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.
President Donald Trump has threatened to “get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment.” A few members of Congress have introduced legislation that would weaken this important protection. And they’re supported by a chosen few who seek political power and don’t mind turning houses of worship into political campaign tools.
AU is taking action to protect the Johnson Amendment – and we need your help. Today at 4 p.m. EDT, join us and our allies for a nationwide grassroots conference call. AU Legislative Director Maggie Garrett and Faith Organizer Bill Mefford will be among those offering information about the law, updates on the attacks against it and suggestions for grassroots actions that people can take to support it. Anyone can participate in this free, informational session by calling 1-877-275-6071 and using the code 9019771.
Members of Congress will be on summer recess next week (July 3-7) and should be available to hear from constituents in their home districts. We’re encouraging people to stop by the offices of their senators and representatives, voice support for the Johnson Amendment and offer some information outlining the importance of and broad public support for the law.
We need your help to protect the Johnson Amendment.
We need to make sure Trump’s voice is not the only one heard when members of Congress consider proposals to change the Johnson Amendment. It’s important that our legislators know the current law protects charities and houses of worship from being used as political tools. And it protects taxpayers, who should not be forced to subsidize the partisan election activities of these organizations.
It’s also important for lawmakers to know that the majority of Americans support the current law. A recent poll from the Public Religion Research Institute noted 71 percent of Americans – including a majority of Republicans and white evangelicals – don’t want churches to endorse political candidates. And a recent National Association of Evangelicals survey found 90 percent of evangelical leaders didn’t want to endorse candidates from the pulpit.
Please join us in voicing support for the protections the Johnson Amendment has offered for more than 60 years. In addition to talking to your representatives, you can sign our petition to Congress. And you can encourage faith leaders to join this letter to Congress.
For more information about the Johnson Amendment and what you can do to protect it, visit AU’s Project Fair Play.