Accord Network is issuing a response to the leaked Executive Order on religious freedom that President Trump is considering signing. Below is a statement from Accord's Executive Director, Chad Hayward, in the form of a letter to the President.
February 14, 2017
President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Trump,
Accord Network wishes to thank you for the language protecting religious freedom in the executive order reportedly under consideration entitled, "Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom." Accord Network further wishes to encourage you to marshal this commitment and energy in favor of legislation that will stand to protect religious freedom for years to come.
Strong religious liberty protections help ensure a thriving society, and specific legislation in support of religious liberty would be a productive step forward. The executive order in question reportedly broadly defines “faith-based organizations” so that none are excluded on a technicality. Further, the order affords faith-based organizations the integrity to hire based upon the tenets of their faith. Finally, the executive order would strengthen and shield faith based organizations--our member organizations--from unnecessary infringement upon their tax-exempt status or charitable deduction, both of which are vital to their ability to effectively help the world’s poor.
We do not believe that these freedoms must come at the expense of others, and believe that your administration, working with Congress, can lead the way to a stable consensus that enables American citizens and organizations to be good neighbors to each other, notwithstanding our differences.
While Accord Network strongly supports your efforts in the reported executive order, we believe that more permanent action is necessary to solidify the protection of religious liberty for our members in a way that will survive many administrations to come. We look forward to working with your administration to accomplish these objectives.
Accord Network is an association of more than 80 US-based Christian relief and development organizations with $4.4 billion in combined budget, 110,000 employees and millions of American donors. accordnetwork.org