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Repeal the Johnson Amendment?

Repeal the Johnson Amendment?

  • Repeal it!

    Votes: 3 15.0%
  • Keep it!

    Votes: 16 80.0%
  • Don't know or just don't care.

    Votes: 1 5.0%

  • Total voters
    20

Painter

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The Johnson Amendment refers to a change in the U.S. tax code made in 1954 which prohibited tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_Amendment

Tonight Donald Trump laid out his intention to repeal this amendment. I believe that to be a huge mistake.
Repealing this amendment would make the church the most powerful political group in the Country.
The church would be able to endorse a party, actively persuade their clergy, and redirect tithe money to politics.
You'd soon see such terrible scenarios as churches requiring you register a certain way to be considered Christian and money laundering.

I realize that some overzealous church leaders think this sounds great. But the end result will be to cause separation, division, and push the Left clergy away.
The church will become smaller and in the long term, weaker.
 

Captain Adverse

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_Amendment

Tonight Donald Trump laid out his intention to repeal this amendment. I believe that to be a huge mistake.
Repealing this amendment would make the church the most powerful political group in the Country.
The church would be able to endorse a party, actively persuade their clergy, and redirect tithe money to politics.
You'd soon see such terrible scenarios as churches requiring you register a certain way to be considered Christian and money laundering.

I realize that some overzealous church leaders think this sounds great. But the end result will be to cause separation, division, and push the Left clergy away.
The church will become smaller and in the long term, weaker.

Well...

I don't support the idea of repeal because I am opposed to any special interests having increased ability to influence our representatives; there is already too much of such influence already.

However, I would like to point out that our nation does not have a single, all-powerful religious organization that can be labeled "The Church." This isn't Italy or Spain, or any other nation where a single religious organization is paramount.

Christianity in the U.S.A. is made of a number of different church organizations, big and small. They hardly all agree with each other or work together as a single unit. I just thought I'd like to point that out to you.
 

Fishking

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What you say is one of the things I always bring up to those who call for the end of churches getting tax exemptions. They don't realize that it would backfire, like you described, and overnight create the biggest lobbying group in the U.S. and I have no doubt which way most of the money would go.

Speaking on the side of Christians/the religious, it's never turned out well for anyone when the power between religion and state blurs too much. I actually believe the state corrupts the religion more than religion corrupting the state, though. This can be seen by all kinds of ideologies, even the secular, being used with the state and all of them turning to corruption (e.g. Communism. Good in concept/intention but horrible in execution).

Now, that doesn't mean that people cannot support certain legislation that is based on morality derived from their religion but it has to be in a very certain way. People that flip out of that are simply hypocritical because they will support moral laws as well, but think that it's superior simply because it's based on their particular brand of secular morality.
 

Chomsky

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_Amendment

Tonight Donald Trump laid out his intention to repeal this amendment. I believe that to be a huge mistake.
Repealing this amendment would make the church the most powerful political group in the Country.
The church would be able to endorse a party, actively persuade their clergy, and redirect tithe money to politics.
You'd soon see such terrible scenarios as churches requiring you register a certain way to be considered Christian and money laundering.

I realize that some overzealous church leaders think this sounds great. But the end result will be to cause separation, division, and push the Left clergy away.
The church will become smaller and in the long term, weaker.
I think Mr. Trump, being born of the pragmatism that allows businessmen to succeed, will say whatever he needs to in order to win.

That's why he said he'd repeal it tonight - but I strongly believe it should not be done!
 

Painter

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I think Mr. Trump, being born of the pragmatism that allows businessmen to succeed, will say whatever he needs to in order to win.

That's why he said he'd repeal it tonight - but I strongly believe it should not be done!

You summed up the essence of his bullet proof armor.

Every Republican I talk to out in the world always tells me "I realize he said that but he is not really gonna do that. He Is just trying to get elected."
But what I am seeing is "both" sides of an issue use this reasoning.
White supremacy folks think Trump is merely faking when he said he is color blind while non-racists think Trump doesn't mean all of the racist and bigoted things he has said.

Well what if he really does mean the things you think he didn't mean?
What if he didn't mean any of the things important to you?
And what if he doesn't even know wtf he means and he's just talking sound bytes to stimulate crowds. What if he is an unpredictable egomaniac?
 

Chomsky

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You summed up the essence of his bullet proof armor.

Every Republican I talk to out in the world always tells me "I realize he said that but he is not really gonna do that. He Is just trying to get elected."
But what I am seeing is "both" sides of an issue use this reasoning.
White supremacy folks think Trump is merely faking when he said he is color blind while non-racists think Trump doesn't mean all of the racist and bigoted things he has said.

