Trump-Evangelical Connections, Dark Money and Election Integrity
During a meeting with Evangelical Leaders at the WH, Trump said Democrats would overturn ‘everything they’ve done for persons of faith’
Trump signed an executive order ending the Johnson Amendment, with the promise of more to come not long after taking office, surrounded by VP Pence along with Conservative Congressional and Senate leaders, and the president’s cabinet heads. The Johnson Amendment was a provision in the U.S. tax code beginning in 1954, that prohibited all 501c non-profit organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. Section 501(c organizations are the most common type of nonprofit organization in the United States, ranging from charitable foundations to universities and churches. Trump went on to use his poison pen to sign an executive order creating the Religious Freedom law that is being used to weaken LGBT protections, women’s rights, and Civil Rights that Evangelical leaders and their coalitions began fighting in the early 1970's.
Trump swore that a luncheon his administration hosted at the WH for Evangelical Christian leaders in 2018 was to honor their hard work on behalf of true Christian values his administration encompasses. The president re-iterated how he, with the support of Conservatives in both Houses and Vice President Pence returned true Christian values and religious freedom to the U.S. just like he promised Ralph Reed, Director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition he would do during a keynote address at the 2016 and 2017 Faith and Freedom Conferences, as well.
At the time, Trump went on to hint that Evangelical Leaders should point their congregations in the direction of specific candidates to help the GOP keep the majority in both Houses every election cycle so ‘his and future administrations can continue working on behalf of Evangelicals’ and religious values. That was a direct violation of campaign election laws related to the role of churches in political campaigns and a violation of the Separation of Church and state. The president later said he didn’t really mean that, but the seed was planted in the minds of attendees.
White House office on Faith Initiatives
Tony Perkins, a wealthy Conservative power broker and creator of the Family Research Council began lobbying for fundamentalist religious values in government with the George W. Bush administration. Perkins was at the National Day of Prayer on May 5th when Trump announced the creation of a new executive office that would provide oversight to guarantee ‘religious freedom . The president finished by saying that “faith is more powerful than government.”
As cited by Paste magazine, Trump’s initiative not only overturned religious liberty protections enacted by Obama, the office is in the White House instead of the Department of Health and Human services and answers directly to Trump. The religious freedom of faith-based organizations will be protected. LGBT protections have been weakened through the office of faith initiatives. On June 4th, 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple.
There are no laws that prohibit serving the LGBTQ community in thirty-two states. Under Trump’s religious freedom law more statutes have been introduced in other state legislatures to let persons of faith deny service to same sex couples. The immediate effect of Trump’s Office of Religious Freedom was seen in Kansas. Governor Jeff Colyer, (R) who was finishing Sam Brownback’s second term after he resigned to take a position with the Trump Administration, acted on the advice of the Director of the Department of Children and Families, barring gays and lesbians from becoming foster parents or adopting children.
Dark money and the religious right
Nearly half of outsider TV campaign ads financed by secret 'dark money' - Politically Speaking
Election season openness and transparency has taken a big hit in 2018 as secret donors financed nearly half of…
Top faith based contributors to Trump and Conservative campaigns
Among the elite right wing religious groups who have spent hundreds of millions bankrolling Conservative candidates at the state and federal level as well as GOP presidential campaigns as far back as 1990 include Ralph Reed leader and creator of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and its annual conference, Road to the Majority, of which the KOCH brothers have been major sponsors for years, the Jerry Falwell Ministries run by his son, televangelist Pat Robertson who undermines Democrats at every opportunity on the 700 club, Focus on the Family, Alliance Defending Freedom, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America among others.
2020 Faith and Freedom Coalition Policy Conference.
On Wednesday, September 30, 2020 Vice President Mike Pence delivered the Keynote address remarks at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Policy Conference https://www.ffcoalition.com/, highlighting the Trump Administration’s continued efforts to support religious freedom and every American’s right to practice faith on his or her own terms and 1st and kicking off the Annual FFC Policy Conference. As stated on The Faith & Freedom Coalition’s website, hundreds of Evangelicals traveled hundreds of miles just to hear and see Pence. The Faith & Freedom Coalition has commended President Trump’s historic nomination of a conservative woman to replace Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the Supreme Court at the Policy Conference, as well and gave their full support in helping getting her confirmed.
If re-elected it is a sure bet there will be more executive orders from Trump’s poison pen gutting or limiting other Civil and Voting Rights protections. And the extremists among the religious right including Ralph Reed and Pat Roberts could be given more power to legislate moral and social values through the U.S. Supreme Court, and change the constitution itself.
Conservative advocacy groups lobby for the religious right
10 Conservative Advocacy Groups You Should Know
Advocacy groups are one of the best ways for concerned Americans to get involved in the political process. The goal of…
Opinion | The Christian Right Adopts a 50-State Strategy
By Katherine Stewart Ms. Stewart writes regularly about the political activities of evangelicals and other religious…