Humanist Leaders Respond to Troubling New Religious Liberty Task Force
For Immediate Release
Sarah Henry, 202-238-9088, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington, D.C., July 30, 2018) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today the creation of a Religious Liberty Task Force, which is being viewed as a follow-up to the previously unenforced May 2017 Executive Order on religious freedom and the supplementary October 2017 Justice Department guidance on that order. American Humanist Association leaders are deeply concerned that this new task force will jeopardize the civil rights of countless Americans to promote a deeply flawed and discriminatory understanding of religious freedom.
“We are disturbed that Jeff Sessions is using the Department of Justice to create special rights for the Religious Right at the expense of other Americans,” says Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “This is a continuation of the Trump administration’s pattern of attacks on effective religious freedom, demonstrated by earlier attempts to gut the Johnson Amendment and ban immigrants of specific faiths.”
The twenty points of guidance issued by Sessions in the 2017 memo allow bigotry to be disguised as a religious freedom, and Sessions now seeks to implement these instructions across the federal government through the creation of the task force. Among the twenty points of guidance, many reference the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and seek to justify government-sanctioned religious bigotry as required by RFRA.
Matthew Bulger, Legislative Director for the American Humanist Association, stated that “With the creation of this task force, the Trump administration is making clear that it is determined to utilize public funding to promote the discriminatory beliefs of the Religious Right and will distort laws like RFRA to do so.”
The American Humanist Association will continue to monitor and respond to the actions taken by the new Religious Liberty Task Force in an effort to protect the freedom of and freedom from religion for everyone.