Well what if he really does mean the things you think he didn't mean?
What if he didn't mean any of the things important to you?
And what if he doesn't even know wtf he means and he's just talking sound bytes to stimulate crowds. What if he is an unpredictable egomaniac?
And you've said the rest of what I didn't say!

Good work! ;)
 

Redress

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_Amendment

Tonight Donald Trump laid out his intention to repeal this amendment. I believe that to be a huge mistake.
Repealing this amendment would make the church the most powerful political group in the Country.
The church would be able to endorse a party, actively persuade their clergy, and redirect tithe money to politics.
You'd soon see such terrible scenarios as churches requiring you register a certain way to be considered Christian and money laundering.

I realize that some overzealous church leaders think this sounds great. But the end result will be to cause separation, division, and push the Left clergy away.
The church will become smaller and in the long term, weaker.

Well ****, I hate to agree on Trump on pretty much anything. However, to me that is a limit to free speech based on who is speaking, and I kinda have to oppose that. I do not like what the result will be, but when it comes to rights, the right is the first consideration, what will happen if it is curtailed is a much lesser consideration.
 

Moderate Right

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I think Mr. Trump, being born of the pragmatism that allows businessmen to succeed, will say whatever he needs to in order to win.

That's why he said he'd repeal it tonight - but I strongly believe it should not be done!

Are you kidding me? Hillary is the one who will say whatever she needs to in order to win. She panders to absolutely anything she can pander to, from the poor all the way up to Wall Street! She leaves no stone unturned.
 

fredmertzz

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Are you kidding me? Hillary is the one who will say whatever she needs to in order to win. She panders to absolutely anything she can pander to, from the poor all the way up to Wall Street! She leaves no stone unturned.

This thread isn't about Hillary... so I'll try to get it back on track.

We obviously cannot repeal this amendment. It's not so obvious as to whether or not he'd actually do it though. Which isn't a defense on his behalf, but rather an accusation.
 

Moderate Right

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What is a church? As someone already pointed out, churches are a whole bunch of different individual entities, not linked together. What is a religion? You could call Media Matters a religion. Why should they get to do all the stuff that a church is prohibited from doing? It is an infringement of free speech to deny churches the very same right as other organizations have. I'm actually in favor of campaign finance reform and lobbyist reform. People should be able to vote their conscience without being influenced by any "group" of any kind, or, every group should have an equal right.
 

Ikari

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_Amendment

Tonight Donald Trump laid out his intention to repeal this amendment. I believe that to be a huge mistake.
Repealing this amendment would make the church the most powerful political group in the Country.
The church would be able to endorse a party, actively persuade their clergy, and redirect tithe money to politics.
You'd soon see such terrible scenarios as churches requiring you register a certain way to be considered Christian and money laundering.

I realize that some overzealous church leaders think this sounds great. But the end result will be to cause separation, division, and push the Left clergy away.
The church will become smaller and in the long term, weaker.

It's come up a bit in the political scene here and there, so Trump grabbed onto it because it's stuff he can say that may get play.

In the end, he couldn't get rid of it. And so long as Churches are subsidized through removal of tax responsibility, they shouldn't be able to command their congregation as to whom they should vote for.
 

Chomsky

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Are you kidding me? Hillary is the one who will say whatever she needs to in order to win. She panders to absolutely anything she can pander to, from the poor all the way up to Wall Street! She leaves no stone unturned.
The OP is polling a very specific platform item of Donald Trump (Repeal the Johnson Amendment), and I responded directly, specifically, and on-topic accordingly.

If you'd like to broaden the discussion to include other candidates, that's your prerogative.

But I stand by my original statement above concerning Mr. Trump.
 

joG

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_Amendment

Tonight Donald Trump laid out his intention to repeal this amendment. I believe that to be a huge mistake.
Repealing this amendment would make the church the most powerful political group in the Country.
The church would be able to endorse a party, actively persuade their clergy, and redirect tithe money to politics.
You'd soon see such terrible scenarios as churches requiring you register a certain way to be considered Christian and money laundering.

I realize that some overzealous church leaders think this sounds great. But the end result will be to cause separation, division, and push the Left clergy away.
The church will become smaller and in the long term, weaker.

I would think that it was up to the churches to destroy themselves or not. And it does not seem to me any real problem, that the church spend its money on politics. After all, the money belongs to citizens that would be using it to help the expression of their opinions. But I also do not think that it would change much, because I doubt the church would want to get openly involved.
 

