Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Atheist Group Suing Trump over Religious Freedom Executive Order


The atheist Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) announced late last week they would be suing the Trump administration over an executive order on religious liberty which the President signed on Thursday.

Although many political commentators, including some on the left, reacted to the executive order by pointing out its relative weakness, FFRF claims the order is unconstitutional because it necessitates the government to favor religion over non-religion. Despite the fact that the order applies to all non-profits, the group claims it will unfairly benefit churches and religious organizations.

According to the suit, “President Trump’s EO creates the appearance of government endorsement of churches and religious organizations and a preference for these religious organizations above similarly situated nonreligious organizations.” This, the suit claims, is because the language of the order is vague — a criticism conservative groups have also expressed — and will thereby selectively benefit religious groups and hurt non-religious 501(c)(3) organizations, who would be barred from endorsing political candidates or risk losing their tax exempt status.

Meanwhile, conservative groups and leaders are unimpressed with the President’s order, criticizing it for its ineffectivity and deeming it essentially meaningless. Some groups have even gone so far as to say the order has the potential to harm religious organizations and referred to it as a “betrayal”.

And while a number of liberal groups, such as the ACLU, have written off the executive order as “fake news,” some on Left, it would seem, will take any opportunity they can to “resist,” even if what they’re resisting poses little threat.

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Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Diana Valentine

Diana Valentine works for the American Principles Project.