DOJ Upholds IRS Censorship of Religious Sermons

President Donald Trump promised Americans throughout his 2016 campaign and then again at the Prayer Breakfast on February 2nd of this year to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment.

What is the Johnson Amendment?  Many people have never heard of the Johnson Amendment, but know well of its implications when it comes to its role in their church and how it impacts their preacher, minister, priest or faith leader and the congregation.


It was in 1954 that then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson introduced a 31-word addition to the US Tax Code that would forever change the way Leftists, atheists, and Establishment slaves in the government would treat church communities throughout the country.

For many years, Leftists were completely fed up with the way that religious organizations were circumventing revenue laws because they were considered tax exempt as a 501(c)(3) organization, particularly because they most always voted to the Right.  This fact led Senator Johnson to begin formulating a clever way to ensure that houses of worship in the United States that were tax exempt under this law AND were politically active could be threatened LEGALLY through the tax code so that one of two things would occur:  Either the church would cease its political activity OR it would lose its tax exempt status.

The importance here was to subvert the ability of the preacher to influence his flock while inside the place of worship.  If, for instance, the congregation was fully against abortion by virtue of their faith, and the minister informed his flock that CANDIDATE A was Pro-Life and that they should all get to the voting booths to vote for him, under the Johnson Amendment, that church would lose its tax exempt status if it was proven that they had violated the law of the tax code.

Interestingly, the Johnson Amendment literally just added a few choice words to an already wordy tax code restriction, but it was enough of a “clarification” that enabled the IRS to begin threatening places of worship for their political leanings or activism.

Understand that when this Amendment was tossed out there in 1954, it was neither questioned nor debated, and was automatically added to the tax code language.  Perhaps most egregious was the fact that when the new language was voted on in 1986, this offending Amendment remained steadfastly in place, bolstering the Liberal argument that churches had best not go against the Leftist line of demarcation, else they be exiled from tax exempt Eden.


One of the most blatantly and immediately obvious problems with the Johnson Amendment was the fact that it directly subverted the First Amendment of the US Constitution, in essence removing the rights of both Free Speech and Freedom of Religion.

Interestingly, at no time was the Tax Code (as written in the original format) one that directly conflated tax exempt organizations specifically to those of houses of worship, yet with the Johnson Amendment came a “clarification” of sorts that would place churches especially in the crosshairs of the tax code restrictions.

Despite the Amendment being directly at odds with the First Amendment, only one major push has ever been attempted to topple this 31-word piece of Communistic control.  It failed.

Today, the Johnson Amendment has wreaked havoc in communities where worship (most especially in Christian churches) is primary to everyday life.  These restrictions have literally forced some pastors of tiny churches to submit through local legislative fervor notes of sermons that may have included messages of support for one candidate or another!  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!  Some legislators have even demanded that sermons involving homosexuality be submitted for review!

When it comes to the Constitution, as we all know, Leftists don’t care a wit if the laws they suggest or uphold actually follow the founding document and, all too often, it appears that the Establishmentariat Swamp RINOs fall obediently in line with the Communist Jackass Party.


Now that we have a firm grip on what kind of havoc the Johnson Amendment has caused in modern politics, the legal system and religious organizations, let’s take a look at the latest incursion into the “unalienable” rights of individuals in this country, as per the First Amendment rights to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion.

When President Donald Trump signed the Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty, it was the first step in a process to remove the Johnson Amendment power from the IRS and eventually defeat it legally in the courts on the basis that it was a subversion of the Constitution.

Freedom From Religion Foundation, a radical atheist and Leftist activist group that challenges every instance of religious freedom in the US, particularly when it relates to Christianity, decided that it was going to sue the US government in a Wisconsin court in order to halt places of worship within the state from upholding the Executive Action by the president.

The church leaders, who felt it was their obligation to their congregations to act on their behalves and countersue FFRF, hired Becket, a religious liberty law firm, to help represent them.  Remember that FFRF (the atheists) had absolutely no problem with Becket, nor the church leaders, being involved in the lawsuit.

Someone else did, however.

The Department of Justice, under the Executive Branch of the US government, had a huge problem with the fact that these church leaders would deign to believe that they had a say in what happens to their rights!  Sounds convoluted?  Well, you’re not the only one who’s confused.  In fact, legal analysts are at odds about this very subject.

[Daniel] Blomberg [legal counsel at Becket] added that what’s even more strange is that FFRF didn’t oppose the church leaders’ intervening in this case against Trump, even though they lost the last time Becket intervened, but for some reason Trump’s own Department of Justice did. “It looks weird when DOJ is opposing the churches and FFRF isn’t.”

Blomberg thinks people who care about religious expression need to start asking a few questions, namely, “‘Why is the DOJ saying Trump’s executive order is ‘meaningless’ and ‘How does it makes sense for DOJ to tell church leaders to stay out of this case?’”

