President Donald Trump is preparing to release a new executive order, designed to protect religious freedom.
Speaking on February 2 at the National Prayer Breakfast, Trump said that religious freedom is “a right under threat all around us.” He promised: “My administration will do everything in its power to protect religious liberty in this land.”
As the President was speaking, a draft of the proposed executive order was circulating among political activists in Washington, prompting enthusiasm from religious leaders and criticism from secular liberals.
The sweeping document would:
- Require all federal agencies to recognize that the free exercise of religion extends to all citizens, not only in houses of worship but in public conduct.
- Ensure that the federal government does not take action against organizations because of their stands on issues such as same-sex marriage or gender ideology.
- Instruct the relevant federal agencies to provide exemptions to the “Obamacare” mandate to all religious institutions that find the policies objectionable, and provide all citizens with health-care programs that do not subsidize abortion.
- Define religious organizations to include any groups founded on religious principles—not only churches and charitable groups.
- Order federal agencies to accommodate the religious beliefs and practices of employees “to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law,” and forbid any adverse action against federal employees or contractors for religious stands they might take outside the scope of their federal work.
From Catholic Culture.