By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
In the latest television ad for his campaign for U.S. Senate, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions highlights his record of defending religious liberty and paints a stark contrast between the Obama and Trump administrations on the issue.
The ad features black-and-white footage of a small church, whose doors have been chain locked and windows boarded up. Sessions describes a “war on religious freedom” from the “radical secular left,” while the footage eventually changes to color and the church is reopened.
See the full ad HERE:
According to the Sessions campaign, the ad will play on broadcast and cable stations in all markets throughout the state. More detailed information on the size of the ad buy was not available Thursday.
“They are determined to silence and mock the faithful,” Sessions says in the ad. “Barack Obama even used the IRS to bankrupt and close Christian groups. President Trump and I put a stop to that. We ended government harassment of Christians. We defended the faithful in court.”
During President Barack Obama’s terms in office, the Internal Revenue Service came under criticism for targeting religious organizations, including pro-life groups, for extra scrutiny in their tax dealings. The Obama Administration also took the Roman Catholic charity Little Sisters of the Poor to the Supreme Court over the group’s objections to the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act.
President Donald Trump campaigned on the issue of protecting religious freedom in 2016, and among his first major actions in office was to sign an executive order directing federal agencies to institute policies preventing encroachment on individuals’ and groups’ practices of faith. As Trump’s attorney general, Sessions wrote a memo to all executive agencies outlining 20 principles to guide how the government should protect religious liberty and created a task force to ensure that agencies complied.
Also running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate are Congressman Bradley Byrne, former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, State Rep. Arnold Mooney and businessman Stanley Adair. The primary election is Tuesday, March 3.