The Group Will Support Enforcement of Trump’s Policies
Jeff Sessions has created a significant amount of opposition over his creation of a “Religious Liberty Task Force.” The group will be overseen by Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio and the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy, Beth Williams.
The purpose of the organization will be to implement President Trump’s executive orders on religious freedom. Trump has spoken about the importance of individuals being able to practice their faith. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an evangelical Christian, has dedicated himself to protecting the president’s interpretation of religious freedom.
When announcing the decision at the Justice Department Religion Summit, Sessions spoke about a “dangerous movement” against Christians in the United States. He pointed out forcing Christians to give contraceptives and praised the recent Supreme Court case where a Christian refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding.
Critics of Sessions and Trump argue this is a dangerous form of government-sanctioned discrimination. They cite favoritism toward evangelical Christians. Evangelical Christians are one of Trump’s most dedicated bases. LGBTQ community leaders argued that this was a clear violation of separation of church and state.
This is not the only executive order concerning religious freedom. Trump also set up a faith-based office, the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative. It is still unclear how the Justice Department will enforce the rules on religious freedom. Some worry the group will encourage Christian groups to become more hostile against certain minorities.