Trump reversed the separation of Church and State on Thursday, after signing an executive order known as executive order is known as the “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty,” which dismantles the Johnson Amendment. The Johnson Amendment states that tax-exempt organizations “are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of [or in opposition to] any candidate for elective public office.”
According to NBC News, this executive order also gives “regulatory relief” to companies that object to an Obamacare mandate for contraception in health care. That builds on the 2014 Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case, which found that the Affordable Care Act mandate that certain corporations must provide female employees with no-cost access to contraception was a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Considering the Muslim Ban that occurred just a few months ago and his rhetoric focusing on churches, it is more than apparent that the order is catered more towards supporting politically-active churches than promoting religious freedom.
Trump has showed dissatisfaction towards the Johnson amendment prior to signing the executive order, stating “I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution,” back in February.
President Donald Trump on Thursday made good on a promise to allow religious organizations greater freedom in political speech.
“Faith is deeply embedded into the history of our country, the spirit of our founding and the soul of our nation,” Trump said in the Rose Garden at a National Day of Prayer event with religious leaders and White House staff. “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore.”
“We are giving our churches their voices back,” Trump stated.
Despite the presence of various religious leaders during the signing of the executive order, the executive order itself favors one particular religious group. Considering the Muslim Ban that occurred just a few months ago and his rhetoric focusing on churches, it is more than apparent that the order is catered more towards supporting politically-active churches than promoting religious freedom as he claims.
By allowing religious institutions to endorse political candidates, it not only removes the notion that America is under a government system that separates Church and State, but enforces discrimination under the guise of expressing religious freedom.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Center For Reproductive Rights (CPR), have said they will challenge the order.