Democrats have been promoting all kinds of political falsehoods lately. Now, it is Republicans who are promoting a political falsehood.
Take a look at the following headline and see if you can figure out what is wrong with it.
If you can’t figure out what is wrong, then here is a clue:
(Drum roll please!)
Churches are already allowed to engage in political activities if they want to.
“On the same day President Trump vowed to “destroy” a law preventing religious groups and churches from engaging in political activities, Republicans in the House and Senate introduced legislation to make the proposal reality.
The law known as the Johnson Amendment, first enacted in 1954, prohibits churches and other religious organizations from keeping their tax-exempt status if they endorse political candidates or participate in partisan political activities.”
Contrary to what President Trump and congressional Republicans say, the Johnson Amendment isn’t preventing religious groups and churches from engaging in political activities. Instead, the Amendment places a limitation on tax-exempt status.
The Hill quotes Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA) as saying, “For too long, the IRS has used the Johnson Amendment to silence and threaten religious institutions and charitable entities. As a minister who has experienced intimidation from the IRS firsthand, I know just how important it is to ensure that our churches and nonprofit organizations are allowed the same fundamental rights as every citizen of this great nation.”
The Hill quotes Senator James Lankford (R-OK) as saying, “People who work for a nonprofit still have constitutional rights to assembly, free speech, and free press.”
Hice and Lankford are correct in that people in the USA have freedom of speech, which is why churches and their leaders can already say whatever they want.
What Republicans don’t understand is that having a tax-exempt status isn’t a constitutional right. If it were, then the Johnson Amendment wouldn’t exist in the first place.
The Johnson Amendment isn’t preventing Christian churches and their leaders from promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is because the Christian faith is politically neutral – which is why it is OK for Christians to be Democrats as well as Republicans.
I wouldn’t fret if the Johnson Amendment were repealed. Still, this particular fight by Republicans is based on a falsehood.
If Democrats should be reprimanded whenever they promote a falsehood, then Republicans should be, too, when they do the same thing.