Is President Trump tearing down the wall that separates church and state in America?

Feb 3, 2017

1 min

Yesterday, President Trump promised to “totally destroy” a 60-year-old law banning tax-exempt churches from supporting political candidates. The Johnson Amendment prohibits tax-exempt nonprofits — including churches and other houses of worship — from “directly or indirectly” participating in a political candidate’s campaign.

Overturning this requires an act of Congress. President Trump's comments were likely a reminder to all that this was a commitment he made during the election in an effort to cater to the religious right.

But what will repealing the Johnson Amendment really mean? Is this meant to foster free speech or merely to access the vast cash-reserves that churches can provide? Will this see churches return to the times of serious political power and how could this be a game-changer for politicians, candidates and campaigns moving forward?

Dr. Kevin Pybas is an associate professor of political science at Missouri State University. He is an expert in the fields of law, religion and politics, and is an opinion leader on this topic. Click on his icon to arrange an interview.


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