Trump’s Religious Freedom Is Anything But

It has to stop.”

That’s what President Donald Trump said this week about growing anti-Semitism. We heard a variation during his election in November, when Trump told a barrage of anti-Muslim attackers, “Stop it.”

Trump’s lukewarm responses indicate religious freedom isn’t as much of a priority as he claims.

Yes, he’s drafting an executive order to let businesses justify discrimination against LGBT folks because of certain religious beliefs. He’s caved to the white Christian right to end protections for transgender kids to use the bathroom they prefer at school. And he called for a bigger role of religion in government at the National Prayer Breakfast.

But he won’t protect Jews, Muslims, LGBT believers and black church congregations beyond lip service.

Over the last six weeks, bigots across the country have called in bomb threats to Jewish community centers nearly 70 times. Vandals just toppled almost 200 headstones at a historic Jewish cemetery in a St. Louis suburb, as well.

Vice President Mike Pence may have visited the cemetery to help clean up Feb. 22, but that is not enough.

Overall, ThinkProgress counted more than 260 hate incidents targeted toward people’s identities since Trump’s election.

The harassment and violence include a perpetrator trying to tear a hijab off a Muslim woman in New Mexico to racists penning death threats on a mostly black church in Indiana. The outlet didn’t count incidents that weren’t reported in the news or to the police, or hateful graffiti not directed toward specific people.

“And while Trump has done little to quell the rise in hate, the connection between many of these occurrences and his presidency is clear,” writes Jack Jenkins. “One hundred and nine (42 percent) of the incidents we tracked over the past three months included specific references to Trump, his election, or his policies.”

ThinkProgress’ number is low next to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which included self-reported harassment. The organization recorded 1,094 cases of hate violence and bullying within 34 days of the election, at places ranging from K-12 schools, colleges to on the streets.

Trump has a problem of defending religious freedom only when it serves some conservative white Christians’ bigotries.

Trump’s proposed Muslim registry has even atheists worried. He also has a new Muslim traveler ban in the works and works with anti-Semitic, white nationalist appointees like Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.

Contrary to empowering religious freedom, Trump has emboldened its decline.

Let’s continue to demand accountability.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

202 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y9 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y9 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J9 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J9 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Peggy B
Peggy B1 years ago

Well said Karen.

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Karen H
Karen H1 years ago

Sarah Hill, remember Trump's campaign where he promised to deport immigrants (from virtually any country) and build a wall to keep Mexicans from immigrating to the U.S.? He’s keeping at least one of those promises now. Many of Trump’s friends and cabinet members are anti-Semitic, but he doesn’t stand up to them. If there’s a tweet something Trump doesn’t like, he jumps on the person with both feet, but when one of his supporters tweets cartoons depicting Jews in a derogatory way, Trump and his staff are silent. If he felt they insulted Ivanka, he would comment. His silence speaks volumes. Trump is hanging out with Evangelicals who are against everyone but Evangelicals, and with white supremacists who are against everyone but white supremacists. What does that tell you?

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Glennis W
Glennis W1 years ago

Thump is doing a very good job killing a beautiful country He is a fruit cake

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Glennis W
Glennis W1 years ago

Thump is an imbecile Thank you for caring and sharing

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Marie W
Marie W1 years ago

Thanks for posting.

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Marie W
Marie W1 years ago

Thanks for posting!

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