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
Trump’s Christian Supporters And The March On The Capitol
Christian supporters of President Donald Trump were among the thousands who descended on Washington DC last week. Their presence highlights a divide in American Christianity.
Before the march on the US Capitol began last Wednesday, some knelt to pray.
Thousands had come to the seat of power for a “Save America” rally organised to challenge the election result. Mr Trump addressed the crowd near the White House, calling on them to march on Congress where politicians were gathered to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
The crowd was littered with religious imagery. “Jesus 2020” campaign flags flapped in the wind alongside Trump banners and the stars and stripes of the US flag.
The throng did march to Congress, a protest that led to chaos at the Capitol.
At least one group carried a large wooden cross. Another blew shofars – a Jewish ritual horn some Christian evangelicals have co-opted as a battle cry. Elsewhere a white flag featured an ichthys – or “Jesus fish” – an ancient symbol of Christianity.
For some Christians, seeing religious symbols alongside Confederate flags was shocking.
But for others, Mr Trump is their saviour – someone who was “defending Christians from secularists” as Franklin Graham, son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, told the BBC.
The imagery on display was revealing of not just the racial and political divides in America, but the religious divides as well.
The Former United States President Donald Trump Has Said In Interview That Nobody Has Done More For Christianity Than Him When He Was In The White House
The former United States President Donald Trump has said that nobody has done more for Christianity than him when he was in the White House. In the latest outlandish remark after he has already indicated a potential presidential challenge in 2024, Trump said he did the most for the religion in a bid to emphasise what he has done for the Evangelical Christians and how he has always prioritised their interests. Notably, Evangelical Christians have been the crucial support base for the former US President ever since he announced his presidential bid in 2016.
To further cement his position as a staunch supporter of his religion, during a phone interview with The Victoria Channel for Flashpoint, the former US President was provided with an opportunity to share a message with his religious supporters. When the host asked the 75-year-old about why these supporters must remain engaged with him?, Trump stated that nobody has done more for Christianity than him.
Nobody has done more for Christianity or for evangelicals or for religion itself than I have,” Trump said. He also referenced getting rid of the Johnson Amendment which according to him, was a very bad thing.
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A Politicized And Mismanaged Coronavirus Response
The deadly coronavirus has devastated populations around the world, with the United States accounting to date for more than one-quarter of the worlds cases despite constituting only 4.25 percent of the worlds population.5 The Trump administrations chaotic and mismanaged response to the coronavirus crisis has cost more than 200,000 Americans their lives as of September 17, 2020.6 It has been especially harmful to faith communities.
Many faith communities have transitioned to online services or other highly modified in-person activities in order to protect their congregants and communities during the deadly pandemic.12 Yet the Trump administration has continued to push the conspiratorial notion that public health orders are a greater threat to religious freedom than the pandemic is a threat to the lives and well-being of faith communities. At the end of May 2020, Trump declared houses of worship essential and threatened to override governors who did not reopen them. Despite this, the authority of the president to enforce reopenings remains limited.13
In a concurring opinion in South Bay United Pentecostal Church, et al. v. Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, et al., Chief Justice John Roberts wrote:
Opinion: ‘when I Look At Donald Trump I Do Not See A Christian’
In this Monday, June 1, 2020 file photo, President Donald Trump holds a Bible as he visits outside St. John’s Church across Lafayette Park from the White House in Washington. Part of the church was set on fire during protests the previous night.
A cross on the makeshift alter before Pastor Steffon Arrington conducted Palm Sunday services to worshipers, who sat in their cars, in the parking lot of Spring Woods United Methodist Church, in Houston,Sunday, April 5, 2020. Communion was offered during the service, but with individual, pre-packaged wafers and juice.
Polls show that 82 percent of white evangelical Protestants support President Donald Trump. As a white evangelical Christian who has read the Bible, I find this hard to understand. When I look at Donald Trump, I do not see a Christian. I do not see a conservative. And when I look at Trump from a Biblical perspective, I certainly dont see the chosen one. I dont think believers should have anything to do with Trump.
In the third chapter of Colossians and the fifth chapter of Galatians, we are given a list of attributes of those living their Christian faith: compassion, kindness, humility and gentleness. I do not associate any of these words with Trump.
Goen is a mechanic who has lived in the Houston area since 1995.
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For God And Country Review: Christian Case For Trump Is A Thin Read Indeed
Amid the evasions and distortions lies evidence that Ralph Reed knows, really, that religion and politics can mix to noble ends just not under this president
Ralph Reed, an evangelical leader and conservative political activist, first met Donald Trump in 2011, after being coincidentally seated next to Ivanka Trump at a meeting. The following year, he writes now, at his own Faith & Freedom conference, Trump bounded on stage to the thumping strains of Money, money, money from For the Love of Money, a song by the 70s soul group the OJays.
On the page and off, Reed is usually quick to provide apposite quotes from the scriptures. In a book that is part history of the 2016 campaign, part apologia, part work of political theory, and part political shell game, he chooses not to include here 1 Timothy 6:10: For the love of money is the root of all evil.
Reed purports to offer the Christian Case for Trump but his preaching is largely to the converted and, most urgently, to those worried by the potential flames of Joe Biden.
For Reed, Trump offered an appealing path: With his money and celebrity, combined with a socially conservative message aimed at evangelicals, he could make a serious run for president and secure policy victories galore.
