Like many organizations, The Secular Coalition for America is speaking out loudly against the Trump administration refugee and immigration ban.
The ban, which was met by large protests around the country has been somewhat picked apart by the courts, but not fully.
In a statement released today, Secular Coalition’s Executive Director Larry Decker said:
President Trump’s executive order must be recognized as the establishment of a religious test that is incompatible with our constitution and our values as Americans. The Trump campaign repeatedly denigrated Muslims and pledged to enact policies that discriminated against them. Now, at the expense of our First Amendment and our nation’s credibility, the Trump Administration is attempting to make good on this campaign promise. In a recent interview, President Trump proudly highlighted that the executive order would be used to fast track Christian refugees fleeing religious persecution into the United States. This admission by the President exposes the religiously biased intent behind the executive order.
If President Trump genuinely wants to defend religious freedom, he must advocate for policies that protect people of all faiths and none equally. It is a telling omission that President Trump has repeatedly highlighted the plight of Christians abroad but has remained silent about the persecution of nontheists despite the fact that three of the countries listed in his executive order consider being an atheist to be a capital offense. We must do away with any pretense that this executive order is solely intended to address issues of national security. This order by President Trump is an assertion of Christian privilege, anti-Muslim bigotry, a rebuke of our First Amendment and a grave threat to religious freedom. The Secular Coalition for America will join its allies, of every faith and none, in opposing this unconstitutional and unAmerican policy.
The executive order target seven countries, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia, which have no ties to terrorism on US soil, and excludes countries such as Saudi Arabia which does.
The order, deemed by many as a religious test for entry into this country has caused a constitutional argument among some as for the legality of such an order, however, there seems to be little confusion that the order is wholly unAmerican and the protests highlight such a belief.
In response to the ban, Iran and Iraq have shown endorsement for banning Americans from entering their nations.