Pastor Jeffress: Trump Is Ending Gov't 'Assault' on Religious Liberty

Kari Scott
Мая 6, 2017

But the order he signed was less substantive than he signaled.

The American Civil Liberties Union is not that anxious about President Trump's new "religious liberty" executive order. "I don't think he was around people like us much before he ran for president", Land said in an interview with CP on Thursday.

While Trump's action on the Johnson Amendment aims to please religious conservatives, some oppose any action that would weaken the policy.

That said, he said the executive order's impact will be limited at his church. But Trump's order directs the Internal Revenue Service not to prosecute violations of the Johnson Amendment by houses of worship, effectively ensuring that they won't face repercussions from the law. Trump "punted the issue to the Department of Justice" instead of taking decisive action, he asserted.

The executive order Trump issued differed in some respects from a reported draft version leaked a few days earlier, and the less specific version signed at the Rose Garden ceremony drew criticism from some Religious Right groups. "In other words, we must vote God".

Baylor called that "sort of self-evident", rather than the kind of shift in policy his organization is advocating.

Kind says, now more than 100 religious organizations have sent a letter to Congress expressing disapproval of the order.

"For the people in this room, the Johnson Amendment is not a priority", he said.

The amendment in question covers all tax-exempt charities, but its effect on tax-exempt churches, specifically, has been fiercely protested - albeit rarely enforced.

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The IRS doesn't make its investigations of such cases public, but only one church is known to have lost its tax-exempt status as a result of the law.

The order, which was based on one of Mr. Trump's campaign promises, would also provide regulatory relief from Obamacare requirements such as the requirement that organizations provide contraception care, which was heavily debated in the Little Sisters of the Poor case.

It sends the message that the IRS won't be held accountable by this administration for continuing to turn a blind eye to even blatant examples of politicking by churches and other religious organizations.

"Nobody is suggesting that churches are allowed, or it's legal, for tax-exempt organizations to tax out ads endorsing candidates", the official said.

Update - May 4, 6:19 p.m.: The ACLU promised to sue over President Donald Trump's "religious liberty" executive order, but now they're not going to bother.

But Trump doesn't have the authority to eliminate the law single-handedly. "The executive branch will honor and enforce those protections", the order reads in part. One would be to encourage churches to become partly or exclusively political entities, at the expense of real political entities.

"We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore", Trump proclaimed, which were marking the National Day of Prayer. Although a president can not actually repeal the regulation, his act may encourage some churches to engage in partisan politics. "Many churches don't see politics as being central to their faith". "That's what freedom of religion is". "No American should be forced to choose between the dictates of the federal government and the tenets of their faith". "It has spawned about a hundred lawsuits, which tied up the Obama administration for half a decade", Timothy Jost, an emeritus professor at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, wrote in a blog post. "What the administration needs to do is to craft an exemption that prohibits everyone who objects on moral grounds from violating their convictions through the content of their health plan".

Why the reversal? According to ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero, the White House directive doesn't actually do anything.

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