The Religious Right is Using Tax Reform to Mingle Church with State

November 3, 2017

On Monday, we alerted you that the House GOP tax reform bill might repeal or weaken the Johnson Amendment. Well, the tax bill has been made public, and they did it.

Provision 5201 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act gives churches the privilege of openly endorsing political candidates while retaining their tax-exempt status. Other nonprofit organizations, such as the Center for Inquiry, are still banned from endorsing candidates.

If this provision becomes law, houses of religious worship will become tax-subsidized promotional vehicles for the religious right. Even churches that wish to stay out of politics will be placed under enormous pressure to promote the preferred candidates of their donors. We cannot allow the religious right to smash down the wall of separation between church and state like this.

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CFI urges you to contact your representatives in Congress and tell them to oppose Section 5201 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and any provision that would allow churches to endorse electoral candidates from the pulpit. Use our action alert system to send your representatives a written message, and use the Capitol switchboard to share your views over the phone. All your need to do is call (202) 224-3121 with your zip code to be connected to your elected officials.