Some conservatives have been as dismissive as liberals of President Trump’s religious freedom executive order issued last week. But I would argue that Trump’s critics are mistaken on two levels.
First, they overestimate how much power the President has in this arena. Maybe they forgot after eight years of Obama, but the President doesn’t write legislation. Trump can only issue executive orders; but since that’s how most of the assault on religious freedom in the last term came about, simply ordering a little executive branch attitude adjustment might make a surprisingly big difference in the overall climate of religious freedom. Second, they forget that Trump thinks like a businessman, not a politician. When he issues an order to a top subordinate, such as the Attorney General, he expects it to filter down and be implemented throughout all departments, and that might take any number of forms. Like a pebble dropped in a pond that creates many spreading ripples, that small generalized order may reverberate throughout the government, causing changes yet unforeseen.
Here’s a more in-depth look at exactly what the religious liberty order does and doesn’t do. READ MORE.