The Johnson Amendment and the Agenda to Silence Christians

first amendment truthWe did not get here overnight. Attacks on religious freedoms and on the speech of Christians in America did not just appear in the last several years. The attempted muzzling of Christian churches and religious groups has gradually increased since a pivotal law was passed by a shrewd politician to intimidate people of faith. The repercussions have been devastating.

The 1954 Johnson Amendment passed by Congress stated that non-profits (read: Christian churches and organizations) could not speak in favor of any political candidate. Was this even constitutional?

This key but forgotten event paved the way for the increased squelching of free speech and because of the confusion and misinformation about the law, many religious leaders have been unnecessarily self-censoring for decades.

The following is an excerpt from the chapter, “The Separation of Christianity and State” in the book, The Cost of Our Silence:

“Texas Democrat, Lyndon B. Johnson, was a powerful politician running for reelection as Senator, but two anti-communist, tax-exempt groups were opposing him and passing out literature during the campaigns. He contacted the IRS and found the group’s activity was legal, so he sought other options to fight them.

Johnson shrewdly appeared on the Senate floor on July 2, 1954, and offered his amendment to a pending, massive, tax code overhaul bill. The bill was supposed to modernize the tax code. Records indicate an absence of committee hearings on the amendment. No legislative analysis took place to examine the effect the bill and the amendment would have, particularly on churches and religious organizations. The amendment was simply created to protect Johnson.

The Johnson Amendment was passed by Congress as an amendment to section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code… stating entities that are exempt from federal income tax cannot “Participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of – or in opposition to – any candidate for public office.”

The Left uses this to bully Christian pastors and groups with threats of losing their nonprofit status should they dare talk about the Bible as it relates to cultural, political, fiscal, and social issues, which all fall under the category of moral issues.

Erik Stanley, author and Senior Legal Counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund, explained the Johnson Amendment was a bill that got inserted into the tax code through back-room deals made by a powerful Senator seeking reelection at any cost. As a result of the bill, freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion have been trampled. Stanley stated:

We have grown up with a generation of churchgoers that believe it is illegal for their pastor to address candidates and elections in light of Scripture or church doctrine when there is no valid justification for believing that.

Johnson knew how to use the political process to silence his enemies. The new amendment not only protected him from the conservative nonprofit groups opposing him, but many pastors stopped speaking about any issue from the pulpit that might be deemed political either out of ignorance of the new law or out of fear. By this self-censoring, the church has chosen to ignore open immorality in culture and in government while at the same time neglecting to call attention to those political leaders who do strive to live according to Christian morals and values.

One might conclude Lyndon B. Johnson not only silenced America’s churches, his legislation has turned many of them into agents of the state. What about labor unions, liberal churches, and leftist organizations? Why have many of them apparently been allowed to not only endorse and support political candidates, but openly fund their campaigns? This is the hypocrisy of selective law enforcement by the (in)Justice Department and the IRS, a partisan government agency recently exposed in the targeting of conservative groups…

Have we also hesitated to address the severe persecution of our Christian brothers and sisters around the world due to radical Islam? I have to believe we all care about Christian suffering and the fact millions have lost their lives because of their faith in Jesus Christ. What I also want to believe is that religious leaders in America are not afraid to talk about why this is happening.

In an article for American Thinker, Bill Warner wrote about persecution in Islamic nations “caused by Muslim jihadists who are following the Islamic doctrine of jihad against the Christian as found in the Koran, Sira, and Hadith.” Warner points to pastors and church leaders who have become comfortable operating their churches more like 501(c)(3) institutions that have meetings on Sunday. They have a corporate mentality which he believes is one of the reasons for the denial of Christian suffering.

If you are willing to see the doctrinal roots of the ongoing murder of Christians by Muslims, then you might have to speak about it from the pulpit, and that could be seen as political speech. In spite of the fact that there has never been a 501(c)(3) revoked because of political speech by a minister, the imagined loss silences ministers. Hmmm… if a minister is worried about the IRS revoking his 501(c)(3), then whom is the minster serving? Caesar or Christ?

