How Trump's executive order hurts religious freedom

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 8, 2017

Trump's executive order specifically refers to religions and religious organizations, and Trump pointedly spoke only of "people of faith" and religions in his remarks in the Rose Garden Thursday as he signed the order.

President Trump's "promoting free speech and religious liberty" order is supposed to protect individuals from negative action for political activity or expression in a religious environment.

The order is supposed to make it easier for churches and other nonprofits to get involved in political campaigns without risking their tax-exempt status.

Dr. Jerry Young, a pastor and President of the National Baptist Convention, says he doesn't endorse candidates.

Numerous religious leaders News 5 spoke with on Thursday from local churches, Focus on the Family, the Colorado Catholic Conference and the Family Policy Alliance all say, this is a positive step in the right direction for our community.

He said he was giving churches their voices back. What about you? Are you satisfied with Trump's order on religious freedom?

Both praise and criticism following the President's new executive order that could allow religious groups to become more politically active.

There's a directive for the Attorney General to "issue guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in Federal law", so we'll see what comes from that.

He argued that the Obama administration was so thorough in "dismantling" religious liberty that it would be impossible to fix in one sweeping action.

Or, as the ACLU puts it, "an elaborate photo-op with no discernible policy outcome".

It does, however, provide "regulatory relief" for companies that object on religious grounds to providing employees with contraceptive coverage, as mandated under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

American evangelical leader and president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission Russell Moore told CNN's Erin Burnett that the order is a start, but, hopefully, not the end to bringing more political freedom to religious institutions. Metcalf-Armstrong said although the order stops short allowing groups and businesses to discriminate against the LGBT community- the overall vagueness of the executive order could be unsafe.

It was filled with religious exemptions and language that could give millions of Americans "a licence to discriminate" against parents that were unwed, some rights advocates, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed a lawsuit just hours after President Trump signed the executive order that would block the enforcement of the Johnson Amendment.

However, there are also a number of religious groups who have publicly supported Trump and his new order.

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