President Donald Trump made a huge deal out of signing his latest executive order. It turns back the protections of the Johnson Amendment, so churches and other religious organizations are now allowed to speak about politics from the pulpit. So, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is not allowed to take any action against churches because of “speech about moral or political issues from a religious perspective.”
The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) is suing the Trump administration because of it. From their statement:
“FFRF has already sued the IRS on a nearly identical issue and won. We agreed to end our challenge once the IRS showed it had resumed investigating reports over politicking by churches. We were the only civil rights group to take such a challenge, despite widespread reports at the time that the IRS was failing to enforce the law even-handedly. We warned the IRS that we would refile our lawsuit if there was evidence of future lack of enforcement. We’ve spent recent time on Capitol Hill fighting bills to repeal the Johnson Amendment. We’ve distributed brochures, published a video explaining the importance of the protective rule, and written letters to those who publicly misunderstand the rule, such as Sen. Chuck Grassley.”
The Johnson Amendment needs to stay in place, and President Trump’s evangelical friends shouldn’t be allowed to preach from the pulpit without paying taxes. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.
Here are two staff attorneys from the FFRF discussing the Johnson Amendment and what its repeal means:
Featured image via Twitter.