Opinion

Trump’s vow to ‘destroy’ Johnson Amendment could wreak havoc on charitable world

President Lyndon B. Johnson greets Pope Paul VI at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on Oct. 4, 1965. Photo courtesy of the National Archives and Ronald Reagan Presidential Library (public domain)

President Donald Trump recently pledged to “destroy” the Johnson Amendment, a 63-year-old law that bans charities from engaging in political activities.

As Trump said this at the National Prayer Breakfast, his focus was on permitting religious groups to play a more vocal role in political campaigns. Our experience in researching nonprofit organizations, however, suggests there would be much wider and likely negative ramifications if he fully follows through on his pledge.

To understand the impact, we need to examine the Johnson Amendment and consider how the president might seek to alter it.

A broad reach

The Johnson Amendment is a provision of the tax code that prohibits nonprofits registered as charities – and thus eligible to receive tax-deductible donations – from intervening in “any political campaign.”

At its simplest, it means that a charity cannot encourage people to vote for or against a particular candidate for public office – though it can discuss political issues generally. So a nonprofit organization must choose between being designated a charity, which affords it the right to receive tax-deductible contributions, or another tax status that provides more leeway in politicking.

It arose from a long history of religious leaders engaging in political speech. While some of that history marks important and admirable roles, like those of the abolitionists, it is also marred by cases like the anti-Catholic rhetoric from some Protestant pulpits attacking Al Smith in the 1928 election.

The amendment takes its name from then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, who proposed it in 1954 to draw a clear line between politics and charity. Some suggest Johnson proposed the amendment because he was angry with a charity that had opposed his candidacy in a primary race for Senate.

Even before its passage, however, the IRS took a dim view of charities engaging in political activities. To the IRS, such activities didn’t further a “charitable purpose,” such as helping the poor, maintenance of public monuments, advancement of religion or the defense of civil rights.

Opponents claim the statute violates their rights under the First Amendment to freedom of speech and religion, while proponents argue it ensures the charitable tax deduction is not inadvertently subsidizing political speech.

Many churches and other religious organizations have led the way in objecting to the amendment’s chilling effect on speech. One effort to fight back, “pulpit freedom Sunday,” has been conducted annually to protest these restrictions. The day is marked by preachers flouting the rule and speaking openly about politics.

But since it applies to all charities, any attempt to “destroy” the amendment would affect the behavior of more than just pastors and priests. Schools, hospitals, addiction centers, food banks and other charities all could then advocate for or against candidates to some extent without losing their charitable status.

Tweaking the Johnson Amendment

Despite his rhetoric, Trump is unlikely to try to entirely eliminate the amendment, in part because his aim seems to be focused on religious speech.

So a bare minimum change could be an executive order that explicitly states that the administration will not enforce the law against religious groups as long as the political activities are conducted as an ancillary part of regular operations.

This would generally ensure that a preacher would not jeopardize a church’s tax-exempt status by supporting a candidate from the pulpit. A move like this would largely be symbolic since there is little evidence that the IRS has sought to revoke the charity status of a church whose preacher violated the ban, such as on pulpit freedom Sunday. The Treasury Department and the IRS may already believe that enforcement of the amendment in this context is impractical and may even violate laws protecting religious freedom.

Such a limited executive order would mean the IRS would still enforce the law when a church is engaged in more secular activity, such as acquiring a billboard to favor or oppose a particular candidate.

A more aggressive posture would be if Trump issues an order telling the IRS not to enforce the ban on churches under any circumstances. Although the idea of a president choosing to not enforce a law dutifully passed by Congress may seem odd and problematic, presidents have wide prosecutorial discretion.

President Obama, for instance used this power to direct his Justice Department to curtail enforcement of some violations of drug and immigration offenses. Its use can also run into legal challenges, as was the case with Obama’s immigration efforts.

