And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
President Donald Trump marked “Religious Freedom Day” by signing an executive order expanding “Constitutional prayer” in public schools, his latest effort to shore up his white evangelical base with the general election just months away.
This executive action is emblematic of his tenure in office for the following reasons:
It illustrates how Trump represents his base, and will do anything to appease them, while ignoring communities that didn’t vote for him.
It once again drives home the point that the king of the white evangelicals issues executive decrees instead of working with Congress to establish laws that will withstand judicial scrutiny.
It demonstrates how Trump loves photo ops where he signs an executive order that is sometimes unconstitutional, and sometimes unnecessary. Although the Supreme Court banned school-sponsored prayer in public schools in a 1962 decision because it violated the First Amendment students are allowed to meet and pray on school grounds.
As long as there are students who haven’t studied for a test, and students who are afraid that their crush won’t accept their invitation to the prom there will be prayer in public schools.
But white evangelicals want their children to pray loudly and openly in the name of Jesus, never mind the sensibilities of atheist, Muslim and Jewish students.
Finally, it shows us that Trump is cognizant that the stench of impeachment won’t dissipate before the general election, and he will take desperate measures to shore up his base.