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Bad Idea: Trump Repeats Call To Let Churches Endorse Candidates

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reiterated his desire to change a federal law that prohibits houses of worship from endorsing candidates during his speech last night at the Republican National Convention (RNC).  

Trump said:

“At this moment, I would like to thank the evangelical community who have been so good to me and so supportive. You have so much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits.

GOP Call To Repeal Ban On Church Politicking Is ‘Reckless And Corrosive To Religious Life,’ Says Americans United’s Lynn

Changing Federal Law Could Dramatically Escalate Partisan Activity In Houses Of Worship, Church-State Watchdog Says

The Republican Party platform approved yesterday includes a call for altering federal law to allow houses of worship to jump into partisan politics. This change threatens religious life in America, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The platform advocates repeal of the Johnson Amendment, a provision adopted by Congress in 1954 that prohibits 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organizations, including houses of worship, from intervening in partisan politics by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.

Tax Troubles: Trump Claims IRS Targeted Him Because Of His ‘Strong Christian’ Faith

GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump is awfully good at picking fights, and his latest opponent seems to be the Internal Revenue Service.

All high-profile presidential candidates are expected to release their tax returns at some point during the campaign, but Trump has yet to do so. He claims he can’t because he is a frequent target of audits, though it’s unclear why that would prevent him from showing his return to the public.

We’ve Got (Hate) Mail!: Right-Wing Pastors React To AU’s Pulpit Politicking Letter

Every other year during election season, Americans United reminds clergy nationwide to stay out of partisan politics.

Most religious leaders have no problem respecting the federal tax code’s prohibition against campaign intervention by houses of worship and other non-profits that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Bachmann In Overdrive: Minnesota House Member Favors Church Electioneering

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann said on “Hot Tea” radio yesterday that she is sick of “radical leftist organizations” that “intimidate Christians” from speaking about politics from the pulpit.

Bachmann called for Congress to repeal the federal law that prevents all 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing candidates.

Partisan Politicking Pugilists: Debate Brings Together Opponents And Proponents Of Church Electioneering

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="247" caption="The Rev. Barry W. Lynn"][/caption]

Sometimes, a good, old-fashioned debate is the best way to hash out a contentious public issue.

I attended an event like this yesterday at the National Press Club here in Washington, where Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn participated in spirited (but polite) verbal bout over pulpit politicking.

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