Trump, Congressional Republicans Hope to Get Rid of the Johnson Amendment for Churches


Early in his campaign Donald Trump sent a clear signal to evangelicals. 

“One of the absolute first things I’m going to do is work on totally knocking out the Johnson Amendment,” Trump promised.

The Johnson Amendment is a controversial law used to restrict a pastor’s political speech from the pulpit.

In 1954, then-Senator Lyndon Johnson introduced the Amendment during an election year, when two Texas non-profit orgnizations supported his primary opponent.

He proposed the law that denies tax exempt status to any organization with a 501c3 tax status, including houses of worship, that influence or intervene in political campaigns.

“It had nothing to do with churches, this is what they call unintended consequences of law,” Congressman Walter Jones, R-NC, told CBN News.

Jones has moved to overturn it each year since 2001, after he noticed the IRS monitoring people of faith during the 2000 election.

“It’s kind of like big brother, listening to what the minister, or priest or rabbi might be saying,” Jones commented.

Jones said he began to hear stories of churches being challenged by the amendment and afraid of losing their tax exempt status.

“All the complaints never come from within the church, it’s from somebody outside the church,” Jones explained.

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Abigail Robertson