Season 2, Ep. 04: Grading the Trump administration on religious freedom

Divisive tactics, confusing statements, shocking speeches, Betsy DeVos, and more

Nov 19, 2020

What do we make of the Trump legacy when it comes to religious freedom? Go beyond the sound bites and confusing statements as Amanda and Holly analyze what really happened over the past four years. They note areas of agreement, instances where religious language was used to divide, how high-level appointments mattered, proliferations of religious exemptions, Betsy DeVos and the shift of public funds to religious schools, and what it all means for the future of religious liberty in our country. 


Segment 1:  Divisive tactics and confusing statements (starting at 00:49)

Holly was in this NPR story by Tom Gjelten: Religious Freedom Arguments Give Rise To Executive Order Battle

For more on the protections of the Johnson Amendment, visit

Read Attorney General Bill Barr’s 2019 speech at Notre Dame Law School at this link.

Read Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 2019 speech titled “Being a Christian leader” at this link.

In season one, Amanda and Holly talked about religion and the public schools on episode 3 and episode 19

For more on the president’s photo-op with a Bible, listen to episode 15 from season one.

Segment 2: Religious exemptions and the legacy of Betsy Devos (starting at 19:28)

Amanda and Holly discussed the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act last season in episode 20 and episode 12.

Listen to episode 2 from this season for a full discussion of the Fulton v. Philadelphia case or visit

For more on the Trinity Lutheran case, visit

For more on the Espinoza case, visit

Holly and Amanda mentioned the Department of Justice memo that didn’t say much about the Establishment Clause. Read it at this link

Segment three: Season of gratitude (starting at 38:53)

Thank you for joining us each week! We are taking Thanksgiving off, but join us again the first week of December.