Fact check: Is President Donald Trump a champion of religious freedom?

Return To Article

Commenting has temporarily been suspended in preparation for our new website launch, which is planned for the week of August 12th. When the new site goes live, we will also launch our new commenting platform. Thank you for your patience while we make these changes.


  • 2 tell the truth Clearwater, FL
    May 7, 2019 1:17 p.m.

    Well, at least he did slightly better this year than at last year's Prayer Breakfast - where he 'prayed' for better TV ratings for Arnold Schwarzenegger!

    I think the event is misnamed: it should be called the 'Breakfast for some religious - the ones who believe as I/we do, prayers optional'.

    Because the "nation" (as in "National") is NOT of one belief - on anything.

    To those who use the anti-gay baker as an example, John Kasich got it right: "Selling cakes to the public for profit is not the exercise of religion. It is commerce."

    The baker chose to make and sell cakes to the public for profit as the way to make his living. He does not question his other customers as to their religious beliefs.

    (Can you imagine the gall if a heterosexual couple were asked if they engage in pre-marital sex before the baker consented to sell them a cake? Or if the couple keeps the Sabbath Day? What on earth business is it of his what his customers believe, anyway? That would not be religious freedom, but rather 'religious' bullying.)

  • Lilly Munster , 00
    May 7, 2019 2:16 a.m.

    From the comments and opinions, clearly the New Christianity will appease, tolerate and embrace all the godlessness and vile rhetoric that Trump spews. Could you possibly read Trump's words and prouncements....all of them....to your family at evening Family Hour?

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    May 6, 2019 9:17 a.m.

    @John Kateel
    "A Hindu doctor should not be forced to treat a meat eating Presbyterian..."

    Treating the person would have nothing to do with the meat-eating. We should not force a Hindu to cook him a hamburger.

    "An LGBT shopkeeper should should not be forced to serve ice cream...."
    I agree. Nobody should be forced to serve ice cream to anyone.

    "A Pastafarian jeweler, the folks who where a pasta strainer on their heads, should not be forced to sell diamonds to a known keto diet carb shunning enthusiast and practitioner. "

    Again, we agree.

    See how easy this is if we just allow people to be free?
    Suppose I ask a Gay baker to bake me a cake. He says: "No, I only bake cakes for Gay people."
    I say "Oh...well strange, but OK." and walk out. I am not harmed in any way.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    May 6, 2019 9:02 a.m.

    @jeclar2006:
    "...allow discrimination under the banner of 'Religious Freedom'."

    "Discrimination" is not automatically wrong. We "discriminate" constantly on all types of things: we discriminated good from bad, correct from incorrect, successful from unsuccessful, foolish from wise, etc., etc., etc....
    "Discrimination" is the basis of "rational thought" as in "discriminating intelligence."

    In the ethical realm "discriminating against things considered immoral" is the essence of "morality". It is not "under that banner of religious freedom", it is **the essence of religious freedom**.
    If you cannot actively express your religious freedom, and act on your religion, and decline to act in violation of of your religion, then you do not have "freedom of religion".

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    May 6, 2019 8:35 a.m.

    There is simply no question that Trump has been the biggest supporter of religious freedom in the past 2 or 3 decades. I noticed how Deseret News called this a "Fact Check", when it is really just an admission that Trump has done exactly what he has said he would do, but they need to throw some negative opinions in about it.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    May 6, 2019 7:52 a.m.

    Anyone who believes Trump is falling into his trap. He's a slick self-promoter and has been practicing the same deceptions with his brand for decades in NYC/NJ and wherever Trump products are sold. We've seen him overpromise and underdeliver with his 'University', hotel brands, etc. Other people put the money up and he sticks his Trump brand on it and walks away with millions. This behavior is constant and long term.

    Conservatives, don't believe a word this guy says. His flag-hugging, church-loving antics are just that. Thank you D-News for exposing a tiny bit of his massive deceptions.

  • bill4570 ,
    May 6, 2019 7:24 a.m.

    With all the problems trump has created for himself (lies, distrust, fake news etc etc) plus the open facts by Deseret News quelling trumps "victories" on religious freedoms, I cannot help but feel that he is merely "fishing" for supporters in the religious pond.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    May 5, 2019 3:25 p.m.

    Trad Life - Gettysburg, PA
    ---
    Trump has many imperfections, but he is a strong supporter of religious freedom. Christians are the most persecuted believers in the world, and yet another genocide against them is happening in the Middle East.
    ---

    The article was not on the topic of general world religious freedom, or persecution of a particular religion's members.

