Trump says he’ll ‘destroy’ rule barring churches from endorsing political candidates

President Trump told religious leaders Thursday that he wants to “destroy” the Johnson Amendment, a longstanding legal barrier that prevents churches and charitable groups from endorsing political candidates.

“I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution,” Mr. Trump said at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

The 1954 IRS provision prevents tax-exempt organizations from campaigning for or endorsing any political candidates. Some Republican lawmakers want to repeal it, and Mr. Trump had promised during his campaign to get rid of the measure.

The president did not elaborate on how he intends to carry out the proposed move. But two House Republican lawmakers and Sen. James Lankford, Oklahoma Republican, introduced legislation Wednesday that would amend the tax code to “restore free speech” for churches and nonprofits as long as the speech takes place “in the ordinary course” of the organization’s activities, and related expenses are minimal.

“For too long, the IRS has used the Johnson Amendment to silence and threaten religious institutions and charitable entities,” said Rep. Jody Hice, Georgia Republican. “As a minister who has experienced intimidation from the IRS firsthand, I know just how important it is to ensure that our churches and nonprofit organizations are allowed the same fundamental rights as every citizen of this great nation.”

44 Comments - what are your thoughts?

  • Roy Fredrichsen says:

    There are too many archaic useless unenforceable laws that NEED to be dumped. O’Bama made-up gun laws that were idiotic in the first place and ignored existing gun laws that could handle any circumstance that arose being based on common sense.

  • maxx says:

    How in the world were they (Congress politicians) allowed to blatantly violate the First Amendment and the countries discrimination laws in the first place??? Oh, that’s right, politicians go to church once every four years or so for their PR photo ops. Otherwise they are proponents of secularism that more appropriately fits their true nature. It seems to me America would be far better off if we eliminate the career path of “professional politician”. For what we get by allowing professional politicians we should use a lottery system to select ordinary taxpaying citizens to populate the Congress for a 2 year term. All they get is a housing per diem for living in D.C.. Their pay is the same as their current pay and they get no other special benefits and rights. No lifetime pensions for public service whatsoever and they are part of Social Security that they have to pay into. Congress is a total joke and since the Founders passed on has become a total scam.

  • Patriot159 says:

    What I find pathetic is how easily the silence of the church was bought. Betrayal for Judas was 30 pieces of silver, for the church, tax exemption. Yes this law affected all “non profits” but make no mistake, it was a plot by the left to quench opposition to their agenda by oppressing free speech by a very influential institution and the church turtled.
    As we see today, the Godless pagan left continues to fight against the church because it stands in the way of their communist agenda. The left wants to make the State their God.

  • NM Leon says:

    It’s actually not needed. The IRS can rescind their 501(c)3 letter of approval, but a church’s tax free status is written into the law. Many don’t realize it, but they don’t need the letter, and in fact don’t even need to apply for (c)3 status…it’s automatic.

  • justinwachin says:

    This may not work out as expected. When a minister or church endorses a candidate different from the one an individual supports that person may stop attending the church or cut off their offerings.

    The biggest beneficiaries are likely to be religious broadcasters, but once again they are going to lose viewers and money when they start making endorsements.

    I would prefer to see a law passed which would protect people of faith from having to provide service which conflicts with their religious beliefs. Several bakers and photographers have lost everything because they believed gay weddings are wrong and refused to provide their services. The bill would protect the rights of business owners. It would not extend to politicians who are elected to do a job or people employed to do a job–ex. clerks who are hired to issue marriage licenses but refuse to issue the licenses to gay couples.

  • Snidely70448 says:

    IMHO, the biggest beneficiaries of removing the prohibitions to preaching politics from the pulpit will be the Democrats, The worst offenders are the black churches, who work to increase turnout for Democrats,

  • Herschel Weintraub says:

    This is disgusting. The clergy are welcome to say anything that they want about politics, but if they do, they SHOULD LOSE THEIR TAX EXEMPT STATUS. That is what is fair. A tax exempt organization should not promote politics. Your blending of religion and politics is leading you to the path of Hell.

  • PatriotGal says:

    Let us know what we can do to help, PRESIDENT Trump…we’re on board.

  • shadowmerlin says:

    “Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion…” I believe churches are “establishments of religion”, hence the law limiting their speech is a violation of the Constitution.

    1. maxx says:

      The Johnson Act does not fit within the confines of your first sentence. It was not even partly related to the establishment of religion. It was completely illegal and unconstitutional as it’s creation was a violation of the First Amendment and the countries laws pertaining to discrimination. However it was not a law passed by the Legislature so it was never tested against the Constitution. It was a rule created by one of the illegal agencies, the IRS which Congress created specifically to avoid a Supreme Court challenge. That was /is the sole purpose to create most of the alphabet agencies by Congress. It allows Congress to make rules and regulations outside of their authority. That is how our government has become a totally corrupt entity. I’m still trying to find where in the Constitution politicians were given authority to create agencies populated by unelected bureaucrats that are unaccountable to we the people.

