As the dumpster fire we benevolently call the Donald Trump administration continues on, leaked drafts of executive orders lead people to believe that more rights are going to be suppressed for the sake of religious freedom.
In a turn of events that surprises no one, the people who suffer the most at the hands of rich, powerful white men are women in low-income neighborhoods and the LGBT community.
This executive order would make it harder for women to acquire birth control and safe abortions, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community would not have mandated protections against workplace discrimination.
This executive order draft comes less than two weeks after Trump attempted to push forward a now-suspended travel ban against seven majorly Muslim countries, all for the sake of keeping “evil” out of our America, according to Trump’s personal Twitter account.
Hopefully, anyone with critical thinking skills can see exactly why this situation is ironic. Unfortunately, it’s not even laughably ironic. It’s just sad – and that word is not being used sarcastically, as it is genuinely heartbreaking.
Yet again, at the hands of a conservative party trying to Make America Great Again, the rights of the minority are being suppressed for the sake of “religious freedom.”
The fact that Trump just tried to make it illegal for basically an entire religion to enter the country – one they are legally authorized to enter, at that – and then turn around and proclaim that the only recognizable marriage should occur between biologically affirmed men and women because that’s the way the Christian God sees it.
This should not be considered political whiplash, but it should be seen for what it is: flagrant racism, sexism and transphobia.
The leaked order also details that sexual relations are “properly reserved for such a marriage,” and that life “begins at conception and merits protection at all stages of life.” These two points should raise some flags: will the sex lives of the American people be as heavily regulated as women’s uteruses? Will the fetuses being protected “at all stages of life” include the lives of black, transgender, gay and immigrant people?
Recent history proves that the answer to those questions is probably not.
In light of the Muslim ban, many have been turning to a verse from the Old Testament, Leviticus 19: 33-34 saying, “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself…”
Ironically enough, this verse lies amongst the same biblical evidence used to denounce things like homosexuality and tattoos. It feels important to add that within the Bible, things like the mixing of two different kinds of material, haircuts and trimming your beard are also condemned.
That being said, there sure are a lot of people fighting for religious freedom who wear polyester suits, receive haircuts and are clean-shaven who live on Capitol Hill.
When fighting for the protection of religious freedom, the pick-and-choose option isn’t enough. When you make laws that bar the rights of others for the sake of maintaining religious liberty, conservatives can’t afford to pick and choose what rules they want to follow and what teachings they deem should be followed as laws.
The problem with religious freedom is that as genuine as its origins may be, many of its motives are rooted in racism, xenophobia and the repression of the rights of those who live outside the beliefs of mainstream Christianity.
The layers of hypocrisy surrounding the topic of religious freedom could be dissected for many reasons, but the fact of the matter remains as this: when religious liberty is prioritized over the protection and needs of minority beliefs, the country no longer operates as a democracy.
If Trump pushes forth this executive order that targets religious freedom, he reinforces the idea that America will become a Christian theocracy, and if that’s the case, we will still be one nation under God, but there will not be liberty and justice for all.