Religious Liberty Task Force

Religious Liberty Task Force

Part of a series on Jeff Sessions. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jul 31, 2018 at 02:11PM EDT by Matt.

Added Jul 31, 2018 at 01:22PM EDT by Matt.

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Overview

Religious Liberty Task Force is a special organization within the United States Department of Justice implemented under the leadership of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to protect the religious rights of United States citizens. The announcement of the Religious Liberty Task Force became the subject of controversy and criticism as people described the unit as a piece of legislation that blurs the line between church and states, which could lead to discrimination of religious minorities and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Background

On July 30th, 2018, Attorney General Sessions announced the formation of the Religious Liberty Task Force at a speech at the Department of Justice’s Religious Liberty Summit in Washington, D.C.[1] The task force has been charged with helping "the department fully implement our religious guidance.[2] He said:

The task force will help the department fully implement our religious liberty guidance by ensuring that all Justice Department components are upholding that guidance in the cases they bring and defend, the arguments they make in court, the policies and regulations they adopt and how we conduct our operations. That includes making sure that our employees know their duties to accommodate people of faith.

Sessions also warned of a "dangerous movement" that has been attacking the First Amendment and religious rights of U.S. citizens. He continued, "A dangerous movement, undetected by many, is now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom. There can be no doubt. This is no little matter. It must be confronted and defeated."



Developments

Online Reaction

Many online reacted negatively to the announcement, comparing the policy to other fundamentalist and violent religious movements of the past. Twitter [3] user @Soren_Ltd tweeted a picture from a group of Crusaders. They captioned the tweet, "I'm having the weirdest déjà vu about this Religious Liberty Task Force." The post (shown below, left) received more than 170 retweets and 775 likes in 24 hours. Twitter[4] user @stapf tweeted a picture of protesters dressed as characters from the television series about the authoritarian rule of women The Handmaid's Tale with the caption "The first meeting of the Religious Liberty Task Force is now convening." The post (shown below, center) received more than 790 retweets and 2,200 likes in 24 hours.

Additionally, Twitter[5] user @AmoneyResists posted an image criticizing the proposal as an example of a disregard for the separation of church and state. They captioned the photograph, "Jeff Sessions’ 'Religious Liberty Task Force': • Is another example of Trump’s 'solutions that don’t work to problems that don’t exist' • Shows a blatant disregard for the separation of church and state • Is the latest of this administration’s attempts to appease evangelicals." The post (shown below, right) received more than 150 retweets and 470 likes in 24 hours.


I'm having the weirdest déjà vu about this Religious Liberty Task Force. The first meeting of the Religious Liberty Task Force is now convening. Jeff Sessions' "Religious Liberty Task Force": Is another example of Trump's "solutions that don't work to problems that don't exist" (G Shows a blatant disregard for the separation of church and state Is the latest of this administration's attempts to appease evangelicals BUILD THIS WALL

News of the Task Force was discussed on the /r/politics[6] subreddit, where it received more than 6,900 points (97% upvoted) and 600 comments, and /r/The_Donald, [7] where it received more than 4,000 points (94% upvoted) and 350 comments, in 24 hours.

Media Coverage

Virtually all major media outlets covered the announcement of and reaction to the Religious Liberty Task Force, including NBC,[8] CBS,[9] HuffPost,[10] The Hill[11] and more.

Search Interest

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