This week President Donald Trump kept one of his most important campaign promises by signing an Executive Order that will protect freedom of speech and freedom of religion in America.
This Order should put a stop to the fears of many churches and pastors that they will be oppressed by the IRS for practicing their Constitutional right to speak firmly concerning individual policy and politicians from their pulpits. Although the infamous Johnson Amendment, that has for over half a century threatened churches not to publicly endorse or warn against a political candidates will need to be voted on by Congress, the Order serves the same purpose until Congress acts on the issue.
My dear friend Paul Teller, who serves as the Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs at The White House, emailed me the quick summary of the Order. I thought you might want to see it.
EXECUTIVE ORDER: PROMOTING FREE SPEECH AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
1. Declares that it is the policy of the administration to protect and vigorously promote religious liberty;
2. Directs the IRS to exercise maximum enforcement discretion to alleviate the burden of the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits religious leaders from speaking about politics and candidates from the pulpit;
3. Provides regulatory relief for religious objectors to Obamacare’s burdensome preventive services mandate, a position supported by the Supreme Court decision in Hobby Lobby.
It looks like after all of the years that so many of us have worked to “crack the nut” of anti-Christian attitudes in Washington, perhaps this act of President Trump will be the beginning of good things to come.