In response to news reports that President Trump will sign an executive order tomorrow that would politicize houses of worship, Interfaith Alliance president Rabbi Jack Moline issued the following statement:
“For decades, the Johnson Amendment has prevented houses of worship from being turned into partisan political tools. A majority of clergy — and Americans — support the status quo and oppose political endorsements from the pulpit.
“President Trump’s executive order reportedly aims to gut the Johnson Amendment and clear the way for the Religious Right to weaponize their churches for partisan battle. If the effort succeeds, these churches would become conduits for unregulated ‘dark money’ in elections, with no restrictions or disclosure requirements.
“Faith leaders are already free to address politics, they just can’t use tax-exempt dollars for partisan politics. This restriction applies to houses of worship, just as it does to other tax-deductible charities like the Boy Scouts and Red Cross.
“To hear the Religious Right say it, clergy in America are being muzzled. But that’s a lie. Repealing the Johnson Amendment is nothing more than President Trump carrying water for the Religious Right.
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.