Melissa Rogers: White House Executive Order Undermines Religious Liberty

By Don Byrd

Written by Don Byrd

Former BJC General Counsel Melissa Rogers knows a thing or two about partnerships between the federal government and religious organizations that provide social services. During the Obama administrations, Rogers chaired the President’s Faith Advisory Council, which under her leadership developed a set of recommendations for strengthening the role of faith-based organizations in providing benefits funded by the government, while safeguarding the religious liberty of the beneficiaries. She later directed the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. She probably understands better than anyone not only the importance of the regulations put in place by that office but also the meticulous, inclusive and lengthy process that went into crafting such common-ground solutions.

In a column for the Washington Post, Rogers takes issue with several provisions of an executive order signed last week by President Trump which amended elements of that office. Among other things, the order strikes regulations designed to protect beneficiaries of government services provided by faith-based organizations.

Here is an excerpt from her column:

The order Trump signed in early May eliminates the [requirement that beneficiaries of federally funded social services should be referred to an alternative service provider if they object …read more

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