President Donald Trump signed an executive order today that seeks to “protect and vigorously promote religious liberty” and could allow for churches, pastors, and other religious leaders to become more politically active.
Trump stated: “America has a rich tradition of social change beginning in our pews and our pulpits. We must never infringe on the noble tradition of change from the church and progress from the pew.”
Rep. Jody Hice (R, GA-10) shared the following remarks via a press release:
“The right to act or speak on one’s religious convictions is a fundamental cornerstone of a free society. The Founders understood this inalienable right, which is enshrined in the First Amendment. However, in recent years, the scale has tilted in favor of restricting religious liberty. Those whose beliefs are contrary to that of the ‘acceptable’ standard are labeled as ‘intolerant.’
Fortunately, with the actions the President has taken today, the fight to protect the free exercise of religion lives on. As a former pastor, I’m pleased that the executive order includes language that directs the IRS to alleviate the burden of the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits religious leaders from speaking about political matters from the pulpit, as we work to pass legislation that Majority Whip Steve and I introduced – H.R. 781, the Free Speech Fairness Act. Simply put, the government should not restrict the freedom to worship, live, work, or speak in accordance with one’s beliefs.”