The Rev. Dr. Stephen Cook, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, discusses his support for the Johnson Amendment and how it protects houses of worship. In this discussion with BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler, Dr. Cook talks about the diversity within his church, why he supports this provision in the tax code, and how removing it could harm churches. He also shares the one and only time he thought about the Johnson Amendment when preaching on a Sunday (go to 10:44), reviews the impact of a special event his church held with Michael Gerson (go to 19:03), and talks about how his church worked to come together after a divisive campaign season (go to 21:53).


For more resources and background on the Johnson Amendment, visit

To read — or sign — the letter from more than 4,000 faith leaders in support of the Johnson Amendment, visit

For another podcast about the Johnson Amendment, listen to Tyler and Tim Delaney, President and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits, discuss how that provision of the tax code protects nonpartisanship in 501(c)(3) organizations.

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