May 4, 2017

Jewish Dems Condemn Trump “Religious Freedom” Executive Order

Washington, D.C. – Today, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that accomplished two of the administration’s goals regarding campaign finance law and contraception. First, the order instructs the IRS to not take action against tax-exempt churches and religious groups who promote candidates for office and otherwise engage in politics. It also makes it easier for corporations to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage to their employees.

This is very concerning to NJDC because the Trump administration is essentially saying that it is okay for church and state to intermingle. In response to the president’s actions, NJDC board member and Jews for Progress Chairman Ron Klein released the following statement:

“President Donald Trump issued an executive order today, designed to pander to his ultra-right base, that undermines one of the most fundamental principles of our government--the separation of church and state.  By changing standing law and principles espoused by our founding fathers over 240 years ago, he is allowing religious organizations to play in politics and political campaigns.  There are historical reasons why our country was set up as a free democracy in which our government is independent of religious organizations, programing and laws.  The rights of freedom to worship and practice religion in our country are sacrosanct and guaranteed by our Constitution.  But those rights do not and should not interfere with or dictate policy to our popular elected government.  The Jewish people have a long-standing, historical understanding of discrimination and persecution in countries where religion and government are structurally intertwined.  We, as a community, reject these policies because we know where it leads.  As a Jewish American, I find it morally reprehensible that the leader of our country would use his powers to erode one of the fundamental values that our country was founded upon. I implore President Trump to reconsider his decision and revoke this executive order immediately.”