WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC urged President Trump to reconsider his proposal to "totally destroy" the Johnson Amendment, the longstanding bar to political activity by tax-exempt organizations, including religious organizations.
If the President means to repeal the restriction only for religious groups, AJC asserted, his call would result in government support -- through the tax code -- for religious speech in a manner contrary to binding interpretations of the Constitution's Establishment Clause. And if he means to repeal the bar on all tax-exempt organizations endorsing candidates, the President's call would threaten to drag civil society more broadly -- from museums and other charitable organizations, to national, communal and religious groups of every sort -- into the political arena.
"Does the U.S. really need more politics in civil society?" asked Jason Isaacson, AJC Associate Executive Director of Policy.
Addressing the National Prayer Breakfast today, the President announced that he would ask Congress to repeal the legislation, which was adopted in 1954 by a Republican-majority Congress and signed into law by President Eisenhower.
"Congress should resist this effort to fix what is not broken," Isaacson continued. "America has a vibrant civil society, in which every point of view on political issues large and small has opportunities for expression. There is no reason to fix what is not broken."
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SOURCE American Jewish Committee