The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) today hailed President Trump’s new Executive Order on religious liberty as “a clear win for all Americans and all faiths.” The order, signed earlier today, commits the Administration to protecting the right of Americans and religious organizations “to exercise religion and participate fully in civic life without undue interference by the Federal Government.”
“The Administration is acting with common sense to protect religious expression,” said Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Director of the CJV. “It is unfortunate that this Executive Order was even necessary, but at least President Trump has remediated the ongoing suppression of religious rights.”
At the signing, President Trump called upon the Little Sisters of the Poor, who for nearly 5 years fought an Obamacare regulation which required that the charity provide medical insurance coverage for contraception in violation of their religious principles. Yet the limitations upon religious expression were endemic, not limited to one area of government oversight.
Religious organizations were, for example, among those targeted for “intensive scrutiny” by the IRS during the previous administration. The new Executive Order requires that the Treasury “not take any adverse action against any individual, house of worship, or other religious organization on the basis that such individual or organization speaks or has spoken about moral or political issues from a religious perspective.”
Government regulations were “used as a tool to keep traditional morality out of the public domain,” concluded Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the CJV. “It is indeed the end of an era, and it comes not a moment too soon.”