    If that were the case we could look to Trump relationship with Saudi Arabia for example, where Christians or any other religion but Islam have limited rights and freedoms. Saudi Arabia has spread its conservative Islamic philosophies and polices, and they are one short step to the extremism seen in the Islamic World.

    Trump is doing little to champion religious freedom in Russia, where other than the Russian Orthodox Church, those of other beliefs or denominations, have to be very limited in their public activities.

    As reported in this news source, several Mormon missionaries ran afoul of the lack of religious freedom in Russia just a few months ago.

    Here in the US, which what the article was about, we don't see a reduction of religious tension coming from Trump in the least, just support for certain Christian groups.

  • There You Go Again St George, UT
    May 4, 2019 9:59 a.m.

    @really??

    I rarely take time to address a comment that attacks me personally.

    In this case I can't resist.

    Who are you to judge me?

    You know nothing about who I voted for in any election.

    I can see I have struck a nerve with you with my comment.

    It would seem appropriate to me to stick with the comment and avoid the personal attacks.

  • WallE Walla Walla, WA
    May 4, 2019 12:22 a.m.

    @Really!? - Logan, UT Responding to your comment: I'm troubled when any Chief Executive doesn't hold up the law. There are examples on both sides of the political divide. There are examples in business but CEO's pay a price and aren't as flagrant.

    Its equally distressing that that you'd insinuate that I'm not a person of principle and would only find fault with one side or the other, giving the other side a free pass. This type of thinking only builds distrust in our democracy.

  • Yeti75 Ferndale, WA
    May 3, 2019 8:23 p.m.

    @ the maliorist:
    You obviously didn't see the division while Obama was POTUS. Even CNN agreed.

  • Trad Life Gettysburg, PA
    May 3, 2019 4:18 p.m.

    Trump has many imperfections, but he is a strong supporter of religious freedom. Christians are the most persecuted believers in the world, and yet another genocide against them is happening in the Middle East.

    Meanwhile, Romney appears to be morally straight, but is antagonistic towards religious freedom, freedom of speech, and the constitution in general. He has supported violent Communists attacking patriots.

    I would much rather have Trump than Romney.

  • n8ive american Shelley, Idaho
    May 3, 2019 12:34 p.m.

    Funny how all these people commenting negatively about Trump most likely supported Obama and Hillary, the two most unethical people ever to enter the political system. From the same party that advocates for late-term abortions. The left have no moral authority from which to speak from.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    May 3, 2019 12:28 p.m.

    To "There You Go Again" yes, you don't like Trump, but look at what the Democrats are offering. So far it is a field of 20+ people trying to prove just how socialist they are. If you think that the idea portrayed in the book 1984 are bad, they will look like a better condition than what the Democrats are having to portray in their campaigns.

  • Desert Dog Layton, UT
    May 3, 2019 12:10 p.m.

    At least this president thinks religious freedoms are important and worth discussing. Freedom of religion (all types) is a major freedom we must never take for granted.

  • Really!? Logan, UT
    May 3, 2019 11:29 a.m.

    @ WallE - Walla Walla, WA You said: It troubles me an Executive Order was issued basically to disregard the law (Johnson Amendment).
    But, were you just as troubled when obama ordered his DOJ to disregard the Defense of Marriage Act?

    @There You Go Again - St. George, UT You asked the question: An individual without ethics, integrity or morals is a champion of religious freedom?
    Who are you to judge? You most likely voted for obama twice, which disqualifies you to judge anyone regarding ethics, integrity, or morals.

  • There You Go Again St George, UT
    May 3, 2019 10:53 a.m.

    An individual without ethics, integrity or morals is a champion of religious freedom?

    An oxymoron, if there ever was one, for the ages.

    The memes of the classic tome 1984 continue to be revealed hourly/daily in the form the trumpublican political cartel.

    Fire trump 2020.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    May 3, 2019 10:48 a.m.

    To "dmcvey" actually no, it won't be a firefighter tomorrow. Since when is a medical emergency or fire a religious event? As for Medical doctors, again would you force a Christian fertility doctor to do invitro on an unmarried woman? Would you force a Christian Doctor to perform elective procedures that are contrary to their beliefs?

    Does it matter what the Muslim is doing at a Jewish event? (A Jewish event would be something religious, so the Muslim could be catering it, hosting it at their business, or working at the event)

    Would you force a gay coffee shop owner to serve a group of Christian protesters?

  • pragmatistferlife Salt Lake City, UT
    May 3, 2019 10:21 a.m.

    So dishonest to fact check the statements of this President without at the same instant fact checking all other politicians....just like I heard from you all when Obama said you can keep your doctor..you all were so gracious at that moment to also talk about Bush saying Iraq had WMD...not.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    May 3, 2019 10:11 a.m.

