April 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Ken Blackwell, a former Trump transition adviser and nationally respected pro-family leader, told LifeSiteNews that he believes President Trump will issue a strong executive order to protect the religious liberty of Americans.
“My anticipation is that we will see an Executive Order and it will be more than window dressing,” said Blackwell, senior fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council, in an April 11 phone interview.
He predicted that the Obama administration’s “aggressive LGBT agenda will be unhinged” under Trump, piece by piece, across governmental agencies.
“We have a great plan to attack the administrative state,” he said, adding that Obama saddled Trump with a vast, liberal “infrastructure that is trans-agency.”
“We will have to be very meticulous in how we dismantle it,” he told LifeSiteNews.
Part of that involves Trump issuing a pro-religious liberty executive order with teeth, Blackwell said, “just as we are doing to reduce the regulatory burdens imposed by the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency].“ Economic conservatives are applauding Trump for shrinking the EPA’s clout.
Freedom of conscience for federal workers took many hits under Obama, who created a cottage industry of sorts for Christian legal groups like First Liberty that defend citizens’ First Amendment religious liberty to live out their faith on the job free of government coercion. Many politically incorrect citizens working for the government, including military members, fell victim to pro-secular and pro-LGBT policies under Obama.
Meanwhile, Obama’s aggressive, pro-LGBT legal push contributed greatly to the Supreme Court imposing homosexual “marriage” on all 50 states, although conservatives in some states like North Carolina are still resisting the 2015 ruling. Legalized “gay marriage,” combined with pro-LGBT nondiscrimination laws, has effectively negated Christians’ freedom to follow the moral dictates of their faith from New Mexico to Colorado, to Iowa to Washington State.
Trump team not in place
Blackwell, a former Ohio Secretary of State and a former undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President George W. Bush, urged social conservatives to be patient with Trump, noting that he still “does not have his full team in place.”
Blackwell, echoing other pro-family advocates, hailed as a “super appointment” Trump’s choice of conservative Heritage Foundation writer and attorney Roger Severino to head up the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Civil Rights. Severino now works under pro-life former Georgia congressman Tom Price, whose appointment by Trump as HHS Secretary has also earned plaudits from conservatives.
“Slowly and steadily, Tom is putting together a team,” said Blackwell, who described himself as an unofficial adviser to the new administration after being chosen — to the consternation of leftists — to lead Trump’s domestic transition team. He said conservatives working with Trump have created a “policy blueprint” for “uprooting the Obama apparatus.”
Rooting out Obama’s pro-LGBT network in the massive federal bureaucracy will be painstakingly difficult because Obama left a lot of “trap doors” in federal agencies like the State Department that have “gummed up the works” for Trump, Blackwell said.
Socialcons have big expectations
While comforted by Trump’s conservative appointments (including prospective Army Secretary Mark Green), social conservatives have been frustrated by the lack of explicit, pro-religious-liberty actions from the new president.
On the campaign trail, Trump made defending religious freedom a big issue, particularly in speeches and interviews targeting evangelicals, conservative Catholics and religiously-motivated voters. (He also publicly opposed the Supreme Court’s Obergefell same-sex “marriage” ruling, but after getting elected stunned social conservatives by saying it was “settled law.”)
Pro-family advocates were teased with a potential Trump religious liberty executive order that was floated February 1, receiving praise from influential social conservative Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation. But then the same potential order was shot down, with secular media reports giving credit to Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, for killing it, as well as for Trump extending an Obama pro-LGBT federal contractors executive order.
Business Insider, citing a source familiar with Kushner's White House role, reported March 29 that Kushner “was instrumental in killing an executive order that would have affected the LGBT community.”
What BI editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell failed to mention is that the floated executive order was designed to defend the free-conscience liberties of people of faith. Media are generally much more concerned with “LGBT rights” than religious liberty.
As LifeSiteNews reported, Ivanka and Kushner served as “Honorary Hosts” at a 2011 fundraiser for legalizing homosexual “marriage” in their home state of New York despite professing to be adherents to Orthodox Judaism. The fundraiser was sponsored by Freedom to Marry, a group founded by leading homosexual “marriage” activist Evan Wolfson. FTM closed down a few months after the 2015 Obergefell decision, having achieved its goal of national “legalization” of homosexuality-based “marriage.”
Concern about Ivanka Trump’s and her husband’s anti-conservative sway in the Trump presidency extends far beyond social issues. Anti-radical-Islam activist Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative told Breitbart News Daily on April 7 that Kushner is a smart “Manhattan liberal” with “undue influence” in the Trump White House.