The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the tax code that prohibits all non-profit organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing political candidates. This provision has been protecting the integrity of our tax-exempt charities, houses of worship and our elections for more than 60 years.
The confirmation hearing for federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, got under way yesterday, with some senators mentioning religious freedom during their opening remarks.
Gorsuch will start taking questions today, and the issue is likely to resurface again. It will be interesting to hear what Gorsuch has to say. In AU’s view, some of his opinions on religious freedom are troubling, and that’s why we’re opposed to his nomination.
For the first time since his inauguration, President Donald J. Trump publicly reiterated his intent to dismantle the Johnson Amendment, a federal law that prohibits houses of worship and other non-profits from getting involved in partisan electoral politics.
“I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution,” Trump vowed on Feb. 2. “I will do that. Remember.”
President Donald Trump delivered remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., Feb. 2. In many ways, the speech was typical of Trump: It was bombastic and petty. At one point, Trump went so far as to insult Arnold Schwarzenegger because ratings for “The Apprentice,” Trump’s old reality TV show, are down since the action-film star and former California governor took over as host.
A few weeks ago on a television show, I mentioned that something “President Bush” was doing was completely inappropriate. The next day, I learned that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was being pilloried in conservative media for mistakenly referring to our current president as “President Bush” as well. I can’t speak for the minority leader, but I can chalk up my error to wishful thinking.
President Donald J. Trump will address a joint session of Congress tonight. Technically not a State of the Union address (the President does not give a State of the Union address until his second year in office), Trump will be setting out his vision and goals for his new administration.
Yesterday a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee convened a hearing on “The State of Religious Liberty in America.” It was supposed to be yet another installment in a long-running series: opponents of LGBTQ equality and reproductive rights seek to promote discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.
I was born in the United States, as were my parents and three-quarters of my grandparents. I was educated at public schools, I pay taxes and I vote. I’ve spent most of my adult life working as a journalist and now for an organization that advocates for religious freedom, so you could say I live and breathe the First Amendment.
But according to a third of my fellow citizens, I’m not “truly American” because I’m not a Christian.
“Wait, aren’t church and state already separate?” I’ve been asked this question many times; enough that it has inspired me to come work with an organization that has fought for 70 years to ensure they do stay separate. My name is Erica and I am the communications intern at Americans United for Separation of Church and State this spring.