Trump may reduce Political Restrictions on US Religious Groups

An executive order will be issued on May 4 by United States President Donald J. Trump which will make it much easier for different religious groups including churches to take an active part in politics. The executive order issued by the president will make such entities to interfere in the political process sans any risk of losing tax-exempt status.

Johnson amendment

The Trump administration describes the order as a stratagem to protect and also actively promote religious liberty. It is crafted with the express aim of circumventing the Johnson Amendment. The latter is a tax code of the federal government that prohibits any religious organization from supporting any political candidates. The act forbids them from opposing them either.

According to a White House official, the order will instruct the Internal Revenue Service or IRS to exercise maximum discretion when enforcing the Johnson amendment in the course of their work. The amendment forbids any religious leader to speak about candidates from pulpit or to say anything about politics.

The US Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that the for-profit businesses that are closely held, meaning a minimum of 50 percent of total stock held by about five or fewer individuals- and with owners having clear religious beliefs, could not be needed to pay for particular kinds of contraceptives for employees.

Devil is in the detail

The Trump administration official said that the finer details of the order remains to be known. The nature of relief continues to be a mystery. For the administration, the move will mark National Day of Prayer. It will make it much easier for the company owners to act as per their religious beliefs. This includes the dreadful acts of refusing to pay when it comes to contraceptives as per Affordable Care Act.

The ruling would be extended by the executive order. This is colloquially known as the Hobby Lobby case. An official of the Trump administration said that there is a requirement to offer regulatory relief to those who wish to tackle outstanding issues, including more complex than the Hobby Lobby one. This move has frightened rights groups. They are afraid that the Trump regime will in effect legalize any kind of discrimination faced by minorities like the LGBT population. Civil rights groups have announced that they will fight the Trump government in court in case the executive order harasses LGBT people for discrimination.

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