The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the tax code that protects the integrity of our tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose political candidates. And it’s under attack.
A new study of more than 130,000 American clergy finds that faith leaders tend to be more partisan than the congregations they’re leading.
That finding should give pause to those who seek to weaken or repeal the Johnson Amendment – a provision in the tax code that protects the integrity of our tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose political candidates. Changing the law could divide congregations – especially if a pastor endorses a candidate congregants don’t support.
For more than 60 years, a provision in the tax code known as the Johnson Amendment has protected the integrity of our tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose political candidates.
For months, there were reports that President Donald J. Trump was preparing an executive order that would negatively redefine religious freedom. On May 4, he signed that order – sort of.
Surrounded by faith leaders on the White House lawn and using the National Day of Prayer as a backdrop, Trump released his misleadingly named executive order, “Promoting Free Speech And Religious Liberty.”
When President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order last week, he claimed it would protect religious freedom. The order instead tramples it. Here’s why: it weaken the protections for houses of worship and may open the door to discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, women, religious minorities and others under the guise of religious freedom.
Americans United is unique because we bring religious and non-religious people together to defend the church-state wall.
On many of our issues, these folks may bring different arguments to the table, but they all end up in the same place because church-state separation is key to ensuring religious freedom for people of faith and non-believers alike.
Tomorrow at 1 p.m., Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn will participate in an “Ask Me Anything” session on the social news site Reddit. This is your chance to pick Barry’s brain about the state of religious freedom and church-state separation in America. Barry will be retiring at the end of the year after 25 years with Americans United – so this is a great opportunity to ask him about the battles he’s fought and those he sees on AU’s horizon.
I decided to intern at Americans United because I wanted to learn more about communications and I wanted to be involved in a cause that I am passionate about. Separation of church and state is an important issue to me and I wanted to be able to promote it while growing professionally.
Yesterday, during his National Day of Prayer ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, President Donald Trump continued his assault on religious freedom by signing an executive order. In a speech that reads more like a fake viral email than a presidential address, Donald Trump substituted showmanship for sincerity: While claiming to protect religious liberty, he trampled it.
President Donald Trump’s latest executive order is a direct attack on religious freedom, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
“Exploiting the National Day of Prayer to trample religious freedom highlights Trump’s zeal to substitute showmanship for sincerity,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn. “Today, the president pandered to his far-right fundamentalist base, upending protections for houses of worship and allowing religion to be used as an excuse to deny women coverage for contraception and other preventive health care.”