Law, Rights, and Religion Project
As advocates for free exercise of religion, civil rights, and religious pluralism, we are deeply concerned that President Trump’s recently signed Executive Order “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty” will serve to limit, not protect, religious freedom. The order was signed on May 4, 2017, in a ceremony that included Christian musician Steven Curtis Chapman and statements by Pentecostal televangelist Paula White, Baptist Pastor Jack Graham, Catholic Archbishop Donald Wuerl, Rabbi Marvin Heir, and Vice President Mike Pence. While the executive order — unlike a prior leaked draft — does not single out particular religious beliefs for special protection, we are nevertheless concerned that the broad discretion it offers to federal agencies will have the effect of favoring majoritarian faiths at the expense of religious minorities.
Council on American-Islamic Relations of New York & Public Rights/Private Conscience Project,
Joint Statement by the Council on American-Islamic Relations of New York & Columbia Law School’s Public Rights/Private Conscience Project,
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/gender_sexuality_law/53