  • JRobb says:

    Which Gender is Confusion

    Mr Trump, you can be the President of the 3rd Gender, but you will
    not receive my Vote in 2020. My Wife and I did not Vote in 08 and 12 we
    thought the choice for moderate to Liberal candidates would just take
    America deeper into the Sewer and that America needed to further dwell
    with “Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be
    saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 5:5 We voted for you
    and expected to see America to be turned away from idiotic Policies that
    defy our Creator’s Moral and Physical Laws.

    We hoped the Council of 30 Evangelical Preachers would help you, but it looks like either you are not listening or you are listening to some of them who are not Bible Believing Christians and know nothing of the depth of the Bible Christianity of our Founding Fathers and how deeply the base of our
    Freedom rests upon our Founders Bible and their wisdom that We the
    People “are endowed by their Creator with certain Unalienable

    America will never be “Great Again” until we govern ourselves and government by our Creator’s Laws because if we don’t We the People can never Trust Each Other. We must stop teaching our Children the Lie that Evolution is Science. If a person has a “Y” Chromosome and Male Genitals they are Male, period and the same for “X” America is not going to stand for a 3rd Gender mixing with our Children and teaching them in the 1st Grade that Johnny is actually Susie and Urinals in Women’s Restrooms.

    Those who voted for you thought that you are quite intelligent, but if you go for this we will know that you are either dumber than a box of Rocks or you are full of the Devil. You have been doing a great Job so far, but this Ignorance must be turned around or you are going to loose a huge portion of your Support. The Bible Believers will be Praying for you, but we will not follow you into the Sewer and the Judgment of our Creator with America being turned to a Hell on Earth and for Eternity.

    Our Creator allows men to make mistakes and he will forgive and help one turn around. Ask the Lord to forgive you and turnaround. Try this for a new path for America “” signs everywhere.

    1. PatriotGal says:

      J, what are you spewing about? Your post makes no sense whatsoever. Are you sure you understand what PRESIDENT Trump is doing or are you listening to the lame-stream media which knows less than nothing about issues?
      The Johnson Amendment, so named because it was signed by then President Johnson a Dem who wanted to silence churches from encouraging parishioners voting for a particular candidate who believes in God, follows His teachings and believes His Word. That amendment has stopped churches from saying anything because they were threatened they would lose their 501c(3) status. PRESIDENT Trump is working to do away with that amendment thus giving back churches their voices. What did you think it meant, JRobb, because I think you took a left turn somewhere and don’t understand what PRESIDENT Trump will do.

      1. JRobb says:

        Overturning the Johnson Amendment will be a great thing. Hopefully, it will give the Bible Believing Preachers across the Country some Backbone and they will stand up against things like pedophilia, homo marriages, teaching our Children to be 3rd Genders, Pornography in the hands of our Children and Evolution is Science. Some good things do not give approval of something as filthy as homos. We have not yet given up on Trump he is certainly doing some great things, but approving 3rd Gender in our Army, Entertainment, Education, Public Domain, Marriage, North American Man Boy Love Association, etc will destroy America as surely as will Islam.

  • Tiger says:

    It is the responsibility of the pastors of churches to keep their flock informed on what Islam is and the threat to our country. I will hand it to Pastor Hagee and the Catholic magazine Crusade for doing just that. It is imperative that they do this for the sake of the children etc.

    As to political involvement, well I was a teen when Kennedy running and I remember going to all the churches in my town, just for the purpose of listening to what they were saying about Catholics and I got an ear full so don’t tell me that churches don’t talk politics, especially the Black pastors that were in with Obama and told their flock not only how to vote but took them to the polling stations.

    So let it be.

    1. maxx says:

      I’m with you. I think the only reason the Catholic Church got involved was to try to make sure Kennedy was not kept from being elected just because he was Catholic. I was around too and it seemed that the comments that JFK would bring the Pope to D.C. to run the country were used by secularists but people just laughed it off. That was back when the democrats party had not been taken over by the communists/socialists. There were even some very moderate democrats around.

      1. Tiger says:

        My father and mother were died in the wool Democrats and my mother is dead, but my father changed when O came into office. Yes that was the Mantra of the Day. Seen as sheer, unadulterated poo poo in the days of common sense.

  • Oldawg70 says:

    WOW! A politician that actually uses common sense and logic…GO TRUMP!

