Multiple news outlets are reporting President Trump will sign an executive order on Thursday mandating religious freedom for federal agencies and contractors. More than anything else he does–arguably more than even Justice Gorsuch’s appointment–this act will begin to keep Trump’s promise to Make America Great Again™.
In February, one draft of an order to protect religious freedom was leaked, prompting the administration to hold off pending a more detailed legal and administrative review with the departments involved. That’s very wise, considering the clown show that’s proceeded from Trump’s immigration orders.
The leaked version of the order was very strong, and gave churches and non-profits protection for “moral and political issues from a religious perspective where religious speech of similar character has, consistent with law, not ordinarily been treated as an intervention in a political campaign by the Department of the Treasury.”
Additionally, it protected speech and action arising out of beliefs “that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman,” along with biological sex, and the proper role of sexual relations inside marriage. Basically, it reversed the anti-Christian discrimination of the previous eight years.
Based on the leaked document, the order prevented agencies from “taking adverse action” against any federal worker or contractor for speaking their minds from a religious viewpoint, as long as it doesn’t interfere with that person’s job, and required agencies to make reasonable accommodations for that speech.
It’s possible that the version Trump is expected to sign Thursday is weaker tea than the original, but Politico reported Tuesday that sources familiar with the language of the new draft, which is being kept under tight wraps, “is still very, very strong.” This is great news.
French historian and philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in the 1830s that American democracy is unique because of America’s genuine religious devotion.
I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors…; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.
Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.
America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom.
Of course, the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization that typically represents the opposite of what its name purports to defend, has vowed to sue if Trump “signs an order that would allow religious to be used as an excuse to discriminate.” As it’s almost impossible to guarantee religious liberty (or any kind of liberty) without the possibility that someone will abuse it, the lawsuit is pretty much guaranteed.
This could be the big win conservatives are waiting for. The best way to make America great again, is to protect the liberty of conscience for those who know the “secret of her genius and power.”