Donald Trump wants to repeal the federal law that bars tax-exempt groups, including houses of worship, from intervening in partisan politics by endorsing or opposing political candidates. Trump, the Republican nominee for president, has some unusual ideas; this is among his worst.
Despite what Trump and his Religious Right backers would have Americans believe, the ban on partisan politicking doesn’t stifle the voice of the church. Religious leaders remain free to speak out on issues, and many do. They simply must refrain from instructing people on which candidates to vote for or against.
Houses of worship aren’t political action committees. Allowing them to behave that way would punch another loophole into campaign finance laws. Not only could churches endorse candidates, there would be nothing to stop them from funneling money to campaigns.
The “no-politicking” rule doesn’t need to be changed, it needs to be enforced. For years, Americans United has urged the Internal Revenue Service to take a more aggressive stance in this area. Now we’re asking you to help.
AU is sponsoring a petition asking the IRS to crack down on houses of worship and religious non-profits that violate the law. We’re seeking signers from all walks of life.
Polls show that Americans don’t want houses of worship to be politicized. Trump is likely making this proposal to appease the GOP’s Religious Right base because he craves their votes.
Regardless of his motivation, this scheme is reckless and must be stopped. Help AU do that by signing our petition.