May 4, 2017 marked the National Day of Prayer.
I was honored to be in the Rose Garden, as two significant actions took place, with Vice President Mike Pence, the Cabinet, and so many clergy and faith leaders:
The White House opened our time of prayer with Steven Curtis Chapman singing “Our Father” and you can watch that powerful moment here: https://youtu.be/cXTl7moldJ0.
I watched with amazement as a bold cry of prayer and praise ascended from the White House. In that moment, I had a deep understanding that this is the way it should be. Our Great Nation was giving honor where honor is due. And though we set aside this day for prayer, we must continue to pray for this country, and we must continue to pray for our leaders making critical decisions every day.
Watching President Donald Trump sign an executive order protecting religious liberty was especially promising and uplifting for me. There have been many efforts to fight for Truth, Marriage, and Religious Liberties in our country – but they’ve been greatly eroded the past several years. This Executive Order was a step in the right direction, and the President took a historic step towards protecting our liberty.
(Me with Pastor Aubrey Shines and Ravi Zacharias)
While the order doesn’t do everything, it does help free clergy from the handcuffs of the Johnson Amendment – something that has kept pastors silent in the pulpit with fear that they would lose their tax-exempt status. You can watch my footage of that signing here: https://youtu.be/58U5Gj-v-R8
(Me with Alveda King and the Little Sisters of the Poor)
Let’s applaud these efforts and continue to fight and safeguard the free exercise of our faith. Religious liberty is one of our country’s fundamental and Constitutional Rights – and as my friend Ryan Anderson told the Policy Summit – “Religious liberty is a birthright of all Americans…and yet over recent years, Americans saw their religious liberty rights under assault as never before”.
We must fight forward! Thank you for everything you do.
Rev. Derek McCoy is the Executive Vice President at the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE). He has also served as the President of the Maryland Family Alliance, SVP for the High Impact Leadership Coalition.