A letter signed by more than 4,000 faith leaders from all 50 states was publicized and sent to Congress urging them to keep the anti-religion Johnson Amendment which forbids churches and non-profits from endorsing and opposing political candidates.
They’re publishing this letter now because President Donald Trump has promised to repeal the Johnson Amdendment.
The letter, according to Religion Clause, says in part:
Faith leaders are called to speak truth to power, and we cannot do so if we are merely cogs in partisan political machines. The prophetic role of faith communities necessitates that we retain our independent voice…..
Changing the law to repeal or weaken the “Johnson Amendment” – the section of the tax code that prevents tax-exempt nonprofit organizations from endorsing or opposing candidates – would harm houses of worship, which are not identified or divided by partisan lines. Particularly in today’s political climate, engaging in partisan politics and issuing endorsements would be highly divisive and have a detrimental impact on congregational unity and civil discourse.
Their argument is that it would be divisive. Let’s even grant that. But does that makes it the government’s responsibility to save churches from themselves? Is that truly the role liberals want the government to play in our lives? (Rhetorical question, I guess.)
Nobody would force religious leaders to endorse or oppose certain candidates and nobody in the government could penalize or force them not to. Isn’t that what America’s about? Or is that idea old fashioned and Constitutiony?