Rambling Trump National Prayer Breakfast Speech Targets Johnson Amendment – Non Profit News For Nonprofit Organizations | Nonprofit Quarterly

In a bizarre speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, Trump excoriates Schwarzenegger again and vows to repeal the Johnson Amendment which applies to all 501(c)(3) organizations, not just religious congregations.

Source: Rambling Trump National Prayer Breakfast Speech Targets Johnson Amendment – Non Profit News For Nonprofit Organizations | Nonprofit Quarterly

Turning to the ban on 501(c)(3) participation in political campaigns and endorsing candidates known as the Johnson Amendment, Trump renewed a pledge made in his nomination acceptance speech in Cleveland last summer and part of the GOP platform:

Our republic was formed on the basis that freedom is not a gift from government, but that freedom is a gift from God. [APPLAUSE] It was the great Thomas Jefferson who said, the God who gave us life, gave us liberty. Jefferson asked, can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Among those freedoms is the right to worship according to our own beliefs. That is why I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution. I will do that, remember.

NPQ has reported (see here and here) on the tax law provision now known as the Johnson Amendment, named after former Senate Majority Leader and former president Lyndon Johnson (D-TX). The provision was included in a major overhaul of the tax code in 1954, when Johnson was running for reelection and concerned about nonprofits in Texas that had announced their opposition to him. His amendment was introduced on the Senate floor without committee debate and passed on a voice vote, so there is no legislative history attached to the provision.

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