This is interesting:
President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to repeal a ban on churches engaging in political campaigning, while his administration also was exploring other steps to expand religious rights, including increased protections for individuals, organizations and employers acting on their faith.
Trump said at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday morning that his administration “will do everything in its power to defend and protect religious liberty.” He said he would seek the repeal of the Johnson Amendment passed by Congress in 1954, which prohibits many nonprofit organizations, including churches and charities, from endorsing political candidates.
Allow me to interpret. Granting churches tax-exempt status is one thing. What it means is that money contributed to churches by a person filing an income tax return can deduct that contribution from the gross income number before using that number to compute the tax owed. That’s a good thing. People giving money to an organization that does charitable work should be encouraged.
The other thing is allowing churches to engage in politics—support candidates. Here is what that means. It means I can form a church. I can call my church The Church of the Golden Shower. My church can hold services, on Saturday nights, at Dave and Busters. My church can collect funds from kind-hearted businessmen. These businessmen can contribute millions of dollars each to my church. I will use that money to pay for producing campaign ads and for purchasing air time on Fox News and CNN. And those millions of dollars will be deducted from the gross income on the tax forms of those millionaire businessmen, saving them a goodly amount in taxes. They will be encouraged to contribute more.
Wait, you say. That’s not a church. That’s a political action committee, a PAC. No, my brother. It’s a church if I say it’s a church, because in reality that is the only way a church can be defined. To force a measure of conformity on the definition of a church would be a form of religious persecution, since this would allow the government to outlaw certain churches while giving others protection from religious discrimination.
I’m on the board of directors of a non-profit corporation registered as a 501 (c) (3) organization in Texas. Currently we accept tax-deductible donations, and we do not engage in political activism. Minus the Johnson Amendment, that is going to change, my friends. Keep your heads down.
You say this isn’t going to fly, my Johnson!