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 celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.