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Trump Administration puts “Faith” over Government by Refusing to Enforce Laws Separating Church and State

 

U.S. President Donald Trump prides himself on fulfilling campaign promises and is working assiduously to build his legacy as a president that keeps his promises.  A major campaign promise that Donald Trump ran on, to appeal to evangelical, conservatives, was to repeal the Johnson Amendment[1], something that he often reminds his supporters of even now. This past Memorial Day Weekend, Vice President Mike Pence “vowed to continue attacking the Johnson Amendment.”  “Vice President Mike Pence went to a Religious Right conference this Memorial Day weekend to tout President Donald Trump’s harmful policies on religious freedom. One of the things that stood out was that he reiterated that the Trump administration will continue attacking the Johnson Amendment, a federal law that protects the integrity of tax-exempt organizations and houses of worship by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose political candidates.‘We are going to continue to fight until we’ve fully repealed the Johnson Amendment from the Internal Revenue Code, but it will no longer be enforced under this administration… We’re going to repeal it once and for all,’ Pence said at the Watchmen on the Wall conference, a gathering of hundreds of pastors and church leaders sponsored by the Family Research Council (FRC).”[2]  

 

The three branches of government (legislative, judicial and executive) are in place to provide checks and balances to ensure that there is no absolute power given to any one branch. However, Mike Pence stated that the law prohibiting churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates (i.e. the separation of church and state), otherwise known as the Johnson Amendment, “will no longer be enforced” under the Trump Administration. How can it be that a federal law can be ignored or broken by the very government that has put it in place--if this is not abuse of power, corruption, authoritarianism, I don’t know what is.  What kind of example is it setting when the government can be above its own laws and policies; would it not encourage others to do the same. This is one of the reasons that Donald Trump, May 3, on the National Prayer Day, without regard to the separation of church and state, signed a Faith and Opportunity executive order and stated that “faith is more important than government.” “Trump seemed unconcerned about potential church-state conflicts during the Rose Garden signing ceremony attended by leaders from a variety of faiths. He emphasized the ‘vital role’ faith groups play in solving societal problems and said his commitment to religious freedom extends to the realm of government funding.The initiative will ‘help ensure that faith-based organizations have equal access to government funding and the equal right to exercise their deeply held beliefs,’ he said, according to a White House transcript. ‘We take this step because we know that, in solving the many, many problems and our great challenges, faith is more powerful than government, and nothing is more powerful than God.’”[3]

 

Trump’s words and actions are telling and coincide exactly with what Mike Pence said at the Watchmen on the Walls Conference. Trump said that faith is more powerful than government, in other words, faith/religion supersedes laws and religion can dictate to the government, and the government can then impose religious laws. The question to consider is whose, faith or religion and according to whom?

 

By Mr. Trump and  Mr. Pence stating that their administration will ignore the policies, laws and amendments that demand a clear separation between church and state, they are setting themselves and the religion of evangelicals above the law. During Pence’s speech at the conference he recollected on the advances that the Trump administration had heretofore made and stressed to more than 500 pastors and church leaders that   the pulpits from which they stand are more influential than the position that the president occupies. “The Vice President said he stopped by to celebrate what conservatives have been able to do since the election of President Donald Trump, including the appointment of strong conservatives to federal courts at every level, new initiatives to protect religious liberty in the United States and overseas, efforts to defend the unborn and the sanctity of life, and the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He also vowed ‘to continue to fight until we fully repeal the Johnson Amendment from the internal revenue code,’ but noted that it will no longer be enforced under the Trump administration. ‘We’re going to repeal it once and for all. I promise you that,’ the Vice President said. He also used the opportunity to stress the importance of church and ministry leaders and their impact on the nation.‘I know it is the President’s conviction, it is my conviction, that the pulpits that you stand at are of much greater consequence than any podium behind which he and I stand,’ Pence said.”[4]

 

Bible prophecy foretells in Revelation 13:11-17  that in the last days the wall of separation between church and state will be completely broken down, the principles of the constitution completely repudiated and religious legislation will be enforced in the form of a National Sunday Law, the Mark of the Beast.  We are also told that the people,  under the influence and dictation of religious leaders will appeal to government officials to have religious laws proposed and enacted. “The dignitaries of church and state will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. In the soon-coming conflict we shall see exemplified the prophet's words: ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ Revelation 12:17.” 

  

 

It is not coincidental that the conference which Mike Pence spoke at was titled, “Watchman on the Wall.” Firstly, the very wall of separation between church and state, the evangelicals, those calling themselves watchmen on the walls, and those politicians pandering to their every demand are breaking it down, not leaving one stone thereupon. Secondly, the blatant intrusion of religion in politics, the fusion of church and state, should arouse the true watchmen on the walls to cry aloud, spare not, and lift up their voices like trumpets, giving the trumpet a distinct sound, warning the inhabitants of the earth that the enforcement of the Mark of the Beast is just before us.  Now is not the time to muffle the trumpets or soften the message; we must bear the plain testimony when asked, “Watchman, what of the night;” “The morning cometh, and also the night.”


[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/06/30/trump-promised-to-destroy-the-johnson-amendment-congress-is-targeting-it-now/?utm_term=.706de42d3ef2

[2] https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/mike-pence-vows-to-continue-attacking-the-johnson-amendment

[3] https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900017820/nothing-is-more-powerful-than-god-a-look-at-president-donald-trumps-new-faith-based-initiatives.html

[4] http://nrb.org/news-room/articles/nrbt/vice-president-mike-pence-makes-surprise-appearance-frcs-watchmen-wall-conference/

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