Trump: Do Not Use Religion as a Political Weapon

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Build an inclusive faith-based coalition that does not discriminate.

When the United States embassy in Israel officially moved to Jerusalem, some of the most prominent attendees of the event were evangelical leaders who frequently advise President Trump. One of these individuals, Pastor Paula White, heralded the impact she and other faith-based leaders had in facilitating the embassy’s move. Pastor White will now likely spearhead a newly signed executive initiative that threatens to blur the line even more dangerously between religion and politics.

On the National Day of Prayer, President Trump played to his fiercely loyal evangelical Christian base by unveiling the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative. Touted as a champion of religious liberty, this initiative could in fact harm many liberties, including religious liberties. For one, the order gives faith-based organizations, many of which may provide taxpayer-funded service, allowance to “exercise their deeply held beliefs.” Such vague terminology could potentially open the door for discrimination against individuals or practices viewed as contentious to said beliefs, such as abortion-seekers or members of the LGBTQ community. More troubling still, the order requires government organizations to either develop a faith-based office or appoint a faith-based adviser. As such, religion will hold influence in government it has never had before.

Most of these advisers will very likely come from the pool of evangelicals who are allies of Trump. Such a move will rob input and insight from religious minorities or those of differing beliefs. Sign this petition to urge our leadership to create a diverse, multi-perspective faith advisory council and to exercise extreme caution in implementing directives that strike at the heart of liberty for all citizens.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Trump,

“Liberty” and “equal rights” were words frequently used in your proclamation regarding the Faith and Opportunity Initiative. Faith-based partnerships are a legacy of our government, and religious liberty, like all civil liberties, is indeed paramount.

Please honor these values by ensuring this initiative does not become a tool for divisiveness and discrimination. Work with a diverse group of advisers who represent all manners of faith and religions in order to build a collaborative coalition that helps uplift, not oppress. Further, ensure that the wording of this proclamation and its guidelines leave no doubt that prejudices enacted in the name of religion will not be codified into our laws.

As your own faith likely advises you, open your doors and let in not darkness but light.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mary Gasaway

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