The hand-wringing and pearl clutching from the left kicked up a notch in the last few days, not that too many people noticed for all the riots in Berkeley. President Donald Trump is looking to fulfill yet another campaign promise for the people of faith who have been partially muzzled for decades by the Johnson Amendment, the federal law that says tax-exempt religious institutions really cannot have any say in politics or endorse a candidate. (Doesn’t stop the left leaning Christian sects, but it does effectively shut up traditional Catholic bishops and priests to the point that non-Catholics have a really badly skewed viewpoint of the Faith.)
A leak has surfaced supposedly from inside the White House of an executive order that would effectively allow all religious people to live life with the courage of their convictions without the fear of legal reprisal. Whether or not this EO has any validity, the fears of the left, the “progessives” if you will, are in full view in some of their more over-educated public consumption journals. Take The Nation for example:
The four-page draft order, a copy of which is currently circulating among federal staff and advocacy organizations, construes religious organizations so broadly that it covers “any organization, including closely held for-profit corporations,” and protects “religious freedom” in every walk of life: “when providing social services, education, or healthcare; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts; or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with Federal, State or local governments.”
The draft order seeks to create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious or moral objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity, and it seeks to curtail women’s access to contraception and abortion through the Affordable Care Act.
Without even blinking, it should be obvious to a follower of the religious liberty movement in the United States that this complaint essentially is about not being able to force Catholics, the Catholic Church as a whole (a misnomer, but that is for another post), evangelical Christians, Orthodox Jews, and other people of faith to violate consciences and the tenets of the faith as laid out centuries ago. Trump intends to reverse the moves made by the Obama Administration that do not respect alternative viewpoints that the government should dictate all parts of life.
The White House has not confirmed this EO is in the works. The rumor mill has it that there are several possibilities circulating. How this one ends is anyone’s guess, but the one thing that will happen is fearmongering that Christians – particularly the strict ones – are going to impress not so much the faith, but moral convictions, on the rest of the nation, as if they were simply lifestyle choices.