OUR TALKING POINTS
The Johnson Amendment protects the integrity of houses of worship. Engaging in partisan politics is harmful to houses of worship because it divides members of faith communities along political lines. No one wants to turn houses of worship onto political action committees.
The Johnson Amendment applies to all tax-exempt nonprofit organizations uniformly, not only to houses of worship. It was passed into law as a means of clarifying that tax-exempt organizations must remain nonpartisan; it does not single out or silence religious groups.
The Johnson Amendment does not bar houses of worship from speaking out on political issues. Faith leaders are free to speak to their congregations about political issues, as long as they do not endorse or oppose a political party or candidate for public office.
The Johnson Amendment does not prohibit religious leaders from endorsing or opposing candidates or political parties in their own personal capacity.
Houses of worship have the right to refuse tax-exempt status if they want to endorse candidates. Current law simply prevents groups from trying to be both tax-exempt ministries and partisan political outfits at the same time.
Repeal of the Johnson Amendment would subvert the intent behind tax-exempt status, which was to ease the financial burden on organizations that operate for religious, educational, and charitable purposes. If 501(c)(3) organizations are allowed to engage in political endorsements, they essentially become Political Action Committees (PACs).