Alliance Defending Freedom Letter to President Trump re Religious Liberty
As written at the Alliance Defending Freedom Website:
Alliance Defending Freedom President, CEO, and General Counsel Michael Farris sent a letter Wednesday to President Donald Trump that asks him to sign the proposed religious freedom executive order and reverse a U.S. Department of Agriculture order that prohibits a family-owned Michigan meatpacking facility from including religious literature concerning marriage on a breakroom table.
Under a policy issued by the Obama administration’s agriculture secretary, a USDA official threatened to remove all USDA inspectors if West Michigan Beef Company owner Donald Vander Boon didn’t permanently refrain from placing in the company’s breakroom religious literature supporting marriage between one man and one woman that the department deemed “offensive.”
As Farris writes in the letter, “Throughout your campaign, you emphasized that preserving religious liberty would be a ‘first priority’ of your Administration. After enduring 8 years of the federal government bullying and punishing good Americans for peacefully living out their faith, your promise motivated many people of faith to cast their vote for you and to trust you to protect religious freedom…. Today, we write on behalf of our clients, Donald and Ellen Vander Boon, who own West Michigan Beef Company, LLC, a meatpacking facility near Grand Rapids, Michigan. This family-owned business employs 45 hard-working Americans and helps put food on the table for many families across the Midwest…. Unfortunately, the Vander Boons are at risk of having their plant shut down and their employees left jobless because of the USDA’s unfair targeting of the Vander Boons for their religious beliefs.”
“Americans shouldn’t be threatened with the loss of their livelihoods simply because they live and speak peacefully according to their beliefs,” added ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “The First Amendment, federal law, and Supreme Court precedent all forbid discrimination based on a person’s viewpoint. It’s especially ridiculous to threaten to shut down an entire facility—harming the jobs of all of the hard workers employed there—in service of a blatantly unconstitutional, politically correct demand like this. This sort of government threat against people of faith demonstrates the reason why President Trump should sign an executive order protecting religious liberty.”
First published at Alliance Defending Freedom
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