Have I Finally Found a Reason to Definitively Support Trump? July 19, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, contraception, General Catholic, huh?, pr stunts, shocking, Society, Virtue.
Rorate ran an absolutely fascinating report the other day regarding statements Donald Trump has made concerning the Johnson Amendment, which for 62 years has severely limtited – one might even say throttled – the ability of religious institutions to endorse or condemn specific candidates by name. That’s because the Johnson Amendment holds the church or religious institution’s tax exempt status under threat for so doing.
What Trump said, is that he would seek to repeal the Johnson Amendment and permit churches and religious institutions a much freer hand in terms of what is considered acceptable political speech on their part. One can only imagine the quandary in which this would place the USCCB and many individual bishops. Coverage from Rorate (my comments):
Now, enter Donald J. Trump. To be clear, we are not, have not and will not support any candidacy, but it is important to explain where the freedom of the Catholic Church will be better protected.
Back in 1954, when future President Lyndon Johnson was still a senator, he helped pass a change to the U.S. Tax Code called the Johnson Amendment. The amendment, among other things, prevents tax-exempt institutions and churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates. [Which imposition may be speculated to stem from Johnson’s ardor at having been opposed by certain preachers in the hotly contested 1948 Senate Election in Texas, which Johnson stole from Coke Stevenson by ballot-stuffing. Typical for the despicable Johnson]
So, if Candidate A is a rabid pro-abort, and Candidate B is a man of faith, our priests, college presidents, bishops conference, etc., must stay silent, saying no more than something such as “we believe you should vote pro-life” (yes, we know, the USCCB and many “Catholic” school presidents would probably still not endorse over other issues not related to — or now, sadly, in direct opposition to the Faith — even if the law didn’t exist). [Yeah, no kidding. I imagine most at the USCCB would assume the law remain in place, to prevent their having to remain either embarrassingly silent, or endure the wrath of scandalized Catholics when the refuse to endorse the obvious pro-life/morals candidate]
Because of this law — which really does fit nicely into a land that divorced God from its governance from the beginning — we have warned our prelates and priests to start their planning for a day when they have to pay taxes in order to prevent violating their consciences. [Or maybe they’ll just go along to get along]
Then, in a remarkable but little-reported line in Donald Trump’s speech announcing Governor Mike Pence as his running mate, he made a statement to the effect that we must allow religious to speak freely in our society and in their churches — and he promised the repeal of the Johnson Amendment.
First the work was done at Trump’s request at the GOP Platform Committee meeting a few days earlier…….. [Yes, the RNC did add this repeal to the platform, for what it’s worth]
……In the speech yesterday, Trump stated: “We’re going to get rid of that horrible Johnson amendment and we’re going to let evangelicals — we’re going to let Christians and Jews and people of religion talk without being afraid to talk.”
Will Trump act on this pledge? Will he be able to get a bill repealing the Johnson Amendment through Congress? The left would lose their minds, they’ve been banking on breaking Christian adherence to doctrine through the club of threatening repeal of the tax-exempt status. This is not just a clever end-run around yet another sacred shibboleth of the left, but yet another very clever tactical ploy from Trump to undercut cultural marxism on some of its most foundational assumptions.
And, repeal of the Johnson Amendment would be a pretty big deal. Catholics could, for instance, run ads directly attacking pro-aborts and endorsing specific very pro-life/morals candidates. It would greatly remove the threat to the church tax exempt status by forcing the left to focus on first getting the Johnson Amendment reinstated, or something like it. It could have a quite positive impact on the culture.
Amazingly, Trump is the first serious candidate since ’54 to advocate for the Johnson Amendment’s repeal. I don’t think I believe that Trump is more conservative than Reagan, but that’s an interesting fact nonetheless. It’s the kind of thing that makes me reconsider whether he might be more sincere on a number of issues important to me than I have given him credit for. I’ll certainly watch with interest what he does from this point on.
We shall see how the spirit moves me.