Are these harsh words any less true of at least a small number of religious leaders in America? If your pastor resembles more of a business person or CEO than a military leader preparing his troops for battle, it may be time to approach him in love and encourage him to address persecution, sin, the culture war, and politics from time to time.

Because many misunderstand why politics were supposedly forbidden in church, some Christians have mistakenly assumed that the process of voting and electing America’s leaders is either unbiblical or unimportant. Only about 25 percent of Christians vote in elections today. Some pastors do talk about their own obligation to impact society by equipping the saints, and do address the controversial issues of today. We need to pray for and rally around Christian leaders such as these.

Though the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment will continue to be wrongly applied to cases involving religion, we can help by raising awareness. We can also elect representatives who revere the Bible they place their hand on when taking their oath of office. Enemies of Christianity and of America have become emboldened, and people of faith need to be reminded we are provided the freedom of religion and its expression under the Constitution.

Our ultimate allegiance and responsibility however, is to the Word of God.

The truth is churches have a tremendous amount of freedom. From the pulpit, actual limitations include: Pastors cannot openly endorse a particular candidate, tell people whom to vote for, or contribute church money to a campaign. A pastor is absolutely free to do so as an individual outside the church. Pastors, churches, and nonprofits can lawfully speak in detail about all biblical issues. They may also quote any Scripture in the Bible, discuss unethical abortion funding and the protection of marriage, and distribute voter guides and information as well as register folks to vote. Churches can invite politicians to come in and speak to their congregations as long as they extend an invitation to both parties.

I do understand the concern some pastors have about mixing religion and government, but we cannot divorce our faith from our politics. If we do, we’d have to leave Jesus at home or outside when we enter the voting booth if that were even possible. Politics affect many areas of our lives, and the Bible has answers and instructions for every single one. Christians must have a voice when it comes to who is elected, what policies get promoted, and which laws get passed.

Someone’s legislation and worldview will surely be enacted and enforced in America – so will it be those who oppose Christianity or those who support it?

Are we willing to remind and inform this generation about who we are and what America once was? Are we willing to speak the truth about Christ and culture no matter how unpopular we may become? The nation has not yet declined to a point of total ungodliness and destruction, and our government needs our prayers and our participation to generate a revival. Concerned Christians must unite again. Every believer should see the need to speak up with a sense of urgency whether you are a parent, a pastor, or a person in the public square.

The Reverend Don Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association, has been instrumental in fighting for the family and Christian values in our country. He wrote the following over ten years ago:

Today, 4,000 innocent precious lives of unborn babies were snuffed out . . . And 300,000 pulpits are silent . . . The networks make a mockery of Christians, the Christian faith and Christian values with nearly every show they air. Greed, materialism, violence, sexual immorality are standard fare. Program after program, movie after movie contains anti-Christian episodes and plots. News articles condescendingly refer to the “fundamentalists, right-wing Christians.” Those who speak out for the sacredness of life are branded as extremists. And 300,000 pulpits are silent.

Teenage suicide is the highest it has ever been . . . Christian morality cannot be taught in schools, but atheistic immorality can . . . And 300,000 pulpits are silent. Rape has increased 700 percent in the last fifty years, and that takes into consideration the population growth . . . And 300,000 pulpits are silent.

Rock music fills the airwaves and our children’s minds with music which legitimizes rape, murder, forced sex, sadomasochism, adultery, satanic worship, etc. And 300,000 pulpits are silent. A majority of states now have lotteries [gambling has been legalized, no longer a crime]. And 300,000 pulpits are silent.

Perhaps your pastor or church leader has in fact been speaking out on these and many other problems in our society. Thank him and encourage him! You are blessed to have him and the church in America needs more like him. Our hope is for Christian leaders to do what Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Confessing Church in Germany chose to do; put the Word of God above all things. We must not have any gods besides the one true God. Real faith cannot be silenced by government orders.

If we do nothing and the majority remains silent, the secular progressives win. Then, with God removed from all aspects of American society, they will be the ones to rule, deciding what is right and wrong, true and false, moral and immoral.

