And above all else, we know this: In America, we don’t worship government. We worship God. (Applause.) Right? We worship God. (Applause.)
Thank you. 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. Don’t worry, we’re not going to let them change it. (Laughter and applause.) You see what goes on nowadays, right?
Benjamin Franklin reminded his colleagues at the Constitutional Convention to begin by bowing their heads in prayer. Inscribed on our currency are the words: “In God We Trust.” And we proudly proclaim that we are “One Nation Under God,” every time we say the Pledge of Allegiance.
The religious liberty guaranteed by the Constitution is not a favor from the government, but a natural right bestowed by God. Our Constitution and our laws that protect religious freedom merely recognize the right that all people have by virtue of their humanity. As Thomas Jefferson wisely questioned: “can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?”
It shall be the policy of the executive branch to vigorously enforce Federal law’s robust protections for religious freedom. The Founders envisioned a Nation in which religious voices and views were integral to a vibrant public square, and in which religious people and institutions were free to practice their faith without fear of discrimination or retaliation by the Federal Government. For that reason, the United States Constitution enshrines and protects the fundamental right to religious liberty as Americans’ first freedom. Federal law protects the freedom of Americans and their organizations to exercise religion and participate fully in civic life without undue interference by the Federal Government. The executive branch will honor and enforce those protections.