    @RedShirtHarvard

    In a state with a nondiscrimination law a business cannot discriminate against people based on those qualifications.

    What is the Muslim refusing to do for the Jew?

    The danger of these laws is that today it is a photographer, tomorrow it could be a fireman, doctor or policeman refusing to do their job and give aid (possibly life saving aid) to the person based on their religious biases.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    May 3, 2019 9:38 a.m.

    To "dmcvey" can a Christian Photographer refuse to attend a same sex marriage? Can a Muslim deli refuse to serve a Jewish event?

    If a Christian business owner can be forced to host or attend events that are contrary to their beliefs, they don't have religious freedom.

  • Eponymous Eggplant Salt Lake City, UT
    May 3, 2019 9:37 a.m.

    @Nichol Draper, @coleman51: You hit the nail on the head.

    Summary:
    1. True
    2. True
    3. True

    Notwithstanding there are other factors involved (the President isn't a dictator) his claims are consistent with what he has done. Very disappointing that the article didn't have the courage to say that. It claims to be a fact check and instead shares a "bottom line."

    The press needs to tell the truth, because a lying press is an enemy of the people.

  • help america Eden, UT
    May 3, 2019 9:30 a.m.

    I am not sure why the DN can be so judgmental about Trump and overlook everything that other presidents Failed to do or passed laws that were not helpful at all to religious freedom. Trump has changed many personal issues since he has been in office. Abortion is one of those. Don't condemn a man for making correct decisions simply because at one time he had a different opinion. I don't think there is anything "trump" that the DN would be positive on.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    May 3, 2019 9:03 a.m.

    When have Christians not been able to talk about it? This is what's wrong with the current "freedom of religion" laws that are being pushed through. They're based on a false premise and they're not really about freedom of all religion, just specific conservative Christian churches.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    May 3, 2019 8:52 a.m.

    Trump has campaigned and as President issued executive orders that allow discrimination under the banner of 'Religious Freedom'.

    It is a freedom from law, as indicated by the overlooking of churches engaging in political action, while benefiting from their nonprofit status, or law regarding public accommodation, when those church entities offer services to the public.

  • pragmatistferlife Salt Lake City, UT
    May 3, 2019 8:21 a.m.

    Trump and fact check...what could go wrong with that?

  • BradJames Manti, UT
    May 3, 2019 8:18 a.m.

    we have religious freedom right now. If this were a communist state, we wouldn't have that. Getting down to brass tacks, that's all I can say.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    May 3, 2019 8:16 a.m.

    To "The Meliorist" no, the most divisive POTUS was Obama. He put black against white, muslim against everybody, poor against rich, socialist against capitalist, etc...

    To "WallE" how is that different than an EO saying that you can now ignore immigration laws? Or an EO giving states exemptions to the ACA? The unfortunate part is that thanks to Obama, a President can write and EO to ignore laws.

  • Bloodhound Provo, UT
    May 3, 2019 8:17 a.m.

    If you are a religious person with traditional values, you should be grateful the White House is occupied by Donald Trump and not Hillary Clinton!

  • Something to think about Ogden, UT
    May 3, 2019 7:50 a.m.

    President Trump is a "wolf in sheep's clothing". I feel sorry for the evangelicals who've been tricked by his false narratives.

    I am a Christian and there are very few of Trump's personal habits the mirror the values I've been taught throughout my life. Sure, he talks a good talk, but his actions are far from his rhetoric particularly these spoken at evangelical gatherings.

    The Bible warned us of such times.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 3, 2019 7:50 a.m.

    Nothing wrong with what Trump has done regarding religion.

    Nothing wrong with checking the facts of Trump or any politician about anything.

    However, "fact-checking" a specific politician while ignoring statements of al other politicians is not journalism. Especially when no one "fact-checked" Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or even Harry Reid.

    All the news that's fit to print falls short in today's hyper-partisan news media.

  • crkennedy1 Herriman, UT
    May 3, 2019 7:34 a.m.

    Using Buzz feed as a “fact check” source? I don’t think so...

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    May 3, 2019 7:30 a.m.

    "Bottom line: Trump did not get rid of the Johnson Amendment. To overturn the amendment, legislation would need to be passed by Congress."

    So, Trump lied. Again. "Thou shalt not bear false witness" isn't in Trump's set of Commandments. Neither is "Thou shalt not commit adultery", "Thou shalt not covet" and "Thou shalt not steal".
    Face it. Trump is not religious (Two Corinthians), he pretends to be to gain the votes of religious right.