On the legislative side, Congress is already pursuing its own modest efforts, such as the Free Speech Fairness Act. That would allow charitable groups to engage in political speech when it’s a normal part of their activities and the costs of doing so are “de minimis” – so no national candidate ads, for example.

While the impact of this bill remains uncertain, it would likely eliminate none of the challenges of enforcing the current ban and might raise more problems.

More ambitious approaches

A more ambitious legislative approach short of killing the amendment would be to add a carve-out that exempts houses of worship altogether. Such an effort would seem consistent with Trump’s goal of permitting religious groups more leeway in supporting candidates. An unintended consequence would be to increase the need for the IRS to answer the question of what constitutes a church.

We have seen this play out already on a smaller scale with the carve-out that exempts churches from filing annual financial reports. Atheist groups have filed lawsuits alleging unequal treatment, and others have sought to push the boundaries when filing for church status. The First Church of Cannabis and John Oliver’s bitingly satirical but short-lived Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption are two examples of unconventional “churches.”

John Oliver establishes a church.

In other words, this would almost certainly increase the flow of groups seeking church status. Besides forcing the IRS to answer that difficult question – what’s a church – it may also undermine public perceptions of churches more broadly.

If one takes the most literal interpretation of the president’s pledge, his aim would be to permit politicking by all charitable organizations. He might pursue this goal through an executive order, but a permanent change would require a legislative solution.

A full repeal of the amendment would have the potential to upend the entire nonprofit sector. After all, limitations on politicking provide a key line between organizations that can receive tax-deductible charitable contributions and those that cannot (e.g., social welfare organizations and political action committees).

A repeal would also open a new pathway for avoiding laws on the disclosure of campaign contributions, creating another so-called dark money channel.

If this line were removed, we should expect to see many organizations that are ostensibly political in nature seeking charity status so they can raise funds through tax-deductible gifts from undisclosed donors. And many nonprofits that weren’t previously political would likely expand to add such spending to their portfolio of activities.

Many fear that blurring the lines between goals intended to serve the general public and those aimed at special interests would undermine public trust in charities and ultimately even put the charitable deduction at risk. With this in mind, prominent nonprofit groups have objected to efforts to repeal the Johnson Amendment.

The push against repeal by charities should be a good indication of its potentially damaging effects. It’s not often that organizations push to retain limits on themselves.

A tricky business

Even if the prohibition goes away, unlimited political activity and its enforcement would remain a problem. That’s because political activity itself does not further a charitable purpose. And the IRS would still have to police whether charities were engaged in too much of it to justify charitable status.

Additionally, determining whether a particular comment or speech is even political can be quite difficult. For instance, if a minister gives a sermon asking his congregation to compare two candidates for office and determine whom Jesus would pick, has the minister engaged in political speech in his capacity as a representative of the church? The IRS has issued guidance with 21 different situations to explain how it makes such determinations.

At the moment, Congress appears reluctant to completely dismantle the Johnson amendment, perhaps because of the concerns we’ve listed above or others. So the likely change, if any, would be a minor shift that gives some nonprofits additional leeway to engage in political speech.

But as we’ve shown, even modest changes to the amendment in this direction are risky and could lead to unintended consequences tantamount to “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” Given this unclear and treacherous territory on which he has embarked, the president would be wise to tread carefully.

The Conversation(Philip Hackney, James E. & Betty M. Phillips Associate Professor of Law, Louisiana State University and Brian Mittendorf, Fisher College of Business Distinguished Professor of Accounting, The Ohio State University)

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

About the author

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.

40 Comments

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  • These religious groups seeking the repeal of the Johnsons Amend are a cancer on society the need to lose thier tax excemptions pay thier fair share of taxes

  • Good article. It is clear that “President” Trump has no regard for our American heritage of church-state separation, of keeping religion and politics separate, has no knowledge or understanding of history. He was to reward the fake-Christian fundamentalists who helped put him in what may now be called the Offal Office. Most Americans, of course, support the Johnson Amendment. Americans must wake up and resist Trump’s move in the direction of fascism.

