Anyone who has been paying attention for the last decade or so cannot deny that there is a serious war on religious freedom in the United States. For so long, this country was Christianity’s adopted home in the world – a beacon of light that shone brightly through our values, cultural norms, and unified patriotism. But in recent years, that has begun to change. First on a cultural level, which was bad enough. But then on a legal level, which has not only put the rights of Christians in jeopardy but has threatened to undermine the very foundation of our constitutional liberties.
“No American should be forced to choose between the dictates of the federal government and the tenets of their faith,” Trump said as he signed a new religious freedom executive order last week. “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied, or silence anymore. We will never ever stand for religious discrimination.”
The actual text of the order is somewhat esoteric; it ensures that churches and religious organizations will not lose their tax-exempt status if their leaders wade into the political fray. Most pastors and religious leaders insist that they are quite comfortable staying out of that fray, regardless of the IRS’s position on their speeches. So as a practical matter, it’s unlikely that last week’s order will have a revolutionary impact on the state of religious freedom in the United States.
That said, this is a big step forward and a drastic change in direction from the Obama years. Also included in the order was a directive to the Justice Department to begin looking for ways in which everyday Americans – whether or not they work for the federal government – can be protected against anti-discrimination lawsuits. THIS is the meat of the matter. Ever since the Supreme Court wrongly overturned state bans on gay marriage, business owners all over the country have been ensnared in one liberal trap after another. For doing nothing more or less than abiding by their Christian consciences, they have been penalized financially – often to the point of bankruptcy.
For all the noise that has been made in recent years about “gay rights,” it’s unbelievably refreshing to have a president who is willing to stand up for the ACTUAL rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Whether you’re a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, or an atheist, you will benefit from Thursday’s executive order. You may not know it yet, but it’s the truth.