a similar issue at the USDA.

Here’s what’s happening:

  • One of the USDA’s primary functions is to inspect food processing and packaging facilities to ensure they are clean.
  • In 2015, a USDA inspector went into the family-owned West Michigan Beef Company.
  • In the break room, the inspector found a religious tract on marriage that the owner of the company, Donald Vander Boom, placed on the table.
  • While the inspector’s job was simply to see if the facility was clean and up to code, they decided that the Vander Boom’s religious belief’s violated the USDA’s “anti-discrimination” speech code, and threatened to no longer inspect the facility – essentially causing the business to close, because they cannot operate without approval from the USDA.

To this day, the Vander Boom’s are still at risk of being forced to shut down – even under President Trump, the business has yet to get relief. While President Trump’s recent executive order on religious freedom had some great language on the importance of free exercise, it did not explicitly tell federal agencies to drop unconstitutional policies like this that threaten to shut down Christian businesses.

There is some good news: President Trump’s appointee to lead the USDA, Sonny Perdue, put out a statement this week affirming the importance of religious freedom. To say the least, it’s not often that the head of the USDA is talking about this issue, so there’s hope that he will rescind this action.

But this situation highlights a key point: no matter which party or person is in control of the government, we can never let our guard down from protecting our first freedom.

There’s still time…
If you know a college student who is looking to grow as a conservative leader, then send them to the Forge Leadership Summit this summer! They’ll have the opportunity to learn from some of the best conservative minds in the country, and build a network that will last a lifetime. Forge was recently featured on TheBlaze.

A call to prayer
Scriptures calls us to pray for our leaders, so join Pastor Tim Throckmorton and Pastor JC Church at their 3rd Annual Ohio 7:14 prayer gathering at the Statehouse on Tuesday, June 6. Fox News Host Todd Starnes will be joining them along with a number of other Ohio leaders. Click here for more details.

Nominate a friend
Don’t forget to nominate a friend, colleague, or leader in your community for a CCV courage award. We’re accepting nominations now for 4 award categories: The William Wilberforce Award for an elected official, The Esther Award for activists, The Timothy Award for an under 30 year old, and the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Award for a pastor.

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