The House of Representatives, just back from its August recess, is poised to pass a major spending bill. Tucked within that bill is Section 116, a provision that would make it nearly impossible for the Internal Revenue Service to investigate tax-exempt houses of worship that have endorsed or opposed political candidates in violation of the Johnson Amendment. The fate of that provision could be decided today.
On May 4, President Donald Trump signed a “religious liberty” executive order that, he boasted, would free up houses of worship to endorse political candidates.
Today more than 4,000 faith leaders from a diverse background of religious traditions and from all 50 states and the District of Columbia came together to support the Johnson Amendment. They signed a letter, which was delivered this morning, calling on members of Congress to resist any attempts to undermine current law.
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.
This is it. Today Donald J. Trump, a real estate developer and reality TV host with no political experience and a bevy of alarming views, is being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.
This seemed unthinkable just a few short months ago, but it’s reality, and we have to deal with it.
Advocates and activists I know were certainly disappointed and even angry after the election. But none of them has turned away from activism. If anything, they’re more fired up than ever.
The 115th Congress convenes today with the swearing in of both new and returning members. The Democrats picked up a few seats in both the House and Senate, but the Republicans will maintain their majorities in both chambers.
Come Jan. 20, the Republicans will also have control of the White House. Congressional leaders, however, aren’t waiting for Inauguration Day to start pushing through the agenda of President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Congress is going to move full speed ahead starting on day one. And Americans United will push back.
One of the things I love about working at Americans United is the religious diversity, both among our staff and among the many people across the United States who fight alongside us for religious freedom for all people.
Though I know there are things we disagree on in terms of our religious beliefs, we are united in a common passion for a common goal – to ensure religious/philosophical freedom for all and to refuse to allow religion to be used to harm or discriminate against others.
A Democrat running for state office in New York said if elected, he’ll work to ensure that photos of same-sex couples do not appear in public school textbooks.
S.J. Jung is challenging incumbent state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Queens) for her seat. Stavisky, who defeated Jung back in 2014, voted to legalize same-sex marriage in New York. It seems that move didn’t sit well with Jung, who is hoping to rally anti-gay voters to his cause.
A private-sector committee that advises the Internal Revenue Service branch that oversees tax-exempt organizations says the IRS is “compromising its relevancy” by failing to revise the procedures that govern audits of churches.
In a lengthy report covering many areas of tax exemption, the Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) said last week that the IRS’s leadership has dropped the ball when it comes to policing houses of worship that violate federal law.