Nothing seems to trigger liberals quite like President Trump talking about religious liberty — two topics that drives these folks to the brink of insanity.
The latest statement to fly out of Trump’s mouth and sock a left to the metaphorical jaw is his recent statement at the National Prayer Breakfast about destroying the Johnson Amendment.
In a nutshell, such an action would allow churches and non-profits to directly participate in a political candidate’s campaign.
Yes, that’s right. A liberal’s worst nightmare: Christian churches, dedicated to the teaching of the Bible, having the ability to be involved in politics.
The Washington Post is reporting:
What the Johnson Amendment is: It’s named for Lyndon B. Johnson, who introduced it in the Senate in 1954, nine years before he became president. It bans all tax-exempt nonprofits — which includes churches and other houses of worship, as well as charities — from “directly or indirectly” participating in any political candidate’s campaign.
What Trump has against it: Trump presents this ban on participating in politicking as a restriction on the freedom of faith groups to put their religion in action, if their religion calls on them to campaign for a candidate. At Thursday’s prayer breakfast, Trump said that his reason for opposing the Johnson Amendment is that it impinges on the American “right to worship according to our own beliefs” — apparently describing campaign participation as a form of worship.
Speaking to a group of hundreds of conservative Christian faith leaders who met with him in June, Trump made his opposition to the Johnson amendment a key point of his well-received speech. “I think maybe that will be my greatest contribution to Christianity — and other religions — is to allow you, when you talk religious liberty, to go and speak openly, and if you like somebody or want somebody to represent you, you should have the right to do it,” he said. “You don’t have any religious freedom, if you think about it.”
He included it in his acceptance speech when he won the Republican presidential nomination as well, after he thanked evangelical Christians. “They have so much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits. An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson, many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views,” Trump said.
This beautiful, wonderful country of ours wouldn’t exist today if not for churches, led by strong men of God with a deep faith in the Bible, preaching about tyranny from the pulpit and joined by the ranks of soldiers who fight for freedom from Great Britain.
Churches today, however, could never mobilize such a movement for fear of losing their tax-exempt status, which more or less gives the government the power to gag religious leaders and restrict their freedom of speech, all in the name of “separation of church and state.”
Sure, the federal government shouldn’t declare one official religion for the whole country and mandate attendance. However, the whole concept of separation had nothing to do with banning the public influence of religion on the formation of policy and legislation.
If Trump gets rid of this amendment, it restores a very big section of religious liberty lost years ago, and provides churches and leaders with an opportunity to once again influence the future course of our country.
[Note: This article was written by Michael Cantrell]