President Donald Trump is reportedly expected to sign an executive order late this week that would address so-called religious freedom.
An original version of the order was drafted in February and its re-emergence this week will likely be celebrated by Vice President Mike Pence, who attempted to push for religious-freedom legislation while he was the governor of Indiana.
A draft of the order penned earlier this year would have allowed individuals and organizations the right to disengage from activities that “violate their conscience,” enabled employers to refuse contraceptive coverage if it violates their religious beliefs, protected the tax-exempt status of religious organizations or private companies that believe marriage should be confined to the union of a man and woman, allowed federally funded adoption agencies to block same-sex couples and enabled federal employees to refuse to process applications of same-sex couples on religious grounds.
In other words, the order would allow employers and workers at government agencies to discriminate against others—as long as it fits into the purview of “religious freedom.” But what about the freedom of those who are being discriminated against or persons who choose to live free of religion?
Shortly after the Trump administration took power in January, the president signed a travel ban on persons from seven Muslim-majority nations—a move that would block entry into our country on the basis of religion.
With regard to the upcoming religious-freedom order and Trump’s currently halted Muslim travel ban, it appears that the president and his administration are only interested in protecting the “freedoms” of certain religions. This is unacceptable.
There’s an old saying to the effect that “if one person isn’t free, no one is free,” and this applies to the current state of our nation. If a law to protect the “freedom” of one group of people advertently blocks the freedom of another group, it isn’t just.
And it opens up a Pandora’s Box as to whom can be discriminated against next.