US President, Donald Trump, has signed an executive order, which provides the basis for the easier political manoeuvring of the religious in America as opposed to the non-religious.
There was a weakening of the enforcement of a rule that prevented churches and tax-exempt groups from the endorsement of American political candidates.
There were steps towards resolution of the dispute over Obama-era healthcare care plan rules, which moved in the favour of the religious Right by the opposition to birth control. More or less, Trump’s inner circle mostly belongs to the religious Right.
To faith leaders at the White House Rose Garden, Trump said, “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced any more and we will never ever stand for religious discrimination…With this executive order, we are ending the attacks on your religious liberty.”
Evangelical leaders and scholars consider this to be a watered down version of a drafted executive order that was leaked earlier in 2017. Even so, the executive order is highly in favour of the religious Right.
It was filled with religious exemptions and language that could give millions of Americans “a licence to discriminate” against parents that were unwed, some rights advocates, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
This will possibly result in a new policy for the Health Department. The accommodation will be for religious institutions or groups that can tell the federal government that they were after the amendment “to provide employees with contraceptive coverage.”
The Centre for Reproductive Rights has an opening that is ready to block the order in court. The order seems to have gone far, but not as far as the refusal of services to individuals and organisations based on religious beliefs.
For example, if an individual was a Christian and did not want to provide a service to a Muslim, a homosexual, or a nonreligious individual, then the Christian owner of the business would be able to deny them the service based on their religious ‘superiority;’ being Christian.
There have been rumours about the Trump administration and their preparation of a sweeping executive order that would allow any government worker or organisation receiving federal funding the right to target LGBT people.
The president of Naral Pro-Choice America, Ilyse Hogue, said, “Americans did not vote to have their healthcare taken away or to have their access to birth control cut off.”
As well, Trevor Potter, the president of the Campaign Legal Center, said, “For decades, the charitable political activities prohibition has kept tax-exempt religious institutions focused on their religious missions, freeing them from the pressures associated with partisan political campaigns.”
Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. Jacobsen works for science and human rights, especially women’s and children’s rights. He considers the modern scientific and technological world the foundation for the provision of the basics of human life throughout the world and advancement of human rights as the universal movement among peoples everywhere.