The Undermining Of Religious Freedom
Defending the right to practice ones religion, free from fear, is of grave importance to everyone who cares about the nations long-standing commitment to true religious freedom. Yet the Trump administration has consistently undermined the rights of religious minorities.
One of the administrations first acts upon assuming office in 2017 was attempting to implement the Muslim ban that Trump promised as he campaigned for the presidency. Executive order 13769 blocked entry of people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, for at least 90 days, in addition to other provisions curtailing refugee admissions. In response, thousands of Americans rushed to airports across the country to stage protests. Five federal judges soon ruled in defense of religious freedom, temporarily blocking the Muslim ban.20 On March 6, 2017, the Trump administration issued a revised Muslim ban 2.0executive order 13780that was also blocked by federal judges.21 On September 24, 2017, the Trump administration released Muslim ban 3.0presidential proclamation 9645which made more changes to the ban.22 While this version was blocked in federal court and by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court took up the case and allowed the ban to go into partial effect during its review.23
The President Has Surrounded Himself With Evangelical Leaders Is He Learning From Them
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In September 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump gathered evangelical pastors, whose support he had courted assiduously, to discuss the political beliefs that they shared.
The reverend Robert Jeffress, who leads the megachurch First Baptist Dallas and preached at the church service Mr Trump attended on the morning of his inauguration, recalls looking at the agenda and starting to discuss the first item. Mr Trump interrupted him.
Pastor, dont you think we ought to pray first? Mr Trump said, according to Mr Jeffress.
As president, Mr Trump has surrounded himself with a tightknit group of pastors like Mr Jeffress, evangelical leaders who heap praise upon him for his socially conservative stances, his judicial appointments and his support for Israels government. Mr Trump often invites these pastors to pray and seems to enjoy hearing their professions of faith. Many of the pastors insist that Mr Trump is a Christian believer.
But Mr Trump who recently mocked the expressions of faith of two devout politicians, the Catholic house speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Mormon senator Mitt Romney very rarely puts his own religious beliefs on display.
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Bible Was Never Meant To Be Used As A Way Of Signalling To A Target Demographic
President Donald Trump holds a Bible outside St Johns church in Washington, DC, on Monday. Part of the church had been set on fire during protests the previous night. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP Photo
My favourite response to US president Donald Trumps use of a Bible in a photo opportunity outside St Johns church in Washington, DC, came from a priest on Facebook who captioned the photo with: Open it. I dare you.
Episcopal clergy and others who had been handing out water and first aid to peaceful protesters from the plaza outside St Johns were cleared with what protesters believed to be tear gas. This was all to facilitate President Trump posing outside with a Bible.
Trumps team did not inform the rector of the church before the president chose to brandish the Bible outside it
The irony is that while St Johns is known as the presidents church, Trump rarely attends. In fairness, the last president to attend St Johns on a semi-regular basis was George W Bush, who spent more time in Lincoln Park United Methodist and Washington Cathedral. Bill Clinton favoured Foundry United Methodist Church, which Hillary and he attended very regularly. Barack Obama attended church so rarely in Washington that it once made headlines when he did. His family did attend church regularly in Chicago before he became president.
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Why Is It Important To Go To Church On Sundays
There is a reason why Christians attend church on Sunday instead of Saturday since Jesus is resurrected on Sunday. Additionally known as the Lords Day, Sunday marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection day instead of the Sabbath, as it falls on a Sunday, is celebrated by Christians instead.
How The Trump Administration Has Harmed Faith Communities
People of faith have suffered under the Trump administrations attacks on civil rights, religious freedom, and health and economic well-being.
- Maggie Siddiqi
- Samantha Behar
In this article
See also: Connecting the Dots: How the Trump Administration Misuses Religious Freedom To Create a License To Discriminate by Maggie Siddiqi, Kurt Mueller, Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, and Sharita Gruberg
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What Church Do Presidents Go To
A self-proclaimed Church of the Presidents, Because of the preponderance of Episcopalians among U.S. presidents and the close proximity of St. Johns to the White House, every president since James Madison has made an appearance at the church on occasion. This is owing to the fact that the majority of presidents have been Episcopalians.
Are Presbyterian And Methodist The Same
The Presbyterian Church adheres to the doctrine that one can be justified only through Gods grace and maintains that the predestined elect is the only group of people who will make it to heaven. In contrast, the Methodist Church places an emphasis on deeds not creeds, recognizing the good works of the people as a representation of the depth of their faith.
