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Trump and the State of [Religious Freedom in] the Union

On Wednesday, May 4, Trump signed an Executive Order at the White House in a Rose Garden Ceremony. That action received both high praise and fierce criticism’s from staunch, respected, national conservative leaders. The Executive Order included directives to the appropriate departments to roll back the the federal government’s contraceptive mandates against Little Sisters of the Poor.

The same infighting was stirred up over the House’s repeal and replace of Obamacare on that same day. Some conservatives lauded the move while other’s called it a sick joke. I’m not here to argue the merits of the ACHA passed by the House, if you’re interested in a thorough analysis of what the House sent on to the Senate, I’d encourage you to check out this memo.

I contended last week that the Executive Order is very encouraging symbolically, but that there is still a lot of work to be done to protect religious liberty. This is not Trump’s fault, but a mere acknowledgment of the fact that eight years of damage cannot be undone in the first 100 days of the current administration. Although I once freely branded myself as #neverTrump during the 2016 primaries, I must admit that Trump’s actions thus far as President have done nothing but raise my respect for him.

Disregard what you see on prime time TV, because the liberal mainstream media doesn’t care about building the United States up as a country. They care about ratings. Disregard what you read on right-wing blogs, because too many of them say crazy things to build a base. Same tactics as the mainstream media, just different approaches. Either way, what both groups of people care about is staying relevant, or on the air.

William Estrada, who helped out on the Trump transition team said, “My problem with reporters … is that they (as Teddy Roosevelt said) are not in the arena. There are builders, and there are snipers. It’s easy to snipe from the sidelines. When you take that oath of office, when you’re elected to serve the people, it’s different. You have to build coalitions, work with others, compromise on occasion, and get legislation passed. Mark Twain said making legislation is like making sausage. Nothing has changed in two centuries. What has changed is that there are a whole lot more snipers and a whole lot less builders.”

Estrada’s assessment is spot on.

Additionally, I’d like to point out the number of quality appointment that Trump has made since taking office. Quality, conservative leaders like former Representative Tom Price who is now the head of the Department of Health and Human Services. Price has been a longtime advocate of cutting federal funding of abortion. Trump has also appointed Roger Severino to head the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Civil Rights. Severino formerly served as the Director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. As Director, his three main focuses where on religious liberty, marriage, and life issues. Other great conservatives currently serving in the Trump administration are pro-life Valerie Huber who was just appointed as the Chief of Staff for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services, and Shannon Royce former Chief of Staff for Family Research Council who also was appointed as Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at HHS. Other solid conservatives at HHS include Matt Bowman, former Attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom and Charmaine Yoest, former President of Americans United for Life who recently joined HHS as Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services.

This is not to mention better known names like Betsy DeVoss, whom Trump picked for Education Secretary, Judge Neil Gorsuch, whom Trump nominated to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court seat, or Nikki Haley who Trump picked as Ambassador to the United Nations.

If you’re still not optimistic, consider if Hillary had won.



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