In addition to a congregation voting for Pastors and other leaders in the church, church members may also be able to endorse a political candidate due to a bill that was passed by the House and later by the Senate. This change affects the Johnson Amendment that was adopted in 1954. The Amendment states that non-profit organizations can not endorse or oppose a political candidate. Johnson Amendment has been in existence for more than 60 years. The new regulation is a ‘tack on’ ruling which generally passes while somewhat concealed within a major budget bill. Read more on Wikipedia to know more about End Citizen United.
Freeing churches to openly support their candidates opens up the discussion of donations. Since the Internal Revenue Service is the watchdog for the Johnson Amendment, all donations to churches by candidates, means that they are giving to a non-profit organization and for them the money is a tax deduction. Candidates who make donations to churches also influences church congregations to endorse their political agendas. In question then, what is the constitutionality of the new regulation. Repealing the Johnson Amendment for churches is causing quite a left and right stir and possibly lawsuits.
End Citizens United is a PAC (political action committee) was begun in 2015, but now has over 3 million members and thousands of donors. End Citizens United was formed because the Supreme Court’s 2015 ‘Citizens United vs. F.E.C.’ case would have allowed special interests to spend political campaign money without any limits or restrictions. Also, Lyndon Baines Johnson introduced the Johnson Amendment in July 1954, because during his Senate campaign run, he was attacked and labeled a communist by many non-profit organizations. Another interesting reason why End Citizens United fought against the Citizens United vs. F.E.C. decision was that it seemed to establish the credence that corporations, for tax purposes would be treated like a regular citizen.
End Citizens United is opposing the end of the Johnson Amendment for a number of reasons. End Citizens United leadership states that the Johnson Amendment has been in place for decades and it was in existence to keep ‘big money’ from special interest groups out of the churches so that they can concentrate on spiritual things of the citizenry, not political things.
End Citizens United believes that political donors would veil their contributions by channeling them through churches. This would work for the donors because churches do not have to file taxes and instead they would actually get tax breaks. Follow much of the End Citizens United platform on campaign finance reform on social media websites. End Citizens supports many Democratic candidates for both the House and the Senate throughout the U.S.