Another Trump promise unmet! Surprise, surprise! Earlier this year, President Donald Trump promised to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which keeps churches from endorsing political candidates.
What Is The Johnson Amendment?
The Johnson Amendment is a piece of the tax code which keeps churches and other tax-exempt organizations from endorsing political candidates. It doesn’t prevent churches from participating in all political activities. Churches are allowed to hold nonpartisan voter registration drives and other nonpartisan political activities.
Trump’s Failed Promise
Trump said about the executive order to repeal the Johnson Amendment:
“This executive order directs the IRS not to unfairly target churches and religious organizations for political speech. No one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors. [Standing ovation.] . . . In America we do not fear people speaking freely from the pulpit, we embrace it.”
However, Trump’s attorneys admitted:
“The order does not exempt religious organizations from the restrictions on political campaign activity applicable to all tax-exempt organizations.”
The FFRF sued President Trump on May 4, the day he signed the executive order. The organization said that there was a disconnect between what the order does and what Trump said about it.
Trump told the Faith and Freedom Coalition:
“That executive order also followed on one of my campaign promises to so many of you, to stop the Johnson Amendment from interfering with your First Amendment Rights. (APPLAUSE) That was my promise. This executive order directs the IRS not to unfairly target churches and religious organizations for political speech. So the people that you most respect can now feel free to speak to you, like my friends sitting right over here. I can now hear them, and they’re unimpeded.”
The FFRF is proud to note that we now have court documents saying that this executive order doesn’t really do anything at all.
Here is a video further explaining the Johson Amendment:
Featured image via Twitter.