  • The “Offal” office? I love it. The president’s cabal is not an “administration.” It is a “diminution” which is diminishing the USA in most every aspect.

  • No one is stopping religious people on any level from all the speech they’d like to engage in. They just have to refrain at church activities. Or if they feel they must flap their jaws about politics then, they’re welcome to do so – after paying all relative taxes and submitting appropriate financial statements.

    This is as bogus as the Citizens United BS. While it’s probably not more destructive of the American political process, and CU was Highly Destructive, ending the Johnson rule would be very destructive to churches. It would further expose them as mere money machines for charlatans and scammers. We’d have a church for every political persuasion. If it’s at all possible, evangelicals would become even more closely identified as Republican/right wing political groups. In other words, only a few actual Christian churches would remain in the midst of a forest of political fronts masquerading as churches.

    Is that what you want Christians? You’ll destroy yourselves.

  • Pick up any Jewish, Methodist, Lutheran, Unitarian, Episcopalian, Catholic, Presbyterian, Southern Baptist, Northern Baptist, Christian Scientist, Mormon, or Atheist, et al magazine, journal, or newspaper dating back to the early 19th century. They often took stands on public policy issues, praised or criticized elected officials and candidates, and endorsed candidates.

    The World Tomorrow, the Christian socialist, pacifist journal, endorsed Socialist Party candidate Norman Thomas (an ordained Presbyterian minister) in the 1928 and 1932 presidential elections.

    The Protestant, the notorious Soviet front journal edited by Kenneth Leslie (Canada’s “Red Poet”), made an endorsement in the 1948 election with the editorial: “It’s Wallace or War.”

  • No, Mister Edd, President Trump simply disagrees with your, the ACLU’s interpretation of the First Amendment and what “the separation of church and state” means.

    Christ Himself, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Dante Aligheri also believed in church-state separation.

    To pre-war French socialists, separation of church and state included banning outdoor religious activities and the broadcast of Mass on the radio. To Spanish socialists, it meant using the power of the state to force the dissolution of religious orders and the confiscation of private church schools and turning them into secular public ones.

    To you and others, it just means that the churches (especially the Catholic one) must not oppose liberal or progressive (1) policy proposals; (2) judicial rulings; and (3) elected officials. To do any of these things will delay the coming of the Great Progressive Society.

  • Religious groups may certainly speak out on social justice issues. They just cannot endorse candidates, unless they give up their tax exempt status.

  • “Four legs good, two legs bad!”

    Who knew that you were so dogmatic? Bible verses are subject to diverse interpretation while the text in the Constitution can be only correctly interpreted by the ACLU and other secularist lefties.

  • That’s not the argument. All I have been saying is that the IRS allows all 501 (c) (3) nonprofit heads to exercise their constitutional rights as private citizens. Catholic cardinals and bishops can make political endorsements but not from the pulpit but with op-eds in secular newspapers, in studio interviews with CNN, FOX, etc, or at a candidate’s press conference. The fact such endorsements would generate substantial attention and may result in influencing a percentage of Catholic and even non-Catholic voters, especially in close elections, is irrelevant.

    Morris Dees who cofounded the 501 (c) (3) Southern Poverty Law Center in the early 1970s also worked as a fundraiser for McGovern in 1972, Carter in 1976, and Kennedy in 1980. At no times, did Dees take a “leave of abscence,” nor was he required to do so by the IRS.

    The other thing I have been saying is that the law has to be enforced for ALL 501 (c) (3) nonprofits including secularist/atheist groups and print and Internet journals such as Mother Jones, Commonweal, Alternet, First Things, and so.

    You also realize there are no IRS guidelines that would prevent cardinals or bishops from excommunicating pro-abortion Catholic politicians or denying them Holy Communion? In fact, such guidelines would be unconstitutional because it would involve the federal government in regulating religion.

  • “The other thing I have been saying is that the law has to be enforced
    for ALL 501 (c) (3) nonprofits including secularist/atheist groups and
    print and Internet journals such as Mother Jones, Commonweal, Alternet,
    First Things, and so.”

