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Trump uses Religious Freedom Day proclamation to preach the gospel of intolerance

While that stipulation did not make Trump’s official executive order, his language used in the proclamation insinuates that it is anti-gay business owners who are the victims here, not LGBTQ patrons and employees seeking equal rights. He even mentions a “baker” specifically, an obvious nod to the Supreme Court decision still pending on a complaint filed by a gay couple who say they were humiliated after a Colorado baker refused to make a wedding cake for them because of his religious beliefs.

Trump’s next paragraph makes it clear exactly whose religious freedom he is advocating for:

We will continue to condemn and combat extremism, terrorism, and violence against people of faith, including genocide waged by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria against Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims. We will be undeterred in our commitment to monitor religious persecution and implement policies that promote religious freedom.

Trump uses this proclamation as yet another avenue to promote his usual anti-Muslim bias, offering just the “Islamic states of Iraq and Syria” as an example faith-inspired extremism, terrorism and violence both in the United States and abroad. There is no mention of any of the many recent stateside murders inspired by Christian-Identity theory, anti-Semitism or Islamophobia, including those committed by Dylann Roof, whose crimes white supremacists defended as an act of faith.

When Obama declared Religious Freedom Day last year, his message was inclusive and cautionary, noting the rising threat of hate crimes by many religions. He said: “in 2015, nearly 20 percent of hate crime victims in America were targeted because of religious bias. That is unacceptable — and as Americans, we have an obligation to do better.” Obama added, “If we are to defend religious freedom, we must remember that when any religious group is targeted, we all have a responsibility to speak up.”

Source: Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture > Politics

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