House Republicans Are Using a Budget Bill To Fully Gut the Johnson Amendment

Jun 30, 2017

By Hemant Mehta

Last month, Donald Trump signed an executive order supposedly weakened the Johnson Amendment. That’s the part of the law that says tax-exempt organizations, like churches, cannot endorse candidates from the pulpit. Nor can the ACLU, for example, tell members to vote for a Democrat. They can all talk about social issues and “sin,” but they can’t cross the line into telling their members who to vote for.

The Religious Right hates that amendment. They say it violates their freedom of speech, and they’ve been trying to get it repealed for years. Trump said he would do just that if elected. And it’s no doubt part of the reason evangelicals overwhelmingly supported him.

Yet his executive order didn’t quite go so far as a repeal, in part because Trump didn’t have the authority to do that. He merely told the IRS that it was okay to not go after churches that violated the rules of their tax exemptions. They weren’t going to be punished for looking the other way.

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3 comments on “House Republicans Are Using a Budget Bill To Fully Gut the Johnson Amendment

  • 1
    Garrick says:

    The mid-term elections in the United States cannot come soon enough. If American voters fail then to begin to turn this frightful tide of plutocratic, neofeudal fascism back, we in the rest of the civilized world, though appalled at what enlightened fellow liberal democrats have to bear in that currently misguided country, will have to wonder whether the United States will ever be able to resume its role as leader of the free world. As with mediaeval feudalism, so in the neofeudalism arising in the United States, religion of an approved sort has been an important instrument of government in the West for keeping people submissive, unquestioning and obedient and has enjoyed, since Constantine the Great, the state’s generous financial support. If American voters are still not convinced in sufficient numbers (allowing for the usual electoral oddities and irregularities in that country) at the upcoming mid-term elections that their interests are not served by the current, plutophile Republican Party, perhaps they will be thus convinced at the next presidential elections, by which time one hopes they will still be able to vote. So the sooner they begin to turn this frightful tide back, the better.



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  • @OP – churches, cannot endorse candidates from the pulpit. Nor can the ACLU, for example, tell members to vote for a Democrat.
    They can all talk about social issues and “sin,”
    but they can’t cross the line into telling their members who to vote for.

    I see the Iranians have embraced this political commentary by the religious, and arranged their own statements on political candidates! 🙂

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-40498102

    Hundreds of cartoonists from around the world have taken part in a competition in Iran attacking Donald Trump.



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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-40515329

    US President Donald Trump is to argue that the future of Western civilisation is at stake in a keynote speech in the Polish capital Warsaw.

    Given that TRUMP probably IS the biggest threat to “Western Freedoms” this is classic projection!

    Holding up Poland as an example of a country ready to defend Western freedoms, he will warn against the threats of “terrorism and extremism”.

    Especially in Poland – currently the black-sheep of Europe on the subject of the “rule of law”!

    http://www.dw.com/en/the-dispute-between-poland-and-the-eu-continues/a-37755444
    Warsaw has rejected EU claims that Poland does not respect the rule of law.

    Which sounds very Trump like!

    In another part of his speech, Mr Trump will also make a strong attack on red tape, condemning “the steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people“.

    .. . . and we know which people he is talking about, when he talks about regulation reversing the direction of flow of wealth and draining it back from the charlatan profiteers!

    Regulation “drains the vitality and wealth from the [ordinary] people”, in the same way that Trumpism and TrumpCare, “drains the swamp of nepotism and corruption” from the US government! 🙂



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