GUEST: Rob Boston, Director of Communications at Americans United for Separation of Church and State
BACKGROUND: As news outlets are continuing to parse the whopping 429-page tax reform bill introduced by House Republicans last week, there is one crucial aspect of the bill tucked in at the very end, that is getting little attention: an undermining of the Johnson Amendment.
The Johnson Amendment prohibits non-profit and tax exempt organizations from endorsing political candidates. Most churches have non-profit status and the group Americans United for Separation of Church and State worries that Donald Trump's administration and the Republican Party may want to enable churches to openly endorse candidates.
For decades evangelical Christians especially have veered toward the GOP and a weakening of the Johnson Amendment may make churches even greater political tools of the right. During his Presidential campaign, Trump vowed to "totally destroy" the Johnson Amendment.