Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Spiritual Success and Repealing the Johnson Amendment

 

President Trump declared his desire to do everything in his power to protect religious liberty in a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. The beginning was rather brash, as he declared his desire to attend for “the next seven years,” which earned him some laughs. After being introduced by a friend from The Apprentice, the president asked for prayers for Arnold Schwarzenegger, his less-than-successful successor on the show. He then he turned serious. After explaining how his mother taught him from the family Bible, he spoke of the importance of “spiritual success” over material success.

He declared his desire to overturn the 1954 Johnson Amendment, which effectively silenced minsters from speaking out on political matters through provisions in the tax code. This is not the first time Trump has called for its repeal. For example, he spoke about it in an interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo last summer. And the Atlantic reported on it in August.

My take-away from this cheering and strengthening speech: “America will flourish as long as our liberty, in particular our religious liberty, is allowed to flourish.” May the Lord bless the USA!

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  1. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    There are times I worry about him, but then he comes out with stuff like this. Honestly, if he keeps surprising me like this I may get in an actual good mood.

    • #1
    • February 3, 2017, at 6:53 AM PST
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  2. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):
    There are times I worry about him, but then he comes out with stuff like this. Honestly, if he keeps surprising me like this I may get in an actual good mood.

    Dude, I keep walking around with a gob-smacked grin plastered on my face at the oddest times when it hits me that he is president… that Hillary is not president… I literally began to cry briefly during this Prayer Breakfast speech when he was talking about the importance of our founding principles being rooted in a religious people… It is totally otherworldly…

    • #2
    • February 3, 2017, at 6:58 AM PST
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  3. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Aargh I can’t believe I forgot to include the video!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdQWNc2VJrc

    • #3
    • February 3, 2017, at 7:02 AM PST
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  4. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    (Forgive the “Aargh” I just started rehearsing a role in a pirate play with my daughter…)

    • #4
    • February 3, 2017, at 7:02 AM PST
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  5. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):
    (Forgive the “Aargh” I just started rehearsing a role in a pirate play with my daughter…)

    Shiver me timbers!

    • #5
    • February 3, 2017, at 7:10 AM PST
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  6. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):

    Shiver me timbers!

    Oh no! Don’t you start too!

    • #6
    • February 3, 2017, at 7:12 AM PST
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  7. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):
    There are times I worry about him, but then he comes out with stuff like this. Honestly, if he keeps surprising me like this I may get in an actual good mood.

    I’m mostly there already, especially with things like this. It’s not like the left has allowed the Johnson Amendment to be any kind of hindrance to their POV being espoused from the pulpit. This is really a move for equality.

    • #7
    • February 3, 2017, at 7:14 AM PST
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  8. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):

    Shiver me timbers!

    Oh no! Don’t you start too!

    It doesn’t take a lot for me …

    • #8
    • February 3, 2017, at 7:15 AM PST
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  9. Clavius Thatcher

    I think it also show the Trump approach. First, you say something that the opposition press (I repeat myself) will latch on to like the comments about Arnold, then get serious and substantive.

    Will we ever hear about the latter?

    • #9
    • February 3, 2017, at 7:22 AM PST
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  10. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad: May the Lord bless the USA!

    And God bless and keep Donald Trump. It’s been a long time since I found it this easy to pray for our president and I’m not proud of that. But, it helps that I get the sense that he likes us! He really, really likes us!!

    • #10
    • February 3, 2017, at 7:45 AM PST
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  11. Steve C. Member

    The King Prawn (View Comment):

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):
    There are times I worry about him, but then he comes out with stuff like this. Honestly, if he keeps surprising me like this I may get in an actual good mood.

    I’m mostly there already, especially with things like this. It’s not like the left has allowed the Johnson Amendment to be any kind of hindrance to their POV being espoused from the pulpit. This is really a move for equality.

    This will be an interesting fight if he goes through with it. Like a lot of other policy proposals, will the Republicans push it through?

    • #11
    • February 3, 2017, at 7:48 AM PST
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  12. RightAngles Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    … I keep walking around with a gob-smacked grin plastered on my face at the oddest times when it hits me that he is president…

    So do I!! Every time I hear anyone say “President Trump,” at first I think I’m dreaming.

    • #12
    • February 3, 2017, at 7:51 AM PST
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  13. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    This will be an interesting fight if he goes through with it. Like a lot of other policy proposals, will the Republicans push it through?

    Oh, my. Can you imagine the reaction on the Left? They’ve been trying to get rid of the tax exempt status for churches as long as I can remember. If this passes, churches keep their tax exemption and get to talk politics from the pulpit?? The Left won’t just be rending their garments…

    • #13
    • February 3, 2017, at 7:54 AM PST
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  14. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    This will be an interesting fight if he goes through with it. Like a lot of other policy proposals, will the Republicans push it through?

    Oh, my. Can you imagine the reaction on the Left? They’ve been trying to get rid of the tax exempt status for churches as long as I can remember. If this passes, churches keep their tax exemption and get to talk politics from the pulpit?? The Left won’t just be rending their garments…

    I’ve often noted that this push to get rid of the tax exempt status would be a blessing in disguise. There would be a hit to charitable work (which the Left discounts), but the big thing would be a church that is no longer shackled with silence bought by this status. I suspect they’d be rather shocked at would follow. But a lot in the Left don’t think beyond the immediate.

