Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
They call it "holding their nose." And many Christians who were wary of Donald Trump, worried about specific policies, or disgusted by some of his personal behavior still voted for him because he vowed to nominate pro-life conservative judges and to cease the Obama administration's war on religious liberty. (His press conferences are just a fun bonus.) Many serious Christians were berated and hectored in incredulous tones with phrases like, "How could you?!!!!" or "No faithful Christian could ever support Trump!!!"
But many Christians did vote for Trump. According to one study, Trump won 52 percent of the Catholic vote, 58 percent of the Protestant vote, and 81 percent of the white evangelical Christian vote. And now their faith in Trump may be shown to be well placed. Or it won't.
Recently, it came to light that the Trump administration was mulling an executive order that would protect religious liberties. Many religious people are understandably excited because they're hoping that unlike so many politicians, Donald Trump may be true to his word that he will defend religious liberty. Please recall his words at the National Prayer Breakfast when he said, "My administration will do everything in its power to defend and protect religious liberty."
According to The Hill:
Some of the more important functions of the order include: providing relief to the Little Sisters of the Poor who were unfairly and unlawfully targeted by the ObamaCare abortifacient mandate, ensuring the federal government follows laws and court rulings respecting the free exercise of religion for all, telling federal agencies to make accommodations that within reason respect the religious liberty and beliefs of federal workers, instructing the Health and Human Services Department to ensure Americans can purchase health care plans that do not cover abortions and providing protections for religious educational institutions who are under threat of losing their accreditations.
An executive order like that could go a long way towards repairing the damage to religious liberty propagated by the Obama administration.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, Charles Chaput, Archbishop William Lori, and Bishop Frank Dewane of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement, saying in part:
President Trump has pledged that his “administration will do everything in its power to defend and protect religious liberty in our land.” We urge the fulfillment of this promise, including an end to regulations and other mandates by the federal government that force people of faith to make impossible choices...
It is indeed encouraging to hear that the President may be considering an Executive Order to implement strong protections for religious freedom across the federal government, in many of the areas where it has been eroded by the preceding Administration, such as health coverage, adoption, accreditation, tax exemption, and government grants and contracts. We ourselves, as well as those we shepherd and serve, would be most grateful if the President would take this positive step toward allowing all Americans to be able to practice their faith without severe penalties from the federal government.
So now is the time. This is why so many Christians voted for you. Mr. President, please restore religious liberty to its place as a sacred right. We know that the left will absolutely lose it over this. We know the media will attack you ruthlessly. They will use words against you like "anti-gay" and "fascist." They will label you a hater or yeah, maybe even Hitler. Judges will likely overturn it and it'll probably go to the Supreme Court. This is a chance to reaffirm the trust that many are hoping was well placed. This is a chance to do the right thing.
Mr. President, please sign the order.