Tyler: There’s nothing free about a pulpit bought and paid for by campaign donations
Media contact: Cherilyn Crowe / ccrowe@BJConline.org / Office: 202-544-4226 / Cell: 202-670-5877
This statement has been updated
In response to today’s Ways and Means Committee approval of the tax bill, including language severely undermining the protections of the “Johnson Amendment,” Amanda Tyler, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, issued the following statement:
“The tax bill headed to the full House comes out of committee even worse than it began for the charitable community, including our houses of worship. After a last-minute amendment, now the entire 501(c)(3) sector can be used by partisan campaigns and by donors looking for a tax deduction for their campaign contributions. Though the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars may seem small in the context of the larger bill, the impact of this change on our religious communities, nonprofits, and campaign finance system may be seismic.”
Tyler’s earlier statement upon the release of the tax bill is below and at this link, including additional resources.
Baptists say tax bill will deform – not reform – the tax law that protects houses of worship
For Immediate Release: November 2, 2017
Media Contact: Cherilyn Crowe / ccrowe@BJConline.org / Office: 202-544-4226 / Cell: 202-670-5877
Today, leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives released a bill which includes a provision that would weaken a portion of the tax law known as the “Johnson Amendment.”
The following statement is from Amanda Tyler, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty:
“This tax bill will deform, not reform, the tax law that protects our houses of worship.
Gutting the law that protects 501(c)(3) organizations from candidates pressing for endorsements threatens to destroy our congregations from within over disagreements on partisan campaigns. Under the current tax law, pastors speak truth to power and preach on moral issues, no matter how controversial. This change has been pushed by a tiny minority and is opposed by the vast majority of Americans and churchgoers, across party lines and faith traditions.
Pastors and people of faith know that there’s nothing free about a pulpit that is bought and paid for by political campaign donations or beholden to partisan interests.”
- The BJC was one of more than 100 religious groups that urged Congress not to weaken the Johnson Amendment. Visit BJConline.org/CommunityNotCandidates
- More than 4,000 faith leaders from all 50 states urged Congress to keep the protections of the Johnson Amendment. Read the letter and see the signers at Faith-Voices.org
- Amanda Tyler provided letter testimony in May on how the Johnson Amendment protects houses of worship.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty is an 81-year-old religiously based organization working to defend religious freedom for all people and protect the institutional separation of church and state in the historic Baptist tradition.