President Donald Trump has become known for the large number of executive orders he’s signed since he was elected, but one he signed on May 4 involving religious liberty has even some faith organizations scratching their heads.
What the order does is essentially remove a gag on pastors that previously prevented them from preaching politics from the pulpit. It undermines the Johnson Amendment, which was passed in 1954 and held the premise that, if you don’t want to pay taxes, you can’t be involved in partisan politics.
During his campaign, Trump promised to dismantle the Johnson Amendment. However, he would need Congress to change the bill itself. So instead, he signed an executive order that relaxes IRS enforcement of that ban.
His executive order has two facets. One allows religious groups such as churches to participate in partisan activities and endorse political candidates without risking of losing their tax-exempt status. The second facet broadens the ability of a company to deny contraceptives for women as part of its health insurance policy for religious reasons.
Read the entire column "Religious leaders in Dallas express mixed feelings about Trump order" at CultureMap