A retired military chaplain says he's cautiously optimistic after President Donald Trump signed a religious freedom executive order last week.
Some conservatives have said the order doesn't go far enough and Ron Crews of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty is one of them.
"We see this as a good first step but we're hopeful it's only a first step," says Crews, a retired U.S. Army colonel.
Trump's executive order follows a stronger February draft that was leaked to the media – possibly to hurt its chances of being signed by Trump.
In a story about the executive order, political news website The Hill noted that the ACLU voiced concern over the February memo but called the newest order an "elaborate photo-op" by Trump.
Trump's action last week also comes after Crews and Chaplain Alliance have fought efforts by the Obama administration to punish conservative chaplains, such as U.S. Navy chaplain Wes Modder, within the U.S. armed forces.
There are many documented cases of chaplains and other military personnel fighting the left-wing dogma of the Obama administration – yet the executive order fails to mention that ongoing issue.
"We were hoping, quite frankly," says Crews, "for a more robust executive order outlining some specific ways in which the government has harmed religious liberty, particularly in the military."
One area that needs to be addressed, he says, is the issue of military contractors.
"Right now they have a litmus test that any contractor with the Department of Defense must not hold biblical views concerning marriage. We would like to see that stopped," Crews tells OneNewsNow.
Crews' views of the executive order mirror those of Dr. David Stevens of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations.
He calls the action a "step in the right direction" but points out that CMDA challenged the Obama administration over its transgender-friendly policy and contraception mandate.
"It's so important that we reverse this tide," says Stevens, "and I think President Trump's executive order is a good beginning to that."