On May 3, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that, under the guise of religious freedom, further entrenches the administration’s policies to allow religion to discriminate. In fact, it strips the limited religious freedom protections that exist for individuals who use government-funded social services.
The order renames existing faith-based offices in the White House and federal agencies and calls for new ones where they didn’t already exist. The offices are tasked with enforcing the US Department of Justice’s 25-page “guidance on religious liberty.” These offices must also identify and reduce “barriers” it claims faith-based organizations face when seeking taxpayer funding from HHS. In reality, this is just a step to implement Department of Justice guidance and allow these social service providers to cite religion to discriminate and refuse to provide services.
Religious freedom should be a shield to protect religion, not a sword to harm others. It guarantees us all the right to believe, or not, as we see fit. But it doesn’t give anyone the right to use religion as an excuse to harm other people, especially when using taxpayer dollars.
Order Status Signed May 3, 2018
Order Text Here