President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of State, Rex TIllerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, may be his most controversial appointment yet for conservatives, and is most certainly not an ally of conservative principles when it comes to life, family, and marriage.
There are several reasons for caution regarding the possible next Secretary of State, but the biggest concern for conservatives is that under Tillerson’s leadership, ExxonMobil has given money to Planned Parenthood, which is infamous for its role as America’s largest abortion provider. ExxonMobil told Buzzfeed that the giving was part of a company matching program which matched employee donations. Nevertheless, the company did directly and voluntarily donate to Planned Parenthood through this program.
In particular, Tony Perkins of Family Research Council, has voiced grave concern over Tillerson as Trump’s potential pick for Secretary of State. On FRC’s website, Perkins wrote:
The Left, which usually doesn’t need a reason to oppose Trump’s choices, won’t find many here, since the ExxonMobil executive may be the greatest ally liberals have in the Cabinet for their abortion and LGBT agendas.
Another reason for Perkins’ opposition to Tillerson for the position of Secretary of State, is that, when Tillerson was president of the Boy Scouts of America, he was instrumental in the admission of gay leaders into that organization, a move which many conservatives vehemently opposed.
Regarding the possibility of Tillerson as head of the State Department, Tony Perkins’ further commented:
That should be particularly alarming to conservatives, who’ve spent the last eight years watching the State Department lead the global parade for the slaughter of innocent unborn children and the intimidation of nations with natural views on marriage and sexuality. To hear that Donald Trump may be appointing a man who not only led the charge to open the Boy Scouts to gay troop leaders but whose company directly gives to Planned Parenthood is upsetting at best.
— Family Research Council (@FRCdc) December 13, 2016
Other prominent Republicans, such as Marco Rubio, have voiced concerns over Tillerson’s long-time friendship with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Marco Rubio raises 'serious concerns' about Rex Tillerson for secretary of state https://t.co/0gdOS5QxiA
— TIME (@TIME) December 13, 2016
Tillerson has significant business interests in Russia, which have lead some on Capitol Hill to worry about a conflict of interests when it comes to Tillerson’s impact on the future of American/Russian relations, and American security concerns with regards to Russia. Also, with recent suspicions of Russian tampering with the Presidential election, many question the wisdom of appointing a long-time friend of Vladimir Putin to such a significant role in the Trump administration.
Speculation continues as to whether or not Tillerson will actually be confirmed for Secretary of State, but if he is, it will not be an appointment praised by conservatives. Conservatives and evangelicals alike must hold Trump to his promises he made while campaigning to surround himself with conservative leadership if elected.
California Family Council’s CEO, Jonathan Keller observed that:
While it is true that Mr. Tillerson has attained a high level of success in business, social conservatives should not overlook serious concerns surrounding his views on Life, Family, and Religious Liberty. In particular, his efforts to promote homosexuality in the Boy Scouts and his company’s funding of Planned Parenthood deserve closer examination.