A draft of a new executive order that could be signed by President Donald Trump this weekend, which would allow religious organizations wide latitude on certain issues, has the American left freaking out in a major way.
According to The Washington Post, the draft proposal, “Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom,” is one of several dozen proposals being written by administration officials.
Independent Journal speculated that the draft might be signed over the weekend.
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According to the text of the draft, obtained by liberal rag The Nation, the executive order would protect any tax-exempt organization that “believes, speaks, or acts (or declines to act) in accordance with the belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, sexual relations are properly reserved for such a marriage, ‘male’ and ‘female’ and their equivalents refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy, physiology, or genetics at or before birth, and that human life begins at conception and merits protection at all stages of life.”
The order could be seen as a rejoinder to a number of cases brought up under the contraception clause of the Affordable Care Act or lawsuits brought in regards to gay marriage.
“There’s clearly a lot of evidence in the last couple of years of the government coming in with regulations and policies that have, frankly, denied people the ability to live according to their faith,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Thursday. “People should be able to practice their religion, express their religion, express areas of their faith without reprisal. And I think that pendulum sometimes swings the other way, in the name of political correctness.”
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As The Washington Post explained, the provisions of the draft order essentially could encourage religious organizations to engage in activities that are currently prohibited under the Johnson Amendment to the U.S. tax code, which limits the participation of tax-exempt organizations in political campaigns.
At the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, Trump declared war on the Johnson Amendment, vowing to “get rid of and totally destroy” it.
Getting rid of the Johnson Amendment would require congressional action, but Trump’s proposed executive order could be a step in that direction.
Needless to say, this had liberal outlets like The Nation saying that any religious organization that held these beliefs was being discriminatory.
If you don’t believe me, check out the subtext of the first paragraph of its story on the draft order, which says that it “reveals sweeping plans by the Trump administration to legalize discrimination.” Actually, that’s not subtext so much as text. Subtlety, thy name is not Katrina vanden Heuvel.
The fine people at the WaPo seemed to indulge in the same unexamined fear over the order: “While the draft document does not mention Christianity by name, it specifically outlines views held by conservative Christians — including opposition to abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage and the idea that a person’s gender can differ from their anatomy — as beliefs deserving protection.”
Ironically, for a paper that has devoted so many febrile column inches to the idea that the Trump administration is involved in an ideological pogrom against Islam, The Washington Post seems to ignore the fact that these religious tenets are significantly more ingrained in Muslim theology in the year 2017 than they are in the Christian firmament. But I digress.
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The point of this executive order is simple. It’s meant to stop the useless, insulting and discriminatory intimidation of believers by non-believers and progressives in America. We know what’s happened, and we know the bullying needs to stop.
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