Trump’s religious freedom order is a betrayal of our founding principles



There is an irony to the Trump supporters cheering the recently signed executive order which ‘promotes religious liberty‘. These people, led by Vice President Pence, believe this country isn’t religious enough, but of course, they mean not Christian enough (their particular faith). The irony is that this group of supporters, flag waving, consider themselves the ‘real Americans’ yet, as Hitchens reminded us frequently, the Founders (would they pass Trump voters’ ‘Real American’ test?) were men of the enlightenment, and they thought enough about the issues of religion and state that they went through a lot of trouble to separate the two. That’s what makes us different than the places from which the Founders fled. Hitchens explains it to the thick Ken Blackwell in this video.  Hitchens addresses the topic in Thomas Jefferson: Author of America, and of course with a broader perspective, in God is Not Great.

Trump is likely not interested in religion, but he’s a big fan of throwing bones to his base.

Dangerous Ground. A fight we need to have to put this issue to bed

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The fact that divorced and married three and four times, with children out of wedlock, Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis violated the law by refusing marriage licenses to gay couples, is a good thing. It brings to light an issue that needs clarification: the difference between being free to practice one’s religion, and what the conservatives are calling ‘religious freedom’. While the distinction is obvious to many of us, there are large groups of people who don’t seem to understand that the US is not a theocracy.

The crux of the issue is that we are free to practice our religions in ways that don’t violate the rights of others. God’s law does not supersede our secular law as U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning, who jailed Ms. Daviscorrectly pointed out. There is an excellent discussion of the topic in this Washington Post article:

Legally, ‘God’s authority’ is a tough issue

To simplify it in a way that even the former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee can understand, with a little humor:

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Mike Huckabee

As for the claim that we are a Christian nation, here’s Hitchens explaining  to an obstinate Ken Blackwell, of the Family Research Council, why this is not the case.