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Religious groups have the right to speak out on political and social issues. Federal law, however, prohibits most tax-exempt bodies, including houses of worship, from intervening in elections by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office. Churches are not political action committees and should not act like them. Religious leaders should abide by the law and refrain from turning their congregations into cogs in a political machine.

Project Fairplay

In 1996, Americans United launched Project Fair Play to educate religious leaders and other Americans about tax exemption and political activity. We send informational letters to clergy, and we file complaints with the IRS when there are egregious violations.

Please visit Project Fair Play to learn more.
 


 

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Blogs
Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Not All Evangelicals Agree With Jerry Falwell Jr. And Liberty University – And They’re Speaking Up

Secularists, non-Christians and progressive Christians have long been critics of Religious Right leader Jerry Falwell Jr. But lately Falwell has had to deal with flak from an unexpected source: fellow evangelicals who are angry over his support for President Donald J. Trump and his blend of nationalist and fundamentalist rhetoric.  

Roy Moore Has Always Believed He’s Above The Law

Back in the late 1990s when Roy Moore was a local judge in Etowah County, Ala., he was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union for opening courtroom sessions with prayer and displaying a hand-carved Ten Commandments monument in his courtroom.

Moore had garnered national attention with his vow to defy any ruling against him, and his defenders thought the time was right to bring him to Washington, D.C., for a press conference.

The House Republicans’ Assault On The Johnson Amendment Just Got A Lot Worse

Republicans in the House of Representatives yesterday doubled-down on their efforts to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which is the provision in current law that prohibits tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing candidates.

Thanks to a vote taken by members of the House Ways and Means Committee, now all tax-exempt organizations – including houses of worship, charitable nonprofits and foundations – could endorse or oppose candidates in all of their activities.

House Committee Votes Along Party Lines To Weaken The Johnson Amendment

When Republican leaders in the House of Representatives unveiled their tax legislation earlier this month, the measure included a harmful provision that would severely weaken the Johnson Amendment, a federal law that prevents all tax-exempt organizations – including houses of worship, charitable nonprofits, foundations and others – from endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.

We’ve Spent The Past Year Fending Off Donald Trump’s Attacks On Religious Freedom

A year ago, when Donald Trump and Mike Pence were elected to the highest offices in the land, Americans United warned of the many threats this administration posed to church-state separation. We promised that if any of those threats came to fruition, we would be ready to fight back and defend religious freedom.

Changing The Johnson Amendment Could Shift Billions Of Dollars From Political Campaigns To Churches That Endorse Candidates

Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee began preliminary discussion over the new tax bill, which includes language that severely weakens the Johnson Amendment, a provision of the tax code that protects the integrity of tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose candidates.

The tax bill, if passed as is, would allow churches – but not other tax-exempt organizations – to endorse political candidates if the endorsement happens during “religious services and gatherings.”

Church Officials Are Intervening In A Colo. County School Board Race

Tomorrow is election day in some parts of the country. Most political analysts are keeping a close eye on Virginia’s gubernatorial race, seeing it as a mini-referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump.

But there are other interesting races as well. One of them is taking place in Douglas County, Colo., where a school board election has attracted national interest.

An Amazing Gala Celebrates Barry Lynn And Americans United

Last night, more than 400 people gathered at the National Geographic Society in the heart of Washington, D.C., to celebrate Executive Director Barry W. Lynn on the occasion of his retirement and mark the 70th anniversary of Americans United.

I’m a little biased, of course, but this was an awesome event. Barry was surrounded by friends, colleagues, AU members and well-wishers who saluted him for his remarkable 25 years at the helm of Americans United.

Pages

Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Not All Evangelicals Agree With Jerry Falwell Jr. And Liberty University – And They’re Speaking Up

Secularists, non-Christians and progressive Christians have long been critics of Religious Right leader Jerry Falwell Jr. But lately Falwell has had to deal with flak from an unexpected source: fellow evangelicals who are angry over his support for President Donald J. Trump and his blend of nationalist and fundamentalist rhetoric.  

Roy Moore Has Always Believed He’s Above The Law

Back in the late 1990s when Roy Moore was a local judge in Etowah County, Ala., he was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union for opening courtroom sessions with prayer and displaying a hand-carved Ten Commandments monument in his courtroom.

Moore had garnered national attention with his vow to defy any ruling against him, and his defenders thought the time was right to bring him to Washington, D.C., for a press conference.

The House Republicans’ Assault On The Johnson Amendment Just Got A Lot Worse

Republicans in the House of Representatives yesterday doubled-down on their efforts to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which is the provision in current law that prohibits tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing candidates.

Thanks to a vote taken by members of the House Ways and Means Committee, now all tax-exempt organizations – including houses of worship, charitable nonprofits and foundations – could endorse or oppose candidates in all of their activities.

House Committee Votes Along Party Lines To Weaken The Johnson Amendment

When Republican leaders in the House of Representatives unveiled their tax legislation earlier this month, the measure included a harmful provision that would severely weaken the Johnson Amendment, a federal law that prevents all tax-exempt organizations – including houses of worship, charitable nonprofits, foundations and others – from endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.

