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Americans United: Trump Executive Order Harms Religious Freedom And Undermines Protections For Houses Of Worship And Women

Religious Freedom Advocacy Group Says Trump’s Use Of National Day Of Prayer Shows His Zeal For Showmanship Over Sincerity

President Donald Trump’s latest executive order is a direct attack on religious freedom, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

“Exploiting the National Day of Prayer to trample religious freedom highlights Trump’s zeal to substitute showmanship for sincerity,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn. “Today, the president pandered to his far-right fundamentalist base, upending protections for houses of worship and allowing religion to be used as an excuse to deny women coverage for contraception and other preventive health care.”

Groups Tell Congress To Oppose Church Politicking

Americans United joined a coalition of 4,500 national, state and local groups that on April 5 sent a letter to congressional leaders advising them to leave intact a federal law that bars tax-exempt, non-profit groups, including houses of worship, from intervening in partisan politics.

Polls Show Americans Do Not Support Repealing The Johnson Amendment

Three recent polls continued to demonstrate a majority of Americans do not support President Donald J. Trump’s call to “get rid of and totally destroy” the federal law that bars non-profit groups, including houses of worship, from intervening in elections by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.

This provision of the tax code, known as the “Johnson Amendment” for then-U.S. Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, who sponsored it in 1954, is designed to prevent tax-exempt groups from acting like political action committees.

AU Files Request For Trump Administration Documents About Religious Exemptions

Americans United on March 29 requested from eight federal agencies any documents created since President Donald J. Trump was elected relating to plans or considerations to permit people and institutions to cite religious beliefs as justification for discrimination.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was sent to the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, Labor, Education, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development; the Office of Management and Budget; and the Office of Personnel Management.

The Gorsuch Battle

Neil Gorsuch is now the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court.  He was confirmed only after the Senate changed its rules to abolish the filibuster that was to occur to block Gorsuch’s nomination.

Gorsuch received 54 votes, all that was necessary once the Republican majority employed the “nuclear option” and abolished the filibuster, which would have required 60 votes to end debate on Gorsuch. Three Democratic senators joined all 51 Republicans in attendance to make the confirmation a reality.

Will The Real Theocrats Please Stand Up?

By Bruce Gourley

Hate crimes in America against Muslims have risen to levels not seen since 9/11. President Donald J. Trump inflamed and rode Islamophobia to the White House, drawing the overwhelming support of a key anti-Islam voting constit­uency – right-wing evangelical Chris­­­tians. Upon taking office, Trump signed an executive order travel ban targeting immigrants from seven Mus­lim nations, and all refugees. Many of his evangelical Christian supporters cheered, but their joy was short lived as courts quickly blocked the pres­ident’s unconstitu­tional action.

This Ban Can't Stand

When a pair of Muslim Yem­eni parents were granted asylum in the United States, they faced obstacles while attempting to get visas for two of their six children who are stranded overseas and facing the danger of possibly returning to war-torn Yemen.

It’s been more than 800 days since that family has seen their children, and they constantly worry about their safety.

Separated families, children in danger and the continuing threat of war and terrorism continue plaguing many fleeing families worldwide, especially within war-torn Muslim-majority countries like Yemen and Syria.

Going With Gorsuch

It took extraordinary measures by Senate Republicans, but Neil Gor­such, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, was confirmed April 7 on a 54-45 vote.

Gorsuch secured the seat only after the GOP leadership in the Senate invoked the so-called “nuclear option.” Democrats in the Senate had planned to prevent a vote on Gorsuch by filibustering. Under Senate rules, it takes 60 votes to end a filibuster, but Republicans voted April 6 to change the rules, allowing a simple majority to end the filibuster. A day later, they confirmed Gorsuch.

Save Our Schools!

President Donald J. Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos may think private school voucher schemes are an education panacea, but past federal education officials – including those who worked for conservative administrations – are less optimistic.

“If you try something and it’s experimental, and the experiment doesn’t work, why would you want to do it again and again and again?” Diane Ravitch, who served as assistant secretary of education under former President George H.W. Bush, asked during a speech in Texas in late March. “That’s what we’re doing now with . . . vouchers.”

Sean Spicer’s Comments About Hitler Show Appalling Ignorance Of Basic Historical Facts

Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer dug himself into quite a hole when he made a terrible analogy about dictators Adolf Hitler and Bashar Al Assad.

“You had someone who was as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer told reporters in a failed attempt to highlight how brutal the Assad regime’s most recent chemical attack on Syrians was. “He [Hitler] was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing.”

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