I am sure you have heard it time and time again: Politics and church do not belong in the same conversation. However, they are extremely hard to separate. If you vote based on your beliefs, then church and your religion play a large role in politics for you. Right? That’s how it is for me, anyway.
I vote Conservative because the party’s platform lines up with my beliefs. For example, I believe it is murder to kill an unborn child. Therefore, I will vote for the party that believes the same.
The GOP is coming out to say that churches should absolutely have the right to endorse a political candidate……and also keep their tax-free status. House Republicans are now working hard to rid a law that strictly prohibits any kind of politics from the pulpit.
Republicans repeatedly have failed to scrap the law preventing churches and other nonprofits from backing candidates, so now they are trying to starve it. With little fanfare, a House Appropriations subcommittee added a provision that would deny money to the IRS to enforce the 63-year-old law to a bill to fund the Treasury Department, Securities and Exchange Commission and other agencies.
The subcommittee passed the bill Thursday.
Republicans say the law is enforced unevenly, leaving religious leaders uncertain about what they are allowed to say and do.
Rep. Jim Renacci said “I believe that churches have a right of free speech and an opportunity to talk about positions and issues that are relevant to their faith.”
Some Democrats say the measure comes too close to mixing church and state. They say religious leaders already have First Amendment rights, just like anyone else. But if they want to get political, they don’t have a constitutional right not to pay taxes.
Some also worry that the measure could upend the system of campaign financing by allowing churches to use their tax-free status to funnel money to political candidates.
Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., recalled a speech that President John F. Kennedy gave to religious leaders when he was running for president.
“He said the pope wouldn’t tell him what to do, and the people in that audience shouldn’t be telling people on Sunday morning who to vote for,” Neal said. “I don’t think churches should be endorsing.”
Many nonprofit groups want to avoid politics. In April, 4,500 nonprofit groups signed onto a letter to congressional leaders asking them to preserve the law.
What do you think? Should churches be able to endorse a candidate without risking backlash from the government?