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Religious Liberty Big in GOP Race for White House

A major topic during the 2016 presidential campaign is religious liberty and the threats against it.

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on gay marriage in June, it led to a new movement that’s gained the attention and support of GOP candidates.


Much of the legal pushback is aimed at the U.S. Supreme Court and its legalization of gay marriage.

“If we surrender to the judicial branch as if it is the last final and ultimate word, then we have surrendered to judicial tyranny,” former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee warned.

The former Arkansas governor has already crafted a plan to defend the religious rights of anyone facing legal trouble for standing up for traditional marriage and has pledged to take the executive order route if elected.

“You instruct the attorney general to defend religious liberty and the rights of people of faith and conscience whether they’re business owners acting as individuals, whether they’re hospitals, churches, schools, adoption agencies. It doesn’t matter what it is,” Huckabee said.

Fellow presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is also vowing to issue executive orders in defense of religious liberty.

“I will direct the federal agencies–the IRS, every agency–that no person of faith will be discriminated against because of their religious belief,” Cruz said. “No person of faith will be persecuted because he or she follows a traditional teaching of marriage, a biblical teaching of marriage as the union of one man and woman.”

The public appears to agree, at least for now. By a 56-39 margin, Americans think it’s more important for the government to protect religious liberties over the rights of gays and lesbians.

Meanwhile in Congress, the First Amendment Defense Act is gaining traction. The measure would stop the federal government from taking action against a person or business who acts in accordance with their religious beliefs.

That’s a move supported by presidential candidate Scott Walker.

“To me, protecting our constitutional rights shouldn’t just take a piece of legislation,” the Wisconsin governor told CBN News. “The oath that any federal officer takes is about upholding the Constitution. The Constitution is very clear about protecting those rights.”

The way these GOP candidates see it, the debate over religious liberty boils down to an attempt to erase people of faith from the political equation.

“It’s no secret they want to silence us,” Jindal said. “The left no longer wants God in the public square. We must not allow that to happen. I can do that by executive order or I can do that by legislation.”

Or the next president can do it by nominating Supreme Court justices who are actually conservative.

“I think the next president will have a chance to appoint anywhere from one to four Supreme Court justices. I think it’s time that we start appointing justices that actually read and apply the Constitution,” Jindal said.

“It’s never the Democrat justices that surprise people and all of a sudden become conservatives,” he noted. “It’s always the Republican ones like Souter or like Roberts or Kennedy.”

Judges, the Constitution, and religious liberty are topics that could dominate the political conversation for the foreseeable future.

Report via CBN News


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