    So you support greater enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, not its demise.

  • You want a more relevant test for the application of the principles separation of church and state, you are better off using a more local and relevant source. The Supreme Court made it simple in Lemon v. Kurtzman, the “Lemon Test”

    1. The statute must have a secular legislative purpose. (Also known as the Purpose Prong)

    2. The principal or primary effect of the statute must not advance nor inhibit religion. (Also known as the Effect Prong)

    3. The statute must not result in an “excessive government entanglement” with religion. (Also known as the Entanglement Prong)

    Factors.

    -Character and purpose of institution benefited.
    -Nature of aid the state provides.
    -Resulting relationship between government and religious authority
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_v._Kurtzman

  • I have never called for repealing the Johnson Amendment. In fact, I wrote about IRS guidelines several years ago for the Catholic World Report, see http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/1891/the_church_nonprofits_and_taxes.aspx

    My take is that it should be understood to what it actually covers (such as the important difference between “lobbying” and “electioneering”) and doesn’t cover, and that it should be enforced equally (including for non religious 501 c 3’s) or not at all.

  • The problem, as I see it, is there is substantial disagreement about what exactly “separation of church and state” means. The Nazis, Communists, Fascists, and Vichyites often used the rhetoric of “separation of church and state” to silence and discourage religious opposition to their policies.

    I support the separation of church and state in the sense that the federal and state governments should not have an official religion. I think issues such as voluntary school prayer, Nativity Scenes and menorahs in government places should be left to local communities.

    That’s my take, and you have the right to disagree.

  • “The Nazis, Communists, Fascists, and Vichyites often used the rhetoric of
    “separation of church and state” to silence and discourage religious
    opposition to their policies.”

    Wrong. Those groups did not use such rhetoric. Quite the opposite. They relied on religion entangled with the state. Even Communism with its replacement of worship of the state with former state sponsored religion. Try again.

    Separation of Church and state means the apparatus of government does not entangle itself with any given religion. Neither showing favor or disfavor. There are two ways this is accomplished. Avoiding religious reference at all by government or the exact opposite, ecumenicism. Embrace of ALL faiths to the exception of none.

    “I think issues such as voluntary school prayer, Nativity Scenes and
    menorahs in government places should be left to local communities.”

    Civil liberties are no longer the province of local communities, see the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Anti-federalism when it comes to civil liberties is really a call for corruption and discrimination at local levels.

    But on that note, such issues should be seen in light of what is done for other faiths in the same community. Are they included or excluded from such public displays? Are non-believers entitled to the same considerations? Ecumenicism is the most positive route to go for such things as it is inherently inclusive of all and avoids discrimination as opposed to banning behavior.

  • I find no useful or socially redeeming value in repealing the Johnson Amendment. It is just an invitation to the abuse of church status and an attack on the credibility of all charities. Not at all does not seem like a decent option. I would choose more rigorous enforcement.

  • No, you’re wrong. Read Joseph Goebbels’ diary and the diary of Count Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister and Mussolini’s son-in-law. You’ll see they (and their superiors) used “separation of church and state” rhetoric in objecting to religious opposition to their policies. Pierre Laval (the one-time Socialist), the Vichy head of government, explained that the deportation of Jews was exclusively a “political matter” that the churches had no business in opposing.

  • All authoritarian governments entwine the state with religion either one already in existence or one of their own making. The best example is North Korea. Communist ideas have turned a less obvious cult of personality into an outright religious cult.

    Nazism and the Christian Heritage
    http://www.historytoday.com/robert-carr/nazism-and-christian-heritage

    “More than advocating supposed Aryan spiritual superiority, Nazism, like Christian institutions, introduced laws and measures against Jews. All aspects of 1935’s Nuremberg Laws had been previously exercised in Medieval Christendom as a way of isolating Jews in society.

