By Joan Biskupic, CNN Legal Analyst

Below is an excerpt. Read the full article on CNN’s website. 

Washington (CNN) — In recent weeks, the Trump administration has plunged into fights long sought by the religious right, issuing a 25-page memo bolstering legal protections for people of faith, rolling back employers’ requirement for birth-control coverage and reversing a policy that included LGBT employees under US anti-discrimination law.

“I pledged that, in a Trump administration, our nation’s religious heritage would be cherished, protected, and defended like you have never seen before,” President Donald Trump said on Friday at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. “That’s what’s happening. … We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values.”

Overall, the Trump administration has revved up the culture wars, appealing to religious conservatives and recalling elements of President Ronald Reagan’s administration which emphasized positions against abortion rights and for school prayer, and, in one of his Justice Department’s first moves, sought tax-exempt status for the fundamentalist Christian Bob Jones University in South Carolina, despite its racially discriminatory practices. …
Some religious organizations contend Trump’s initiatives would impinge on religious liberty rather than foster it. The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty has criticized the travel ban for disfavoring Muslims and opposes lifting the so-called Johnson Amendment, which bars nonprofit organizations from endorsing or opposing candidates.
Holly Hollman, the group’s general counsel, said a change in the tax law could turn houses of worship into “partisan outposts.”
For many critics, Trump’s initiatives run contrary to the religious liberty and are better seen as igniting the resurgent culture wars.
Said Hollman, “He is appealing to something that is not so much religious, but is cultural.”