Trump's religious liberty order elicits mixed reactions from Atl - CBS46 News

Trump's religious liberty order elicits mixed reactions from Atlanta churchgoers

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

President Donald Trump said his new religious liberty executive order will gives religious institutions their voices back.

"This financial threat against the faith community is over," he said before signing the order.

What the order does is relax IRS enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which bans churches from political speech or activity.

At Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, churchgoers had varying opinions about the order.

"My thought is the church does play an important role in pushing through agendas as far as social justice, which is lacking, so I would give that a thumbs up," said Tommy Little.

But not everyone likes what the order does. CBS46 caught up with the Woodburns walking in to church. They told us they don't believe politics have a place in their house of worship.

"Church and politics should be two separate entities," said Norman Woodburn. "Politics is - well they just don't mix. There's a lot of corruption in politics."

His wife, Ardella, said Ebenzer Baptist Church already sees its share of local politicians. 

"They come every year, they come. Whoever is running comes here because this is number one," she said.

She said she believes the executive order will only further strip integrity from the church.

Just up the road at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Midtown, opinions about the executive order also varied. Some believe if churches get more politically vocal, it will drive a wedge in congregations

"I think most pastors that are prudent in ministering to their congregation shy away from it," said Mike Spaeth.

Dennis Pascale and his wife were visiting from Florida. He said he's happy the order will allow his pastor to have more to say politically.

"Now he won't get in trouble, they won't lose their 501C3 so for that situation its good."

"Personally when I go to church, I don't want to hear about politics," his wife, Katrina, said. "I'm more interested in how to be better, having a better relationship with God."

Part of the reason President Trump said he signed the executive order, was because church leaders told him they weren't able to endorse him while he was on the campaign trail.

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