This is pure and simple advocacy, and it is deceptive
Writing about the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the supreme court, Reed claims all the doubts, reservations, even suspicions every one of them had been false.
Is Donald Trump Now A Born
After Donald Trump met with a group of evangelical leaders last week, Dr. James Dobson said that Trump “did accept a relationship with Christ,” and he had done so recently.
Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, was talking about the meeting with Trump in an interview with Pastor Michael Anthony on his website, Godfactor.com, and Anthony had said he was taken aback by a “gentler Trump.”
“e did accept a relationship with Christ,”Dobson said. “I know the person who led him to Christ — that’s fairly recent.”
Surprised, Anthony asked him, “How recently, roughly?” And Dobson responded, “Well, I don’t know. I don’t know when it was. But it has not been long.”
Trump, who has in the past said he is Presbyterian, has occasionally stumbled over religious references during the campaign. Asked what his favorite Bible verse is, he chose the Old Testament’s “eye for an eye.” And during an address at Liberty University, he referred to Second Corinthians as “Two Corinthians.”
Dobson talked about Trump’s unfamiliarity with the vernacular of evangelical Christians.
“He doesn’t know our language — you know, we had 40 Christians together with him,” he told Anthony. “He used the word hell four or five times. He doesn’t know our language. He really doesn’t.”
One example Dobson pointed to — “he refers a lot to religion and not much to faith and belief.”
But this, Dobson says, is a function of the fact that Trump wasn’t raised in the church.
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How The Trump Administration Has Harmed Faith Communities
Black clergy members stand with other attendees during a Mass for racial healing on Castle Island in South Boston on June 13, 2020.
- Sam Hananel
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
Trump Secretly Mocks His Christian Supporters
Former aides say that in private, the president has spoken with cynicism and contempt about believers.
One day in 2015, Donald Trump beckoned Michael Cohen, his longtime confidant and personal attorney, into his office. Trump was brandishing a printout of an article about an Atlanta-based megachurch pastor trying to raise $60 million from his flock to buy a private jet. Trump knew the preacher personallyCreflo Dollar had been among a group of evangelical figures who visited him in 2011 while he was first exploring a presidential bid. During the meeting, Trump had reverently bowed his head in prayer while the pastors laid hands on him. Now he was gleefully reciting the impious details of Dollars quest for a Gulfstream G650.
Trump seemed delighted by the scam, Cohen recalled to me, and eager to highlight that the pastor was full of shit. Theyre all hustlers, Trump said.
The presidents alliance with religious conservatives has long been premised on the contention that he takes them seriously, while Democrats hold them in disdain. In speeches and interviews, Trump routinely lavishes praise on conservative Christians, casting himself as their champion. My administration will never stop fighting for Americans of faith, he declared at a rally for evangelicals earlier this year. Its a message his campaign will seek to amplify in the coming weeks as Republicans work to confirm Amy Coney Barretta devout, conservative Catholicto the Supreme Court.
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Trump Says He Now Identifies As A Non
President Trump, who has long identified as a Presbyterian, now considers himself a non-denominational Christian, a new report said.
The president shared his change in religious identity in a written interview with the Religious News Service.
Though I was confirmed at a Presbyterian church as a child, I now consider myself to be a non-denominational Christian, Trump wrote, without giving an explanation for the transformation or saying when it occurred.
Trump has a loyal base among white evangelicals, who in 2016 helped propel him to victory.
That year, the religious group made up roughly a quarter of the electorate, and 81 percent of them voted for Trump, according to a report by The Washington Post.
The president told RNS that his parents taught me the importance of faith and prayer from a young age.
Trump, who contracted COVID-19 in early October, attributed his swift recovery to his faith.
I said, There were miracles coming down from heaven. I meant it Melania and I are very thankful to God for looking out for our family and returning us to good health, he told the outlet.
The president received a cocktail of anti-virus drugs while battling COVID-19. After taking an antibody treatment by drugmaker Regeneron, Trump said he felt like Superman.
What Trump Really Says About Religious Conservatives
- Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks
In speeches and interviews, President Donald Trump plays a champion of conservative religious values. But according to McKay Coppins’ recent Atlantic article, behind closed doors, Trumps comments about religion are marked by cynicism and contempt.
Coppins, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has experienced Trumps two-faced treatment of deeply religious people firsthand, and he writes that the president mocks Mormons as well Jews, and even the evangelical Christians that make up an important core of his base. Coppins joins us Friday at 11 a.m. to talk about what the president says privately about religious conservatives. Well also ask how LDS voters in Utah are thinking about Trump in the lead-up to the November election.
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No Support For Religious Communities Fleeing Persecution
The Trump administration has also turned its back on religious minorities around the world. It did not initially sanction Chinese officials for putting members of that nations Uighur Muslim minority into concentration camps because such action would hurt the chances of a trade deal with China.55 The president signed legislation approving sanctions only after former national security adviser John Bolton alleged in his book that Trump had encouraged Chinese President Xi Jinping to continue putting Muslims in concentration camps.56 The Trump administration has also declined to criticize Indias Hindu nationalist citizenship law that denied rights to Muslims. I want to leave that to India, President Trump said, abdicating the U.S. commitment to international religious freedom.57
According to an analysis by the International Rescue Committee, U.S. resettlement of religious minorities has fallen sharply since the beginning of the Trump administration.65