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Thursday, May 04, 2017

Trump and "religious liberty"

Trump has signed an executive order on "religious liberty" as his Religious Right supporters, including the US Bishops (see below), have been urging. Trump tries to link his action to the First Amendment, the Amendment he wants to change so that he can sue the press, but he misreads our Founding Fathers, who were mostly Deists. And he and the Bishops have made up their own definition of religious liberty. ... when John Courtney Murray SJ helped Catholic JFK become president and when he championed the concept at Vatican II, religious liberty meant keeping religious out of politics: separation of church and state.

Trump signs executive order to 'vigorously promote religious liberty'

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday that could allow churches and other religious organizations to become more active politically. The order, which Trump inked during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, directs the IRS to exercise "maximum enforcement discretion" over the Johnson amendment, which prevents churches and other tax-exempt religious organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. It also provides "regulatory relief" for organizations that object on religious grounds to a provision in Obamacare that mandates employers provide certain health services, including coverage for contraception .....

Some religious leaders, however, object to any measure that would make it easier to inject politics into places of worship. "For decades, the Johnson amendment has prevented houses of worship from being turned into partisan political tools. A majority of clergy -- and Americans -- support the status quo and oppose political endorsements from the pulpit," Interfaith Alliance president Rabbi Jack Moline said. "President Trump's executive order reportedly aims to gut the Johnson Amendment and clear the way for the Religious Right to weaponize their churches for partisan battle." "If the effort succeeds these churches would become conduits for unregulated 'dark money' in elections, with no restrictions or disclosure requirements," he said ...

The responsibility for this bad idea has mostly been laid at the door of Protestant Evangelicals but the US Bishops and Cardinal Dolan, the guy who swindled sex abuse victims out of 57 million dollars, have been all over this ... USCCB leaders urge Trump to protect religious liberty

Catholic Church leaders in a Feb. 16 statement said they were encouraged that President Donald Trump may be considering an executive order to protect religious freedom and said they would be grateful if he would move forward with the pledge that his administration would “do everything in its power to defend and protect religious liberty.”

“As Christians, our goal is to live and serve others as the Gospel asks. President Trump can ensure that we are not forced from the public square,” said the statement from committee chairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The statement was jointly issued by New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities; Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty; and Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Fla., chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development ...

More: Trump’s Religious Liberty Executive Order Is a Triumph of Fake News ... and ... 1,300 Faith Leaders Denounce Trump’s Bigoted Religious Liberty Executive Order ... and ... Trump’s “religious liberty” executive order is meant to legalize anti-LGBT discrimination — and may be unconstitutional

Fortunately, the ACLU is on the job ...


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