Charisma Caucus

Tony Perkins: These 3 Issues Will Make or Break Religious Liberty in America

President Donald Trump
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said President Donald Trump's executive order on religious liberty was a good first step, but the issue is far from resolved. (Reuters photo)

Tony Perkins is gearing up the Family Research Council for a major fight over religious liberty in America.

In a fundraising email obtained by Charisma Caucus, he wrote that three issues will "make or break" religious liberty for Christians in the U.S. Those three issues are:

  • Repeal the Johnson Amendment: "President Trump's executive order directs the IRS not to enforce guidelines on the Johnson Amendment, which has been used not only to block speech about candidates but about political issues that directly impact the free exercise of religious faith. But clearer guidelines are not enough. This amendment needs to be gutted by law if churches are to be free of government retribution for following God's Word."
  • Protect churches and pastors with a free speech fairness act"In conjunction with the EO clarification of IRS guidelines on the Johnson Amendment, the Free Speech Fairness Act must pass in order to 'allow charitable organizations [including churches] to make statements relating to political campaigns if such statements are made in the ordinary course of carrying out its tax-exempt purpose.' In other words, pastors would not be prohibited from speaking out about candidates who support such things as abortion ... special privileges based on sexual preference and gender identity ... and banning Christian clubs from meeting in public school buildings."
  • Bolster the constitutional freedom of religion with a First Amendment Defense ActSimply put, such an act would prevent the federal government from discriminating against those who follow biblical teachings that marriage is between one man and one woman. It would defend people such as Aaron and Melissa Klein and Barronelle Stutzman, who are being prosecuted for declining to participate in same-sex weddings because of their Christian beliefs."

"In May, President Trump issued a long-awaited executive order: Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty," Perkins wrote. "The order safeguards some religious freedom, sets religious liberty guidelines for federal agencies and provides conscience protection for Christians.

"While President Trump's proclamation is a step forward, it is not enough. There is much more to be done. To make any protections permanent, Congress needs to pass a Free Speech Fairness Act, pass a First Amendment Defense Act and repeal the infamous Johnson Amendment ...

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"While you and I are encouraged by President Trump's commitment to religious freedom, the intolerant left is fighting mad. With the help of their media accomplices, outraged liberals are unleashing a furious onslaught to put conservatives in their place and neuter the First Amendment."

Perkins said intolerant liberals were "revealing the true color" of their bigotry by opposing what is already enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Far-left agitators will stop at nothing, he added, to derail the "commonsense measures" FRC is promoting.

"Opponents of Christian freedom—including former President Obama, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the LGBTQ lobbyists and more—are raising millions of dollars to stop President Trump and Congress from supporting policies that preserve the role of faith," he added. "FRC needs your help to inform, educate and guide President Trump and his staff, members of Congress, state legislators and governors to protect Christian values and freedoms."

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