Pres. Trump to "destroy" decades-old Johnson Amendment, which bars churches from engaging in political activities


Pres. Trump to “destroy” decades-old Johnson Amendment, which bars churches from engaging in political activities.


Oh boy. Things are going to get interesting.


They already can, to my understanding, if they don’t accept tax exempt status from the government. The Mormon church, to my understanding, doesn’t.

I’m not sure I favor its repeal, except that I think it should be modified to allow clergy to say whatever others might consider “political” without fear of the feds.



The Johnson Amendment exists only because of some of the worst political protectionism ever. Johnson only proposed it to hurt two groups threatening his reelection.




It’s already “destroyed” in many black communities, where churches shill for Democratic candidates every chance they get.


I agree, and there are also a lot of evangelicals who endorse republicans. I think it comes down to this: a few churches ignore the law because they want to endorse people, and most churches obey the law because they don’t want to endorse anybody. Personally, I support the repeal effort in the hope that more Church leaders will start leading the charge against bad politicians without fearing tax repercussions.


Personally, I am opposed to unlimited, anonymous, tax-exempt money being poured into the political system.


Let freedom ring …
from the church bells! :slight_smile:


Would you mind explaining this? I’m a bit of an amateur historian, so anything I’ve never heard before is of interest to me. Which groups did that?


I feel that this is a good move. I believe that priests, ministers, and rabbis are already quite vocal in terms of how government should protect the innocent, etc., just not in the more overt ways that would be allowed if the Johnson Amendment were repealed. However, I feel like giving priests etc. the ability to be a little more vocal on these matters could be a good thing, because our religious authorities are very important to keeping the government in check on the issues of society.

May God bless you all! :slight_smile:


Agreed. I think this is a terrible idea and probably my least favorite move by the administration so far.


I am never in favor of the IRS limiting free speech. Wise preachers will stick to issues and the principles that underly them. Others will show themselves to be partisan hacks. The best way to separate the two is to let them be heard and judged by the voters who hear them.


If this comes to pass and our priest starts talking politics from the pulpit (rather than morals), I can’t see that my family will be in the pews anymore. :frowning:


I caught a snippet of something Trent Horn said the other day that I really liked. “Some priests are more concerned with getting butts in the pews than getting grace in the hearts.” It’s given me a lot of food for thought, and I think it’s more nuanced than it first sounds.


How do you feel about tax exempt Planned Parenthood or teachers unions spending money endorsing candidates?


I agree with part of that – but I definitely don’t want my priest telling me who to vote for (or who not to vote for). Instead, he should provide sound moral instruction that informs my conscience and leave the rest to me. Of course, it’s possible that some priests don’t currently provide sound moral instruction because they want butts in pews, which is wrong.


I agree. I find it very off putting when priests and ministers tell me who to vote for or what my opinion should be on issues that have no absolute correct moral answer. I’ve walked out before.


I’ve never had a priest say what my opinion should be on issues that have no absolute correct moral answer, but I have had some pointed remarks about first principles.


You can vote who you want to vote for. You can also have any opinion you want.

Catholic priests have an obligation to tell the truth, to spread the Gospel and to speak out against evils, like abortion, embryonic stem cell research, torture, as well as failing the needs of the poor…etc. For those areas of morality where prudential judgment comes into play, they should be teaching the moral principles that help others better form their conscience. Its their job.

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