  • McFerguson says:

    Whoa, every time the Trumspter issues one of these threats, the liberal snowflakes die a thousand deaths! There is big time panic in cupcake land. They thought they had wiped out Christianity in America only to see it rise again. And Easter is on the way…

    1. Ken says says:

      Does that mean we will be able to say Happy Easter and not have to duck when the “Easter Bunny” aims a baseball bat at our head. WOW!! I can hardly wait for Christmas – this will be a great year!!!!! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN – Go President Trump – DRAIN IT !!!

      1. McFerguson says:

        Sounds to me, Ken, as if you’re hanging around with the wrong Easter Bunny…

        1. Ken says says:

          If you like the Liberal Elite Establishment’s “Easter Bunny” you can hang with it Babe – it is your Constitutional Right. lol

          1. McFerguson says:

            No, I hung with the Constitution for 23 years and swore several times to protect and defend it against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and nobody ever hit me in the head with a baseball bat. Not once, Ken. Not even around Easter. Just sayin’…

          2. Ken says says:

            Lighten up and get a grip. When was the last time you smiled? Try it – it is uplifting.

          3. McFerguson says:

            Every time I read one of your posts, I break out laughing…

  • Publius says:

    Free speech ? Johnson amendment has got to go….it was put in place to silence a weekly meeting place..the American Revolution centered around the church….the reverend and the pulpit were the central meeting place and the reverend went off to war with his constituents ….defiance of silence must overcome censorship ….

  • W. Coyote says:

    I suppose that will apply to mosques and synagogues as well.

    1. Mike Thomas says:

      That has never stopped the Muslim leaders teaching in their mosques anyway. When will we wake up to the fact the Islam is not a religion but rather an ideology of world dominance by sharia law.

      1. W. Coyote says:

        Mike- Good evening and thank you for your reply. “Muslim leaders teaching in their mosques”? Of course they do, as do Christian ministers. The issue at hand is whether churches, mosques, and synagogues should be allowed to endorse political candidates. Do you think that is good idea or not?

  • Jim says:

    It is about time! ……. America gets back to being America!
    The LOONS try every way they can to destroy the Constitution, But NOW we have a Thomas Jefferson Constitution President instead of the John Adams Federalists which became Progressives, also called Liberals or Democrats.

    1. McFerguson says:

      Sounds about right to me, Jim. Semper Fi, as they say in the USMC!

      1. podunk1 says:

        I would love to see Sessions nullify the Johnson Amendment because it is a statute contrary to Amendment 1, thus has zero standing in law!

        “Congress shall make no law respecting religion, or prohibiting free exercise thereof” is “Supreme Law”, “Anything to the contrary notwithstanding”, and is protected by 2nd oath allegiance” to “defend… against (anyone)… without ANY purpose of evasion”, by every judge and official in the USA by Article 6!

        For that supreme law reason, the Johnson law is hereby contrary to the Constitution, null, void, and notwithstanding in US law! Send copies to the Supreme court! Put their happyars on notice that their legislating days are OVER! LET “NO OTHER LAW TO THE CONTRARY INFRINGE ANY LEGAL CONSTITUTION TEXT ARGUMENT”, BE BOLDLY ENTERED INTO THE ORDER.

        Trump, it’s time to be silent and peering out the window smiling as the enemy and its media burns with its rubble, with no way to do anything about it, without openly attacking the Constitution! Think about it!!!

        1. McFerguson says:

          One thing we know of, for sure, is that Sen. Jeff Sessions is a Rule of Law kind of guy. Where Obozo politicized the DOJ, the IRS, and the EPA, I think Sessions will follow the law, as written, without regard to politics nor pandering to race, gender or ethnicity.

          1. goldie says:

            I hope and pray you are right. But I think you are.

          2. podunk1 says:

            That’s exactly why I supported him… agree with you 100%

          3. Retired says:

            And the lefties along with Demon Rats do not like that .

          4. McFerguson says:


          5. Roy Fredrichsen says:

            Gee! That’s too bad. It’s like getting a dose of your own medicine. The Dumbocrats could “Dish it out” but they don’t like getting it .

          6. Retired says:

            They are worse than when the US had Union thugs beating people to join .

        2. maxx says:

          Think about it. Who are the most blatantly corrupt and dishonest people in America? One would think it has to be the criminal elements that threaten and feed on the public. Not so at all. It is Congress that does all the same things and more without any trepidation.

    2. Retired says:

      I don’t remember anyone complaining when Kennedy was put on a pedestal for his religion,

  • bobnstuff says:

    Lets just get rid of the non profit status in the tax code. That way they can do or say anything they want. The law didn’t seem to stop Trumps non profit.

  • champion2211 says:

    It doesn’t need to stop there. The Media, TV, also. Any of those that have an opinion other than folks themselves. Too many businesses and such are popping up and saying this guy or gal needs your vote. Or the other guy/gal has been convicted or something or what ever the situation is.

  • MsUpset says:

    This is awesome!

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