Katherine Stewart is an author and journalist. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, the Atlantic, The Guardian, the Nation, and Rolling Stone, among other publications. Her nonfiction books are The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children (2012) and The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism (2020). (February 2020)

Follow Katherine Stewart on Twitter: @kathsstewart.

NYR DAILY

The Real Meaning of ‘Religious Liberty’: A License to Discriminate

President Donald Trump speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast, Washington, D.C., February 7, 2019

This past January, on national Religious Freedom Day, President Trump announced a new set of recommended regulations that will make it possible for essential care providers receiving government funds to discriminate on the basis of religion. All of them will be allowed to exercise faith-based discrimination in hiring. None of them will henceforth be under any obligation to inform the people receiving their services about secular alternatives, nor will the government be required to provide them. This is what “religious freedom” has come to mean in Trump’s America. Through the unlikely person of President Trump, the Christian nationalist movement has seized the levers of power at the heart of government. This is just the beginning.