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 is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.