As the great Reverend Charles Finney once said,

“God will bless or curse America depending on the course Christians take in politics; they must vote for honest men and take consistent ground.”

We have been losing ground because Christians have not first been firmly established in their faith, and second; we have not been openly preaching and living the Word of God without compromise. I admit my past failures in this area and have confessed them to the Lord; how about you?

The most important thing is not winning battles for culture or country, but winning eternal battles for the kingdom of God. To win the souls of men, the whole truth of the whole gospel must be proclaimed. True Christianity cannot be confined behind the walls of any church…

 

(The Cost of Our Silence, book excerpt, chapter 5, “Separation of Christianity and State”)

, , , , , , , ,

49 Responses to The Johnson Amendment and the Agenda to Silence Christians

  1. aVoiceInTheWilderness May 27, 2015 at 10:34 am #

    If you have signed up for non profit status then you have agreed to give up your free speech rights in return for money.

    Once you have 501(c)(3) status you are nothing more than a whore for the government.

    Why do you try talking to these whores? Are you a non-profit corp? Are you a corp?

    • Dave Fiorazo May 27, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

      Thanks for your comment, Mark. I pretty much allow anyone to post as long as it is respectful and not profane or abusive. That’s why I have the comment setting on “moderate” to approve/disapprove.

    • Alfred Gervacio, California December 18, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

      Title26USC Section 501(c)(3) gives churches their tax EXEMPT status should they desire to incorporate (meaning their congregations are subservient to the state)

      Title26USC Section 508 EXCEPTS churches and their auxilleries from the above in accordance with the First Amendment (meaning the congregation is subservient only to their God)

      You will notice that neither of these sections violate the First Amendment. It’s just that LBJ (aka Landslide Lynden) needed to silence church leaders in Texas so he could keep his senatorial seat. Satan’s agents are all around us, and if your church is incorporated, you are part of the problem.

  2. david May 27, 2015 at 10:42 am #

    Coming from the center of the only successful coup d’ etat in American history, why does this not surprise me?

    • 2tugjug May 27, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

      Actually (originally) 501, 3 (c) was to protect the freedom of speech in our church’s – every time the 501 3 c’s were challenged they (501’s) won
      Ref: ACLJ (Jay Sekulow)

      *The problem is in the pulpits – especially lack of (law) knowledge & true Biblical preaching/teachings – people are hungry for the truth, sadly, liberal thoughts have infiltrated the church & seminary’s! We can fully trust Scripture (Lord’s Word) from Genesis to Revelation – Apostasy is running amuck just as prophesied worldwide!
      BUT, the church is still growing!
      *I feel many of us is Homesick! Nothing wrong w/that, even when the Lord still has thing’s for us to do here – either way, it won’t be long now…

      …Heb 15:6…

      shalom
      shalom
      &
      maranatha

  3. laura m. May 27, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    I have encouraged others for years for the same reasons you mentioned to leave the 501 gov. controlled churches as most 501 clergy are cowardly sissy geldings, and only in it for the money. Churches are social clubs and shallow sermons are the norm. They refuse to speak out/stand up in fear of their jobs. When the Supreme ct rules a federal law on gay marriage, most all will go along to get along. I have been going to an “underground” unregistered fellowship for 32 years. No records are kept (cash only) and the pastor has a full time secular job. These churches are small. Home churches will become common as the church is forced underground. Family worship will be the norm. Narrow is the way, the broad is the gate to destruction- majority want “club membership” instead of the real thing. Good books by puritans and 20th century writers can be used for study groups. Voting: many quit, knowing the parties are on the same team for world gov. and the Cloward-Piven agenda taking the country down. America is over and done, and it won’t get fixed form the way I see things now. See: hushmoney.org

    • Dave Fiorazo May 27, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Laura. God bless you and keep speaking the truth! You may like this as well: (Cloward-Piven) http://davidfiorazo.com/2014/07/crush-the-system-cloward-piven-stategy-and-the-u-s-border/

    • Shannon Angstadt May 28, 2015 at 6:38 am #

      Right on , Laura. A friend and I were talking yesterday during a gym workout. He goes to a big church called Countryside Christian here in Clearwater, Florida. We were
      Talking about the LBGT agenda. I asked him if a gay couple came into his church
      Demanding to be married, would his pastor do it? He said he didn’t know. I’d find out if I were him. When the government comes in and forces the pastors to either marry them or lose their tax-exempt status, it will get interesting. As was said, it will separate wheat from chaff. I suspect most will cave for the money. It won’t be hard to discern true ministers and true believers then! Underground we go. Shannon A.

