Local church weighs pros and cons of religious freedom order

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"Under my administration, free speech does not end at the steps of a cathedral or a synagogue or any other house of worship", he went on.

"Though we appreciate the spirit of today's gesture, vague instructions to federal agencies simply leaves them wiggle room to ignore that gesture, regardless of the spirit in which it was intended", Farris said in a statement.

But Trump says the order is an important one.

"For whatever reason, the religious right evangelicals have developed a persecution complex here in the last few years, and I think this is meant to address that", Bubar said. We intend to file suit today.

Under what's known as the Johnson Amendment, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit groups, including churches, can not endorse political candidates. Lyndon Johnson, was put into force in 1954. He then directs the Secretary of the Treasury to refrain from taking adverse action against individuals or organizations for speaking about moral or political issues where such speech has not been treated under the law as intervening on behalf of, or in opposition to, a candidate for public office.

The law limits a nonprofit's spending as well as its speech.

"No one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors", Trump said to applause.

Legislation to repeal the provision has been introduced periodically but never passed. He also summarized Democratic challenger John Kerry's views on the issues.

After the 2015 ruling, conservative news sites ran rampant with articles warning churches to prepare for IRS battles over marriage for same-sex couples.

"Freedom is not a gift from government, it's a gift from God". In other words, it's a big nothingburger. The United States is catching on that the reality television star in the White House has no substance behind the loud style.

Soon, Floyd was fielding questions from the federal agency.

"He's catering to religious groups who feel that in the previous administration that they may have been targeted by career bureaucrats in the IRS in regards to political activity", said Alexander.

Alan Brownstein, a law professor at the University of California, Davis, boiled it down to this in The Atlantic magazine last year: "Pastors can say whatever they want, as can anyone else". Plenty of religiously grounded organizations or movements - Roman Catholic bishops, the Christian Coalition, you name it - have delved fiercely into political causes, and preachers of the left and right are not shy about exhorting their followers to political action. What about you? Are you satisfied with Trump's order on religious freedom?

President Trump signed a new executive order to "promote religious liberty" during a White House event on Thursday commemorating the "National Day of Prayer".

The order released Thursday instead included a blanket statement that "it shall be the policy of the executive branch to vigorously enforce Federal law's robust protections for religious freedom".

President Trump also proclaimed May 04, 2017, as a national day of prayer.

It is not clear if the president is able to direct the IRS to ignore enforcement of the Johnson Act without a bill from Congress lifting the ban.

"It's an attempt to solve an invented problem", said Warbelow. But Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel says to restore religious freedom, a lot of the work needs to be done by the states.

For pastors to use the pulpit "to get others to buy into their particular way of voting is, I think, a real abuse of authority", he added.

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