Today, on the National Day of Prayer, President Trump will sign an executive order that will give faith-based groups more freedom and protection from government overreach, Religion News Service reported. The executive order will work as a watchdog to flag potential violations of religious liberties throughout the country.
According to a White House document, the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative will “ensure that the faith-based and community organizations that form the bedrock of our society have strong advocates in the White House and throughout the Federal Government.”
The announcement comes as the White House joins people of faith across the nation in observing the National Day of Prayer. The event, which occurs on the first Thursday of May each year, dates back to 1952, when President Harry S. Truman signed into law a joint resolution from the United States Congress deeming the day a national observance.
Today, the White House is hosting a Rose Garden ceremony during which President Trump will sign the executive order, with over 200 representatives from different religious groups in attendance.
The White House stated that “those working on the initiative will provide policy recommendations from faith-based and community programs on ‘more effective solutions to poverty’ and inform the administration of ‘any failures of the executive branch to comply with religious liberty protections under law.'”
Many presidents have launched various faith-based initiatives in order to guard religious liberties. The White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative is similar to those of past administrations, that also tried to strengthen relationships between the federal government and various relgious groups.
Johnnie Moore, who serves as the unofficial spokesman for Trump’s evangelical advisory group, stated that the new initiative is much different from past initiatives.
“Ordering every department of the federal government to work on faith based partnerships — not just those with faith offices — represents a widespread expansion of a program that has historically done very effective work and now can do even greater work,” he said.
Paula White, a Florida megachurch pastor and one of Trump’s advisors, was very enthusiastic about the new initiative.
“I could not be more proud to stand with President Trump as he continues to stand shoulder to shoulder with communities of faith,” she stated. “This order is a historic action, strengthening the relationship between faith and government in the United States and the product will be countless, transformed lives.”
(H/T: Religion News Service)