Republicans are using an obscure bill to quietly erode the separation of church and state
Churches could become the new Super PACs.
With media attention focused on the national debate raging over health care, it would be easy to ignore the spending bill quietly
making its way through the House of Representatives. Such proposals often dwell in the largely mundane machinations of the federal government,
and technical disputes over its complicated provisions can fly under the radar.
But if you care about the separation of church and state, this year’s bill might be worth paying attention to.
Tucked deep inside more than 200 pages of text is a tiny provision, recently added by the House Appropriations Committee,
designed to defang the so-called Johnson Amendment — a section of the tax code that bars churches (a broad legal term that includes most faith groups)
and other tax-exempt nonprofits from explicitly endorsing political candidates.
In its current form, the bill would effectively defund attempts by the IRS to take action against churches who violate the amendment by engaging in explicit political action.
Any movement on the issue would necessitate a 90-day waiting period and require agents to notify two congressional committees and get sign-off from the head of the IRS. Nonprofits that lack a faith affiliation, meanwhile, would still be beholden to the amendment.
Imagine it’s going to get worse than you imagine.
Imagine getting off your ass and joining the struggle to slow down the Trump and the GOP Degradation of the American Way and our governmental system - it requires an informed and engaged people.