Johnson Amendment Inclusion in Executive Order Will Open Door for Pastors to Address Most Urgent Cultural Issues

Today’s inclusion of the Johnson Amendment in the executive order signed by President Donald Trump to protect religious freedom will greatly impact pastors, says the American Pastors Network.

“For years, pastors have been forced into thinking they must remain silent on the most important issues of our time,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “Today’s action by President Donald Trump returns decades of freedom to churches. Pastors are charged by God to always speak biblical truth from the pulpit. From abortion and marriage to tyranny in office, the Bible is very clear on social, cultural and political issues. Efforts by government to intimidate pastors on preaching biblical truth not only violate God’s direct command but are also unconstitutional. Today, the process has begun to end those violations.”

For more than 60 years, the Johnson Amendment, proposed by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and passed by Congress in 1954, has prohibited tax-exempt organizations—including churches and other nonprofits—from lobbying elected officials, campaigning on behalf of a political party and supporting or opposing candidates for office. The Johnson Amendment has instilled fear in pastors, wary of losing their church’s tax-exempt status if they speak truth into cultural, societal or political issues.

2 replies
  1. Ron Denlinger
    Ron Denlinger says:

    I have no doubt that there will be a few pastors who now feel free they can speak, when previously they thought they couldn’t. Having said that, has there truly been a time in our nation in which pastors could not address the most important cultural issues? I think not. I’m far less optimistic that this law will change anything. As the previous reply states, it has more to do with pastoral courage. In many cases the problem is even deeper – no real convictions about these issues. “Success” and the desire to be seen as relevant to the world are huge motivating factors these days.

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