By Charlie Johnston
A good friend of mine, Illinois State Sen. Kyle McCarter, was nominated by Pres. Donald Trump to be our Ambassador to Kenya. The nomination was enthusiastically embraced by the Kenyan government. McCarter’s parents were missionaries there. They started the Each1Feed1 Charitable Foundation , building both a health clinic and a school in Kenya. Their passionate work was so well-received that locals renamed another health clinic after them – “Kwa Makata.” When age slowed the elder McCarter down, Kyle kept things going and expanded them.
McCarter and his wife, Victoria, opened a children’s home, which mainly takes in orphan refugees from war-torn countries. The campus houses some 50 children – and the McCarter’s are intensely involved in its operations. Both speak conversational Swahili and have long-standing ties to Kenya, with a long
history and a missionary commitment to charitable work in Africa. In anticipation of taking on the Ambassadorship, McCarter did not file for re-election to his state senate seat and began to sell off his successful small business.
Alas, though, McCarter is a tea-party style conservative and a committed Evangelical. By the time testimony was taken on his nomination back on July 31 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Republicans on the committee had already left the room – and Democrats ignored his over 30 years of charitable work, ignored the enthusiastic approval of the Kenyan government, ignored the economic issues – and made this a simple case of how vigorously he was committed to gay rights. Seriously, I am not making this up. McCarter’s record in the Illinois legislature has been one of consistent support for the traditional concept of marriage.
In 2011, the Illinois legislature removed Catholic Social Services from eligibility as a partner with the state in arranging adoptions. Just the year before, it had been praised as the best agency in the state in placing orphaned children in stable homes. What changed? Well, Catholic Social Services would not place children with homosexual or unmarried couples. So, what had been, the year before, the most effective agency, was now defined by Illinois Democrats (and some Republicans – it is a terrible state) as a bigoted hate group. This is the sort of thing that happens when officials make the actual needs of children take a back seat to the wants of homosexual adults. McCarter committed the grave sin of defending Catholic Social Services (One of the few bright spots in Illinois, where I labored for several decades, is that Evangelicals and Orthodox Catholics truly work hand in hand there. There are no junior partners). This should have been no surprise, given McCarter’s long history of charitable work and commitment to caring for children. But it was styled as McCarter wanting to allow Catholic Social Services to discriminate against gays, not as an effort to advocate for children.
When they weren’t attacking him for not being an LGBT social justice warrior, the Democrats on the Committee simply smeared him. One asked him why he was anti-refugee (because of his opposition to taking in refugees without vetting from unstable countries.) This is, literally, a man who has set up and runs a home for some 50 children who are refugee orphans from war-torn countries. It is as outrageous as portraying Santa Claus as anti-child. Most prominent among the attackers were Sen. Janine Shaheen (D-NH) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). Booker did his usual schtick, helpfully informing McCarter that he must not just treat people equally, he must change his heart to abandon his Christian faith to actively support gays. It was disgusting and slimy.
I have known McCarter for 23 years. He is a smart, shrewd man who is completely committed to his faith. He lives it every day. While these senators are busy posturing in the hopes of helping themselves and advancing their own ambitions, McCarter’s first priority has always been to help others – and he does it EVERY day. He is a man I admired from almost the first moment I met him – because of his commitment to his faith AND because of his breathtaking commitment to the prayer of doing.
Now I don’t know whether it was just a coincidence that all the Republicans were absent when McCarter testified, so there was no one to defend his record – or whether some Illinois politician arranged for him to be sand-bagged (as I said, it is a terrible state politically and governmentally. I know it well). What I do know is that his nomination is likely to come up for a vote very soon, perhaps this week. Below I list the names, states, and phone numbers of all the Republican Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee. Would you give a call to one of these senators, particularly if there is one from your state, and let them know you want them to be there for the vote and to vote yes – that you know McCarter’s record? Let us not let this very good man be sacrificed on the altar of the Democrats’ insane identity politics and hatred of Christians who are serious about our faith.
*Sen. Bob Corker – TN, 202-224-3344
*Sen. James Risch – ID 202-224-2752
*Sen. Marco Rubio – FL 202-224-3041
*Sen. Ron Johnson – WI 202-224-5323
*Sen. Jeff Flake – AZ 202-224-4521
*Sen. Cory Gardner – CO 202-224-5941 (or email)
*Sen. Todd Young – IN 202-224-5623
*Sen. John Barasso – WY 202-224-6441
*Sen. Johnny Isakson – GA 202-224-3643
*Sen. Rob Portman – OH 202-224-3353
*Sen. Rand Paul – KY 202-224-4343
I will let you know how it all turns out.