Sessions launches pro-Christian ‘religious liberty task force’
Speaking at Monday’s Religious Liberty Summit, Sessions said that the task force would help implement the religious liberty guidance the Justice Department issued last October. While the guidance clearly instructs government agencies to respect the freedom of all religions, Sessions cited examples of mostly anti-Christian persecution in his speech at the summit.
“We’ve seen nuns ordered to buy contraceptives,” he said. “We’ve seen U.S. senators ask judicial and executive branch nominees about dogma—even though the Constitution explicitly forbids a religious test for public office. We’ve all seen the ordeal faced so bravely by Jack Phillips,” he added, referencing the case of the Colorado baker who won a Supreme Court victory recently, appealing his punishment for declining to bake a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple based on his religious beliefs.
Religious freedoms are guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution, but courts across the country have encountered problems balancing this protection with anti-discrimination laws, as was the case with Phillips.
Sessions went on to describe the cultural climate in America as hostile to people of faith, and promised his Department would defend God-fearing Americans’ right to practice their religion.
“In short, we have not only the freedom to worship—but the right to exercise our faith. The Constitution’s protections don’t end at the parish parking lot nor can our freedoms be confined to our basements,” he said. “Religious Americans are no longer an afterthought.”
While no details of the proposed task force’s work have emerged, and while Sessions’ guidelines clearly lay out rights for all religions, mainstream media and anti-Trump #Resistance have predictably assumed that the Attorney General was creating a jackbooted, cross-wearing paramilitary to crush homosexuality and enforce Christianity across the land.
“It’s not about religion or liberty,” tweeted Charlotte Clymer, a transgender Human Rights activist, “it’s about fear and loathing.”
As a Christian and LGBTQ person, it sickens me that Jeff Sessions and others are so insecure in their faith that they feel others must be coerced into it for validation. The "Religious Liberty Task Force" is not about religion or liberty. It is about fear and loathing.— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) July 30, 2018
Today the US Government announced the creation of a ‘religious liberty task force.’— God 🌈 (@TheGoodGodAbove) July 30, 2018
The prophecy is complete:
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
Jeff Sessions just announced they formed a Religious Liberty Task Force to ensure that all religious organizations have rights. Only by all organizations he means Christians, and by rights he means the freedom to impose their beliefs on others.— Alt Fed Employee (@Alt_FedEmployee) July 30, 2018
Jeff Sessions just announced a "Religious Liberty Task Force."— Denizcan Grimes (@MrFilmkritik) July 30, 2018
Here's your first look. pic.twitter.com/QivV1GMOd9
The Daily Beast described Session’s announcement as a declaration of “holy war on LGBT people,” who may now have to buy their cakes from other, more secular bakeries.
"Sadly it is no exaggeration, no hyperbole, to say that Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared a holy war on LGBT people, LGBT equality, and LGBT rights on Monday." —@timteemanhttps://t.co/HfbJNwqkQ1— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) July 30, 2018
Others poked fun at the idea, wondering what Sessions’ task force might look like, or what ‘religions’ it might have to defend.
Thank you, @JeffSessions! My fellow radical Jewish-Wicca polyvegan feminist she-priests applaud you for implicitly supporting our right to freely worship our blood demons through your amazing “Religious Liberty Task Force!” Finally - blanket protections for religion! Hail Satyn!!— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) July 31, 2018
Jeff Sessions has put together his Religious Liberty Task Force. pic.twitter.com/m9YhhmqIsu— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) July 30, 2018
Religious Liberty Task Force sounds like something Sacha Baron Cohen talked Jeff Sessions into creating after bursting out of a giant gay wedding cake dressed as Baby Jesus— Matt Oswalt (@MattOswaltVA) July 30, 2018
A religious liberty task force? Where do we sign up? pic.twitter.com/DC2O49RNyF— Satanic San Francisco (@SatanicSF) July 30, 2018
I'm having the weirdest déjà vu about this Religious Liberty Task Force. pic.twitter.com/GQMDpKPhuF— Soren Bowie (@Soren_Ltd) July 30, 2018
Sessions’ enemy appears to be Godless progressivism itself, though he did not identify it by name.
A “dangerous movement, undetected by many, but real, is now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom,” he said on Monday, but added that it will be “confronted and defeated.”
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