Trump, pandering to religious conservatives plans to sign an executive order relaxing restrictions on churches being able to be involved in politics without losing their tax exempt status. A move that weakens the separation of church and state that has been a hallmark of our democracy since it infancy.
Churches serve the purposes of like-minded faith advocates to gather and hear religious philosophy and sermons. They have absolutely no business participating in the secular business of governing. When the United States of America starts down that ill-advised and dangerous path we will become no different from any other state that allow religion to influence their actions. Think Radicalized Islam for starters.
As an aside, churches should not enjoy tax exempt status in the first place. But that’s a discussion for another post perhaps.
From The New York Times.
WASHINGTON – President Trump plans to mark National Day of Prayer on Thursday by issuing an executive order that makes it easier for churches and other religious groups to actively participate in politics without risking their tax-exempt status, several administration officials said.
Taking action as he hosts conservative religious leaders Thursday morning, Mr. Trump’s executive order would attempt to overcome a provision in the federal tax code that prohibits religious organizations like churches from directly opposing or supporting political candidates.
The move is likely to be hailed by some faith leaders, who have long complained that the law stifles their freedom of expression. But the order falls short of a more sweeping effort to protect religious liberties that has been pushed by conservative religious leaders since Mr. Trump’s election.
Many clergy members say they do not want to endorse political candidates from the pulpit because it could split their congregations and distract from their religious messages. This appears to be the case even among evangelicals, although it is Mr. Trump’s conservative evangelical advisers who encouraged him to address the issue.
It was unclear Wednesday whether Mr. Trump also planned to issue a separate order that would exempt some religious organizations like churches from Obama-era regulations requiring protections for gay men, lesbians and others.
A coalition of evangelicals, Roman Catholics, Mormons and Orthodox Jews has been eagerly awaiting a so-called religious liberty order, which they also hope will exempt religious entities from providing their employees with coverage for contraception in their health care plans.
Several conservative religious leaders said they expected Mr. Trump to issue such an order.
Perhaps Mr. Trump will explain how and why his support for religious entities becoming active in politics, as well as discriminating against LGBT individuals, is any different from Muslim nations that embrace the same.
The NYT article continues BELOW THE FOLD.