Trump Protects School Prayer on National Religious Freedom Day

On Thursday, President Trump announced new provisions via executive order that are designed to protect students’ rights to pray in school. The announcement came in tandem with National Religious Freedom Day. This is a follow-through on promises made by Trump at a Religious Freedom Summit at the United Nations he hosted in September instead of attending an environmental summit.

The changes Trump announced “include proposing new rules from nine federal agencies on social services programs, updating federal guidance on prayer in public schools and instructing federal agencies to ensure states do not condition grants of federal funds “in a manner that would disadvantage grant applicants based on their religious character,” according to CNN.

Trump said…

“This afternoon we’re proudly announcing historic steps to protect the First Amendment right to pray in public schools. … There’s nothing more important than that, I would say,”

The changes will require state departments of education to provide a clear process for people to report complaints that individuals were denied constitutionally protected prayer, will require those departments to report claims of religious discrimination and added a section describing religious expression in the Equal Access Act.

Trump claimed…

“There’s a growing totalitarian impulse on the far left that seeks to punish, restrict and even prohibit religious expression.”

Oddly enough, Trump’s pro-prayer decisions come on the heel of leftist evangelicals attacking him. A research fellow at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ironically named), Thomas Kidd, claimed in a recent interview that Trump is, “patently contradictory to the best of evangelical values.”

No one at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is on record defending religious liberty on National Religious Liberty Day.


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