President Donald Trump Warns that religious freedom is “under threat”
US President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to repeal the Johnson Amendment, an IRS rule barring pastors from endorsing candidates from the pulpit fostered by Lyndon B. Johnson in the early 50’s to quell pastors from speaking out against him and other progressive Democrats.
“I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of IRS retribution,”
President Trump said during remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, a high-profile event bringing together faith leaders, politicians and dignitaries.
President Trump made that pledge as a candidate.
The Head of First Liberty Institute, a non-profit legal group that specializes in religious freedom cases, said no other Presidential candidate was “more outspoken on their commitment to religious freedom” than Donald Trump.
The President made no mention at the prayer breakfast of other steps he may take on those issues, saying only that religious freedom is a “sacred right.”
He thanked the American people for their prayers in his opening days in office.
Religious conservatives, who saw a series of defeats on same-sex marriage, abortion and other issues under former President Barack Hussein-Obama, have been bolstered by Donald Trump’s win.
In a letter last year to Roman Catholics, Donald Trump pledged, “I will defend your religious liberties and the right to fully and freely practice your religion, as individuals, business owners and academic institutions.”
President Trump’s Supreme Court pick this week was also considered a positive sign.
A favorite of conservative Americans, Neil Gorsuch serves on the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals, where he sided with Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor when they mounted religious objections to the Obama Admin’s requirement that employers provide health insurance that includes contraceptives.