Donald Trump vows to defend religious freedoms 'always'

Donald Trump vows to defend religious freedoms 'always'

Donald Trump vows to defend religious freedoms 'always'

He further noted that: "This office will also help ensure that faith-based organizations will have equal access to government funding and the equal right to exercise their deeply held beliefs".

A White House document posted online after the order was signed said its goal was to ensure that faith-based and community organizations "have strong advocates" in the White House and the federal government.

No details about the order were given at the ceremony, but religious leaders were reminded of the work they do in caring for those in need and were assured by the president that their religious freedom would continue to be protected by the federal government.

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At a National Day of Prayer event in the White House Rose Garden yesterday (3 May) President Donald Trump signed an order whose objective according to the administration was to ensure that faith groups have "strong advocates" in the White House and federal Government.

In his address at the event Mr Trump said prayer has "forged the identity of this nation" and sustained it.

Critics of the executive order, like the Center for Inquiry, which opposes government partnerships with religious groups, claimed that it includes a stealth feature that would make it much harder for people to obtain federally funded social services from an organization that doesn't have religious ties.

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The order, signed in the White House Rose Garden on the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, is entitled Establishment of a White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative. The new office, which will report directly to the White House, won't be a symbolic gesture or a pretext for pet projects, but a commitment to ensure the ability of individuals of faith to be at home in every USA agency.

"It's really crystal clear that this is inviting and encouraging federal dollars to flow to organizations that discriminate", notes Lambda Legal CEO Rachel Tiven. As he said today, "We must cherish our spiritual foundation" and the actions of this administration back it up. But some LGBTQ advocates fear this administration could use the new order as ammunition to target their communities. All executive departments and agencies (agencies) shall, to the greatest extent practicable and to the extent permitted by law, respect and protect the freedom of persons and organizations to engage in religious and political speech.

"This is the Pence administration paying off its base", says Tiven.

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Other civil rights organizations also expressed concern over the new executive order. "Most Americans don't want this, and I think a lot of people see it as a slippery slope". In sharp contrast to the previous administration, President Trump is committed to protecting and promoting religious freedom 365 days year. "But that freedom does not give any of us the right to harm other people, to impose our beliefs on others, or to discriminate".

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