Photo credit: American Life League via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0

Trump Administration Follows Through on Protecting Religious Freedom

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Today, the Trump administration announced it would be taking three important, new steps to better protect life and religious liberty:

1.) The administration officially issued a rule which will protect the religious freedom of employers who object to the Obama administration’s “contraception mandate,” finally providing relief to groups such as the Little Sisters of the Poor who had taken their case all the way to the Supreme Court. Importantly, the new rule also expands exemption from the mandate to cover the religious and moral objections of non-profit organizations, for-profit, government contractors, non-government employees, institutions of higher education, individuals, and even insurance companies. It’s also granted for sincere religious and moral objections, meaning that these individuals and groups don’t have to go through a tedious application process for the exemption.

2.) The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a guidance announcing it would be enforcing requirements that abortion healthcare coverage be separate from other healthcare coverage under Obamacare plans, ensuring that federal money does not go toward funding abortions.

3.) The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a guidance to all federal agencies directing them to protect freedom of religion when it comes to enforcing employment law as well as in awarding federal grants.

As evidence across the world shows, countries with robust protections for the free exercise of religion have healthier economies and more secure civil liberties. No doubt the United States will also benefit greatly from moves in this direction.

Additionally, in taking these actions, the Trump administration’s DOJ and HHS are following through on one of the President’s key campaign promises: to provide relief for good Americans burdened by the remnants of President Obama’s overreach. By clarifying that religious freedom encompasses all aspects of religious practice, not just the revisionist definition of freedom to ‘worship,’ President Trump’s administration has set forth the right principles for interpreting existing law — not to mention providing the Little Sisters of the Poor and other morally-motivated citizens the justice they deserve.

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Unfortunately, in light of the redefinition of marriage by nine unelected judges, the Left is still free to persecute good-willed Americans who still hold beliefs about marriage, sexuality, and gender that are in line with all of human history. President Trump and his agencies have done all possible to interpret existing law so that Americans do not have to choose between the law and their faith.

Now it is time for Congress to follow suit. Our elected officials must take legislative action to protect the religious and moral convictions of Americans when they run up against the steamroller of secular belief.

Photo credit: American Life League via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0


Anna Anderson

Anna Anderson is the Director of the Religious Freedom Program at American Principles Project.