The national prayer breakfast is an annual tradition for politicians and religious leaders to gather together to share their faith. On Thursday morning, Donald Trump attended the event, and made controversial comments about religion's role in government.

Trump on religion

The separation between church and state is one of the building blocks of the United States, allowing citizens to practice any faith they wish, or no faith at all, without interference from government.

Due to that separation, Churches are tax exempt, but are also restricted from engaging in political activity that could impact the government or elections. During Wednesday morning's National Prayer Breakfast, Donald Trump stood at the podium and delivered remarks that have left many secular critics worried about the state of religion in the country moving forward. As reported by The New York Times on February 2, Trump is vowing to take drastic measures.

While addressing those in attendance, Donald Trump made remarks that many believe could test the boundaries of religious freedom. "I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution," Trump said, to the cheers of the crowd. Not stopping there, the former host of "The Apprentice" went on to add to his comments, claiming that "freedom of religion is a sacred right, but it is under serious threat." The Johnson Amendment was signed into law in 1954, and named after former Senator and President Lyndon Johnson.

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Donald Trump

The law restricts political activity by religious groups and churches, which has faced opposition from the far religious right for decades.

Donald Trump also went on to defend his recent executive order that critics have labeled the "Muslim ban," due to travel restrictions being enacted in relation to seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East.

"Terrorism is a fundamental threat to religious freedom," Trump said at the National Prayer Breakfast, before adding, "It must be stopped and it will be stopped." The billionaire real estate mogul went on to state that his administration will do everything in its power to defend religious liberty," which includes helping "peace-loving Muslims" from Islamic terrorists.

Trump claims

During his speech, Donald Trump went on to claim that "America is a nation of believers." Despite this, one of the fastest growing minority groups in the United States are the "nones," made up of atheists and agnostics, as well as people who choose to just have no religious-affiliation at all.

While Trump and the religious right continue their attack on a secular United States, backlash is expected to continue.

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