Top of Mind with Julie Rose, a BYU radio show focused on current events, interviewed Associate Director Elizabeth Clark in regards to recent religious freedom issues under President Trump. Professor Clark shared her insights on the Johnson Amendment and the President’s threats to repeal it, concerns surrounding the potential loss of tax exempt status for various churches and ancillary organizations associated with churches, the perception that religious freedom implies discrimination, and the recent travel ban.
While discussing the clash between those who believe that religious freedom is discriminatory and those who feel strongly that they should be able to act on their beliefs, Julie Rose asked what President Trump could do to protect religious freedom. Professor Clark explained that there is very little he can do since many of the issues we see have to do with state laws, not federal. She suggested that the most helpful action needs to occur on the congressional level by bringing together representatives of both sides of the issues to work through the difficult questions and come up with legislation that everyone can stand behind.
In regards to Trump’s recent travel ban, Professor Clark said that people who care about religious freedom as a principle are very concerned about the perception of a Muslim ban. If you are an advocate for religious freedom, you have to be an advocate for all. “Religious freedom has to be religious freedom for everyone. You have to stand by the principle, otherwise you’re not really engaging in religious freedom. You’re engaging in religious favoritism and that’s just wrong.”
This episode of Top of the Mind with Julie Rose is available here.