President Donald Trump has said the “United States of America is stronger when you’re united and you’re strong.
And that includes our Christian faith, our Jewish faith, and our Muslim faith.”
That includes, of course, religious freedom, and the administration is actively courting those groups with religious exemptions to protect the president’s controversial Muslim travel ban.
But that’s not the whole story.
As the president continues to flaunt his religion, it is being attacked by critics, and even some of his own evangelical supporters, who fear his administration is moving to dismantle the country’s Judeo-Christian values.
As the Trump administration’s efforts to expand religious liberty expand, so too does its assault on civil liberties.
While the president has been outspoken about his support for religious liberty, he has failed to demonstrate that he will enforce it.
And, to put it bluntly, he doesn’t care.
He’s willing to do what it takes to get what he wants.
This week, as the president celebrated his first 100 days in office, the New York Times published an article that painted a picture of the new president’s approach to religious liberty as a threat to the country.
In the article, a senior White House official argued that Trump is “playing politics” with the religious freedom issue by using executive orders to roll back religious exemptions.
The administration has already issued executive orders that allow the federal government to refuse to process marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
The president also has sought to make it easier for churches and other nonprofits to refuse services, including meals, and have the Justice Department push for new regulations that would allow religious-based schools to opt out of Title IX protections.
The executive orders are aimed at protecting religious freedom in the workplace, but the president is trying to dismantle that protection.
And Trump’s allies in the religious right are also concerned about the president trying to undo protections that have existed for decades.
The American Family Association and its affiliates have been among the most vocal advocates for the president to expand the federal definition of religious liberty to include his own religion.
But those groups have been careful not to advocate for a religious test for the executive orders, and they have been less vocal about their desire to see religious-freedom protections expanded.
The president has a number of other religious-liberty concerns that could prove a problem for him, including his continued support for the religious-right agenda.
Trump has pledged to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that gives undocumented immigrants protected status.
The White House has argued that ending DACA is not an immigration issue and will not affect the country as a whole.
But in the weeks since Trump took office, Trump has used executive orders and statements to say that DACA was not a good idea and that his administration will rescind it.
On Sunday, the Trump White House announced it was ending the program, saying that it is “not a priority” for the administration.
But the administration’s announcement comes as the Trump Administration is under intense scrutiny from both sides of the aisle.
Some conservatives, like Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, have criticized the president for being hostile to religious institutions and for signing executive orders aimed at cutting off funding for them.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, the Republican leader of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has called for the Senate to take up legislation to end DACA.
The issue of religious freedom is being pushed to the margins of the presidency, and that means the president can’t focus on the rest of his agenda.
And while some of the presidents own evangelical followers and supporters are pushing him to do so, he is doing it in the service of his evangelical base.
As his allies in religious liberty and civil liberties push for an end to his executive orders on religious liberty or the repeal of DACA, they are also fighting back.