Painter

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I would think that it was up to the churches to destroy themselves or not. And it does not seem to me any real problem, that the church spend its money on politics. After all, the money belongs to citizens that would be using it to help the expression of their opinions. But I also do not think that it would change much, because I doubt the church would want to get openly involved.

This is not about free speech or allowing churches to become political organizations.
This is about their tax free status.

Currently, a church gets a tax free exemption so long as they are not involved in politics or distributing proffit.
Removing this Amendment would allow a church to be used as a cover for pretty much anything and just never pay tax so long as all of the profits went to politicians.

The amendment is not even relevant to free speech. It is about taxation.

Here is a good way to put it into perspective...
Super Pacs and Churches would become the same thing as far as their actual function is concerned. And while you and I pay plenty of tax, these entities would never pay tax again.
 
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Redress

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This is not about free speech or allowing churches to become political organizations.
This is about their tax free status.

Currently, a church gets a tax free exemption so long as they are not involved in politics or distributing proffit.
Removing this Amendment would allow a church to be used as a cover for pretty much anything and just never pay tax so long as all of the profits went to politicians.

The amendment is not even relevant to free speech. It is about taxation.

Here is a good way to put it into perspective...
Super Pacs and Churches would become the same thing as far as their actual function is concerned. And while you and I pay plenty of tax, these entities would never pay tax again.

This is not entirely true. Churches can get involved in politics. They can offer candidate "scorecards", they can educate on issues, they can do a certain amount of lobbying, support and sponsor ballot initiatives and referendums(read more here: https://ffrf.org/outreach/item/14005-churches-and-political-lobbying-activities).

The rules very much are about free speech. If tax exempt organizations engage in certain types of speech, they are punished for it by the government. That is pretty much the definition of a free speech issue.
 

DA60

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There are way, way, WAY too many laws.

Anyone or anything should be able to give any amount of money they wish to any candidate or endorse any candidate they wish.

Political contributions mean almost nothing today.

Look at Sanders and Trump...they spent tiny fractions what many other candidates spend and the former almost won their party's nomination and the latter did.

Maybe long ago money mattered in politics. Today it barely makes a difference.


And anyone that would vote for a politician strictly because an organization endorsed that politician is so politically ignorant that they are not worth worrying about.
 
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Skeptic Bob

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There are way, way, WAY too many laws.

Anyone or anything should be able to give any amount of money they wish to any candidate or endorse any candidate they wish.

Political contributions mean almost nothing today.

Look at Sanders and Trump...they spent tiny fractions what many other candidates spend and the former almost won their party's nomination and the latter did.

Maybe long ago money mattered in politics. Today it barely makes a difference.


And anyone that would vote for a politician strictly because an organization endorsed that politician is so politically ignorant that they are not worth worrying about.

Over 90% of non-presidential elections are won by the candidate who spends the most money. Presidential elections are an anomaly due to all the free press involved.
 

DA60

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Over 90% of non-presidential elections are won by the candidate who spends the most money. Presidential elections are an anomaly due to all the free press involved.

It is virtually impossible to know what ALL non-presidential elections on ALL levels of government ALL over the country are decided by (finance wise). Either you are guessing or some reporter/organization is guessing.
But even if the stat was true (and it might be), I don't much care...only dinosaurs and/or politically ignorant and/or stupid people vote for candidates based on advertising.
Young people/people who think for themselves are wonderfully cynical and don't get their news/info from dinosaur sources like network television or advertising. So as the dinosaurs die off and the young people of today become the powerful of tomorrow, money spent on campaigns will mean less and less, IMO.
Trump is right - though he probably has selfish motives...kill the Amendment and let more freedom reign.

Too many laws as it is.
 
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joG

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This is not about free speech or allowing churches to become political organizations.
This is about their tax free status.

Currently, a church gets a tax free exemption so long as they are not involved in politics or distributing proffit.
Removing this Amendment would allow a church to be used as a cover for pretty much anything and just never pay tax so long as all of the profits went to politicians.

The amendment is not even relevant to free speech. It is about taxation.

Here is a good way to put it into perspective...
Super Pacs and Churches would become the same thing as far as their actual function is concerned. And while you and I pay plenty of tax, these entities would never pay tax again.

I quite see the problem you mention, but don't really understand your conclusion and reasoning under today's circumstances. 527 has tax exemption as it is, I think. So political opinion making is tax free in any event. Things are always relevant to each other in interconnected systems.
 
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