During the 2016 election season, many churches and pastors have likely heard that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has indicated he is in favor of repealing the Johnson Amendment, which governs the political activity of churches. The repeal of the Johnson Amendment prohibiting political activity by nonprofits, including churches, is also a stated goal of the 2016 Republican Party Platform.
While churches and pastors may not have heard the term “Johnson Amendment” before this year, they were probably already aware of its effects, even if unaware of its name and origin.
What is the Johnson Amendment?
Attorney and Church Law & Tax Editorial Advisor Frank Sommerville says the Johnson Amendment applies to organizations that are recognized as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. That part of the Code states that “no substantial part” ...