Pastors and Politics: 6 Misconceptions About the Johnson Amendment

Trump executive order on religious freedoms
U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to sign the Executive Order on Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty during the National Day of Prayer event at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington D.C., U.S., on May 4, 2017. |

President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order that, among other things, called for the federal government to halt its enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits churches from engaging in politics.

"In particular, the Secretary of the Treasury shall ensure, to the extent permitted by law, that the Department of the Treasury does not take any adverse action against any individual, house of worship, or other religious organization on the basis that such individual or organization speaks or has spoken about moral or political issues from a religious perspective," stated Section 2 of the executive order.

Many conservative groups have called for an end to the Johnson Amendment, seeing it as an unlawful way to muzzle the freedom of speech and freedom of religion of churches.

There are many misconceptions about the Johnson Amendment. Here are six myths about the federal law, including what the amendment does, if it could survive a legal challenge, and who is most likely to violate it.

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