Their Religion Trumps Your Rights: The President’s Gift to Theocrats
May 5, 2017
This week we saw just how determined this administration is to appease the radical Christian right and knock gaping holes in the wall of separation between church and state.
Surrounded by Evangelical leaders and clergy from various faiths, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at weakening the Johnson Amendment, which prevents tax-exempt institutions like churches (as well as secular groups like CFI) from becoming de facto political action committees for political candidates. It also promises to ease the way for religious exemptions from the contraceptive coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act (which the House voted to disfigure yesterday).
This was done in the name of “religious liberty,” but we know that what this is really about is religious privilege: letting religious beliefs supersede laws against discrimination and indoctrination, and sacrifice women’s rights and health to religious dogma.
The good news is that we are being heard! Our official response was highlighted inHuffPost’s report, in which we called out this executive order for what it is: a gift to theocrats, based on a false premise. Our director of government affairs, Michael De Dora was quoted saying:
Despite the president’s claims today, religious leaders are already free to speak openly, and religious groups spend hundreds of millions of dollars per year lobbying, on all political issues. … Instead of bone-throwing to the fringes of the religious right, President Trump should listen to the vast majority of the American people — including the majority of clergy — who oppose politicking from the pulpit and support the Johnson Amendment.
Earlier this same day, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing on the Johnson Amendment, where Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (pictured right) asked to have the Center for Inquiry’s statements added to the official congressional record.
Let’s keep up this resistance. The attacks on secularism are relentless, so we can’t let up for even a moment. To stay active in this fight, we need your support…now more than ever!
Donate or become a member of the Center for Inquiry today, and be a part of the secular resistance.
# # #
The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The mission of CFI is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at www.centerforinquiry.net.