Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Trump to sign executive order on political limits for churches

Trump to sign executive order on political limits for churches Trump to sign executive order on political limits for churches
Francis Olson | 16 May, 2017, 19:17

Though the White House denied that draft was ever being considered, reports of the discriminatory order resulted in outrage that was reignited this week after a Politico story revealed Thursday's plans for a religious liberty order.

As he marked the National Day of Prayer at the White House on Thursday, Trump signed the order on religious freedom, which directs the Treasury Department to not take "adverse action" over churches or religious organizations for political speech.

Widely considered to be a thank-you gift to his evangelical supporters, the order "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty" calls for all tax-exempt organizations - but more specifically, churches - to be given the freedom to engage in political activity without suffering tax penalties.

"We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore", Trump said.

"IF YOU'RE GOING TO WORK FOR THE PEOPLE, THEN YOU HAVE TO ABIDE BY THE DECISIONS OF THE PEOPLE " The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa said today - "President Trump's executive order is risky andill advised for the government'sinterest and for houses ofworship". Some conservative leaders considered the move as a step in the right direction, but others say it does not go far enough to protect religious freedom.

"We intend to file suit today", said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero in a statement released minutes after the order was made public.

Iraqi Forces Break into the Last Terrorist Stronghold in Mosul
The jihadist group now controls just a handful of neighbourhoods around the Old City, one of the country's heritage jewels. The coalition launched its offensive in Iraq and Syria in August 2014.

The executive order does not change the law.

"We are watching and we will challenge any effort by Jeff Sessions or other agencies of Trump's administration to license discrimination", she added. "It directs the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to exercise maximum enforcement discretion to alleviate the burden of the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits religious leaders from speaking about politics and candidates from the pulpit", the official said.

"No one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors", Trump said to applause.

While the executive order signals a promise kept, fully repealing the Johnson amendment would require Congressional action. "What President Trump did today was merely provide a faux sop to religious conservatives and kick the can down the road on religious exemptions on reproductive health care services".

It does, however, provide "regulatory relief" for companies that object on religious grounds to providing employees with contraceptive coverage, as mandated under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Due to the freedom this might give religiously affiliated institutions, there is already reasonable concern about how this order could embolden discrimination against women and the LGBTQ community in particular.

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