  • The Meliorist CA, 00
    May 3, 2019 7:22 a.m.

    As a conservative, I see Donald Trump as the most polarizing American in over 100 years.

    He pits Christians against Muslims, Jews against Palestinians, his Press Secretary's father tried to pit Christians against Mormons.

    I think Trump is simply using religious diversity as a political tool, and in a very dangerous way.

  • The Dark Knight Salt Lake City, UT
    May 3, 2019 6:57 a.m.

    I think that calling President Trump a champion of religious freedom requires an extremely selective definition of the term to apply only to the denominations one favors. When one apploes the term honestly and fairly, he is no such thing.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    May 3, 2019 6:55 a.m.

    I know its a dream that has little to no chance of ever happening, but one of the things I really long for is just "plain speak" out of Washington. Trump is by far the most liberal with facts, but he is hardly the first, nor will be be the last that doesn't take great liberties in his perceptions.

    And in doing so, it just leads people to be able to interpret what they hear as they want to. Some will hear that these issues have been finally resolved. Others will be able to point to many examples where that really isn't so.

    It's like two doctors liberally interpreting the condition of a patient. Unless we can really agree upon what the real status of the patient is, we can't come up with a treatment to address the problem. Until we clearly state where we are with religious freedom, rather than where we want to believe it to be, we will not be able to come up with a real solution to protect everyone's rights.

    Just say it how it is, rather than how you want it to be.

  • coleman51 Orem, UT
    May 3, 2019 6:41 a.m.

    Just as I suspected, this news reporter questioned and was critical of President Trump's support of religious freedom. Even though he's done more for religious freedom than any previous President, the Deseret News found ways to criticize his efforts. This shows a bias that has been evident in the Deseret News against this President even to the point that it will not allow any comments that disagree with it's position, which is hostile toward this President. I suspect that the editors of the DN do not want to have articles that run against the New York Times or the Washington Post which are the pillars of the fake news establishment. Freedom of thought is not what they want to hear.

  • Nichol Draper West Jordan, UT
    May 3, 2019 6:26 a.m.

    So according to your fact checks, Trump has done all within his power as he promised to protect religious people. But congress and others continue their anti religious rules. And when Trump leaves religious people will be unprotected again.

  • imsmarterthanyou Salt Lake City, UT
    May 3, 2019 6:21 a.m.

    I don't know if he's a "champion" of religious freedom or not. What I do know is he is the best US president in over a century and he's got my vote.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 3, 2019 6:07 a.m.

    President Donald J Trump is a champion of villainy. He has made America an international villain in the eyes of
    t the world.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    May 3, 2019 5:49 a.m.

    Depends entirely on which religion, some might say he has been a champion of those who worship him.

  • John Kateel Salt Lake City, UT
    May 3, 2019 1:59 a.m.

    We must embrace more expressions of religious freedom in the public sphere and not less.

    A Hindu doctor should not be forced to treat a meat eating Presbyterian who is suffering from congenital heart failure due to excess saturated fat consumption.

    An LGBT shopkeeper should should not be forced to serve ice cream to a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints elderly couple with missionary name tags because of the Church's stance on gay marriage.

    A Pastafarian jeweler, the folks who where a pasta strainer on their heads, should not be forced to sell diamonds to a known keto diet carb shunning enthusiast and practitioner.

    A female Muslim paramedic should not be forced to give mouth to mouth CPR as touching another male on the mouth with your mouth is haram in Islam.

    We need tax payer funds earmarked for education to be siphoned and then to be used to open Muslim charter schools founded by Nation of Islam's Louis Farakhan.

    I can go on forever!

  • WallE Walla Walla, WA
    May 3, 2019 12:19 a.m.

    I don't understand why the National Prayer Breakfast isn't on the same day as the National Day of Prayer. Prayer is a great subject, but I'd feel better about the "National Prayers" if they included some national education on different prayer beliefs to bring us together in understanding each other. Native American prayers, Protestant prayers, Muslim Prayers, ect.

    It troubles me an Executive Order was issued basically to disregard the law (Johnson Amendment). It's allowed Tax-Deductible Contributions, (for those who give more than the standard deduction), to become political contributions.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    May 2, 2019 11:32 p.m.

    One of just a few politicians who won't deny babies the right of birth, and is saving American lives from the destructive forces of drug trafficking.

    Has endured over two years of intense investigations in which tens of millions of dollars was spent to find wrong doing, and with many false accusations thrown at him,-Trump has a clean record. No other political representative could have survived this.

    President Donald Trump is a champion for religious freedom and morals.