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For several years, more than 2,000 pastors have joined what they call “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” to test the ban by speaking their political views in their sermons — and the IRS investigated one and did not punish in that case, according to the conservative organization that organizes the annual effort.
In the 1990s, a church called Branch Ministries lost its tax-exempt status after taking out a full-page ad against President Bill Clinton in USA Today.
Interfaith Alliance president Rabbi Jack Moline said on Wednesday that the Johnson Amendment has prevented houses of worship from being turned into partisan political tools.
The Johnson Amendment is part of the tax code, so to completely remove it would take an act of Congress.
“If he ‘totally destroys’ the Johnson Amendment, he will way overreach and open an enormous loophole,” said Douglas Laycock, professor at University of Virginia Law School and an expert on religious freedom who has urged Congress to fix the amendment.
Who wants it gone: Until Trump’s campaign, the Johnson Amendment rarely came up in political discussion.
Some pastors, including those 2,000 who publicly oppose the policy on Pulpit Freedom Sunday, objected to the ban, but it wasn’t high on most Christians’ policy wish list.
How it actually works: Most of the discussion of the Johnson Amendment, whether coming from Trump or from pastors, focuses on whether clergy put their churches’ tax-exempt status at risk when they endorse their favorite candidates from the pulpit.
But in reality, the Internal Revenue Service very rarely punishes churches for political statements.The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.What Trump could do, however, is direct law enforcement discretion elsewhere or maybe say it’s unconstitutional.The next president could direct the IRS to enforce it, for example, but churches would be free from worry about their political speech or donations during Trump’s term.But how and why they focused on that issue is beyond me.” What Trump hasn’t talked about in his speeches about the Johnson Amendment is the implication for how churches can spend their money, not just how clergy can talk about candidates.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating