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.
This morning, 99 religious and denominational organizations sent a letter to Congress supporting the Johnson Amendment, which is the law that protects tax-exempt houses of worship by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose candidates. The letter also urged members of the House and Senate to reject calls from President Donald Trump to repeal or weaken the law.
As Congress and President Donald Trump gear up to tackle tax reform, they’d be wise to pay attention to the majority of Americans who don’t want tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, to endorse or oppose political candidates.
The confirmation hearing for federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, got under way yesterday, with some senators mentioning religious freedom during their opening remarks.
Gorsuch will start taking questions today, and the issue is likely to resurface again. It will be interesting to hear what Gorsuch has to say. In AU’s view, some of his opinions on religious freedom are troubling, and that’s why we’re opposed to his nomination.
Yesterday AU Communications Associate Rokia Hassanein wrote about attending the Values Voter Summit (VVS) for the first time. I felt a little guilty throwing her into the abyss when she’s been with AU for less than a month, but Rokia had a good attitude about it. I know she heard and felt some things that surprised her.
With politics and religion intermingling quite a bit this campaign season, the Pew Research Center for Religion & Public Life decided to investigate how often pastors discuss politics and social issues from their pulpits. The results were pretty encouraging for those who believe churches should respect the law and stay away from activities designed to endorse or oppose candidates – but they also show there’s still a lot of work to be done.
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.