Trump rewards evangelicals with religious freedom order

Trump rewards evangelicals with religious freedom order May 4, 2017

US President Donald Trump today made good on a promise to allow faith-heads – particularly those of an evangelical stripe – greater freedom by signing an Executive Order called ‘Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty’.
He is quoted by NBC News as saying at political speech at a National Day of Prayer event at the White House:

Faith is deeply embedded into the history of our country, the spirit of our founding and the soul of our nation. We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore.
We are giving our churches their voices back.

Trump promised during his election campaign to dismantle the Johnson Amendment, which bans tax-exempt organisations like churches from political speech and activities. His executive order relaxes IRS enforcement of that ban. While the executive order signals a promise kept, fully repealing the Johnson amendment would require Congressional action.
His Executive Order also gives “regulatory relief” to companies that object to an Obamacare mandate for contraception in health care.
While an earlier draft of the religious liberty order reportedly would have let federal contractors discriminate against LGBT employees based on faith beliefs, today’s version did not include such provisions.
Pastor Mark Burns, a longtime Trump supporter who attended the White House signing and a White House dinner for religious leaders on  Wednesday evening, celebrated the move, telling NBC News today that it was :

A great day for religious freedom in America.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in a statement:

The open season on Christians and other people of faith is coming to a close in America and we look forward to assisting the Trump administration in fully restoring America’s First Freedom,

But Civil liberty groups criticised the order, with several vowing to sue.
Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights said in a statement.

Plain and simple: President Trump’s executive order will hurt women, and the Center for Reproductive Rights is ready to fight back in court. President Trump’s executive order discriminates against women and robs them of essential preventive care.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony D Romero said in a statement released minutes after the order was made public:

We intend to file suit today. President Trump’s efforts to promote religious freedom are thinly-veiled efforts to unleash his conservative religious base into the political arena while also using religion to discriminate.

Lambda Legal said on Tuesday that it would sue Trump if an explicitly anti-LGBT order were signed. But today, the organization’s CEO, Rachel Tiven, said the lawsuit was on hold – for now.

We will be scrutinising the moves that will be taken by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other administration officials in response to the Executive Order. If they take action based on this Executive Order that harms our community, we will sue.

"I do not claim this as original.Funerals are for the living.I used to attend a ..."

Muslim denied an Islamic funeral because ..."
"They hate being judged... while judging others."

No gay marriage here: faith-based wedding ..."
"I'm still waiting for the conservative Christian who says, "I agree that same-sex marriage doesn't ..."

No gay marriage here: faith-based wedding ..."
"A distinction likely lost among a sizeable cross section of the magazine's target readership of ..."

No gay marriage here: faith-based wedding ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Daz

    “Faith is deeply embedded into the history of our country, the spirit of our founding and the soul of our nation.”

    And this is why the USA is a veritable utopia. Religion: improving the lives of millions, as promised.

  • barriejohn

    He’s played the old trick: put out information (not “false news”, surely!) about how draconian the measures are going to be, and then when they are announced everyone will say, “They’re not as bad as we thought they would be”, and many are falling for this. This is disgraceful, and there’s no point anyone saying that they didn’t think that he would do all the things that he promised to do before his election. He actually claimed the other day that no president had done more during his first 100 days in office, but then for a man who attracted “record crowds” to his inauguration, that’s nothing!

  • Daz

    Well, if we define “done more than” as “played more rounds of golf than”…

  • 1859

    Trump is a disgusting egotist who worships money and all that money means. The sound of his voice and his gestures make me want to vomit. What of the so-called separation of church and state so often held up high as one of the essential pillars of the American Constitution? It means fuck all. All decent American citizens will have to fight hard and long to retain their secular government, because if they don’t the bigots will soon write a religious constitution more suited to a theocracy.

  • Paul

    He’s almost got one quote right, but he’s missed out key information:
    “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore.”
    However, he forgot to state that this is what the christian church has been doing to others for millennia. And now what it will continue to do and Islam and that they can freely within the law: Target bully and silence.

  • Maggie

    What about “people of faith” not to target, bully or silence “people not of faith”?

