Atheists: Trump Pledge to Allow Church Politicking is a Disaster

In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention Thursday, July 21, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pledged to end the long-standing ban on churches engaging in political activities.

Since 1954, the so-called “Johnson Amendment” has banned political activity for churches, other houses of worship, and all other tax-exempt organizations. This requirement applies equally to religious and secular nonprofit organizations. Repealing this critical protection of our nation’s secular character would fundamentally undermine the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and upend more than 60 years of law.

Pastors and religious leaders are free to endorse candidates and engage in politics—and frequently do. But we draw the line when it comes to taxpayer subsidized tax-exempt organizations climbing into the political arena.

Churches already flaunt the law and engage in politics from the pulpit while the IRS does nothing. Repealing this law would turn religious organizations into political ones. American Atheists opposes Mr. Trump’s pledge.

  • Team Trump! Team Jesus!

  • Keith Nichols

    The verb you want in the last paragraph is “flout” the law, not “flaunt.”

  • Yes

    Very bad. This sounds like a disaster. I continually repeat to myself that American Christians will never understand the wisdom of the founders of the US Constitution protecting their rights to religion and freedom in it, and them living prosperous and being able to live, until the United States becomes an culturally aggressive Muslim minority, or a Muslim majority, and than there being religious expectations of praying three times a day on prayer rugs toward Mecca in school, and doors plastered with bible or Koran verses, and than walking into their school is the same as walking into a church where everyone is praying. Not what schools were intended for, unless a person wants a type of Catholic church school or other religious school.
    So what Trump does is political.

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