Religion
The 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America grants freedom of worship, speech & press; the right to petition the government & to assemble peaceably. Specifically with regard to "religion" it states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Many on the left have tried for at least 50 years to re-write history with regard to "separation of church and state" and to downgrade the religious beliefs of the founding fathers. This quote should satisfy both questions: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports ... and let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." George Washington, Farewell Speech, 9/17/1796 (from "Being George Washington"). The Liberty Institute lists the many & varied current activities to attempt to eliminate Religious Freedom in America. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology by researchers at the London School of Economics and Erasmus University Medical Center found that the secret to sustained happiness lies in participating in religion. “The church appears to play a very important social role in keeping depression at bay and also as a coping mechanism during periods of illness in later life,” an author of the study said.

Trump’s Executive Order on Religious Liberty Is Worse Than Useless

5/4/17
from National Review,
5/4/17:

Freedom must be written into law, not wish-cast through commands that a later president can reverse.

Fresh on the heels of a budget deal that fully funds Planned Parenthood, Donald Trump has signed a religious-liberty executive order that — if reports are correct — is constitutionally dubious, dangerously misleading, and ultimately harmful to the very cause that it purports to protect. In fact, he should tear it up, not start over, and do the actual real statutory and regulatory work that truly protects religious liberty. According to the New York Times and others privy to the administration’s preview, the order has three main components: 1) a promise to “protect and vigorously promote religious liberty,” 2) a directive to “ease restrictions on political activity by churches and charities,” and 3) an order to “federal agencies to exempt some religious organizations from Affordable Care Act requirements that provide employees with health coverage for contraception.” Those directives are respectively 1) meaningless, 2) dangerous, and 3) meaningless.

Let’s dispense first with the vague and sweeping promise to “protect and vigorously promote religious liberty.” That’s a nice sentiment, but it’s proven only by actions, and if the order itself is considered one of those actions, then it’s self-refuting. The order doesn’t do anything “vigorously,” and it doesn’t “protect” anything at all. Next — and this is important to understand — an executive order cannot repeal a statute, and legal restrictions on political activity by churches are statutory. They’re part of the so-called Johnson Amendment, a rarely enforced provision of the tax code that prohibits 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations from, as the IRS explains, “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 Johnson Amendment is constitutionally problematic (to put it mildly). Lyndon Johnson rammed it through Congress for the noble purpose of stopping nonprofits from supporting his primary opponent and preserving his own political hide, and it’s been on the books ever since. Though it’s rarely enforced, it hangs like the Sword of Damocles over the heads not just of churches but of every 501(c)(3) in the United States. First Amendment lawyers are desperate to find a good test case to challenge it, but the IRS’s general lack of enforcement means that the right case is elusive. So the amendment remains. The answer to the Johnson Amendment, however, is to either repeal the statute or overturn it in court. This order does neither.

Finally, the order is just as notable for what it omits as for what it reportedly includes. While the Johnson Amendment is important, its threat to religious freedom pales in comparison to the comprehensive assault on religious organizations on federally funded campuses, the threats to the religious freedom of Christian educational institutions, and the attack on the rights of conscience of dissenters from the new orthodoxies on marriage, the family, and even the definition of male and female. What will the administration do to protect religious freedom when the entire cultural Left mobilizes against it? We still don’t know.

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