    “Hitler’s regime was legitimised by various Christian churches from the start”

    Fascism was far more obviously entwined with state sponsored religion in the government of Franco. The Catholic Church not only bought and paid for his government, but were a dominant force within the government for decades.

    ..

    If you wanted a more honest approach to the origins and philosophy of the separation of church and state then look to the writings of Roger Williams. Williams spoke of breaches in the wall of separation between church and state being destructive to both.
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/god-government-and-roger-williams-big-idea-6291280/

    “mixing church and state corrupted the church, that when one mixes religion and politics, one gets politics. “

  • You’re defining “religion” quite loosely. The Soviets rejected all religion and made atheism state policy. They would have denied that they were “religious.”

    Mussolini was an atheist. His fascists saw themselves as social revolutionaries. In fact, quite a number of progressives such as Sidney and Beatrice Webb, George Bernard Shaw, Charles Beard, Horace Kallen, and the editors of the New Republic all said nice things about him throughout the 1920s.

    Franco wasn’t a fascist but a career military officer and monarchist. He certainly aligned himself with fascists with Spain and created a repressive regime. He eventually became a U.S. ally like Stalin, and unlike Stalin, never menaced his neighbors. As for the Spanish Catholic bishops, they sided with Franco only because of the mass murder of priests and nuns and the destruction of churches by the Loyalist side during the Spanish Civil War. To this day, there are people who deny “the Red Terror” in Spain.

  • The Nazis defined Jews in racial terms, not religious. The very term, “anti-Semitism” was coined in the 19th century by Wilhelm Marr, an atheist and anarchist who wanted to make hatred of Jews racial (and secular-based) instead of religious. In Italy, until Mussolini’s alliance with Hitler, there were plenty of Italian Jews who belonged to the Fascist Party. This is explained by that the fact that Jews were so assimilated in Italy.

    Karl Marx didn’t even see himself as Jewish in the sense. He identified Jews with capitalism and would disappear after the revolution. See his anti-Semitic essay, “On the Jewish question,” https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/jewish-question/

    The racism in the United States in the early 20th century had its basis in (bad) science, not religion.

  • Not at all. I am defining it the same way one would define any such belief one classifies as religion.
    -Emotional devotion and worship
    -Irrational appeals
    -Supernatural appeals

    Maoist/Stalinist flavored Communism very much falls under such definitions as do any “Cult of Personality” as do traditional notions of religion.

    Franco’s regime was considered Fascist at the time and during its pendency. It was a point of commonality with Nazi Germany and Italy during the war. So much so that Spain even sent volunteers to fight for the Nazis. (The Blue Division) The US allied with a lot of fascists during the Cold War, not a relevant point. Franco’s regime never menaced his neighbors but he made about half a million of his citizens “disappear”, especially those who opposed the Catholic Church. It was pretty awful by the definition of anyone who values democracy.

    You like to play fast and loose with history in order to stump for a particularly defamatory view of secular government and religious freedom. Likening it to dictatorship. A more honest approach would be to go with the origins of American notions of separation of Church and State. Roger Williams, William Penn, Thomas Paine, and James Madison.

  • Nazis relied on old Christian laws, methods of segregation, defamation and appeals to garner support for genocide. Nazis didn’t come up with sealed ghettos, yellow stars, bans on certain livelihoods or ownership. Those came from old edicts of church backed governments.

    Mussolini was hardly antagonistic to the Catholic Church either. He had no problem deporting Italian Jews to be murdered. Primo Levi is one of the most famous survivors of such efforts.

    Codified racism in the US had its origins with the rise of the Southern Baptist sect. Making white supremacy a holy duty. It is telling the same sect used to be the KKK’s official church until the late 70’s when Christian Identity started to appear.

    It all comes down to a very dishonest attempt to tar notions of secular government with the brush of authoritarian government. Religion and dictatorship have a long and storied relationship going back to divine right of monarchs in antiquity.

