Tyler: There’s nothing free about a pulpit bought and paid for by campaign donations

For Immediate Release
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.”

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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.