The next president of the United States is, we are told, a devout Catholic who scrupulously attends Sunday Mass. This is in sharp contrast to the current president, who has never been more than an occasional churchgoer with, to put it politely, ill-defined religious views. So why are many Christians worried that a Joe Biden presidency poses an unprecedented threat to America’s constitutional guarantee of religious freedom?
In this episode of Holy Smoke I talk to Andrea Picciotti Bayer, director of the Washington-based Conscience Project, about the continuing ideological assault by US officialdom on religious believers whose passionately held convictions challenge the closest thing the 21st-century United States has to an official creed – identity politics. For the past four years these believers, mostly Christian, have enjoyed an unusual degree of support from the Trump administration, which has prioritised religious liberty both at home and abroad. But is America’s second Catholic president about to pull the rug from under them? And, if so, why?