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Donald Trump state of the union white house videoheader2.png
Donald Trump state of the union white house video.png
World News

'In America we don't punish prayer and don't tear down crosses', Trump addresses religious freedom in State of the Union address

by Cara Bentley

The American President has delivered his State of the Union speech, the annual address given to Congress about the President's priorities for the next year.  

He addressed religious freedom, abortion and the faith of a young woman who was murdered by IS. 

Mr Trump started by saying "America's enemies are on the run, America's fortunes are on the rise, and America's future is blazing bright" and also brought up immigration and childcare. 

While talking about freedom, he claimed America was a place of great freedom of belief, saying: "My administration is also defending religious liberty, and that includes the constitutional right to pray in public schools. In America, we don't punish prayer. We don't tear down crosses. We don't ban symbols of faith. 

"We don't muzzle preachers and pastors. In America, we celebrate faith, we cherish religion, we lift our voices in prayer, and we raise our sights to the Glory of God."

Video starts at 33 minutes in. 

 

He praised the arrest of 5,000 human traffickers and also spoke about abortion, referencing two people in the crowd who were specially invited, Robin and Ellie Schneider. 

"Born at just 21 weeks and 6 days, and weighing less than a pound, Ellie Schneider was a born fighter. Through the skill of her doctors and the prayers of her parents, little Ellie kept on winning the battle of life. Today, Ellie is a strong, healthy two-year-old girl sitting with her amazing mother Robin in the Gallery. Ellie and Robin, we are glad to have you with us tonight.  

"Ellie reminds us that every child is a miracle of life. And thanks to modern medical wonders, 50 percent of very premature babies delivered at the hospital where Ellie was born now survive. It's an incredible thing. Thank you very much. 

"Our goal should be to ensure that every baby has the best chance to thrive and grow just like Ellie. That is why I'm asking Congress to provide an additional $50 million to fund neonatal research for America's youngest patients. 

"That is why I'm also calling upon members of Congress here tonight to pass legislation finally banning the late-term abortion of babies. Whether we are Republican, Democrat, or independent, surely we must all agree that every human life is a sacred gift from God."

 

Ellie and Robin Schneider.

 

Whilst talking about the fight against Islamic extremism, he explained that two other invited guests were the parents of a Christian woman who had been killed by IS: 

"We are joined this evening by Carl and Marsha Mueller. After graduating from college, their beautiful daughter Kayla became a humanitarian aid worker. She once wrote, 'Some people find God in church.  Some people find God in nature. Some people find God in love. I find God in suffering. I've known for some time what my life's work is, using my hands as tools to relieve suffering.'  

"In 2013, while caring for suffering civilians in Syria, Kayla was kidnapped, tortured, and enslaved by ISIS, and kept as a prisoner of al-Baghdadi himself. After more than 500 horrifying days of captivity, al-Baghdadi murdered young, beautiful Kayla. She was just 26 years old."

Mr Trump explained how the operation to kill al-Baghdadi was named Task Force 8-14, after her birthday, 14th August. 
 

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