Donald Vander Boon has been operating a meat packing business in Michigan for almost 15 years. A Christian, Vander Boon unashamedly seeks to run the family business in a way that glorifies God in all they do — something that federal government officials had a problem with.
USDA inspectors are essential to the work of a meat packing plant like Vander Boon’s. If inspectors aren’t present, they can’t operate. Shortly after the Supreme Court case redefining marriage, onsite inspectors noticed a handful of brochures on the breakroom table about marriage as the union between a man and a woman. The article was mixed in with the stacks of newspapers celebrating the Supreme Court decision. The USDA meat inspector took offense to the literature, walked into Donald’s office, closed both doors, and told him they’d call off the inspection if the material wasn’t removed. He was stunned.
According to these inspectors, Donald’s article was “offensive” and had violated a new rule from the Obama administration that gave government officials (including these inspectors) the right to take “immediate and appropriate corrective action” when dealing with anything they considered “harassment.” Vander Boon’s position on marriage, he was told, qualified. That weighed heavily on the dad of three’s mind, especially since the West Michigan Beef Company employed 45 people whose families also relied on him. To keep his doors open, He made the difficult decision to pull the information describing marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
“It’s made me realize how quickly we can lose our religious liberty. I never dreamed that I would have this experience, and that I would have USDA personnel telling me that I had to choose between putting an article on the breakroom table or my business.” Now, almost two years later, the family-owned company is still under threat, but President Trump can help.
President Trump can protect Donald Vander Boon and other Christian business people by signing an executive order that protects religious liberty. Such an order will eliminate the rules put in place by the Obama administration, and end discrimination against religious belief and practice.
Please read the petition below to President Trump asking him to sign an executive order protecting the religious freedom of Don Vander Boon and others. If you agree with it, click the link to join me in signing it. We will deliver your petition to the White House to show President Trump that the American people, who supported him in the presidential election in part due to his promises to the faith community, desire strong religious freedom protections.
If anyone wonders why we need an executive order protecting religious liberty, wonder no more! The Vander Boons are the perfect example of the climate of intimidation affecting businesses and organizations across the country. Every American, regardless of their beliefs, should agree: This kind of runaway government censorship is exactly what needs to be reined in by President Trump. It’s what the Constitution demands – it’s what supporters of Mr. Trump wanted – and it’s what the nation deserves. Click here to join me and over 22,000 others who’ve signed our petition to urge the president to protect religious freedom.
Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council