Written by Don Byrd
Today, more than 4,000 faith leaders from across the country called on Congress to keep the Johnson Amendment intact to protect houses of worship from politicization. In a letter organized by religious liberty advocates including the Baptist Joint Committee, leaders from diverse faith traditions from all 50 states explained that weakening that section of the tax code “would harm houses of worship, which are not identified or divided by partisan lies.”
The BJC’s Amanda Tyler commented on this broad expression of opposition to repealing or undermining the law, and reminded everyone that it is not too late to add your name to the effort:
“We have heard an outcry from faith leaders across the country about changing the tax law to encourage churches to issue campaign endorsements,” said BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler. “They are concerned that weakening the ‘Johnson Amendment’ would divide their communities and distract from their mission. In response, we worked with other groups to create this platform for leaders to lift their individual voices. This effort is ongoing, and I encourage clergy and lay leaders to join these 4,000 early adopters in sending a strong message to Congress.”
This was a tremendous effort from many groups – many kudos for gathering 4,000 signatures and statements in support of autonomy and integrity for our houses of worship! And Amanda is right – it’s not too late: Sign the letter if you haven’t already.
For more on why weakening the Johnson Amendment would bring politics into our houses of worship, I highly recommend this morning’s Dallas Morning News column from George Mason and David Stern, leaders of a Baptist church and Jewish Synagogue in Dallas. And see Amanda Tyler’s excellent column from earlier this year, “Politicize our charities and churches? No thanks.”