We’ve Spent The Past Year Fending Off Donald Trump’s Attacks On Religious Freedom

A year ago, when Donald Trump and Mike Pence were elected to the highest offices in the land, Americans United warned of the many threats this administration posed to church-state separation. We promised that if any of those threats came to fruition, we would be ready to fight back and defend religious freedom.

Changing The Johnson Amendment Could Shift Billions Of Dollars From Political Campaigns To Churches That Endorse Candidates

Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee began preliminary discussion over the new tax bill, which includes language that severely weakens the Johnson Amendment, a provision of the tax code that protects the integrity of tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose candidates.

The tax bill, if passed as is, would allow churches – but not other tax-exempt organizations – to endorse political candidates if the endorsement happens during “religious services and gatherings.”

Church Officials Are Intervening In A Colo. County School Board Race

Tomorrow is election day in some parts of the country. Most political analysts are keeping a close eye on Virginia’s gubernatorial race, seeing it as a mini-referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump.

But there are other interesting races as well. One of them is taking place in Douglas County, Colo., where a school board election has attracted national interest.

An Amazing Gala Celebrates Barry Lynn And Americans United

Last night, more than 400 people gathered at the National Geographic Society in the heart of Washington, D.C., to celebrate Executive Director Barry W. Lynn on the occasion of his retirement and mark the 70th anniversary of Americans United.

I’m a little biased, of course, but this was an awesome event. Barry was surrounded by friends, colleagues, AU members and well-wishers who saluted him for his remarkable 25 years at the helm of Americans United.

Pages

Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Not All Evangelicals Agree With Jerry Falwell Jr. And Liberty University – And They’re Speaking Up

Secularists, non-Christians and progressive Christians have long been critics of Religious Right leader Jerry Falwell Jr. But lately Falwell has had to deal with flak from an unexpected source: fellow evangelicals who are angry over his support for President Donald J. Trump and his blend of nationalist and fundamentalist rhetoric.  

Roy Moore Has Always Believed He’s Above The Law

Back in the late 1990s when Roy Moore was a local judge in Etowah County, Ala., he was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union for opening courtroom sessions with prayer and displaying a hand-carved Ten Commandments monument in his courtroom.

Moore had garnered national attention with his vow to defy any ruling against him, and his defenders thought the time was right to bring him to Washington, D.C., for a press conference.

The House Republicans’ Assault On The Johnson Amendment Just Got A Lot Worse

Republicans in the House of Representatives yesterday doubled-down on their efforts to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which is the provision in current law that prohibits tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing candidates.

Thanks to a vote taken by members of the House Ways and Means Committee, now all tax-exempt organizations – including houses of worship, charitable nonprofits and foundations – could endorse or oppose candidates in all of their activities.

House Committee Votes Along Party Lines To Weaken The Johnson Amendment

When Republican leaders in the House of Representatives unveiled their tax legislation earlier this month, the measure included a harmful provision that would severely weaken the Johnson Amendment, a federal law that prevents all tax-exempt organizations – including houses of worship, charitable nonprofits, foundations and others – from endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.

We’ve Spent The Past Year Fending Off Donald Trump’s Attacks On Religious Freedom

A year ago, when Donald Trump and Mike Pence were elected to the highest offices in the land, Americans United warned of the many threats this administration posed to church-state separation. We promised that if any of those threats came to fruition, we would be ready to fight back and defend religious freedom.

Changing The Johnson Amendment Could Shift Billions Of Dollars From Political Campaigns To Churches That Endorse Candidates

Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee began preliminary discussion over the new tax bill, which includes language that severely weakens the Johnson Amendment, a provision of the tax code that protects the integrity of tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose candidates.

The tax bill, if passed as is, would allow churches – but not other tax-exempt organizations – to endorse political candidates if the endorsement happens during “religious services and gatherings.”

Church Officials Are Intervening In A Colo. County School Board Race

Tomorrow is election day in some parts of the country. Most political analysts are keeping a close eye on Virginia’s gubernatorial race, seeing it as a mini-referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump.

But there are other interesting races as well. One of them is taking place in Douglas County, Colo., where a school board election has attracted national interest.

An Amazing Gala Celebrates Barry Lynn And Americans United

Last night, more than 400 people gathered at the National Geographic Society in the heart of Washington, D.C., to celebrate Executive Director Barry W. Lynn on the occasion of his retirement and mark the 70th anniversary of Americans United.

I’m a little biased, of course, but this was an awesome event. Barry was surrounded by friends, colleagues, AU members and well-wishers who saluted him for his remarkable 25 years at the helm of Americans United.

Pages

Press Releases
Church & State
October 2017 Church & State

Singing From A Different Hymnal

Trump’s Church-State Policies Are Spurring Dissenting Religious Groups To Stand Up To The Extremism Of The Religious Right

June 2017 Church & State

Out Of Order

Trump’s New ‘Religious Freedom’ Directives Set The Stage For Attacks On Real Liberty, Says Americans United

February 2017 Church & State

Prayers Or Politics?

President Donald Trump Wants To Allow Houses Of Worship To Intervene In Partisan Elections Yet Remain Tax Exempt

January 2017 Church & State

Snake Oil Solution

Why Repealing The Ban On Pulpit Politicking Is A Colossally Bad Idea