Mike Huckabee: Trump and religious freedom – Militant atheists have found their match with our president
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Few politicians in Washington, even Republicans, have ever defended our Christian heritage on the national stage as fiercely as President Trump. His decree affirming the religious freedom of public school students is just the latest example.
For the first time in nearly two decades, the ordinance updates federal guidelines to better protect the rights of students to engage in prayer and other forms of religious expression. Under the new rules, schools must certify annually that they do not have policies restricting constitutionally protected religious rights, such as the freedom to pray or read religious texts on school grounds. . Schools that maintain non-compliant policies would lose their federal funding.
This is a great victory for defenders of religious freedom, who have found their rights and beliefs under increasingly severe onslaught from the left for decades. In the 1990s, when the campaign against public religiosity began to spiral out of control, the federal government and more than 20 states passed laws on restoring religious freedom to restore strict constitutional control over policies restricting the exercise of religious freedom. religion by citizens. With these laws continually weakened and challenged in court, Trump’s executive order offers an effective new remedy for the excesses of the secular left.
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But it is also a great victory for all those who cherish the freedoms set forth in the U.S. Constitution, because imposing restrictions on those freedoms, whether broadly or in a targeted manner, endangers all the rights enjoyed by every American citizen. And efforts to restrict religious freedom in public schools have clearly gotten out of hand, as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently pointed out.
Last year, for example, a teacher in Utah forced a 9-year-old Catholic student to remove ashes from his forehead on Ash Wednesday. In Kentucky, a school forced a student to take down a “prayer box” she had set up so that her classmates could submit anonymous prayer requests. In Washington, a high school football coach was suspended for praying – silently and alone – after games.
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None of these behaviors even came close to infringing on the rights of others, but overzealous teachers and administrators still punished them. This is the predictable result of a sustained campaign to drive religion out of the public arena, led by militant atheists who have spent decades convincing parents and teachers that any form of religious expression in any place public is a violation of the First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom.
As the presidential decree explains, this is the exact opposite of what the founders wanted. The First Amendment is very explicit about the government’s responsibility to respect individual rights, which is why it prohibits Congress from making laws that would restrict free speech, such as the establishment of a state religion. What the “religious freedom” crowd wants, however, is tantamount to establishing atheism as America’s official religion, with all the restrictions on free speech that entails.
The president has inflicted a major setback on the radical atheist lobby, while taking a strong stand on behalf of its victims – school children who are being punished, ostracized and intimidated for daring to express their faith.
The message sent by the decree is unequivocal: the war of the left against religion will not be tolerated in the classroom, and our children have the right to live according to their convictions, wherever they are.
Trump announced his decision at a White House event celebrating Religious Freedom Day, alongside religious figures from across the country. With Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office, believers can rest assured that their religious freedom is in better hands than it has been for many years.
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This administration’s efforts to safeguard religious freedom will also last. In just three years, Trump has secured confirmation from more than 180 federal judges, and those judges will serve as a bulwark in defending the First Amendment rights of all Americans for decades to come.
This country was founded by pilgrims who sought to escape religious persecution and this heritage is an essential aspect of our character as a nation. Thanks to President Trump’s efforts, we will be able to pass this legacy on to another generation.
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