Locals react to President Trump's executive order on religious liberty

ACLU and others ready lawsuits on Trump's religious exemption order

It would also provide "regulatory relief" for organizations that object for religious reasons to a provision of Obamacare that requires employers to provide health services that include coverage for contraception.

GJELTEN: Trump's actual order, however, only directed the Justice Department to, quote, "issue guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in federal law".

A spokesperson for the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa told KCCI, "President Trump's executive order is unsafe and ill-advised for the government's interest and for houses of worship".

GJELTEN: To civil rights groups, that draft order would essentially have given organizations a free license to discriminate against LGBT individuals and raised constitutional issues by appearing to favor some religious beliefs over others.

The order also attempts to dilute the Johnson amendment, which prevents tax-exempt religious organizations from participating in political speech, like endorsing or opposing a political candidate. "There are more than 50 religious Americans and groups [who] sued the previous. administration for violating their religious freedom". In other words, individuals and religious organizations still can not participate in political campaigns.

The order was praised by Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, who said that Trump's action "must be the first among others because the efforts by previous administrations to marginalize conservative communities of faith were real, thorough and complex".

Senior Pastor at Church For All Nations, Mark Cowart, says he's already been speaking freely for the past five years since Pulpit Freedom Sunday.

The executive order makes no mention of any such provision, much to the dismay of conservative religious leaders, who believe the president has ignored the wishes of his most fervent supporters.

Some fear that eliminating the restriction could further politicize religion and turn churches into "dark money shops" for political candidates.

"The charitable sector, particularly houses of worship, should not become another cog in a political machine or another loophole in campaign finance laws", the group wrote.

"Nobody is suggesting that churches are allowed, or it's legal, for tax-exempt organizations to tax out ads endorsing candidates", the official said. On Wednesday night, he hosted a White House dinner for members of his evangelical advisory board.

"Today's executive order signing was an elaborate photo-op with no discernible policy outcome", the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) director Anthony Romero said in a statement Thursday.

It is rare that the IRS actually goes after a religious organization for breaking the Johnson Amendment.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Kiwis' Bromwich and Proctor banned from World Cup
May 09, 2017 - 07:45
Bromwich will be sidelined for two NRL matches, donate his test fee to charity and undergo counseling. While both players were named in court, neither has been charged with an offence.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Labour faces 'historic' task to win power, Corbyn admits
May 08, 2017 - 15:39
The favorable results for the Conservatives echoed May's call to the public to give her party the majority ahead of Brexit talks. May's campaign has identified a number of pro-remain seats that could be lost to protest votes.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top It is not manager against manager - Wenger shrugs off breaking Mourinho curse
May 08, 2017 - 15:37
Liverpool could only draw 0-0 at home to Southampton in the other league game played on Sunday. He seems to believe the Europa League is the best avenue to return to the Champions League.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top At meat market, the far-right Le Pen backs "eating French"
May 07, 2017 - 13:11
Macron and Le Pen represent two different visions of the future of France , its identity and role in Europe and the world. In Ireland, Ms Le Pen secured 3.98% of votes cast here, while Mr Macron secured 44.87%.

'Star Wars: Episode IX' release date announced
May 07, 2017 - 12:51
Earlier this month, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy said that the late Carrie Fisher would not appear in the film as Leia. Disney have been unveiling a string of release dates and 2019 is truly going to belong to the studio.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Joshua changed boxing with Klitschko victory - Tyson
May 07, 2017 - 12:40
Joshua said his post-fight treat of apple crumble had disappointed him, saying he preferred a "cheap Tesco one". Eddie Hearn, Joshua's promoter, then downplayed any suggestion that the bout would take place any time soon.

Syria accuses Israel of strike near Damascus airport
May 07, 2017 - 12:27
But Intelligence Minister Israel Katz, speaking to Army Radio from the United States, appeared to confirm involvement. The Israeli Air Force also bombed a nuclear reactor in Syria in 2007, fearing it had a military objective .

PHL delegation off to Geneva for United Nations human rights review
May 06, 2017 - 02:28
Attacks against Africans in India were also mentioned by some countries like Haiti, who called on India to take measures to address "Afrophobia".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hubble image captures hundreds of galaxies 6 billion light-years away
May 06, 2017 - 02:26
In this photograph there is a galaxy that is more than 13 billion years old , forming shortly after the birth of our universe. Massive galaxy clusters offer astronomers some wonderful opportunities to study several aspects of the universe around us.

'Slum pope' and billionaire US president to meet May 24
May 06, 2017 - 02:26
Mr Trump, who met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in February, will then head to Israel. In Israel, local media said that Trump wants to deliver his main speech at the ancient desert fortress of Masada.

Penguins star Crosby returns to practice after concussion
May 06, 2017 - 02:23
Crosby said the collision isn't "one that happens too often", but later added "it's really tough to gauge that one". If he can't play, Saturday would mark the 115th game he has missed in his career for concussion-related issues.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Moto Z2 Play will be thinner with a smaller battery
May 06, 2017 - 02:19
What's also nice is that the navigation bar seems to include a dedicated app drawer button - next to the navigation keys. That, or this new Motorola tablet just isn't shaping up to be the most exciting thing in terms of features.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Iowa High Court Blocks Abortion Waiting Period
May 06, 2017 - 02:19
The abortion bill that Branstad said he'll sign was pushed through the Legislature over the opposition of most Democrats. According to the petition, the new law is one of the strictest requirements in the nation on women seeking an abortion.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Kerala SSLC exam results 2017 to be out today
May 06, 2017 - 02:17
Like every year, a large number of students have appeared for and are trying to check the Kerala SSLC Examination Result 2017. The exam was conducted in March at 2,933 centres in the state and nine centres in Lakshadweep and the Middle East.

Energy shares lead Asian stock losses as oil falls under $45
May 06, 2017 - 02:17
Rogers said charts showed the next potential stalling points were $44.20 for WTI and $47.20 for Brent. Crude output has surged in the United States, with increasing rig counts for the past 11 months.