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Has Trump Found Religion In The Oval Office
Then-President-elect Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, greet the Rev. Luis Leon as they arrive for a service at St. Johns Episcopal Church across from the White House on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20. | AP Photo
04/16/2017 11:33 AM EDT
President Donald Trump has increasingly infused references to God into his prepared remarks calling on God to bless all the world after launching strikes in Syria, asking God to bless the newest Supreme Court justice, invoking the Lord to argue in favor of a war on opioids.
Hes also taken other steps to further cultivate a Christian right that helped elect him, granting new levels of access to Christian media and pushing socially conservative positions that dont appear to come naturally to him.
One of the first interviews Trump sat for as president was with the Christian Broadcasting Networks David Brody.
Ive always felt the need to pray, Trump said in that late-January interview. The office is so powerful that you need God even more because your decisions are no longer, Gee Im going to build a building in New York. These are questions of massive, life-and-death.
Theres almost not a decision that you make when youre sitting in this position that isnt a really life-altering position, Trump added. So God comes into it even more so.
Language like that has the Christian conservatives who helped lift Trump to the White House nodding their heads in approval.
White House And Trump Administration
Within hours of the visit, the White House released a video of the event set to swelling orchestral music, showing Trump walking to the church, standing in front of the church with a Bible, and pumping his fist while walking past a row of riot police. The video shows almost no sign of destruction caused by days of protests near the White House. Photos of Trump during this event, including those of him walking across Lafayette Square, were quickly distributed and displayed by Trumps re-election campaign.
The Trump administration gave conflicting explanations for the forcible removal of the demonstrators from the park. The White House asserted that the crowd was dispersed to help enforce the 7:00 p.m. curfew, but neither Mayor Bowser nor the D.C. police force ever requested such assistance and demonstrators were forced out before curfew. Other Trump administration officials said the move to remove demonstrators was part of a previously planned decision by Barr and others to extend the perimeter around Lafayette Square by a block.
Responding to criticisms, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said, Is it a photo op because a photo was taken? I think the words photo op itself, calling into question, youre looking into someones heart and wondering, and second-guessing why they would go over there.
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The Loss Of Billions Of Dollars In Funding For Faith
The Trump administrations tax plan formed the basis of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which gave out nearly $2 trillion in tax cuts weighed toward wealthy individuals and large corporations. Provisions of the bill negatively affected small nonprofits, including many houses of worship. The administrations tax law doubled the standard deduction, dramatically reducing the number of taxpayers who itemize and thereby removing the tax incentive for charitable giving for tens of millions of Americans. This will have a devastating impact on houses of worship and faith-based community and social services. Economists estimated that the financial impact on charitable giving would depress charitable giving by $13 billion to $20 billion annually and eliminating 220,000 to 264,000 nonprofit jobs.109 Seventy-three percent of all U.S. charitable giving goes to faith-based organizations.110 Indeed, with more people ineligible for the tax breaks that encourage charitable donations, individual giving fell 3.4 percent in the year following the changes.111
The tax law also hurt religious groups by repealing the estate tax. A 2017 analysis from CAP estimated that charitable bequests specifically to religious groups would be the hardest hit by this move. CAP estimated that giving through wills to houses of worship and other faith-based charities would decline by $2.5 billion in 2024.112
What Are The Beliefs Of The Unitarian Church
The Trinity, often known as three distinct persons existing inside one God and consisting of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is a central tenet of orthodox Christian theology, but unitarianism denies it.In most cases, they hold the belief that God is a single entity, which they refer to as either God the Father or God the Mother.Jesus was not the incarnate god he was only a human being.
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Trump Grew Up In A Presbyterian Congregation
Trumps mother Mary was born in a Scottish Presbyterian household and emigrated to the United States when she was 18. Fred Trump grew up in the home of German immigrants who held to the Lutheran faith in which they were born. The Trumps were members at the First Presbyterian Church of Jamaica, Queens, which was the oldest continuous Presbyterian congregation in the Western Hemisphere.
Trump took the oath of office with his hand on two Bibles. One of them was a Bible given to him by his mother when he graduated Sunday Church Primary School at First Presbyterian when he was eight years old. Trump went through confirmation when he was 13 years old. According to David Brody and Scott Lamb, who co-authored the book The Faith of Donald Trump, the PCUSA congregation took young people through a booklet titled This is My Church. At the end of the class, they signed a certificate saying that they had placed their faith in Jesus Christ and were welcomed into the membership of the church.
Crowds Come Out For Former President In Dallas As He Makes His Last Stop On The History Tour With Former Fox News Personality Bill Oreilly
5:00 AM on Dec 19, 2021 CST Updated at 10:06 PM on Dec 19, 2021 CST
Update: This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the day.
