By Kelleigh Nelson
July 22, 2016
“Under the First Amendment, the pastor has the right to determine what is said from the pulpit, not the IRS.” —David Fiorazo
“If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.” —Thomas Jefferson
Trump says “No More Restrictions on free speech for clergy!” Here’s the latest from Donald John Trump.
Trump to Overturn The Johnson Amendment
In the following Trump rally of 16 July 16, where Mr. Trump introduced Gov. Pence as his running mate, he also talked about the 1954 Johnson Amendment. This is the law which restricted American clergy’s ability to speak about political candidates from their pulpits. It was an amendment to the tax-exempt status (501c3) which stated that if clergy preached politics from the pulpit, they could lose their 501c3 exempt status.
At about 13:20, in the video, Mr. Trump speaks about this first amendment right and how it was muzzled by the Johnson Law of 1954. Trump stated that he told evangelicals, “We’re going to do something that no one has even tried to do.” He goes on to say the platform of the Republican party now contains the plan to repeal this first amendment muzzle on America’s clergy.
In the video, Mr. Trump says that he had many great religious leaders up to his Trump Tower office to speak with him many times. He asked these leaders, “Why is it that you’re so powerful as an individual and yet when you get out there, you are rather timid?” He said they didn’t know how to answer the question. Trump stated it took two or three meetings before he figured it out. He said the following:
“One great, great gentleman who everybody knows, but whose name I will not reveal, said, ‘Mr. Trump, we live in fear in our churches and our synagogues, we live in fear that we’re going to lose our tax-exempt status if we say anything that’s even slightly political.’ And I looked out the window. I was in Trump Tower, and I pointed to people walking down the street. I said, well they have the right to speak and you don’t, but that means they’re more powerful than you are. We have to do something about it.”
Trump asked this gentleman, “How did it start? How did it start? And he said it started with Lyndon Johnson, and he actually had a problem in Texas with a certain religious leader, and he did this, and he got it done. And we’re going to undo it, so that religious leaders in this country, and those unbelievable people, and not because they backed me in unbelievable numbers, but so that religion can again have a voice, because religion’s voice has been taken away. And we’re going to change that, okay!”
The Agenda to Silence Christians
The 1954 Johnson Amendment, passed by Congress, stated that non-profits, Christian churches and organizations, could not speak in favor of any political candidate despite the prohibition stated in the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights.
This event paved the way for the increased squelching of free speech, and because of the confusion and misinformation about the law, many religious leaders have been unnecessarily self-censoring for over six decades. They are not only censoring on political candidates, but on any political subject matter. Because of their fear of the IRS, and their misunderstanding of the actual amendment, the pulpits have literally shut down their comments on anything happening in society via state or government politics. They are absolutely frozen in fear when it comes to talking about the Bible as it relates to cultural, political, fiscal, and social issues, which all fall under the category of moral issues.
In Radio Host, David Fiorazo’s book, The Cost of Our Silence, he explains what happened:
“Texas Democrat, Lyndon B. Johnson, was a powerful politician running for reelection as Senator, but two anti-communist, tax-exempt groups were opposing him and passing out literature during the campaigns. He contacted the IRS and found the group’s activity was legal, so he sought other options to fight them.
Johnson shrewdly appeared on the Senate floor on July 2, 1954, and offered his amendment to a pending, massive, tax code overhaul bill. The bill was supposed to modernize the tax code. Records indicate an absence of committee hearings on the amendment. No legislative analysis took place to examine the effect the bill and the amendment would have, particularly on churches and religious organizations. The amendment was simply created to protect Johnson.
The Johnson Amendment was passed by Congress as an amendment to section 501c3 of the federal tax code… stating entities that are exempt from federal income tax cannot “Participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of – or in opposition to – any candidate for public office.”
