Wisconsin-based atheist group sues Trump over church order

Louis Holland
May 7, 2017

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a statement that it would challenge the president's order in court.

The President also ordered the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services to "consider issuing amended regulations, consistent with applicable law, to address conscience-based objections to the preventive-care mandate promulgated under section 300gg-13 (a)(4) of title 42, United States Code".

"(The order) essentially repeats what the IRS has done in practice", Samek said. But Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel says to restore religious freedom, a lot of the work needs to be done by the states.

Until such counter-action takes place, religious Jewish organizations, left and right, could use the new order as effectively as the evangelical groups to which it had been promised during the presidential campaign.

"History teaches us this: Whenever the church is too close to government. the church loses its integrity", he said.

Shortly before Trump signed the executive order, Tyler submitted testimony to a House subcommittee hearing about the "Johnson Amendment". Lyndon Johnson. It bars tax-exempt religious organizations from endorsing candidates.

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As the IRS website states, nonprofit organizations are "absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office". "The order does not change that".

On Thursday, several Jewish groups and leaders came out against the executive order, saying the amendment was a bulwark that prevents the mixing of prayer and politics.

The executive order - signed by President Donald Trump on Thursday - directs the federal government to undo the damage to religious freedom done during eight years under the Obama administration.

As CBN News previously reported, the order also stipulates that it is the duty of the executive branch to protect and promote religious liberty.

The ACLU is focused on attempts to undermine requirements that religious employers cover contraceptive services in their employee healthcare policies, but it doesn't seem concerned about the rights of atheists, agnostics and non-theists.

"It appears we may now have that opportunity, so that may change things".

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"Under my administration, free speech does not end at the steps of a cathedral or a synagogue or any other house of worship", he went on.

Another aspect of the order is a weakening of what Trump called the "unfair" Johnson Amendment during the May 4 event.

"I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution", Trump said in February. They noted that religious groups are free already to advocate for issues and political causes, if not candidates.

The Johnson Amendment is not terribly restrictive. A 2016 Pew study found that while almost two-thirds of worshippers have heard clergy deliver a sermon about a social or political issue, only 14 percent have heard clergy endorse or oppose a candidate.

This order fundamentally misunderstands the principles of religious freedom: that the government can not sponsor or favor one faith tradition over the other.

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