President Donald J. Trump had quite a week as more scandals involving Russia, his family and his campaign unfolded. But that didn’t stop him from finding time to talk to Religious Right leaders and do a news interview with Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network. All the while, his administration and friends in Congress were taking steps to implement the campaign promises he made to allow churches to endorse candidates and to allow religious freedom laws to be used to discriminate.
Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee voted to cripple the IRS’ ability to enforce the Johnson Amendment – the law that ensures tax-exempt nonprofits, including houses of worship, cannot endorse or oppose candidates.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State issued the following statement today as the House Appropriations Committee narrowly voted down (24-28) an amendment with bipartisan support from Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Texas) that would have protected the Johnson Amendment:
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today joined 108 organizations that wrote to the House Appropriations Committee to urge its members to oppose a provision in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act that would weaken the enforcement mechanisms of the Johnson Amendment.
Tomorrow, the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee will vote on a bill that could cripple enforcement of the Johnson Amendment. Americans United has joined with 108 other organizations to urge the committee to strip the troubling provision.
We need your help now more than ever to defend the Johnson Amendment – a provision of the tax code that protects the integrity of tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose candidates.
Several members of Congress are working with the Trump-Pence administration and have introduced legislation in an effort to – in the president's own words – “totally destroy the Johnson Amendment."
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.”