  4. Goodbye MEN May 27, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

    This is why HELL EX?ISTS, a people that presume themselves above the law of the land that ALMIGHT GOD GAVE TO MAN, IT CANNOT AND WILL NOT BE
    REBUNKED OR CAJOLLED, but rather THEY WHO DARE STAND IN THE SEAT OF LAW AND DO NOT TAKE ACCOUNT OF THE LAW THAT ALMIGHTY GOD GAVE TO MANKIND, WILL FIND THEMSELVES A CITIZEN I HELL AND WILL SING THE SICK SAD DURG FOR ALL ETERNITY.

  5. km May 27, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

    The churches were more interested in tax exemption, rather then preaching biblical truths, and also governmental truths.

    We shall see what churches will choose, the LORD, or the “exemption”?

  6. LBJ was a khazar jew of satans synagogue and MURDERING CRIMINAL May 27, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    Of course the co-conspirator to the murder of JFK and satan’s ashkenazim-khazar jew had this law passed, that was one of the many laws created throughout the years to attack Gods REAL CHILDREN (who are not Gods chosen one’s, but rather of satan, their father! Others involved n the murder of JFK, ashkenazi-khazar jews: cia, fbi, dallas police department, the fake royal crown who are also german khazar fake chosen ones, H L Hunt (Hunt oil), bush pig Sr. and the whole bush family who are also german ashkenazi khazar jews, and their real name is scherf(f), the warburg family (the baldwin borthers are really warburgs, hence why such bad actors are on the khazar-ashkenazi brain washing jew tube (TV), and in fact, all actors are either blood from the khazar ashkenazi jews and most of them hide it by changing names like the baldwin creeps did, and the walburgs who are also warburgs, again explaining why such ugly bad actors are in our faces on THEIR jew tube of satans! Sylvester stallone and arnold scwartzenegger are good examples as well, they both sounded like retards when they spoke, were horrible actors, but yet they were made rich by the military industrial complex-HELLywood, the best brainwashing tool EVER MADE TO DECEIVE THE WORLD, other than the jews of satan who falsely claim to be Gods chosen ones and they still push this lie through their jew-tube!

  7. Gabriel May 27, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    Will the church leaders stop ignoring what YHWH has been tying to show them? For many years they have been believing incompetent and/or deceptive attorneys to set up their churches to be inferior to, and a subordinate of, the civil government and not of YHWH’s Word.

    Here is the warning once again. Will you pray and read this most important information?:

    http://www.churchfreedom.org

    http://hushmoney.org/free-church_solution.htm

  8. Kenneth May 27, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

    No church had to play along but they wanted the government money and thus everyone suffered from it. The root of evil is the love of money!!!!!

  9. Arizona May 27, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

    GOD wants his name off americas MONEY,hes going to DESTROY AMERICA and 90% of claimed to be christians are going through the GREAT TRIBULATION,hes had with his people kissing the butt of EVIL,now they’ll pay dear for it,THE DOORS still open,will you REPENT and stop, or face the great tribulation,JUDGEMENT ON AMERICA IS NOW SET IN STONE,you will be destroyed,and just like in KINGS,america will be wipped off the map,and NO he won’t apologize to sodom and gomorrah like all americans think,BUT HE WILL BURN AMERICA TO THE GROUND…..KEEP playing russian roulette with him and find out the hard way…………

  10. Arizona May 27, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

    OH,heres a message for the moderators,GOD says hes tired of his WARNINGS being DELETED,from now on, anyone deleting his WARNINGS will be DELETED,that a pretty serious warning,I WOULDN’T IGNORE IT IF I WERE YOU…………

  11. Nickname May 27, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

    This religious exemption is not even legal to be taxed in the first place. Any Christian organization is tax-exempt. it is a FREE ROAMING entity.

