Both U.S. presidential candidates are weak on religious freedom. “What the friends of religious freedom need in the White House is a real, well-informed, energetic defender of religious freedom. And I don’t see one leading either party at the moment,” said Dr. Matthew Franck, director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution. Both of them may well directly affect the outcome of conflicts over freedom of religion either through policy or judicial appointments.
With Hillary Clinton there will likely be more pressure on churches and religious organizations to perform services that violate their religious convictions or mission. Some will likely be punished for refusing to do so as has already happened under President Obama. Policies involving same-sex couples and health care are among the issues impinging on religious freedom that a Hillary Clinton presidency would press on the nation.
Hillary Clinton believes that the social foundations of America must be changed. In an address about women’s rights to abortion, she said, “laws have to be backed up with resources and political will, and deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”
Imagine that. Even deep-seated cultural codes and religious beliefs must be changed in pursuit of Clinton’s plan for America.
The Clinton administration would most certainly add another liberal to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, which would give the court a liberal majority and would swing Supreme Court actions further away from religious freedom on social issues.
Clinton also would support the transgender mandate, the Obama administration’s rule that would force doctors and physicians around the country to perform gender transition services if asked, even if they thought it harmful to the patient’s health or had religious objections.
In essence, a Clinton administration would continue the trajectory of the last eight years of the Obama administration.
A Trump presidency on the other hand would not mount much of a challenge to the new sexual revolution on same-sex marriage and transgender issues.” He even criticized the States for trampling on so-called “transgender rights.”
Trump also plans to give churches more power by repealing the “Johnson amendment.” “I think it’s one of the most important things that I’ll be doing for the evangelicals and for religion,” he said.
Giving churches more power, in turn, though hailed as a boon to religious freedom, is also a dangerous move. It has its own set of religious freedom issues.
“Furthermore, some say Trump’s rhetoric toward ethnic and religious minorities has inflamed social tensions and could spell trouble for them if he is elected president.”
“When a president shows willingness to violate the civil liberties of its citizens,” like through a Muslim immigration ban, wrote Rashid Reno, and Qasim Rashid in a piece published by the Religious Freedom Institute. “it sets a dangerous example which leads to violence and unrest against religious minorities.”
“This has already been demonstrated in the short period of Trump’s candidacy, where violence against Muslims and other minorities has increased significantly.”
Think about how that would set the stage for individuals and mobs to take matters into their own hands when a religious minority is sufficiently demonized, such as seventh day Sabbath keepers, as prophecy forecasts.
Trump has also advocated “surveillance of certain mosques” as a national security measure. Imagine how that would play out once precedence is established.
Trumps volatile behavior as a presidential candidate could spell danger for religious minorities under his administration.
“I saw a writing, copies of which were scattered in different parts of the land, giving orders that unless the saints should yield their peculiar faith, give up the Sabbath, and observe the first day of the week, the people were at liberty after a certain time to put them to death. But in this hour of trial the saints were calm and composed, trusting in God and leaning upon His promise that a way of escape would be made for them. In some places, before the time for the decree to be executed, the wicked rushed upon the saints to slay them; but angels in the form of men of war fought for them. Satan wished to have the privilege of destroying the saints of the Most High; but Jesus bade His angels watch over them.” Early Writings, page 282, 283