President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Thursday that would make political activity easier for churches and religious groups.
The order, marking the National Day of Prayer, will seek to overcome a federal tax code provision that prohibits religious organizations from participating in politics, threatening their tax-exempt status, according to Reuters.
Trump order to ease ban on political activity by churches. #MAGA #tcot https://t.co/rcdsTS3A8D
— Ned Ryun (@nedryun) May 4, 2017
The order will ease restrictions on religious employers that object to ObamaCare’s preventative services mandate like Little Sisters of the Poor which challenged the birth control mandate in court.
President Trump to sign an executive order on religious liberty today, the National Day of Prayer | @kevincorke pic.twitter.com/p5FA8j4qAs
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 4, 2017
While civil liberty and LGBT groups have been gearing up to fight Trump’s order, the executive action will not be including provisions to allow gay people to be denied services by government agencies and businesses as some feared.
“This executive order isn’t about discrimination. Anything currently illegal under current law would still be illegal,” a senior White House official told Reuters on Wednesday. “It directs the IRS to exercise maximum enforcement discretion to alleviate the burden of the Johnson amendment which prohibits religious leaders from speaking about politics and candidate from the pulpit.”
–@WhiteHouse three sentence handout explaining tomorrow’s @POTUS executive order “to protect and vigorously promote religious liberty.” pic.twitter.com/8etyQ2GH5n
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) May 4, 2017
Trump and many congressional Republicans have opposed the 1954 law known as the Johnson amendment, proposed by then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson, D-Texas, because they argued it stifled the First Amendment rights of religious organizations.
While the president has repeatedly called for its repeal, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady wants tax-reform legislation to include the repeal. The House Oversight Committee is set to hold a hearing on the Johnson amendment on Thursday.
Not surprisingly, word of Trump’s executive action on the Johnson amendment sparked reactions from all sides, especially liberals who never understood the proper meaning of separation of church and state.
If Trump repeals the Johnson Amendment, I fear that our pulpits become more like political platforms. Schism and departures would result.
— BCC (@ByCommonConsent) May 3, 2017
Trump’s unconstitutional Executive Order, the Johnson Amendment, is a #LicenseToDiscriminate! RETWEET if you stand with the LGBT Community! pic.twitter.com/LmDCFHpFdF
— AlwaysWithHer (@DisavowTrump16) May 3, 2017
@RF101A_VOODOO @foxandfriends It’s literally giving people access to discriminate against LGBT people for religious purposes. It has to be shot down.
— Noni ?️??? (@NaomiWalton11) May 4, 2017
Democrats in the Senate sent a letter to Republican leaders urging them to keep the current ban on political activity by religious groups and nonprofits, according to The Hill.
Oregon’s Ron Wyden, Florida’s Bill Nelson and Pennsylvaia’s Bob Casey, Jr. argued that the Johnson Amendment ensures that federal grants to charities “are free from political conflicts of interest.”
But for conservatives, the repeal of the 1950’s law has been a long time coming and has earned Trump their gratitude.
For 50 years 8 Presidents would not touch the “Johnson Amendment”. Christians had to wait for a President Trump to reverse this attack on
— DRA (@RDA2You) May 4, 2017
our 1st amendment rights. He said he would fix it and he is fixing it and it didn’t take 8 years. It took less than 4 months.
— DRA (@RDA2You) May 4, 2017
God bless this President. He gave Christians our voices back!
— DRA (@RDA2You) May 4, 2017
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@foxandfriends The left will find some problem with this Exec Order! They find them with everything else that makes sense! They’ll need another safe place!
— Robert G. (@RF101A_VOODOO) May 4, 2017
@foxandfriends Its about time.
— Santiago flores (@Santiag81461279) May 4, 2017
@foxandfriends Churches were never supposed to be silenced regarding government! That’s where it began! Silly Americans don’t know their history!
— Bobby G.✝️ (@Providence1783) May 4, 2017
@tzford @thedailybeast Yet another false claim. Constitution has Establishment Clause. Words “separation of Church and State” do not appear in Constitution.
— Dan Ingrassia (@IngrassiaDan) May 4, 2017
Christians like me thank #OurPresident @realDonaldTrump 4 keeping his word yet again by taking 1st step in repealing Johnson Amendment!#Amen pic.twitter.com/Ggd3Kkjt31
— DiCristo Trump Won (@DiCristo13) May 4, 2017
@ChristianPost It’s about time Christians were freed to act and live according to their beliefs and remove PC Bullshit from discussion.
— Bill Cooke (@wb_cooke) May 3, 2017
Trump order to ease ban on political activity by churches.@POTUS to mark National Day of #Prayer https://t.co/E4saF0dccJ #Christians pic.twitter.com/9yWnQArmwt
— Traditional American (@RightWingAngel) May 4, 2017
@RightWingAngel @POTUS Thank you Lord for a President that cares about Christians and Values. That still believes in keeping promises.
— Patriot Melody (@MelodyDeese) May 4, 2017
@RightWingAngel @bfraser747 @POTUS Another campaign promise that has been kept – CONGRATS Mr. President !!!
— JA (@Golfer_JWA) May 4, 2017
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