  • Smokey

    “Faith is deeply embedded into the history of our country, the spirit of our founding and the soul of our nation.”
    Slavery is deeply embedded into the history of our country, the spirit of our founding and the soul of our nation.
    This is why “tradition” is a horrible concept. When “tradition” is the only reason for doing something, then there’s no reason for doing it. If you can’t find a real, rational reason for doing something, stop doing it, you dumb fuck.
    “We’ve always done it this way.”
    1) No, some dumb fucker was the first to do it, 2) what was the reason he started the “tradition”, and 3) is that reason still valid?
    Why do we celebrate Christmas? To let the kids have some fun. See, there’s a good reason right there. Why do we routinely circumcise baby boys? To stop the kids from having fun. No good reason, except to stroke the Christians’ hard-on for baby Jesus.
    Religious freedom: The power to impose one’s will on other (often unwilling or resisting) people.

  • Old Bone

    Like Putin Trump needs to recruit the godly to bolster his power. The alliance of dictatorial nut jobs and clerical werewolves is a sure sign that democracy has been subsumed. The next step is to progress to a totalitarian police state where the leader has total military and mind control over the population … How about this for a name … the Grand Democratic Republic of North America. Or maybe just Trumpton. Sounds benign.

  • Old Bone

    Does anyone think that Trump will escape the assassins bullet? I don’t and if some gun totin good ole mercan boy pulls the trigger to blow Trump away then billions will thank their god in their conviction that the world has been saved by divine intervention. One can only pray.

  • Angela_K

    As ever, religious freedom really means religious privilege.

  • Paul

    @Old Bone
    No! You cannot use Trumpton!
    That is a lovely village – with really nice people.
    (It was a children’s TV show in the 1960’s).

  • barriejohn

    You’re all too late. I linked to one of these before:
    They’re from Private Eye!

  • remigius

    Paul & Old Bone. Here we go…

  • andym

    “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore.”
    No. You will allow people of faith to target ,bully and silence even more.

  • Newspaniard

    Do these new regulations allow islamofascists to start stoning women for being raped and throwing gays off tall buildings in the USA?

  • Paul

    Excellent. Thanks.
    Nice the wall is being built. Keep out those Chigleyans.

  • L.Long

    MEH! BFD! The churches have been doing this for years, and the IRS does not have the balls to take on real criminals like the churches! There are enough dimwitted bigoted ahole xtians in ‘merica to use the baloney principle….slice away our freedoms and laws one thin slice at a time until you wake up in a theocracy that has in the past shown itself to be a terror!!!

  • barriejohn
  • Matthew Carr

    Churches in America are typically 501(c3) organizations under the tax code. This gives them two benefits; one is that they pay no taxes and the other is that contributions to them are tax deductible. The price for this is that they are not allowed to support or condemn political candidates either by financial contribution or advocacy. Churches are free to forego this limitation as long as they are willing to forego the tax benefits as well.

  • Newspaniard

    What I was getting at was that the bill appears to cover ALL (so called) religions. Including that “Of Peace”.

  • Paul

    Yes Islam is surely the religion of peace.
    Look! There’s a piece of you there, a piece of you there and a piece of you there!

  • barriejohn

    I have a suspicion that when Donald Trump talks about protecting people from “religious discrimination” he is actually referring to Christians, and that many Americans see his remarks in this light as well:

  • ray metcalfe

    I wonder how long it will be before these religions turn on each other. The evangelicals wont like the main stream churches such as the RC church. Through history one religion dislikes another and bang persecution along with the thumb screws and the rack. I am not saying that such extremes will happen in the USA but once one group sees something it can use as a stick it will use it to bash others who don’t believe as they do over the head either verbally or through legislation.

  • Cali Ron

    ARRGGH! !!! My head just exploded. Good thing they have not taken my health care away yet. Rat bastard!

  • Cali Ron

    In order to be a true fascist state you have to have corporate political influence and control -done, and religious support and political influence. Honestly, Trump is not smart enough to even understand that, but he is the vehicle being used to achieve that unique blend of oligarchy and theocracy to make a modern day fascist government.
    I’m holding out hope that the whole house of cards implodes on him and the Republicans.

  • Pingback: The Freethinker - The voice of atheism since 1881 » Religious freedom Order ‘sabotaged’ by Ivanka Trump()