by Jon Schweppe
President Trump’s executive order on religious liberty was an important first step. It was impressive to see the President today voice support for religious freedom and hugging the Little Sisters of the Poor in the Rose Garden.
There is still much to be done on this issue, however. Our fight isn’t over.
The executive order certainly expressed the right spirit and promoted the idea that pastors and people of faith should be free from government persecution, that the tax-exempt status of churches should not be jeopardized, and that conscientious objections to the HHS contraception mandate should be respected. This was all really good stuff.
But for this executive order to have teeth — to really have the force of law behind it — it will require action by Congress. Republicans have the House, Republicans have the Senate, and now Republicans have a President who has shown a dedication to protecting religious freedom. Now, conservatives need GOP leadership and the Trump administration to have the political will to push specific bills, like the First Amendment Defense Act, that will provide real legal protections to people of faith.
Let’s not forget the seriousness of this issue. People are getting fired and having their livelihoods stripped away from them because they believe, as their faith instructs them, that marriage is between a man and a woman.
This is the United States of America. The government should not be in the business of forcing people to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs. But, as we have seen, the totalitarian LGBT lobby is incredibly powerful and will not stop until people of faith are bullied into silence and consent. It’s going to take the force of law, not merely words, to win this fight.