The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the U.S. tax code, since 1954, that prohibits all 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. Section 501(c)(3) organizations are the most common type of nonprofit organization in the United States, ranging from charitable foundations to universities and churches.
The Bricker Amendment is the collective name of a number of slightly different proposed amendments to the United States Constitution considered by the United States Senate in the 1950s. None of these amendments ever passed Congress.
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The Communist Control Act (68 Stat. 775, 50 U.S.C. 841-844) is an American law signed by President Dwight Eisenhower on 24 August 1954 that outlaws the Communist Party of the United States and criminalizes membership in or support for the party or "Communist-action" organizations and defines evidence to be considered by a jury in determining participation in the activities, planning, actions ...
Sep 25, 2020 · “Biden Says the Second Amendment is ‘Obsolete,' ” reads the headline of the article from the site America's Last Line of Defense that has been shared by users on Facebook. USA TODAY reached ...
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- McKenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY
Feb 03, 2017 · The Johnson Amendment In 5 Questions And Answers The Johnson Amendment to the tax code, which President Trump vowed to "totally destroy," prohibits tax-exempt organizations such as churches from ...
- Tom Gjelten
Apr 26, 2021 · The bottom line is this: the Johnson Amendment is a horrific abridgment of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And churches in 1954 and forward should have never accepted it. But they not only accepted it, they enthusiastically embraced it; and now many of them are fighting fiercely to retain it.
Jul 18, 2017 · Johnson championed the restriction in 1954 when he was a U.S. senator running for re-election. ... "I've gotten rid of the Johnson Amendment … I signed an executive order so that now ...
The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution was an addition to the United States Constitution that put a limit on how many times a person could be elected to be President. A person is limited to being elected twice, or once if they have already served more than two years as President.
- What Is The Johnson Amendment?
- Did The Amendment Work?
- If The Amendment Is Rarely Enforced, Why Is The Executive Order A Big Deal?
- Where Do Americans Stand on The Issue?
The Johnson Amendment is a 1954 law signed by then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower and named for then-Texas Sen. Lyndon Johnson. Johnson was not interested in religious organizations when he proposed — and pushed through in typical Johnson heavy-handed fashion — the amendment, but he was hoping to silence two nonprofit groups campaigning against him as “a closet Communist.” The Johnson Amendment prohibits registered 501(c)(3) organizations — which include some religious congregations but also other nonprofits — from endorsing political candidates and participating in political campaigns, at the risk of losing their nonprofit status. Thursday’s executive order doesn’t repeal the Johnson Amendment — which is what candidate Trump promised numerous times and President Trump promised to do as recently as the Feb. 2 National Prayer Breakfast. Only Congress can do that. But it advises the IRS not to enforce it.
It depends on whom you ask. The IRS investigated Johnson Amendment cases only a handful of times, including once against a New York church that purchased newspaper ads opposing the election of Bill Clinton in 1992 and once against a California church where a pastor preached an anti-war sermonin 2004 that specifically called out presidential candidates. Both incidents occurred just before presidential elections. But many critics of the Johnson Amendment say the law’s true power is as a deterrent. It works like a gag rule, they say, preventing clergy from exercising their full freedom of expression by tacitly threatening them and their organizations with loss of their tax-exempt status. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a Christian organization that heralded Thursday’s executive order, called the Johnson Amendment “overly broad” and said it had been used to censor speech. But plenty of other people are unhappy with Trump’s executive order, including many religiou...
As historian Kevin Baker said in The New York Times, candidate Trump’s promise to scrap the amendment was one of the main reasons evangelicals and other religious conservatives voted for him, “the most openly irreligious major-party presidential candidate in our history.” “Jerry Falwell Jr. provided the answer in his singularly graceless speech at the Republican National Convention,” Baker writes, and then quotes Falwell: “Mr. Trump has added a plank to this party’s platform to repeal I.R.S. rules sponsored by Lyndon Johnson in 1954 barring churches and nonprofits from expressing political free speech. … Trust me, the repeal of the Johnson Amendment will create a huge revolution for conservative Christians and for free speech.”
The public has shown little enthusiasm for politics in the pulpit. A 2016 LifeWay poll found that only 19 percent of Americans agree with the statement “it is appropriate for pastors to publicly endorse political candidates during a church service,” and a 2013 Pew Research Center survey that found two-thirds of Americans think clergy should not endorse political candidates. Courtesy: Religion News Service Photo: President Trump prepares to sign the Executive Order on Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty during the National Day of Prayer event at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington D.C., on May 4, 2017. Photo courtesy: Reuters/Carlos Barria Publication date: May 5, 2017
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