    It can say anything it wants about any governing body and needs NO permission from anyone.

    • Shelly May 28, 2015 at 12:00 am #

      Awesome ours too

  12. David May 27, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

    God will see to it that churches & religious organizations loose tax exempt status to separate the wheat from the chaff. Those that give because they can recoup some come tax time will stop giving. This will demonstrate where there heart really is. I claim if I can but if we loose the write off I give more, I like sticking it to satan. Those that are 10% plus will continue to give.

  13. Shelly May 27, 2015 at 11:58 pm #

    Our Pastor is not under the 501C for 3 years we declare as a free Church.

  14. aVoiceInTheWilderness May 28, 2015 at 9:35 am #

    Last time I checked God’s name isn’t on our money. His name is not “God”.

    The problem you are having is which god is being trusted. Look closely at a 0ne Dollar bill. Especially in the upper right corner near the “1”.

    • yael May 29, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

      what am I supposed to see? I don’t see anything

  15. Nickname May 28, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

    America was FOUNDED on Christianity and it is the only thing implied here. The rest are PAGAN CULTS.

    • yael May 29, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

      True

  16. yael May 29, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

    David, Thanks for researching this. I don’t think most people are aware of the roots of how our churches went from being the most powerful force in the nation to becoming weak, useless social centers.

  17. Brother June 1, 2015 at 7:43 am #

    We founded in 2012 a Christian church as a “free” church and did not ask for 501C3 status. We now have thousands of followers all of whom can speak their mind.

  18. hUGHg June 3, 2015 at 10:05 am #

    iT’S A BLUFF. This has not been challenged in court. No church has the guts to stand up and say “bring it on”. Seriously, name one church that actually lost it’s tax status. If the Churchs would just all stand up for Christ at one time and violate the amendment with one voice, this issue would go away. Christ wasn’t a coward, the Church shouldn’t be either.

  19. destiny June 27, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

    Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and render unto God what is God’s. Also do not worry about what you will say because The Holy Spirit will give you the words. Now we need to hold to our faith in God more strongly than ever. BTW, agree with the terrible acting of Stallone and Schwarzenegger.

  20. Virgil Pattarino July 12, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

    the Freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion is a RIGHT. no right is contingent on ANYTHING, it is a right. “To illustrate, those who so easily say, “if you want to exercise your right to free speech, just give up your tax-exempt status.” Don’t see the obvious problem with that line of reasoning. Are they also prepared to say, “If you want to exercise you right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, just give up your tax-exempt status” or “if you want to maintain your right against cruel and unusual punishment, just give up your tax-exempt status.?” It is ideological tyranny, erecting an ideological apartheid…

  21. Scott July 16, 2016 at 10:43 am #

    The repeal of this amendment makes Trump a little more appealing to vote for.

  22. John Stuebner July 17, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

    How is choosing one candidate over another being Humble. What if both candidates were members of the same church. The pastor has the right to say one is better then the othe?. God raises us up we don’t we should see each others as equals.

  23. Rev Juliet September 26, 2016 at 5:40 am #

    Fantastic truth. The Church is to occupy the earth. The Seven Speres of influence is our responsibility. We are God’s Spiritual Senators on earth to invade every arm of society with God’s Kingdom Agenda by “force” (A determined Will) to invade it and dominate it. It is our call. Thank you so much. I will get the book

  24. Don September 26, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

    We do not need to repeal the 1954 Johnson act, we have too many uninformed people that blindly follow preachers as if their word is directly from the Most High Himself.

