Trump Removing Ban On Political Activity By Churches
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that remove the federal ban on churches and other non-profits that restricted them from speaking about political or moral issues.
The order would also honor religious differences and restrict the federal government from forcing a religious institute from engaging in activities that they morally object to.
This particular issue came to a head under the Obama administration when Christian-based companies and religious institutions were mandated, under Obamacare, to pay for contraceptives for their employees as a part of their health insurance packages.
The Obama administration ignored the conscious-based objections, and the issue was ultimately fought over in the Supreme Court.
The order states:
“The Founders envisioned a Nation in which religious voices and views were integral to a vibrant public square, and in which religious people and institutions were free to practice their faith without fear of discrimination or retaliation by the Federal Government.”
In addition to directing the federal government to respect conscious-based objections of religious institutions, the order also instructs the Secretary of the Treasury to ensure that no adverse actions are taken against religious institutions that speak up about political or moral issues.
This was another issue that became a problem under the Obama administration. The Obama IRS was denying and/or delaying Conservative organizations from being granted non-profit statuses.
This executive order instructs the Trump administration to not engage in such obviously, politically motivated tactics, and prevents the federal government from being weaponized to target political enemies.
“In particular, the Secretary of the Treasury shall ensure, to the extent permitted by law, that the Department of the Treasury does not take any adverse action against any individual, house of worship, or other religious organization on the basis that such individual or organization speaks or has spoken about moral or political issues from a religious perspective, where speech of similar character has, consistent with law, not ordinarily been treated as participation or intervention in a political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) a candidate for public office by the Department of the Treasury.
As used in this section, the term ‘adverse action’ means the imposition of any tax or tax penalty; the delay or denial of tax-exempt status; the disallowance of tax deductions for contributions made to entities exempted from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of title 26, United States Code; or any other action that makes unavailable or denies any tax deduction, exemption, credit, or benefit.”
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Source: The Washington Times