Trump signs order to ease ban on political activity by churches

For the second time in his short presidency, Donald Trump signed an executive order on religious liberty that's not almost as meaningful as his supporters and critics thought.

ACLU had earlier indicated that it would sue if the president signed an order "that allow religion to be used as an excuse to discriminate", ending its tweet with #SeeYouInCourtAgain.

Byard issues a warning, "GLSEN is relieved that the threats against LGBTQ people and basic American values embedded in the draft executive order leaked in February have not yet been publicly endorsed by President Trump with action".

US President Donald Trump's executive order on religious liberty reflects his commitment to protecting religious freedom of all Americans, a prominent member of the Sikh American community in the US has said.

But President Trump has been a vocal opponent of it, claiming that he would "totally destroy" the Johnson Amendment and "allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution".

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According to the Associated Press, the new executive order has disappointed some of Trump's supporters who were hoping for a more sweeping measure.

Under that amendment, the tax code prohibits organizations that enjoy tax-free status from participating in a political campaign or supporting any one candidate for elective office.

Others are questioning the sincerity of the statement President Trump made at the National Day of Prayer event today.

There's a directive for the Attorney General to "issue guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in Federal law", so we'll see what comes from that.

The executive order will direct the IRS and Treasury Department to exercise "maximum enforcement discretion" in enforcing the amendment, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

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Trump's order - unveiled on a National Day of Prayer celebrated with religious leaders - also directs his administration to consider developing regulations related to religious objectors to an Obama administration mandate, scaled back by the courts, that required contraception services as part of health plans.

The order relaxes IRS enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which bans tax-exempt organizations like churches from political speech and activities.

The order also aims to allow employers to deny covering contraception for employers if that clashes with the religious beliefs of the bosses. The FFRF is asking the court to declare the order unconstitutional. "Today's executive order will not affect that longstanding policy", said LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins.

"It was the great Thomas Jefferson who said, 'The God who gave us life gave us liberty", said Trump at the breakfast.

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