For Immediate Release
Contact: Patrick Hudson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-238-9088 ext. 105.
Matthew Bulger, email@example.com, 202-238-9088 ext. 104.
(Washington, D.C., May 4th, 2017)—Leaders at the American Humanist Association oppose President Trump’s signing of a controversial Executive Order aimed at rendering large swathes of the Johnson Amendment impotent.
The Johnson Amendment, introduced in 1954, changed the tax code prohibiting religious institutions and 501(c)(3) charities from participating in the political process while being tax-exempt. Until today, Religious institutions and 501(c)(3) organizations are free to participate in campaign politics, but would have given up their right to be tax-exempt.
President Trump’s repeal of the Johnson amendment will provide an irresistible temptation of insider political access with untraceable political cash for religious leaders. The same charlatans who convince their congregants to donate because God wants them to live lavish lifestyles with mansions, jets, luxury cars and exotic trips, will certainly use their pulpit to tap into this new revenue stream.
In a statement, Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, said, “When churches and other faith groups become embroiled in politics, our nation moves dangerously toward becoming a theocracy, not a democracy.”
The American Humanist Association’s Media Availability Notice can be found here.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.