Evangelicals Respond to President Trump’s historic steps to Protect Religious Freedom in Schools

President Donald Trump speaks with William McLeod, a Utah student, during an event on prayer in public schools, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, in Washington. (Evan Vucci, Associated Press)

President Trump, following his announcement declaring January 6th as religious freedom day, expressed his commitment to protect Prayer in public schools.

Franklin Graham took to Facebook to comment on the President’s commitment ‘to protecting every student’s constitutional right to pray in school’, saying that he has done more to protect religious freedom than any other president in his lifetime.

I am so grateful to President Donald J. Trump for his administration’s stand for religious freedom. He has done more for religious liberty than any president in my lifetime.

Today is National Religious Freedom Day, and the President is hosting students from different faiths in the Oval Office. He announced that he will use the power of his office to empower and protect the right to student-led prayer in schools.

The president is expected to remind public schools that students have constitutional rights to prayer — and that they could risk losing federal funds unless those rights are protected.

Franklin Graham expressed in his article, “What’s at stake in the coming year”, the necessity for Christians to vote Biblically in the upcoming 2020 election, stating, “As we head into another election year, Christians need to understand that the opportunities for reinforcing religious liberty that we have enjoyed under President Trump aren’t guaranteed to continue. Virtually the entire field of presidential challengers is openly hostile to Biblical values.”

Dr. Robert Jeffress, one of the President’s right-hand evangelical advisors also commented on the Presidents recent announcement expressing his dedication to protecting religious freedom in Schools on Fox and Friends:

Yesterday, the President’s action was not about creating new rights but it was about protecting existing rights, especially the constitutional right to pray. It’s a right that’s been under assault by liberal groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and liberal courts as well.

You know Ainsley when the president told me a few weeks ago he was going to do this, I told him nothing would excite, not only conservative Christians, but people of all faiths like this, and here’s why. In 1962 when the Supreme Court abolished prayer from schools that was really the first shot in a 60-year war against faith by government. Many people are believing that the president’s courageous action yesterday, was the beginning of the end of that war on faith.

Ainslie, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration at all to say, no president in history has been a greater champion for religious liberty both in America and around the world than President Donald Trump...

What this means in the future is this… The only way these rights are going to be protected and upheld is by conservative justices and judges on federal courts. You know, they say President Trump is on trial right now for Ukraine. That’s not what this trial is about. He has committed two unpardonable sins in the eyes of the Democrats, and that is beating Hillary Clinton in 2016 and packing the court with conservative judges who will support the right to pray, the right of religious liberty, and the right to life. To the Democrats, that’s the unpardonable sin. But thank God the president is winning on packing the courts with these conservative judges!”

On September 23, 2019, Donald Trump became the first American president to convene a meeting at the United Nations on Religious Freedom.

“The United States is founded on the principle that our rights do not come from government; they come from God,” the President said at the historic event. “This immortal truth is proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the First Amendment to our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Our Founders understood that no right is more fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous, and virtuous society than the right to follow one’s religious convictions.”

The President this week has taken additional historic steps to protect religious liberty saying in the oval office on Wednesday: “This afternoon, we’re proudly announcing historic steps to protect the First Amendment right to pray in public schools…  So you have the right to pray, and that’s a very important and powerful right.  There’s nothing more important than that, I would say.”

White House Fact Sheet: President Donald J. Trump is Safeguarding the Right to Religious Freedom for Students and Organizations

PROTECTING PRAYER IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS: President Donald J. Trump remains committed to protecting every student’s constitutional right to pray in school.

The Trump Administration is taking action to further safeguard students’ constitutionally protected right to pray in school.

President Trump is updating Federal guidance regarding protected prayer and religious expression in public schools, which has not been issued since 2003.

The update will help safeguard students’ rights by giving education providers and students the most current information concerning prayer in public schools.

To receive Federal funds, local educational agencies must confirm that their policies do not prevent or interfere with the constitutionally-protected rights outlined in the guidance.

•  The updated guidance will help improve individuals’ ability to file a complaint if they are denied the ability to participate in protected religious expression.

•  The new guidance makes clear that students can read religious texts or pray during recess and other non-instructional periods, organize prayer groups, and express their religious beliefs in their assignments.

PROMOTING EQUAL TREATMENT: The Administration is working to ensure that our Nation’s religious organizations are treated equally by the Federal government.

The Administration is issuing nine proposed rules to protect religious organizations from unfair and unequal treatment by the Federal government.

•  The proposed rules would eliminate burdensome Obama-era requirements that unfairly imposed unique regulatory burdens only on religious organizations.

•  The Office of Management and Budget is also releasing a memo requiring Federal agencies to ensure that the grant-making practices of state recipients of Federal funding comply with the First Amendment.

•  The Trump Administration is committed to ensuring religious organizations can compete on a level playing field for funding, without discrimination.

CHAMPIONING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM:These actions build on President Trump’s longstanding commitment to safeguarding the fundamental right to religious freedom.

•  During his first year in office, President Trump signed an Executive Order upholding religious liberty and the right to engage in religious speech.

•  President Trump signed an Executive Order recognizing the essential contributions of faith-based organizations and establishing the Faith and Opportunity Initiative.

•  The Administration continues to unequivocally stand up for religious liberty in the courts.

•  President Trump reversed the Obama-era policy that prevented the government from providing disaster relief to religious organizations.

•  Last year, President Trump hosted a Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom event at the United Nations and called on the international community and business leaders to work to protect religious freedom around the world.

•  The Administration has stood up for religious liberty around the world, partnering with local and faith-based organizations to provide assistance to vulnerable religious minorities.