Alliance For Defending Freedom

In the Oval Office with President Trump today. The President announced a series of important religious freedom measures in a small event in the Oval Office. I had the privilege of being there. If you want a more complete legal description please visit the Alliance Defending Freedom page. His actions were all in line with clear Supreme Court precedent. 1. In public schools: Prayer, religious speech, and groups—when student initiated—are protected by the First Amendment. 2. The federal government cannot discriminate against religious individuals or organizations in the provision of funds or services. 3. States must obey the same rule in programs which receive federal funds. These are all important—especially number 3. But I want to comment here about my observation of President Trump. He was patient and kind with the students who were there to tell their stories. His over the top persona was on display but there was a genuineness about him that is not easily conveyed on tv. At times he was very funny. But the main thing I want to mention is the behavior of the press corps. I was less than five feet from about 40 journalists and only 15-20 feet from the President. It was like a pack of ill mannered jackals. A former ADF student client was right behind the president, he told me that their eyes and demeanor were terrifying. The president was far more controlled and calm than I would ever be able to muster under similar circumstances. This is the only time I have seen the president in this kind of setting. And so my analysis cannot be comprehensive. But on this one occasion, I saw a man behave with far more grace than was merited. That’s presidential.

Michael Farris, CEO of Alliance For Defending Freedom and memorably severe critic of Donald Trump