At the 13th National Catholic Prayer Breakfast Tuesday morning, attended by over 1,000 Catholics, one common theme was received in the feedback from the audience – their praise of the Trump administration for standing up for religious freedoms.
Vice President Mike Pence was a speaker at the event, where he related his Catholic upbringing, and confirmed the administration’s committment to protect Christian values and rights.
The Daily Caller reported on interviews they conducted with those in attendance, who said the Trump administration’s policies on religious freedoms are a welcome change from the Obama administration, who they felt penalized Christians from publicly expressing their faith. Below are some of the comments they shared:
“[Vice President] Pence’s speech really set the tone for how the Trump administration has and will continue to stand for Christian values,” college student and business owner Grant Calderon told TheDC. “Today was the first time since 2008 that the White House has been represented at the prayer breakfast, which speaks volumes about how much the Obama administration valued not only the Catholic community but the church as a whole.”
Arlington, Va., resident Bernadette Michael agreed. “Sadly, the Obama administration promoted policies that threatened to drive people of faith from their own businesses, and force the shutdown of vital services faith organizations provide, unless they agreed to actions that violated their faith,” she said. “While much remains to be done, I am pleased that the Trump administration has taken important steps to end these policies by recognizing the right of people and organizations faced with severe penalties to seek redress on the basis of their First Amendment rights.”
Self-described “cradle Catholic and pro-life and religious liberty advocate” Michele Tennery told TheDC that Trump’s administration has taken a “strong stance … in defense of our God-given right of religious liberty on which our great Nation was founded. President Trump has shown bold leadership by signing an Executive Order in the Rose Garden to restore religious liberty in the public square.”
“President Trump wants all Americans to follow the dictates of their conscience and their values as they live out their lives in America,” continued Tennery. “The president believes that our freedom to practice our faith is the birthright of every American. Conversely, the Obama Administration and its HHS Mandate within Obamacare, violated American’s fundamental rights of conscience with its HHS Mandate regarding birth control and abortifacients being offered and paid for within health care insurance policies.”
A spokesperson for the Military Archdiocese said, “Certainly, the Trump Administration has made clear that it supports the free exercise of religion, as we heard from Vice President Pence this morning, and that’s a welcome change of pace. We just hope the Administration can turn words to action. There is certainly a better climate and less urgency about pushing an agenda ‘neutralizing’ religion.”
Area pro-life leader Will Waldron, the Executive Director of Divine Mercy Care, said that the Trump administration is showing “a complete 180-degree turn in the policies relating to abortion.”
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