1600 Pennsylvania Ave
NW, Washington Dc 20500
Dear President Trump, October 20, 2017
Thank you for responding to my concerns. My concerns remain.
What does the constitution say about religious freedom?
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridge the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
You confuse secular law with religious law. Religious freedom does not include the right to influence secular law. The first amendment includes freedom from religion. Government is not meant to be run or influenced by religion. The two must remain separate. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”, at all.
You say, “These (religious) people and organizations are often government’s most effective partners in caring for the sick and elderly…America’s tradition of welcoming faith into the public square is a source of our strength.” Religious organizations were never meant to be “government’s most effective partners”. America has a tradition of welcoming people from every religion to practice their religions freely, including the Muslim traditions, and atheism. It most certainly does not have the tradition of mixing freedom of religion with “the public square”, if by “the public square” you mean government. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”, at all.
You say, the Johnson Amendment prohibits churches and religious organizations from participating or intervening in certain types of political campaigns. You claim it is an “infringement on critical First Amendment rights.” The Johnson Amendment does not do anything that the First Amendment has not already done. Religion was not meant to intervene in any political campaigns. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”, at all.
Your Executive Order is an unconstitutional overstep of power. Your Executive Order ensures that “churches and religious organizations are able to take public positions… without undue Government interference.” It is the governments obligation to ensure that religious leaders do not become government leaders that impose their religion on citizens. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”, at all.
Your Executive Order refers to “harmful Obamacare regulations” that require employer-provided healthcare plans to cover certain items and services that may violate their religious or moral beliefs. If by this you are speaking of abortion, and women’s reproductive care, and we all know you are, employer provided health care should not be involved in imposing religious morals that do not agree with the clear majority of citizens. Healthcare should not be run by religions. Women who do not choose to have an abortion, are not forced to. Freedom to choose one’s behavior based on their religious freedom is protected. Imposing one’s religious beliefs is not. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”, at all.
You say you are defending religious liberty. You are not. You are imposing a religious dictatorship.
Thank you for your time,