President Donald J. Trump.
(CNSNews.com) -- During Saturday’s Freedom Rally at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., President Donald Trump said that ever since 1776, America has always affirmed “that liberty comes from Our Creator.” He also told the evangelical community that his administration will “support and defend your religious liberty.”
In his speech, the president celebrated God’s presence at America’s founding and Religious Freedom in America today. Following his salute to America’s veterans, he stated, “Tonight we celebrate veterans. We also reflect on all that we cherish as Americans. We love our country, we love our families, we love our freedom, and we love our God.”
“Since the signing of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago, America always affirms that liberty comes from Our Creator,” said Trump.
“Our rights are given to us by God,” he continued, “and no earthly force can ever take those rights away. That is why my administration is transferring power out of Washington and returning that power back to where it belongs: to the people.”
After criticizing the “fake media” and listing some of the policy accomplishments of his presidency, Trump continued on the issue of faith.
He said, “For too long politicians have tried -- oh have they tried -- to centralize authority among the hands of a small few in our nation’s capital. I see them all the time. Bureaucrats think they can run over your lives, overrule your values, meddle in your faith, and tell you how to live, what to say, and where to pray.”
“But we know that parents, not bureaucrats, know best how to raise their children and create a thriving society,” said the president. “And we know that families and churches, not government officials, know best how to create a strong, loving community.”
He continued, “And above all else, we know this: in America, we don’t worship government, we worship God.”
Trump reflected on America’s founding:
“Our religious liberty is enshrined in the very First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. The American Founders invoked Our Creator four times in the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin reminded his colleagues at the Constitutional Convention to begin by bowing their heads in prayer.”
“I remind you,” he added, “that we’re going to start saying Merry Christmas again.”
The president went on to mention how General George S. Patton Jr. and the American army prayed before Battle of the Bulge. He also honored a World War II veteran, Harry F. Miller, and a wounded warrior, Luis Avila, before returning to the topic of religious freedom.
“I also want to speak to the people – see, you thought I forgot -- in our faith community, veterans and non veterans alike,” said Trump. “You’re never going to be forgotten. You’ll never be forgotten. My administration will always support and defend your religious liberty.”
He continued, “We don’t want to see God forced out of the public square, driven out of our schools, or pushed out of our civic life. We want to see prayers before football games, if they want to give prayers.”
“We want all children to have the opportunity to know the blessings of God,” he said. “We will not allow the government to sensor sermons, to restrict the free speech of our pastors, of our preachers, and of the people that we most respect.”
“That is why, just as I promised Pastor Jeffress and other faith leaders, I just signed an executive order following -- and this is something that makes me very happy and very proud -- following through on my campaign pledge to stop the Johnson Amendment from interfering with your First Amendment rights,” said the president.
“As long as I am president,” he said, “no one is going to stop you from practicing your faith or from preaching what is in your heart.”