Former President Donald Trump spent a full Sunday before Christmas in Dallas, attending services at First Baptist Church before appearing at American Airlines Center with former Fox News personality Bill OReilly.
The church had said the worship service would be a Christmas message, but acknowledging that he was straying from a prepared speech, the president said during his remarks that the nation is in great trouble.
Theres a lot of clouds hanging over our country right now dark clouds but we will come back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, Trump said. … Theres such spirit out there right now, Ive never seen anything like that.
He briefly mentioned border security, inflation, gas prices and the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan, which he called a mess and the most embarrassing day in the nations history. He also talked about and thanked the military and police, who he said are facing unprecedented crime and looting.
Our country needs a savior right now, and we have a savior thats not me, thats someone much higher up, Trump said before delivering a Christmas message about Jesus.
Were going to make America great again, he concluded before the crowd stood and chanted U.S.A.
Do You Religiously Go To Church Every Sunday
Its not the Sabbath because it is not the same day every year instead, its always the first of the month or middle of the month. As a result of a pagan philosophy, Sunday came from the ancient Babylonian sun worship . According to the Christian calendar, Saturday is the Sabbath. Has your church ever ayed: Do you go to church on Sundays?
What Do You Expect Well See From Trump In Terms Of His Religious Practice Over The Next Four Years
Trump is surely the most unpredictable president in the history of the American presidency. So any predictions are foolishbut guesses are maybe OK.
A guess is that Trump will develop some relationship with a Presbyterian church in Washingtonperhaps Westminster Presbyterian, where Eisenhower and Reagan worshipped. My guess is also that his church attendance will increase.
When in New York on a Sunday, he might go to a Presbyterian church. When at his estate in Palm Beach, hell surely continue to occasionally attend Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church. And I would also guess that, at least in the early years of his presidency, he will occasionally attend an evangelical church.
Though a list of his charitable donations displays many gifts to Roman Catholic churches, schools, and hospitals, I do not see a close relationship with Catholicism. Because of his daughters conversion to Judaism and his support of Israel, he could conceivably attend synagogue services. Its a conjecture, but I would guess that the amount of Judeo-Christian and biblical references in Trumps unscripted comments will not increase.
In the years since Norman Vincent Peales retirement, his spiritual mentor, Trump didnt turn his back on his religious upbringing. He had his children baptized. All his marriages were conducted by a minister. He seems to have gone to church at least on Christmas and Easter. Hes received communion.
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Current And Former Military Officers And Officials
Trump was accompanied on his walk and photo opportunity by Defense Secretary and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , prompting criticism of both men. An anonymous senior defense official said neither had intended to participate, and in a subsequent interview with NBC, Esper said he believed the walk was to review the troops and was not aware a peaceful protest had just been dispersed. At a news conference on June 3, Esper revised his account, saying, “I did know that we were going to the church I was not aware that a photo op was happening.”
Esper did not directly answer a question from the press about whether he regretted participating in the photo-op, saying that he tried to stay apolitical but “Sometimes, I’m successful, and sometimes I’m not as successful.” Esper also said he was not aware of the plan to clear the park and criticized the use of a helicopter. On June 3, Esper sought to send home a small portion of the 1,600 active-duty troops called to Washington, but during an angry meeting, Trump ordered Esper not to do so. The following day, amid a contentious dispute between the Pentagon and the White House, some National Guard troops began to withdraw.
Esper directed the Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy to lead an after action review of the National Guard’s role in domestic law enforcement. The review was expected to be completed by July 30, 2020.
National Guard on the scene
A President You Pointed Out In Our 2012 Interview Can Take On An Almost Priestly Or Pastoral Role In Times Of National Tragedy What Role Do You Anticipate Trump Playing If We Experience Such A Thing In The Next Four Years
I think those things are pretty well-scripted for presidents from the experience of their predecessors. Over the years presidents have had to learn how to handle disasters and tragedies. I cant see that this would present a real problem for Trump. I could see him handling them. At times during his campaign, Trump displayed a sense of compassion. More often, he belittled or bullied opponents, but I remember one time early in his campaign, he talked about the death of his older brother from alcoholism. He said that he had not done enough to help his brother. I thought, theres a little bit of sweetness there, a little touch of compassion. I think he could handle a national tragedy because he understands something about pain.
I would be far more nervous about how he would handle the option of nuclear warfare in a standoff where each side was warning about using nuclear weapons. I think that knowing how to handle that kind of a situation is not yet in his script.
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