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Pulpit Politicking – A Threat To America’s Houses Of Worship

By The Rev. Dr. Rollin O. Russell
 

Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump has been telling audiences for months now that he wants to abolish the federal law that says non-profit, tax-exempt organizations can’t engage in partisan political activity by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.

What About The First Amendment? Looking Toward The Next Presidential Debate

The first presidential debate took place last night, with Republican candidate Donald Trump squaring off against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Who won depends on who you ask.

Americans Really, Really Don’t Like Partisan Politicking From The Pulpit

There has been more debate than ever this campaign season about whether or not houses of worship should be permitted to endorse or oppose candidates for office. This is mostly thanks to Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, who has repeatedly said that if he is elected he will end legal restrictions that keep churches from acting like political action committees.

Trumpeting Church Politicking

When it comes to the matter of houses of worship endorsing political candidates, Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump said he is out to make Religious Right dreams come true. 

The federal tax code currently prohibits all 501(c)(3) non-profits, including religious institutions, from using their resources to intervene in elections by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office. But during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in July, Trump promised to do away with that longstanding prohibition if he wins the presidency.

Pulpit Politicking: Trump Proposal Is A Huge Mistake

Donald Trump wants to repeal the federal law that bars tax-exempt groups, including houses of worship, from intervening in partisan politics by endorsing or opposing political candidates. Trump, the Republican nominee for president, has some unusual ideas; this is among his worst.

Bad Idea: Trump Repeats Call To Let Churches Endorse Candidates

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reiterated his desire to change a federal law that prohibits houses of worship from endorsing candidates during his speech last night at the Republican National Convention (RNC).  

Trump said:

“At this moment, I would like to thank the evangelical community who have been so good to me and so supportive. You have so much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits.

GOP Call To Repeal Ban On Church Politicking Is ‘Reckless And Corrosive To Religious Life,’ Says Americans United’s Lynn

Changing Federal Law Could Dramatically Escalate Partisan Activity In Houses Of Worship, Church-State Watchdog Says

The Republican Party platform approved yesterday includes a call for altering federal law to allow houses of worship to jump into partisan politics. This change threatens religious life in America, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The platform advocates repeal of the Johnson Amendment, a provision adopted by Congress in 1954 that prohibits 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organizations, including houses of worship, from intervening in partisan politics by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.

Tax Troubles: Trump Claims IRS Targeted Him Because Of His ‘Strong Christian’ Faith

GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump is awfully good at picking fights, and his latest opponent seems to be the Internal Revenue Service.

All high-profile presidential candidates are expected to release their tax returns at some point during the campaign, but Trump has yet to do so. He claims he can’t because he is a frequent target of audits, though it’s unclear why that would prevent him from showing his return to the public.

We’ve Got (Hate) Mail!: Right-Wing Pastors React To AU’s Pulpit Politicking Letter

Every other year during election season, Americans United reminds clergy nationwide to stay out of partisan politics.

Most religious leaders have no problem respecting the federal tax code’s prohibition against campaign intervention by houses of worship and other non-profits that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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