Sizing up Trump's EO on religious freedom

Thursday, May 4, 2017
 | 
OneNewsNow.com Staff (OneNewsNow.com)

Trump signs religious freedom EOPresident Donald Trump has signed an executive order today he says will protect the religious freedoms of all Americans. Some on the religious right, however, say the order doesn't go far enough to address the concerns of Christian business owners who have been blocked by courts from running their businesses according to their biblical convictions.

After speaking to an audience of religious leaders gathered in the White House Rose Garden on the National Day of Prayer, the president signed an executive order targeting a rarely enforced IRS rule known as the Johnson Amendment – a rule that says religious organizations and other non-profits that endorse political candidates risk losing their tax-exempt status.

The order also promises "regulatory relief" for groups with religious objections to the preventive services requirement in the Affordable Care Act. Those requirements include covering birth control and the move could apply to religious groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor, which have moral objections to paying for contraception.

Prior to signing the order he greeted religious leaders from a variety of faiths, including Christianity and Judaism. He also announced his first foreign trip will include stops in Israel, Rome, and Saudi Arabia.

On the Johnson Amendment: "We've always said the people who brought you a Form 1040 shouldn't be in the business of editing sermons. We have a long tradition in this country of people speaking out from the pulpit on the issues of the day. They should be free to do that without fear of government censorship."

On regulatory relief: "HHS Secretary Tom Price has said that he will put the president's order into action shortly. We are hopeful that it will lead to quick action from the agencies and their lawyers to end these lawsuits once and for all."

Lori Windham, general counsel
Becket

Reaction ...

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council: "This step today starts the process of reversing the devastating trend set by the last administration to punish charities, pastors, family owned businesses and honest, hard-working people simply for living according to their faith. This trend is in part why 60 percent of Trump voters in the last election said they were more likely to vote for him because the GOP platform is very clear on religious liberty and unborn life."

Dr. Jerry Johnson, National Religious Broadcasters: "President Trump deserves praise for applying an emergency brake on the government’s movement toward coercion and discrimination. There is much that is commendable in the executive order, even while there is much that is missing – and that I pray will be soon addressed. Today’s action is a breath of fresh air and should be understood, I believe, as a first step toward righting the wrongs of recent years and reassuring people of faith that they are not second-class citizens."

Michael Farris, Alliance Defending Freedom: "President Trump’s executive order provides hope ... that he will move fully toward fulfilling his promise to protect religious freedom for countless Americans. Regrettably, this executive order leaves that promise as yet unfulfilled .... Though we appreciate the spirit of today’s gesture, vague instructions to federal agencies simply leaves them wiggle room to ignore that gesture, regardless of the spirit in which it was intended."

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWS BRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

FEATURED PODCAST

VOTE IN OUR POLL

The biggest highlight from the final presidential debate was…(Pick up to two)

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Maine supreme court declines to extend mail-in vote deadline
US Navy: 2 onboard training plane killed in Alabama crash
Fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh goes on despite US mediation
Trump, Biden scrap on oil, virus with just over a week to go
Trump campaign sues in Nevada to stop Vegas-area vote count
Some hospitals in crisis as US nears high for COVID-19 cases

LATEST FROM THE WEB

San Bernardino, Calif., police shooting sparks night of unrest
Trump 'coyote' remark confuses Twitter, including Georgia state Democrat
Putin: Russia-China military alliance can't be ruled out
Trump calls Biden's 'transition from' oil comments 'perhaps most shocking admission ever made'
Oops: Photograph of Joe Biden and Hunter's business partner found on Burisma's website

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Wanted: Left-wing veterans to defeat Donald Trump

Woman graduates Ranger SchoolDemocratic leaders are recruiting military veterans to seek public office but the leader of a military watchdog doubts that plan will succeed.