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Executive Order on Religious Freedom Undermines Both Freedom and Religion

National Council of Jewish Women
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Washington, DC 20036-4206

Contact: Amanda Lang
Director of Marketing and Communications


Executive Order on Religious Freedom Undermines Both Freedom and Religion

May 4, 2017, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) responded today to the executive order that purports to protect religious freedom, calling it an assault on the wall of separation between religion and state and on the rights of women. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:

“Today President Trump joined those who advocate the intrusion of religion into politics. He issued an order directing the IRS to stop enforcing the “Johnson Amendment” that bars religious organizations claiming a tax exemption from endorsing candidates for office or engaging in political activity. The “Johnson Amendment” is widely supported by religious groups that favor the separation of religion and state, including the National Council of Jewish Women.

“History is replete with examples of the problems that ensue when religion is entangled with politics. Preservation of the letter and spirit of the first amendment has worked to strengthen and protect the independence of ALL religions in the nation who wish to adhere to their beliefs, as well as those who profess no religious belief at all.

“This order opens the door to dangerous exemptions to laws requiring access to reproductive and preventive health care. This order would allow businesses, non-profit organizations, and colleges to block contraception coverage and other preventive services like STI and HIV screenings for their employees or students based on the organization’s religious beliefs.

“The danger in this executive order is not solely in what it does today, but in what it aspires to do and the direction it sets for the future — a direction that overrides fundamental American values in favor of special exceptions for the beliefs of a few. NCJW will oppose the implementation of these ideas in every possible arena.”


The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.


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