Yesterday, the Trump administration announced that they would be making moves to protect students' right to pray at school... even though they already have that right.
Like the rally Trump held at a megachurch earlier this month, the move is a transparently blatant attempt to appeal to Christian supporters. Evangelical Christians, Trump's base of support, will be necessary for him if he wants to win reelection.
President Trump was in the Oval Office yesterday with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, televangelist nutjob Paula White, among others, when he said, "In public schools around the country, authorities are stopping students and teachers from praying, sharing their faith or following their religious beliefs. It is totally unacceptable. Tragically, there is a growing totalitarian impulse on the far left that seeks to punish, restrict and even prohibit religious expression."
Trump was, as he is wont to do, lying, of course. The only time when authorities or activists get involved with stopping prayer at school is when teachers, coaches, or other staff are leading prayer during school time.
DeVos said, "Our actions today will protect the constitutional rights of students, teachers and faith-based institutions. The department's efforts will level the playing field between religious and nonreligious organizations competing for federal grants, as well as protect First Amendment freedoms on campus and the religious liberty of faith-based institutions."
It is more than just the Education Department that will see changes. Nine federal agencies in total, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Justice Department, and the Housing and Urban Development Department are also advancing rules that will give more power to religious organizations.
The changes remove a requirement placed by the Obama administration that required religious organizations to notify people if there was a secular organization that could provide the same service as them.
Civil rights groups warned that certain minorities, like members of the LGBTQ community, could face greater discrimination as a result of the Trump administration pushing these new rules.
Alison Gill, American Atheists' Vice President for Legal and Policy, said in a statement, "By removing protections that shield minority groups from discrimination, the Trump administration is proving how virulently opposed to religious equality it is. Whenever a policy creates the slightest inconvenience for Trump's Evangelical base, this administration eliminates it, regardless of consequences."
Gill is right, of course, and unfortunately, Evangelicals eat it up.
Christian conservatives have proven time and time again that they are not interested in religious freedom, they want the freedom to turn the United States into a Christian theocracy.