Trump Vows to ‘Destroy’ Law Banning Political Endorsements by Churches

On Thursday, Trump vowed to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment, a 1954 law that prohibits churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates at the risk of losing their tax-exempt status. This is an interesting argument because many churches would like to remain tax-exempt and don’t care about endorsing political figures. On the other hand, some larger churches would be pleased to be able to speak freely without being fearful of retribution. The interesting part of the argument starts when we talk about the separation of church and state. Should the government be able to intervene churches finances and require them to pay taxes? Should churches be able to endorse political figures in their favor?

“Many clergy members say they see no reason to lift the prohibition, making political endorsements could divide their congregations. They say the law in effect shields them from pressure by advocacy groups and politically active congregants to make endorsements”. This relates to our topic of civil religion and the idea of social cleavages that can create conflict. This overturn of a law will create religious and political boundaries that will overlap each other, causing underlying conflict. It will cause cross pressures with the participants because it will conflict their “loyalties that individuals feel when they identify with several different roles and reference groups”. Many issues could arise that could hurt churches across the nation. It could cause internal conflict, question the bases of their authority, and even create a heresy.

In my opinion Trump should not uplift this amendment because it will create unnecessary conflict and will get people worked up over something that doesn’t need to be changed. We have many other issues to deal with and this is just something to help his candidacy.