In 1954, the Johnson Amendment was made into law. This amendment made it illegal for organizations which are tax-exempt and non-profit, among them the churches, to openly and publicly campaign for or against a political candidate or party. Now, the Republican party is working hard to push back on this amendment, frustrating years of progress which has made political discourse more issue and policy-based. Yet, despite this being an outrageous step which should be a talking point in all national media houses, it has been choked by all the dramatic and sometimes outrageous activities of President Donald Trump. In fact, these have dominated both local and international media at the expense of other major stories. Visit End Citizen United to know more.
The first attempt at repealing the Johnson Amendment was made when the House Financial Services appropriations bill was presented to Congress. Contained in this bill was language which weakened the amendment and made it open to a different interpretation. Luckily, this attempt failed. The campaign to repeal, or weaken the Johnson Amendment did not end with this failure, however. The tax reform bill which is now on the table contains language which alters some of the most important parts of the amendment. The most notable of these alterations is one which aims at exempting the church from the amendment while leaving other organizations still bound by it.
These cunning attempts by the Republican Party legislators have caught the attention of End Citizens America which has vowed to save the Johnson Amendment. The repercussions of repealing the amendment, argues End Citizens America, would be devastating to democracy in America. This is considering that churches and other tax-exempt organizations can, and often raise such huge amounts of money. For instance, Americans donated over 119 billion dollars to the church in 2016 alone. The 2016 presidential election on its part, which is considered the most expensive presidential election in American history, only spent 6.5 billion dollars. This shows the amount of financial ammunition would be handed to the politicians and political parties by allowing churches to actively participate in the political process. It would also mean that Americans would be unable to trace where the funds they contribute to the church, funds which a mostly contributed in good faith to support good courses, would be used. It is a dangerous possibility and End Citizens America has vowed to prevent it from happening.
End Citizens America was formed in 2010 in response to a Supreme Court decision which made it possible for big corporations to invest in political campaigns anonymously. It is a PAC whose main objective is to prevent the entrance of dark money into the American political process. Since then, End Citizens America has been instrumental in fighting retrogressive policies and supporting progressive ones. It does so by supporting politicians and political campaigns that align with their core values and work for the greater good of the American democracy and people.