Separation of Church And State
Republicans in the House of Representavies decided to let nonprofits and religious organizations endorse political candidates in a budget bill titled “Making appropriations for financial services and general government for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018, and for other purposes.”
As ThinkProgress recently mentioned, “tucked deep inside more than 200 pages of text is a tiny provision, recently added by the House Appropriations Committee, designed to defang the so-called Johnson Amendment–a section of the tax code that bars churches… and other tax-exempt nonprofits from explicitly endorsing political candidates.”
Donald Trump promised to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amerndment. His actions against it, such as an executive order from May, was celebrated by the Religious Right who wanted the provision repealed because it went against “religious liberty” and that it “inhibited free speech.”
The GOP’s effort was less about religious liberty and more about using religon to get more power.
If the Johnson Amendment isn’t being enforced and removing it is so unpopular, is there a reason to do so?
Right-Wing Evangelical groups want to be able to “donate” large sums of money to right-wing political candidates. If faith-based groups are allowed to stay tax-exempt but can be involved in politics, inviduals will be able to contribute to a church or other house of worship and get tax deductions while donating to a political campaign isn’t tax deductable.
Dark money is political funding where their sources aren’t disclosed. Churches are not required to publicize their large donors, meaning someone can donate money to a church during an election without ever having to make their donation public. There literally won’t be any differences between churches and Super PACs.
Religious groups will be able to keep spreading hatred… while also pouring money into political candidates.
At least hate groups will now be able to fund Republican campaigns.