Trump signs religious freedom executive order

09 May 2017, 08:00 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Trump signs religious freedom executive order

Trump signs religious freedom executive order

"We're going to start protecting religious liberty instead of assaulting it".

Even the scaled-back version prompted threats of lawsuits, although some groups said that after reviewing the order they would hold fire on any legal action, arguing that it will have little impact.

"It's been happening", he said. Trump signed an executive order Thursday directing the Treasury Department not to take "adverse action" against churches or religious organizations for political speech.

"Today's executive order signing was an elaborate photo-op with no discernible policy outcome", ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said in a statement, according to The Washington Post. "This is an appropriate way to commemorate the National Day of Prayer as our President commits to protect and promote religious freedom", said Staver.

"We'd certainly like to keep the rights that we presently have, or at least the rights that we did have up until recently when we were challenged", says The Catholic League's Bill Donahue. Trump's executive order instructs the Internal Revenue Service to "not take any adverse action against any individual, house of worship, or other religious organization" that endorse or oppose candidates from the pulpit, which is now outlawed by a provision typically referred to as the Johnson Amendment.

A Wisconsin-based atheist group has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to strike down President Donald Trump's order easing enforcement of an IRS rule limiting religious organizations' political activity.

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Trump's order includes language that says the executive branch "will honor and enforce" existing laws.

"Among many faults, the EO requires the IRS to selectively and preferentially discontinue enforcement of the electioneering restrictions of the tax code against churches and religious organizations, while applying a more vigorous enforcement standard to secular nonprofits", the complaint states. "And we will never ever stand for religious discrimination".

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"The open season on Christians and other people of faith is coming to a close in America and we look forward to assisting the Trump administration in fully restoring America's First Freedom", Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in a statement.

He said in February he would "totally destroy" the amendment.

Numerous religious leaders News 5 spoke with on Thursday from local churches, Focus on the Family, the Colorado Catholic Conference and the Family Policy Alliance all say, this is a positive step in the right direction for our community. What do you do if the pastor endorses one candidate and then someone else wants someone else or a member of the congregation asks?



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