Courtesy of NBC News

In the Trump administration’s latest effort to deliver on promises to its base, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new “religious liberty task force” at the Department of Justice. Sessions made the announcement at a Religious Liberty Summit, which was backed by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). But a closer look at what Sessions and groups like the ADF mean when they talk about “religious liberty” makes clear how both religion and freedom are being redefined by this administration to serve an extreme agenda. It’s time for people who care about the future of democratic society to reclaim the concept of religious liberty.

Plenty of Americans still value the separation of church and state and, along with it, the establishment clause’s guarantee of freedom of conscience for all people. Outside the circles of the extreme right, religious liberty has long been a progressive value, celebrated by abolitionists, tax resisters, conscientious objectors and religious minorities alike. So long as an American respects the legal rights of his neighbor, the Constitution promises him the freedom to obey his own conscience when it comes to matters of religious conviction.

But when groups like the ADF talk about religious liberty, they are really talking about liberty for one specific religion — Christianity. In this context, the phrase has become a rallying cry for Christian conservatives whose religious and political interests align around issues like reversing Roe v. Wade and rolling back LGBT protections. Indeed, in their study “Make America Christian Again,” sociologists Andrew Whitehead, Samuel Baker, and Joseph Perry conclude, independent of other influences, Christian nationalism was the single most determinative indicator of support for candidate Donald Trump in 2016.

Donald Trump does not care about religious tolerance, never has, that is why he is perfectly fine with banning Muslims from entering this country. 

The only reason that he is allowing his Attorney General to push for this task force is that he knows that Christians are the single easiest demographic to manipulate. 

After all even being an accused rapist who paid off porn stars to keep them quiet before the election has not negatively impacted their support for him. 

In short this “task force” is bad news for everybody, and that actually ultimately includes Christians.