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Opinion

Opinion: Trump’s ‘religious liberty’ sounds a lot like theocracy, readers say

Donald Trump
Faith leaders pray with President Trump at a rally for evangelical supporters in Miami on June 3.
(Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)

To a letters editor, the enthusiastic embrace of President Trump by conservative evangelical Christians is the gift that keeps on giving. This week, a published letter whose author identified himself as an evangelical Christian and a reluctant Trump supporter — written in response to an op-ed article by another evangelical Christian smiting his fellow believers for idolizing the president — prompted another round of reader commentary on the eternal issue of government and religion.

Lately, the submissions from Trump’s Christian supporters, including the most recently published one, have attempted both to explain their beliefs and attack today’s Democrats as disturbingly un-Christian. That has rattled some of our readers, a selection of whose responses are below.

Rosemary Polito of Reseda exalts the separation of church and state:

One letter writer asks, “What choice do Christians have when the candidates on the left constantly remind us of America’s faults, support late-term abortions and scorn the notion that marriage is only between a man and a woman?”

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This writer got it all wrong. He has the right to believe anything he wants, but he does not have the right to force others to agree. We live under the rule of law, not the rule of religious law.

The framers of our Constitution wanted to separate church from state. They did not want an official government religion; thus, we have a multitude of faiths in this country, all of whose adherents are free to worship without government interference.

Please don’t legislate your religious beliefs onto me. No matter one’s religion, our culture values integrity, honesty and compassion, none of which this president has. So, you do have a choice.

Jan Rainbird of Irvine infers the real meaning of “religious liberty”:

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Another evangelical voter justifies his support for Trump by claiming that the president is “supportive of religious liberty” — meaning, obviously, the “liberty” to impose theocratic beliefs on the rest of the population, including on reproductive rights, marriage equality and end-of-life decisions.

I would appreciate these people at least being honest about their pursuit of their agenda as a basis for voting for this venal hypocrite.

Denys Arcuri of Indio wants to leave Bill Clinton out of this:

A letter writer asks, “Didn’t we go through this with President Bill Clinton?”

Clinton had a consensual, inappropriate dalliance and lied about it. He did not, as far as anyone knows, pay off an adult film actress, castigate anyone who had a different opinion from him or call the free press the “enemy of the people.”

Comparing an inappropriate affair and lying about it to withholding foreign aid for political gain and lying about it is beyond absurd. And why are we talking about Clinton? He is not the president.

The writer may hold his nose and vote for Trump in November; I will hold mine to ward off the stench of hypocrisy.


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