Washington, D.C. – Interfaith Alliance president Rabbi Jack Moline released the following statement in response to Donald Trump’s call for the repeal of the Johnson amendment in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. Interfaith Alliance is a nonpartisan organization committed to protecting the boundaries between religion and government.
“Clergy in this country have a powerful role to play in advocating for public policy positions. Nothing in the Johnson amendment prevents that. What the amendment does do is prevent our tax-exempt houses of worship from being used for strictly partisan purposes – this is no different than any other tax exempt group.
“Allowing houses of worship into political campaigns will damage religious freedom by inviting the rewards and punishments of patronage into the pulpit. Do worshipers believe that tearing down the wall between religion and government will allow endorsements to flow only one way? Nonsense. Keeping partisan politics out of religion is every bit as important as keeping religion out of politics. I urge Mr. Trump to reconsider this position. The campaign to revoke the Johnson rule should put every person of faith on notice and reaffirm their commitment to stopping political endorsements from the pulpit.”
Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.