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Tax plan hurts separation of church and state

If you believe in the separation of church and state, be aware that the Republican tax plan has a section that undermines the Johnson Amendment.

The Johnson Amendment is one of the best lines of legal separation between religion and politics. Passed in 1954 by a Republican Congress and signed into law by Republican President Eisenhower, it prohibits tax-exempt entities like churches and charitable organizations from directly or indirectly participating in any political campaign supporting, or opposing, any candidate or policy. Specifically, ministers and staff of tax-exempt organizations are restricted from endorsing or opposing candidates from the pulpit or their offices. If they do, they risk losing their tax-exempt status.

Without it money can be given to a church or other tax-exempt organization, declared a deduction on the giver's taxes and then be used by a church or other tax-exempt organization for political activity.

The current GOP tax bill nullifies the Johnson Amendment allowing all tax-exempt organizations to participate openly in political activity.

If you believe in the separation of church and state, contact your Members of Congress today and oppose this section of the tax bill. Leave the Johnson Amendment alone. (Sen. Daines: 202-224-2651, Sen. Tester: 202-224-2644, Rep. Gianforte: 202-225-3211)

— Al Beaver, Clancy

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