  • It sounds like you’re playing fast and loose with historical facts. I respond to your arguments and then you introduce new ones.

    Your argument is religion (which you define so loosely that includes very secular and atheistic governments and movements) is bad because religious people and religious groups have done or supported bad things. This is like saying rap music is bad because rappers kill one another.

    Actual history is more complicated and never as simple as you make it out to be. Nazism and Fascism were secular (in the non-religious sense) and nationalistic movements. They were wanted to subordinate the churches to their ideologies. The Nazis preferred “positive Christianity” not Catholicism which they persecuted (check Nuremberg Trial transcripts) or the Protestant churches not all of which were supportive of Nazi aims. This doesn’t make the Nazis, whose leaders rarely attended church services, “Christian” or “religious.”

    Stalin welcomed Orthodox Church back into the fold in 1942 after 25 years of brutal persecution. He felt that the Orthodox leaders could use their remaining influence to help the state at a time when it was at war with the Nazis and the nation was partially-occupied by German troops.

    Did this make Stalin “religious” or “pro-religion”?

    There were Christian leaders in the West who supported Stalin such as the Methodist minister (and ACLU co-founder) Rev. Harry Ward, the Unitarian Rev. Stephen Frichtman, Bishop Hewlett Johnson (the “Red Dean of Canterbury”), and others. This doesn’t prove that Stalin was “religious” or that the USSR was a “Christian” or “religious” government.

    Extreme secularism can easily become fanaticism as well.

  • Actually, the Southern Baptists prided themselves on supporting “separation of church and state.” Read their writings dating back to the 19th century. Of course, their definition of the principle differs than the ACLU’s.

  • And yet, the SBC are the most vociferous in demanding antigay laws and saying it’s all about god.
    The words I use to describe the wrong entanglement of church and state is placing purely theological concerns into the civil laws that govern all of us.

  • Nope same argument. Your attempt to make a guilt by association argument with separation and Church and state with authoritarian governments is sorely lacking in support.

    Your unwillingness to consider far older sources I referenced shows a level of dishonest apologism which undermines the seriousness of your premise. You have to ignore too many facts to make your point.

    You are not bothering to address what I said and are engaging in attainable arguments and gross misrepresentations of what I said.

    “Your argument is religion (which you define so loosely that includes very secular and atheistic governments and movements) is bad because religious people and religious groups have done or supported bad things.”

    I made no such argument you are a liar of the worst sort.

    As for “extreme secularism” there is no such thing. In the end such examples point to religious appeals such as cults of personality. Faith by any other name.

    Secularism is best exemplified by the first amendment. Free exercise of religion and separation of church and state. Both together to ensure government respects all religious faiths. Concepts which are over 400 years old and religious in origin.

  • Bullshit. They still don’t consider such concepts well. Segregation was buoyed by Southern Baptist theology from the start.

    Opposition to the separation of church and state is also opposition to free exercise of religion. One ensured the other. Opposition to secularism is pretty much an admission of disregard for the concept of religious freedom. Government does not protect religious freedom when it shows favoritism to one faith or entangled itself in the vagaries of religious practice.

  • Isn’t it fun to hear atheists trying to turn other atheists into theists to save face?

    It’s a simple fact of history that the western atheist intelligentsia was all enamored of atheist Russian communism until their atrocities could no longer be ignored, covered up, or explained away, and they’ve been trying to distance themselves ever since. In case this particular line of dishonest argument isn’t ringing a bell, it was Christopher Hitchens who invented the “theistic atheists” device to try to disclaim his compadres’ more unattractive traits. His admirers latched on to it like a dog on a bone and will argue it to the point of absurdity. Nobody buys it, but it’s all they have.

  • The picture you describe was not true before the Johnson Amendment, which is relatively recent. I doubt very much that it would be the case after, either.

    Repealing it (or continuing near-complete non-enforcement) comes out as a liberal/conservative wash, in any case. Not worth impairing freedom of speech over.

