“Trump protects religious liberty”? You wouldn’t know it from reading a lot of articles written by social conservatives. Here is Daniel John Sobieski writing at American Thinker:
President Trump’s executive order on religious liberty has garnered a mixed reaction, with the left moaning about violations of the separation of church and state and some of the right saying it is watered down meaningless rhetoric to placate his religious base, As Ryan T. Anderson at the Daily Signal opines:
In reality, what Trump issued today is rather weak. All it includes is general language about the importance of religious liberty, saying the executive branch “will honor and enforce” existing laws and instructing the Department of Justice to “issue guidance” on existing law; directives to the Department of the Treasury to be lenient in the enforcement of the Johnson Amendment; and directives to the secretaries of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (HHS) to “consider issuing amended regulations” to “address conscience-based objections” to the HHS contraception mandate.
In reality, what Trump issued is more significant than appears on the surface. It ends the official hostility of government to all things religious that was part of the Obama administration’s “fundamental transformation of America.” This is no small thing, and means that the likes of the Little Sisters of the Poor will not be dragged into court to fight for the religious liberty the Constitution guarantees them. Modifying regulations to honor religious conscience is significant, as is the directive not to enforce the Johnson Amendment, which forbids priests and pastors from disagreeing from the pulpit with government encroachment of our liberties. This is significant and, until the Johnson Amendment, is repealed will do quite nicely.
Critics like Anderson seem to ignore Trump’s placing of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Gorsuch, as Lifesite News reported, was a staunch defender of the religious liberty rights in the cases of Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor:
Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor. Their names were synonymous with major Supreme Court battles to stop the Obama Administration from forcing them and others to pay for drugs that cause abortions.
Read more: American Thinker
Image credit: www.americanthinker.com.