Menu Close

Why Penny Nance is NOT a Good Choice for Women’s Ambassador of Global Affairs by Annie Laurie Gaylor

penny nance
Penny Nance

There will be a lot more “concerned women” in America if Trump’s purported pick for women’s ambassador of global affairs at the State Department is confirmed. Penny Nance, Trump’s rumored choice, happens to be president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, a virulently anti-feminist, anti-abortion organization whose purpose is to “bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy.”

Nance is such a cartoon that she actually criticized Disney for supposedly undercutting traditional notions of masculinity by creating what she regarded as overly spunky princesses in “Frozen.”

Frozen is the operative word. We’re frozen in some kind of time warp out of the imagination of the most extreme leaders on the Christian Right. In Trump’s quest to produce a “fox for every chicken coop in Washington,” as the always quotable Gloria Steinem put it at the Women’s March, he has found the perfect foil for this ambassadorship. Planned Parenthood’s Dawn Laguens compares it to “putting an arsonist in charge of the fire department.”

The position of the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the State Department was started by the Obama administration. Its mandate is to “promote the rights and empowerment of women and girls through U.S. foreign policy.” Its priorities are gender equality, including gender-based violence, women’s economic empowerment, women’s participation in peace and security, and adolescent girls.

Nance is a longtime critic of the Violence Against Women Act. In an op-ed for The Christian Post, she urged women impregnated by rape to carry such pregnancies to term, revealing the depths of her religious fanaticism: “As Christians, we live every day in a fallen world and must deal with the painful consequences of evil acts such as rape, murder, theft, and deception. No, sin was never God’s intention. But the creation of a life that might one day be used to spread the Gospel or show God’s love by helping others is still a miracle that deserves our reverence and protection.”

It’s a snub to us truly “concerned women of America” for Trump to even shortlist Nance, a handmaiden for the radical Christian Right, for this position intended to further women’s rights.

—  Annie Laurie Gaylor. Co-President Freedom From Religion Foundation, Trump’s Pick for Women’s Ambassador Extremely Disturbing


  1. Avatar

    Trump is proving to be an even worse president than many feared, and I think that underlying it all is his lack of vision. By this I mean that I get the impression his decision to run, if not spontaneous, didn’t involve a consideration of what he wanted to do for America, but was driven only by the desire for personal aggrandisement. A long time politician, whether one agrees with them or not, always, without fail, exhibits signs of purpose.

    Trump doesn’t seem to have any sense of plan, or any form of vision. The nearest he’s come to any sense of vision has been building a wall, and banning Muslims, both poorly thought through, lacking strategy, and little more than vote winning headlines. He seems to have abrogated his presidency to a level that is determined by how much can be expressed in 140 characters on a twitter account. By contrast Obama was driven by a view of America that he saw as being fair to all. Even his biggest critics (who actually make me vomit) would struggle to deny his desire to want to improve things, and that he had very specific aims. Of course, most of what he attempted to do was blocked by a system that effectively wrecked democracy, though he did at least save the economy from melt down with his stimulus programmes.

    I think it’s in this context that Trump’s appointments have to be understood, and he’s made many terrible ones, this included. He doesn’t care what damage he does so long as he panders to his base, and they continue to show him adulation. I sincerely hope that this changes, that he perhaps lets things get out of hand (though please, please, not over North Korea), and realises he has to start doing unpopular things. Oh well, only a little over 3 years to go. America can’t possibly vote him in for a second term! Can they…..?

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away! If You Are a First Time Commenter, Please Read the Comment Policy Located at the Top of the Page.

Bruce Gerencser