How is it that the Executive Branch (the president) who issued an Executive Action (legally enforceable) is then thwarted by the Executive Branch (DOJ)?

Yet, this is exactly what just transpired in the courtroom!

  1. Trump issues Executive Order
  2. Churches may or may not have been enforcing said Executive Order
  3. Atheists don’t care if they were actually doing so, they’re suing anyway
  4. Church leaders hire Becket to help them out
  5. Atheists think this is A-Okay
  6. DOJ steps in and tells court that they need to back off the church
  7. DOJ has addendum:  Trump’s order is useless, unenforceable, and the IRS’ power is absolute

Do you see why legal analysts are scratching their heads?

This is a perfect example of the Obama holdovers having WAAAAY TOO MUCH POWER in their lofty ebony-and-ivory towers inside the DOJ.  Obama loyalists within the DOJ (Socialists all) decided to play a little politics themselves and pulled the carpet out from under the president’s Executive Order to fulfill their promise to the Establishmentariat that they would do their damnedest to undermine the president.


One thing that is never discussed when this issue of churches and activism arises is that the very same tax code for 501(c)(3) tax exempt organizations that applies to churches…also applies to universities!

When’s the last time you heard that a university, college or place of higher learning steered clear of politics and political activism?

If you answered, “Never,” you’d be correct.  In fact, the hullaballoo surrounding how some churches might have the audacity to talk about one candidate over another, never seems to touch even momentarily upon the tens of thousands of students and professors across the fruited plains who have marched, protested, rioted, violently attacked, and threatened even death itself upon certain Right-wing advocates or politicians, all from the campus grounds of your local 501(c)(3) university, college and place of higher learning!

Within this fancy speech of the tax code is embedded the belief as well that those who benefit from tax exempt status and are conducting political activism may be tempted to begin funneling money through the church and into a specific candidate’s coffers because the donors would be able to shield themselves from authorities by virtue of the donations being tax-deductible.  The logical question then becomes:  Are they worried that this practice might be able to catch up to the amount of cash that is funneled into the coffers of the DNC annually by unions?

You see, the sword edge cuts both ways here in every instance of umbrage on the parts of the Leftists.  They don’t want churches being activists, yet give a total free pass to the universities which benefit from tax-exempt status as well.  They don’t want churches funneling money through them to specific candidates, yet turn a blind eye to the fact that unions do EXACTLY that same thing when they funnel money directly into the DNC!

One of the critical points that Liberals love to quote is a recent poll that was taken that showed that a majority of both the general populace and church-going communities agreed that they do not want the Johnson Amendment to be repealed.

I’m sorry…WHAT?  If what they’re saying is true, I would love to see the way the question is posed.  Because IF church-going communities are stating that, “Yes, we would love for the IRS to threaten our lifestyles and freedoms rather than have open and frank discussions by our congregations with our pastor about what political candidates would best suit our religious needs,” then this is indeed, the Twilight Zone.

So, like any good Truth and Action writer, I checked with this one, cited poll.  It came from none other than FiveThirtyEight (538), an ultra Left-wing polling site that is basically the most reliably loyal-to-Big-Government website out there today.  The poll that cited the above information came from this site.  So, as far as I’m concerned, it is a non-sequitur and should be flushed down the toilet with the rest of the you-know-what.


The fact that the DOJ took a pass on this fight with the atheists in Wisconsin is not really the big news.  First, as stated above, the DOJ Obama loyalists and holdovers wanted, above all, to make President Trump look like he couldn’t hold a candle to the Executive-power of the Anointed One.  Secondly, they were lazy.  The easiest way for these slugs in the DOJ to call it in and get out of court in time for Happy Hour was to basically hand to the atheists a token “win” by saying that Trump’s Executive Order has not bite and therefore does not matter.  By stating that the IRS powers remain absolute (their words), they’ve conceded that they have no intention of pushing this narrative that the people have any sort of legal recourse when it comes to the all-seeing eye of the IRS.

The Johnson Amendment needs to be SERIOUSLY challenged.  We don’t need another “good effort” by a legal team to try and topple a 31-word piece of legislation that is blatantly extra-Constitutional, but a real honest effort by professionals bent on the destruction of wrong-doing.

This Amendment is basically a crazy version of the Picture of Dorian Gray.  The IRS forces churches to sign away their rights of speech and religion for the chance of survival, all the while dangling this carrot of exile above their heads:  “If you step out of line, this tax exempt status will evaporate.”  The Amendment sits in the attic of the IRS, collecting more and more free speech and free religion essence from the churches around the country, growing more and more molded and moth-ridden…

And the IRS remains pristine.  It remains powerful.

One day soon, the Internal Revenue Service will be forced to climb into that dank attic and gaze upon that Amendment.  And when it does, the sure and steady collapse of the IRS will begin.  And there will be no coming back from that attic.

Source:  The Federalist / 538

Image: Jake Guild



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