WASHINGTON President Donald Trump assured a high-profile gathering of Christian conservatives on Friday that his administration will defend religious organizations, promising a return to traditional American values while again subtly stoking the fire he helped ignite over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.
Trump, the first sitting president to address the Values Voter Summit, ticked off the promises he’s fulfilled to evangelical Christians and other conservatives, pledging to turn back the clock in what he described as a nation that has drifted away from its religious roots.
“How times have changed, but you know what, now they are changing back again, just remember that,” Trump told the enthusiastic crowd.
He noted, as Christian conservatives often do, that there are four references to the “creator” in the Declaration of Independence, saying that “religious liberty is enshrined” in the nation’s founding documents.
“I pledged that in a Trump administration, our nation’s religious heritage would be cherished, protected and defended like you have never seen before,” Trump said. “Above all else in America, we don’t worship government. We worship God.”
Trump praised his repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which limited political activity or endorsements by religious groups that received tax exemptions, as well as his administration’s effort to expand the rights of employers to deny women insurance coverage for birth control. The White House has also issued sweeping guidance on religious freedom that critics have said could erode civil rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The president also bemoaned the use of the phrase “Happy Holidays” as a secular seasonal greeting and vowed to return “Merry Christmas” to the national discourse.
Trump waded again into the cultural war that has captured his attention in recent weeks, declaring to loud applause that “we respect our great American flag,” a not-too-subtle reference to his repeated denunciations of …read more
Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News