Trump Scores At U.N. On Religious Liberty

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on President Trump’s remarks on religious liberty delivered at the U.N. today:

President Trump continued his legacy of defending religious liberty with a stellar address at the United Nations today. He offered many examples of religious persecution around the globe, stating that 80 percent of the world’s population lives in nations where religious liberty is either restricted or banned altogether.

In one of the most startling statistics mentioned by President Trump, he said that “11 Christians are killed every day for following the teachings of Christ.” That alone is worthy of the kind of international dialogue that the U.N. was founded to address. But we need more than dialogue: the perpetrators need to be brought to justice.

The most ground-breaking aspect of President Trump’s statement came at the end. “The United States is forming a coalition of U.S. businesses for the protection of religious freedom. This is the first time this has been done. This initiative will encourage the private sector to protect people of all faiths in the workplace.”

This is a huge improvement over the Obama years when religious liberty was privatized to mean freedom to worship. People of faith want an expansive and robust interpretation of religious liberty—we are not satisfied to attend religious services.

The next battleground for religious liberty is the workplace. No one should be forced to engage in any religious practice, but neither should they be told to check their beliefs at the office door. Reasonable accommodations can and should be made. This is what the president is getting at, and we welcome it.

Trump also noted the hypocrisy of those who preach the wonders of diversity, which frequently is code to neuter religious liberty. “Too often people in positions of power preach diversity while silencing, shunning, or censoring the faithful. True tolerance means respecting the right of all people to express their deeply held religious beliefs.”

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