May 8, 2017

Positivity: Trump’s executive order hailed as critical, but just a ‘first step’

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

May 4, 2017 / 01:00 pm

Religious freedom advocates credited President Donald Trump with taking a “first step” toward protecting religious freedom with an executive order he signed on Thursday, but stressed that there is still more work to be done.

“I thought the executive order was a great step forward,” Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. told CNA. “[Trump] himself says this is the first step. But it’s the beginning, and we’ve waited a long time for it.”

President Donald Trump signed a religious freedom executive order on Thursday in the White House Rose Garden, on the National Day of Prayer, with religious leaders – including Cardinal Wuerl – standing around him.

The executive order instructs government agencies to consider issuing new regulations to address conscience-based objections to federal HHS mandate, which requires employers to offer health insurance plans that fund contraception, sterilizations and some drugs that can cause early abortions.

It also calls for a loosening of IRS enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits religious ministers from making endorsements of political candidates from the pulpit to retain the tax-exempt status of churches.

Congressional action is required to formally repeal the law, but the executive order is an important move in ensuring that religious entities can weigh in on political issues without losing their tax-exempt status.

Attending the signing of the executive order were the Little Sisters of the Poor, plaintiffs in one of the HHS mandates case against the federal government. Trump honored two of the sisters who were present in the Rose Garden, calling them “incredible nuns who care for the sick, the elderly, and the forgotten.”

“I want you to know that your long ordeal will soon be over,” he told the sisters of their years-long HHS mandate case, and saying that his order would protect them and other religious organizations from the mandate.

“We are grateful for the president’s order and look forward to the agencies giving us an exemption so that we can continue caring for the elderly poor and dying as if they were Christ himself without the fear of government punishment,” said Mother Loraine, Mother Provincial of the Little Sisters of the Poor. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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