Trump Tells Values Voters: 'We Are Stopping Cold the Attacks on Judeo-Christian Values'
President Donald Trump touted his administration's actions to a major gathering of social conservatives in Washington, D.C. Thursday, stating that he's "stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values."
In a speech at the 12th annual Values Voter Summit on Friday morning, Trump told those gathered at the Omni Shoreham Hotel that "in the last 10 months, we have followed through on one promise after another."
"I appointed and confirmed a Supreme Court Justice in the mold of the late great Justice Antonin Scalia, the newest member of the Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch," said Trump.
"To protect the unborn, I have reinstated a policy first put in place by President Ronald Reagan. The Mexico City Policy. To protect religious liberty, including protecting groups like this one, I signed a new executive action in a beautiful ceremony at the White House on our National Day of Prayer."
Trump also denounced the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits houses of worship from engaging in political activities, promising that he will "not allow government workers to censor sermons, or target our pastors, our ministers, our rabbis."
"These are the people we want to hear from and they are not going to be silenced any longer," continued Trump, receiving applause from the audience.
Trump also referenced his administration's broadening of religious exemptions under the Department of Health and Human Services' contraception mandate, which has been the subject of many lawsuits due to claims of religious liberty violations.
"The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on [Oct. 6] moved to broaden those narrow religious exemptions to include an exception 'on the basis of moral conviction' for non-profit and for-profit companies," Reuters reported last week.
"The move drew fire from [abortion] advocates and praise from conservative Christian activists. California's Democratic attorney general pledged to fight to protect the mandate from circumvention. It remained unclear how many women would lose contraception coverage and which companies would use the exemptions."
Calling his efforts "substantially ahead of schedule," Trump declared that "we are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values."
Trump's remarks were part of the annual Values Voter Summit, a national gathering of socially conservative activists.
Sponsoring organizations for VVS include the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, American Values, FRC Action, and Christian Healthcare Ministries, among others.
The FRC announced Tuesday that Trump was going to address the VVS, the billionaire real estate mogul being the first sitting president to do so in its history.
FRC President Tony Perkins said in a statement that he and other social conservatives are "thankful to hear from a president who is fulfilling the promises that he campaigned on."
"Since the early days of the campaign, President Trump allied himself with values voters, promising to put an end to the eight years of relentless assault on the First Amendment," said Perkins.
"President Trump's executive order on religious liberty and the follow up actions last week by HHS and DOJ, demonstrate that he is committed to undoing the anti-faith policies of the previous administration and restoring true religious freedom."
Friday marks the second time that Trump has addressed the VVS, doing so for the first time last year as the Republican nominee for president.
"Imagine what our country could accomplish if it started working together as one people under one God, saluting one flag," said Trump in 2016.