  • Clergy have always been free to speak out about their political views. That’s been a constant. The Johnson Amendment is about doing so in church.

    You’re right about it not being enforced and being a wash. Since it’s on the books it should be enforced.

  • It isn’t enforced because it will almost certainly be gutted if it gets to the SCOTUS. Citizens United has already laid the groundwork for that.

  • Albert Pike’s letter to Mazzini, dated August 15, 1871:

    “The First World War must be brought about in order to permit the Illuminati to overthrow the power of the Czars in Russia and of making that country a fortress of atheistic Communism. The divergences caused by the “agentur” (agents) of the Illuminati between the British and Germanic Empires will be used to foment this war. At the end of the war, Communism will be built and used in order to destroy the other governments and in order to weaken the religions.”

    “The Second World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences between the Fascists and the political Zionists. This war must be brought about so that Nazism is destroyed and that the political Zionism be strong enough to institute a sovereign state of Israel in Palestine. During the Second World War, International Communism must become strong enough in order to balance Christendom, which would be then restrained and held in check until the time when we would need it for the final social cataclysm.”

    “The Third World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences caused by the “agentur” of the “Illuminati” between the political Zionists and the leaders of Islamic World. The war must be conducted in such a way that Islam (the Moslem Arabic World) and political Zionism (the State of Israel) mutually destroy each other. Meanwhile the other nations, once more divided on this issue will be constrained to fight to the point of complete physical, moral, spiritual and economical exhaustion…We shall unleash the Nihilists and the atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations the effect of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil. Then everywhere, the citizens, obliged to defend themselves against the world minority of revolutionaries, will exterminate those destroyers of civilization, and the multitude, disillusioned with Christianity, whose deistic spirits will from that moment be without compass or direction, anxious for an ideal, but without knowing where to render its adoration, will receive the true light through the universal manifestation of the pure doctrine of Lucifer, brought finally out in the public view. This manifestation will result from the general reactionary movement which will follow the destruction of Christianity and atheism, both conquered and exterminated at the same time.”

    Judah Benjamin was the first Jewish Senator, Jefferson Davis’s best gay Jewish buddy, Sec. of State, Defense Minister, and of course his Treasury Sec.. Mr. Benjamin made Albert Pike a General. Ran off to England at the end of the Civil War and pretty much became the best lawyer in England overnight – nothing prior to that gave any indication of such intelligence. During the Civil War, Mr. Benjamin was going to visit Mr. Rothschild in France and England while trying to get England to invade from Canada and France invade from Mexico. Thank God, Czar Alexander got involved with a fleet on the east and west coast but Mr. Rothschild response was trying to kill Czar Alexander seven times and the Bolshevik revolution. The Jews ran the slave trade and most of the southern slave owners were Catholics….in 1860, the Rothschilds openly became the Vatican banker. Albert Pike hired the John Wilkes gang and one of the gang members became a Vatican Bishop. History books don’t give US Grant the credit he deserves because he wasn’t Jew friendly.

    Ever since Vatican II, the Rothschild’s via David Rockefeller, Cyrus Scofield, and LBJ set out to destroy Christianity.

  • And if any one of the three factors is a fail, the EO violates Establishment clause. At first glance I think (2) is the problem. Johnson Amendment currently restricts open promotion of a particular candidate by any qualifying non-profit, religious OR secular. If a religious or secular non-profit wants to keep their special tax breaks nobody else gets, they can’t promote a candidate. Meanwhile, this EO directs treasury & all exec branch to cease enforcement of the Johnson Amendment’s restriction of endorsements of candidates but only as to “religiously motivated” endorsements. Who else is making religious endorsements but religious organizations? Thus, religious orgs can do direct pay for play, other non profits cannot. This has the primary effect of advancing religious organizations over other charitable organizations. Can’t do it. Also violates 1st amendment if it favors religiousity in general over irrilegion in general. As a practical matter, I think the best thing for ALL religions is for no one religion to accrue to much clout. Balance keeps freedom.

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