The Religious Freedom Taskforce

According to Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General, addressing a recent Religious Freedom Summit, there is what he called a dangerous movement interfering with religious freedom. Consequently, he announced the creation of a Religious Liberty Taskforce and charged them with enforcing 20 principles which he presented in a DOJ Memorandum. Some of the 20 points seem to place religious liberty over civil liberty, or permit certain kinds of discrimination. According to Session’s speech, religious freedom must come first. So it would appear that in practice if two aspects of the bill of Rights come in conflict, the answer would be simple, religious freedom would trump (no pun intended) any other one.

There is much to be concerned about when one reads these 20 principles, which are listed in this Quartz article and which you might well want to look at. Two main themes emerge. One, they erode the separation of church and state, a hallmark of the US system. And second, in the context of what we know of Mr. Session’s views, they beg the question as to whether this is meant to be a step in establishing a Christian nation.

The task force is a fait accompli, and evangelicals and conservative hail it. For our part we must be very aware of how it will manifest itself and use what is at our disposal to expose the problems it is bound to reveal.