    • #14
    • February 3, 2017, at 8:06 AM PST
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  15. Bob Thompson Member

    I remember in the campaign when he said ‘there’s something really wrong here and somebody’s got to fix it’. That’s a paraphrase but that’s when he got this then reluctant Trumper. Didn’t and don’t know if he can fix it, but there is something terribly wrong and I believe he loves America and will try.

    • #15
    • February 3, 2017, at 8:08 AM PST
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  16. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):
    I’ve often noted that this push to get rid of the tax exempt status would be a blessing in disguise. There would be a hit to charitable work (which the Left discounts), but the big thing would be a church that is no longer shackled with silence bought by this status. I suspect they’d be rather shocked at would follow. But a lot in the Left don’t think beyond the immediate.

    I’ve been on the same side (and even encouraged our priests to back away from being agents of the state in marriage). But, this would be better than I ever dreamed — churches get to keep their money and speak freely?? It’s too good.

    • #16
    • February 3, 2017, at 8:14 AM PST
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  17. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):
    I’ve often noted that this push to get rid of the tax exempt status would be a blessing in disguise. There would be a hit to charitable work (which the Left discounts), but the big thing would be a church that is no longer shackled with silence bought by this status.

    I think you misunderstand the Trump plan.

    He wants to keep them as tax-exempt charities but repeal the restriction on speaking freely.

    • #17
    • February 3, 2017, at 8:16 AM PST
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  18. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):
    I’ve often noted that this push to get rid of the tax exempt status would be a blessing in disguise. There would be a hit to charitable work (which the Left discounts), but the big thing would be a church that is no longer shackled with silence bought by this status.

    I think you misunderstand the Trump plan.

    He wants to keep them as tax-exempt charities but repeal the restriction on speaking freely.

    No. Just commenting on a common Liberal push. The last several years they’ve been pushing to withdraw tax-exempt status.

    Trump’s proposal is just icing on the cake. :)

    • #18
    • February 3, 2017, at 8:17 AM PST
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  19. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    This will be an interesting fight if he goes through with it. Like a lot of other policy proposals, will the Republicans push it through?

    Oh, my. Can you imagine the reaction on the Left? [….]

    I worry more that the Left’s propaganda on “separation of church and state” has been so ubiquitous for so long that many Republicans believe it.

    The institutions of religion and government can be separated, but never religion and politics. Religion (be it theistic or not) represents one’s core assumptions about the nature of humanity, the nature of our world, and what responsibilities or opportunities we have with that world (morals). Our political decisions (ethics, generally) inescapably are built upon those bedrock beliefs and priorities.

    When you vote, no one can restrict the reasons for your choice. Whether you seek advice from pundits, celebrities, God, palm readers, or a flipped coin, your vote counts the same. Government has no authority to silence anyone. That’s what the 1st Amendment — a right assumed by the founders before it was codified — means.

    Democrats also want to restrict speech expressed through campaign ads and contributions. They have no respect for this fundamental freedom.

    • #19
    • February 3, 2017, at 8:25 AM PST
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  20. Clavius Thatcher

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    C. U. Douglas (View Comment):
    I’ve often noted that this push to get rid of the tax exempt status would be a blessing in disguise. There would be a hit to charitable work (which the Left discounts), but the big thing would be a church that is no longer shackled with silence bought by this status.

    I think you misunderstand the Trump plan.

    He wants to keep them as tax-exempt charities but repeal the restriction on speaking freely.

    This change would work both ways. There are plenty of lefty churches and lefty organizations that would be affected by this too.

    • #20
    • February 3, 2017, at 8:26 AM PST
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  21. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Clavius (View Comment):

    This change would work both ways. There are plenty of lefty churches and lefty organizations that would be affected by this too.

    Good! Let them speak freely! Let people know what the organizations they belong to really think!

    I am all for openness and freedom for all.

    • #21
    • February 3, 2017, at 8:38 AM PST
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  22. Kay of MT Member

    The lefties are already using their churches, and mosques to damn America and the American people. Overturning the 1954 Johnson Amendment would simply level the playing field.

    • #22
    • February 3, 2017, at 8:42 AM PST
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  23. Doug Watt Moderator

    The enforcement of the Johnson Amendment was used as a threat to prevent conservative beliefs from being presented in churches. There are plenty of videos out there that show Dems campaigning in churches, during services. There was that famous moment when Hillary Clinton began speaking in tongues, albeit it was the rediscovery of her Arkansas accent.

    Those who fill the pews pay taxes regardless of whether church property is not taxed, and how the government can restrict speech on private property is not a violation of the First Amendment is beyond me. The person in charge of said private property may restrict speech, not the government.

    • #23
    • February 3, 2017, at 8:42 AM PST
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  24. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Yes. Like others noted above, this limit on speech was generally a one-way street. Conservatives were expected to follow the rules, Democrats were allowed to flout the rules flagrantly with nary a peep of complaint.

    • #24
    • February 3, 2017, at 8:50 AM PST
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  25. Clavius Thatcher

    Yes, I suppose it is a double standard.

    And if the progressives didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

    • #25
    • February 3, 2017, at 9:25 AM PST
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  26. Profile Photo Member

    Clavius (View Comment):
    This change would work both ways. There are plenty of lefty churches and lefty organizations that would be affected by this too.

    I’ve never had the sense that lefty churches feel constrained in the same way or to the same degree.

    • #26
    • February 3, 2017, at 9:41 AM PST
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  27. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member