So, this corrupt Texas Senator succeeded in silencing his enemies, and in doing so, silenced the pulpits of America with fear tactics. I’ve often spoken of LBJ as a vile and corrupt politician, and the two anti-communist groups opposing him were right to do so. To reinforce that perception, one need only read Roger Stone’s well researched, referenced, and indexed book, The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ.
Worse yet, the Johnson amendment succeeded in turning the churches into agents of the state. Leftist and liberal organizations and unions have all been allowed to promote, endorse and fund candidates of their liking. This is the failure of our justice system, and has resulted in silencing and neutering our pulpits. I know so many sound doctrine Christians who no longer attend services, and it is because they feel their pulpits are like those described in Jeremiah 23:1.
Trump Phones Falwell
On the morning of 13 July 16, Donald J. Trump called Jerry Falwell, Jr. and woke him up with news he’s long waited to hear. The new Republican platform, the GOP nominee told Falwell, calls for the repeal of a half-century-old tax law prohibiting churches and tax-exempt institutions from political organizing.
“He was so excited,” Falwell says. “After 30 years of the so-called conservative leaders who have been elected by evangelicals, none of them thought to advocate for the repeal of the Johnson amendment, giving evangelical leaders political free speech. … He thinks it is going to be a revolution in the Christian world.”
The Trump campaign move to include this in the Republican platform has been hailed as a major call to all religious and tax exempt institutions to get out the vote for Trump.
“This is something that could make a difference with Christian voters in the fall,” Falwell says. “It is almost as important for Christians as the appointment of Supreme Court justices.”
It should make a huge difference with all religious faiths.
We Need Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office
Every American should fear an IRS that uses its vast power to target, threaten, and punish political opponents. Churches have succumbed to this regime of fear for the last 60 years under the Johnson Amendment, which was added to the tax code specifically to silence speech a politician didn’t like.
Donald J. Trump has seen unbelievable inequality and injustice in many areas in our country, all of which are starkly unconstitutional.
Remember Mr. Trump’s speech in Alabama where he spoke about reversing the 1964 liberal Warren Supreme Court decision? This decision allowed media to lie with impunity about public figures. For the full story, see my article Supreme Court Ruled the Media Can Lie With Impunity. The lies and twists of media against Mr. Trump and any true conservative political candidate cannot be challenged in court unless one can prove “actual malice.” This is near impossible. America’s people need to be fed truth, not the liberal media’s lies, prevarications and distortions. When a public figure is slandered or libeled, they should have the recourse of suing in the courts.
Justice needs to prevail for the 501c3 groups. Rip the muzzles off the mouths of the religious leaders in our pulpits. We have Louis Farrakhan calling for the murder of police and 10,000 black congregants to kill white Americans from the pulpit, and nothing is done to stop him.
The media needs to be muzzled from lying, calling evil good and good evil. And, the pulpits of America need to be set free to speak the truth.
Elect Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of this United States and hold his feet to the fire, because these are changes the American people need and changes Donald Trump believes in 100%.
[P.S. In order to wake up the population, we need to increase the hits to reach more people. Please use this material, and call into talk radio programs (like Rush Limbaugh) and mention NewsWithViews.com on the air while discussing the content of this article, write letters to newspaper editors, and speak to your friends. Spread the word, and in doing so, we have a chance to save America.]
Kelleigh Nelson has been researching the Christian right and their connections to the left, the new age, and cults since 1975. Formerly an executive producer for three different national radio talk show hosts, she was adept at finding and scheduling a variety of wonderful guests for her radio hosts. She and her husband live in Knoxville, TN, and she has owned her own wholesale commercial bakery since 1990. Prior to moving to Tennessee, Kelleigh was marketing communications and advertising manager for a fortune 100 company in Ohio. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, she was a Goldwater girl with high school classmate, Hillary Rodham, in Park Ridge, Illinois. Kelleigh is well acquainted with Chicago politics and was working in downtown Chicago during the 1968 Democratic convention riots. Kelleigh is presently the secretary for Rocky Top Freedom Campaign, a strong freedom advocate group.