This morning, 99 religious and denominational organizations sent a letter to Congress supporting the Johnson Amendment, which is the law that protects tax-exempt houses of worship by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose candidates. The letter also urged members of the House and Senate to reject calls from President Donald Trump to repeal or weaken the law.
As Congress and President Donald Trump gear up to tackle tax reform, they’d be wise to pay attention to the majority of Americans who don’t want tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, to endorse or oppose political candidates.
During his campaign for office, President Donald J. Trump laced many of his speeches with anti-Muslim rhetoric and vowed to ban Muslim refugees and immigrants. And just a few days into office, he signed an order imposing a Muslim ban.
But there are more harmful consequences that have come from the anti-Muslim sentiment he stoked. We’ve seen an uptick in anti-Muslim hate crimes. And now state legislatures across the country are pushing harmful bills.
I recently heard some interesting news from my hometown in suburban Pittsburgh: A Ten Commandments monument that was the subject of a federal court battle has been removed from the grounds of a public high school.
Another year, another attempt to encourage proselytizing in public-school classrooms.
Last Thursday, the Florida Senate passed SB 436 by a vote of 23-13, almost entirely along party lines. A revised version in the House – HB 303 – will likely receive a floor vote in the House this week. Then the two chambers will duel it out over the two versions, or better yet, pass neither.
Every few years, someone in the far-right fundamentalist Christian community puts forth the argument that modern American culture has become so nasty and hostile to “traditional” Christians that it’s time to withdraw.
They don’t plan to go to a forgotten island somewhere. Rather, they would create a kind of community in internal exile. As much as possible, they’d form parallel structures, such as fundamentalist-oriented educational institutions and media channels, and tend to their own gardens.
Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a trio of cases that will decide whether religiously affiliated hospital systems must comply with federal pension protections. The large health systems don’t want to; they argue they should get a narrow exemption to the law carved out for houses of worship. But these health systems, with nearly 100,000 employees, are not churches.
Yesterday concluded the four-day Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for President Donald J. Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.
As we’ve written before, Gorsuch’s history as a federal appeals court judge indicates that he does not support true religious freedom. His performance during the hearings did nothing to allay our concerns.