Donald Trump's Rumored Executive Order on Religious Liberty is "Fundamentally Un-American"

Donald Trump's Rumored Executive Order on Religious Liberty is "Fundamentally Un-American"

May 02, 2017

Press Contact: 

Ianthe Metger

Press Contact


[email protected]

Release Date: Tuesday, May 2, 2017


New York – In response to reports that President Donald Trump will sign on Thursday an executive order that would attempt to legalize discrimination against broad swaths of Americans in nearly every aspect of life under the guise of “religious liberty,” Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action, released the following statement:

“President Trump’s forthcoming executive order -- which is an attempt to legalize widespread discrimination against LGBTQ people, women, unwed couples and anyone who does not hold to his idea of proper religious beliefs -- is fundamentally un-American. Those who advocated for this action are a vocal minority and they do not speak for all people of faith in this nation. This is not an issue of the ‘religious right’ versus the ‘secular left,” because these policies run counter to the values and understanding of religious freedom held by most Americans of faith, including the overwhelming majority of Jews.  

“As Americans and as Jews, we strongly value the freedom of religion, and understand that this right must not be used as a weapon to harm others. The President’s rhetoric and policies targeting Muslims, on top of this new rumored executive order, make clear that his primary concern is not religious freedom, but a kind of religious supremacy. Nothing could be less in line with American ideals of religious freedom.

“We join with faith leaders and communities across the country in condemning any attempt to create such a sweeping license to discriminate thinly disguised as a defense of the First Amendment.”

Bend the Arc Jewish Action is a national organization inspired by Jewish values and the steadfast belief that Jewish Americans, regardless of religious or institutional affiliations, are compelled to create justice and opportunity for Americans. In 2005, Bend the Arc partnered with Auburn Seminary to organize 3,000 faith leaders in opposition to the First Amendment Defense Act, a bill which would create a similarly dangerous license to discriminate. Earlier this year, Bend the Arc partnered with Faith in Public Life to organize a letter from more than 1,300 clergy members in opposition to this rumored executive order.