Religion and free speech

5/4/17: President Donald Trump signed an executive order to ease a ban on political activity by churches and other tax-exempt institutions as part of an order on religious liberties. The order, among other things, mandates governement regulatory relief to religious employers that object to being forced to support contraception programs. The order does not include provisions to allow government agencies and businesses to deny services to gay people in the name of religious freedom, protecting the rights of gay people. "It directs the IRS to exercise maximum enforcement discretion to alleviate the burden of the Johnson amendment which prohibits religious leaders from speaking about politics and candidate from the pulpit," In short..........religious groups will no longer be madated by the government to express their religious beliefs unless it discriminates against people. 

​10/6/17:  The Trump administration ends an Obama era rule requiring Catholic nuns to fund contraception. Trump rolled back ObamaCare contraceptive mandate (which already has been the subject of multiple legal challenges) which forced employers that provide health insurance to cover contraceptives. “No American should be forced to violate his or her own conscience in order to abide by the laws and regulations governing our health care system,” said HHS press secretary Caitlin Oakley. “Today’s actions affirm the Trump administration’s commitment to upholding the freedoms afforded all Americans under our Constitution.”. We support thie decision based on one simple question: Why would any American, no matter what their religions is, have to be forced to pay for someone else's contraceptives? 

5/3/18: President Trump signed an executive order called White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative revamping the White House office on faith issues restoring a Bush-era initiative to get religious groups more involved in providing federally funded social services. The executive order repeals Obama administration rules limiting the ability of groups getting federal funds to preach to those they serve. Under the Trump order, faith-based groups will no longer have to refer beneficiaries to alternative programs if they object to the religious teachings.   

7/30/18:  The Trump administration announced the "Religious Liberty Task Force." It was created based on their argument that America has become less hospitable to people of faith in recent years, and as a result many Americans have felt their freedom to practice their faith has been under attack.

1/29/19:  President Trump signaled his support for state bills that would allow public schools to teach courses in the Bible.

3/2/19:  Trump announces executive order targeting college campuses and free speech. The executive order will require colleges and universities that accept federal research money to support free speech rights.