  25. Daniel Erline January 22, 2017 at 1:49 pm #

    “”CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW””” ……WOW A MUST WATCH AND LEARN HISTORY OF THE USA WITH REGARD TO RELIGION AND CIVIL RULE WOW https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okDPYd_sxbc .. PLEASE SHARE TOO AND SEE THE OTHER PREVIOUS VIDEOS AND FUTURE VIDEOS TO SEE RIGHT WHERE WE ARE IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION TIMELINE

  26. sws May 3, 2017 at 9:35 pm #

    If you want tax-exempt status, like any non-profit or charity, then you cannot endorse political candidates or parties.
    Why should MY TAX DOLLARS compensate for your church & its pastor cover your tax exemption. In a way, ALL tax payers are paying for your churches.
    There have been members of many churches across the country who have left their churches because of political talk and either giving the impression or coming right out and saying that they should vote this way or that. If you are attending a church that is political in that way, you’re in the wrong church.
    Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s… and don’t make me pay tax dollars for your interpretation of god.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Johnson (501(c) 3 Amendments | The Still Small Voice - August 11, 2015

    […] http://davidfiorazo.com/2015/05/the-johnson-amendment-and-the-agenda-to-silence-christians/ […]

  2. The Johnson Amendment and the Agenda to Silence Christians - Stand Up For The Truth - September 15, 2015

    […] Read more here; […]

  3. What Should be preached From Our Pulpits? - Stand Up For The Truth - September 16, 2015

    […] some pastors do not speak about anything appearing controversial goes all the way back to the 1954 The Johnson Amendment which many see as a hindrance to free speech in America. Did this cause religious leaders to […]

  4. Standing Strong in the Pulpit - or Not? - Stand Up For The Truth - September 23, 2015

    […] catalyst affecting this decision to practically back out of culture was a misunderstanding of the 1954 Johnson Amendment and the 501(c)(3) status. It basically implies that non-profits (read: Christian churches and […]

  5. The Literal Dumbing Down of Public Education - Stand Up For The Truth - February 22, 2016

    […] The Johnson Amendment and the Agenda to Silence Christians […]

  6. "Emergent" Theology - Stand Up For The Truth - March 9, 2016

    […] The Johnson Amendment and Agenda to Silence Christians […]

  7. Americans Overruled: Judges Gone Wild! - April 7, 2016

    […] values in American society. Christians had already been dealt a blow in the previous decade as the Johnson Amendment affected churches and nonprofits, but Christianity would now be targeted in the public school […]

  8. Are We Ignoring History? - Stand Up For The Truth - May 11, 2016

    […] The Johnson Amendment, Agenda to Silence Christians […]

  9. America on the Cusp of God's Grace - DeeGeesLifeBlog – DeeGeesLifeBlog - July 10, 2016

    […] but no less powerful personage known by his initials LBJ, manufactured what is termed today the Johnson Amendment, otherwise known as a 501(c)3. Appearing on the Senate floor on July 2, 1954, he shrewdly offered […]

  10. The Overlooked Part of Trump’s Speech that will Restore America | Crows Nest Politics - July 29, 2016

    […] answer believe it or not lies in a little known IRS tax code known as a 501 (C) 3. This tax code was stuck in a bill by none other than Lyndon Johnson back in 1954. The purpose of […]

  11. Is Religious Freedom on Life Support in the U.S.? - Stand Up For The Truth - August 1, 2016

    […] The Johnson Amendment and the Agenda to Silence Christians […]

  12. Why the Fuss and Fury over Repealing the Johnson Amendment? - August 3, 2016

    […] many people have no idea what the Johnson Amendment is and why it is so important, but at least a few more are paying attention since Trump brought it […]

  13. Why the Fuss and Fury over Repealing the Johnson Amendment? - Stand Up For The Truth - August 3, 2016

    […] many people have no idea what the Johnson Amendment is and why it is so important, but at least a few more are paying attention since Trump brought it […]

  14. Donald Trump: Terminate The Johnson Amendment – Mormons 4 MAGA (Making America Great Again) - August 13, 2016

    […] Not a lot of people know what the “Johnson Amendment” is – it isn’t an amendment to the Constitution but a change to the tax code of the United States. For a good read up on what it is and why it was implemented into the tax vode by Congress, read here. […]

  15. Jesus May Be Lord of Your Life…But is the State Lord of Your Church? – Stuff Inside My Head - February 22, 2017

    […] http://davidfiorazo.com/2015/05/the-johnson-amendment-and-the-agenda-to-silence-christians/ […]

Leave a Reply