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Trump preparing new executive order to protect religious freedom

February 02, 2017

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 pubblic 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 religous 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.


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  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Feb. 06, 2017 3:00 PM ET USA

    Sounds like the mindset of our founding Fathers and the spirit of '76 - the way it ought to be.

  • Posted by: mclom - Feb. 04, 2017 7:31 PM ET USA

    Amazingingly hopeful news for beleaguered Catholics!

  • Posted by: FredC - Feb. 04, 2017 3:06 PM ET USA

    The USCCB will have trouble criticizing Trump on this one.

  • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Feb. 03, 2017 7:17 PM ET USA

    Does this include Muslims?

  • Posted by: brenda22890 - Feb. 03, 2017 5:31 AM ET USA

    A good beginning, if true.

  • Posted by: feedback - Feb. 02, 2017 6:58 PM ET USA

    This would be a major, and very welcome by all people of faith, change for the better in regard to religious freedom - as stated in the US Constitution - and an answer to all the prayers of the Fortnight for Freedom. This is the time for the USCCB and all individual Cardinals and Bishops to speak loudly and clearly in support of this initiative. Especially those high ranking Catholic prelates who were quick to criticize Trump on immigration, now need to voice their support for religious freedom.

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Feb. 02, 2017 6:41 PM ET USA

    Especially, parents should be able to have health insurance that won't let doctors counsel or provide contraception to their children without parental knowledge or permission, which Obamacare forces on all families.

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Feb. 02, 2017 6:39 PM ET USA

    Very glad to see this. Everyone should have access to health care programs that do not subsidize artificial contraception, too.