Donald Trump has said that, if elected, he will challenge the so-called “Johnson amendment” which prohibits churches and other religious organizations from campaigning politically.
Trump, who will likely become the official Republican nominee this week in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention, has been courting the evangelical vote for some time during his campaign.
"We're going to get rid of that horrible Johnson amendment and we're going to let evangelicals, we're going to let Christians and Jews and people of religion talk without being afraid to talk,” Trump said when he introduced his running mate Mike Pence on Saturday.
Pence, who is a Catholic who also has evangelical ties, may help in lending Trump credibility with evangelicals as well.
The Johnson amendment was sponsored by President Lyndon Johnson when he was a Texas senator in 1954.
It states that tax-exempt organizations such as churches cannot “Participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of – or in opposition to – any candidate for public office."
Trump has said the future repeal of the amendment would be his “greatest contribution to Christianity.”
"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.
Publication date: July 18, 2016
Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the outdoors, or reading, she can be found mostly in Richmond, VA writing primarily about nature, nostalgia, faith, family, and Jane Austen.