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Jeff Sessions’ “religious liberty task force” is white Christian male tears on steroids

July 31, 2018
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When the Supreme Court allowed bigoted baker Jack Phillips’ decision to not serve a same sex couple stand, it became clear that the wall that needed to be built was the one between Church and State. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has spearheaded the blurring of that crucial divide and his latest plan to do so is the newly announced “Religious Liberty Task Force”. The Task Force comes from a religious liberty memorandum issued by The Justice Department in May 2017 that is supposed to guide how federal administrative organization and federal departments should interpret federal law in order to protect religious groups.

This reasoning seems dubious owing to the very public history of the Trump administration stoking anti-Islamic sentiment. Sessions says that the the Task Force is meant to protect and promote religious freedom but whose religious freedom exactly? White evangelicals who confuse disagreement with persecution? That is the only logical explanation considering this administration refuses to acknowledge the violence enacted in the name of Christianity. White Christians are the least discriminated group in the United States so are we to believe that Sessions has had a change of heart and is willing to protect the beliefs of anyone who doesn’t look and like him and share his beliefs?

At the Justice Department’s Religious Liberty Summit in Washington, Sessions mentioned that the Task Force was the result of “dangerous movement, undetected by many, but real, is now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom …. It must be confronted … and defeated,” reported Huffington Post. “Undetected by many” seems to be the standard of proof that this administration is infamous for owing to its aversion to subjective truth or fact. Sessions went on by saying, “We’ve seen nuns ordered to buy contraceptives. We’ve seen United States senators ask judicial and executive branch nominees about dogma …. We’ve all seen the ordeal faced so bravely by Jack Phillips.” If this Task Force is really meant to protect the religious liberty of all then what happens to Atheist woman who wants an abortion? If the freedom to not believe is also protected by the 1st amendment then why are all Americans subjected to policy torn out of Christian dogma?

“Our freedom as citizens has always been inextricably linked with our religious freedom as a people. It has protected both the freedom to worship and the freedom not to believe. Every American has a right to believe, worship, and exercise their faith. The protections for this right, enshrined in our Constitution and laws, serve to declare and protect this important part of our heritage. As President Trump said, ‘Faith is deeply embedded into the history of our country, the spirit of our founding and the soul of our nation . . . [this administration] will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore.’ – Justice Department

Knowing this administration’s affinity for hypocrisy, this “Task Force” should worry many who have come under fire under the guise of religious freedom. What we’re looking at is ‘Trojan Horse’ and this is depicted by Sessions himself promoting his department’s prosecution of attacks on religion, “among them court actions shielding about 90 plaintiffs from Obama-era requirements that employer health insurance cover contraception, an amicus brief “we were proud to file” on behalf of Phillips, and indictments in an arson attack and threats directed at two mosques.” The looming possibility of Brett Kavanagh’s appointment to the Supreme Court could mean the overturning of Roe vs. Wade and other crucial laws that protect marginalized communities from the tyranny of white male supremacy.

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