He Believes Churches Should Lose Tax-Exempt Status—And He’s Not the Only One

November 8

Former presidential candidate, Beto O’Rourke, stated just a few weeks ago that he wanted to use the tax code to punish churches and religious organizations—including colleges and hospitals—for living out their faith.

To no one’s surprise, Beto then dropped out of the presidential race last week. This is a good thing for Americans. But, his plans to target people of faith in America are not unique.

Last week, New York state passed what’s called a Johnson Amendment that muzzles churches and other nonprofits when it comes to candidates for public office—even when those candidates represent the district in which the church is located. The Federal Government passed a Johnson Amendment in 1964, but it has never been used against a church.

Clearly, hostility toward people of faith did not vanish when Beto exited the presidential race. That’s why Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana (an alum of Family Policy Foundation’s® Statesmen Academy℠) and Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska introduced a resolution to remind D.C. that religious freedom is a God-given right that matters just as much today as it did when our country was founded.

Importantly it points out that the “government should not be in the business of dictating what ‘correct’ religious beliefs are.” Everyone knows it would be a bad idea to have the DMV or bureaucrats veiled in layers of red tape in Washington, D.C. deciding questions about whether Baptists or Lutherans observe communion correctly—or how to receive forgiveness of sin.

Instead, this resolution reinforces what we know to be true – a truly free society must leave room for individuals to have many differing opinions and beliefs. The resolution reinforces that any type of policy like the one Beto proposed to punish religious groups is a complete violation of the First Amendment.

Ideas like Beto’s and New York’s are intended to punish Bible-believing Christians. But what they don’t realize is that when the right to religious freedom shrinks for one group, it shrinks for everyone—including people of no faith who simply want to express and live out their secular beliefs.

Our Founders understood that the right to religious freedom protects all people.

Will you join us in sending a letter to your elected leaders in D.C. and ask that they join Rep. Banks and Senator Sasse on this important resolution? They need to hear from you that you believe protecting religious freedom is important to your family—and for our neighbors. We’ve made it easy through our action center.  [HYPERLINK]

For Faith,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Policy Manager