Trump order to ease no-politics tax rule for religious groups

Olive Rios
May 13, 2017

According to White House insiders, President Trump is planning to move forward with a religious liberty executive order to mark the National Day of Prayer on Thursday. It takes stun at the Johnson Amendment, which provides enforcement mechanisms against religious organizations that get involved in politics.

Trump vowed during his campaign to grant religious organizations influence in the political arena without having to give up their tax-exempt status. "WE NEED SOME STATUTES, WE NEED SOME LAWSTODAY TO PROTECT THE FIRSTAMENDMENT" Bob Vander Plaats the President of The Family Leader in Urbandale - saysPresident Trump signing thisexecutive order is a step in theright direction.

The executive order will direct the IRS and Treasury Department to exercise "maximum enforcement discretion" in enforcing the amendment, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

"President Trump's prior assertion that he wished to "totally destroy" the Johnson Amendment with this order has proven to be a textbook case of 'fake news, '" Romero said.

"We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore", Trump proclaimed, which were marking the National Day of Prayer.

President Trump signed an executive order today that promotes religious liberty throughout the federal agencies in general and in certain specific areas.

Members of the religious right marched onto the dais as President Trump sat down to sign the order, after he spoke for about seven minutes, waxing on about the importance of religious liberty. "We are giving our churches their voices back". That version contained provisions created to protect religious organizations and individuals who speak out against same-sex marriage, transgender identity and premarital sex.

The right for employers to deny employees health insurance that covers birth controlThis is a victory for conservative groups that have been backing organizations like Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic organization that refused to comply with the Obamacare mandate that companies offer employees health care plans covering contraceptives.

"Once again, stories about a Trump "anti-LGBT executive order" were total nonsense", Gregory T. Angelo told CNN.

Easing political activity rules for churches also raises questions about whether churches could be pulled into the campaign finance sphere and effectively become "dark money" committees that play partisan politics without disclosing donors. A 2016 LifeWay poll found that only 19 percent of Americans agree with the statement "it is appropriate for pastors to publicly endorse political candidates during a church service", and a 2013 Pew Research Center survey that found two-thirds of Americans think clergy should not endorse political candidates.

Trump spoke to religious leaders in the Rose Garden, where he also announced he'll visit Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Vatican - including a meeting with Pope Francis - on his first foreign trip.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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