Trump: It’s a ‘sad thing’ Churches can lose tax-exempt status for endorsing me
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested on Monday that he would end the IRS prohibition on churches participating in partisan political campaigns.
While speaking to veterans in Herndon, Virginia, an attendee complained that military officials had been banned from evangelizing Christianity.
“The Obama administration had deliberately set out to take the Christian religion out of the military,” the man told Trump. “How will you and your administration combat these attacks on military religious freedom of expression?”
Agreeing with the questioner, Trump expanded his answer to include the so-called “Johnson Amendment,” a law which prevents churches with tax-exempt status from promoting partisan political agendas.
The candidate griped that the law prevented a group of 50 conservative pastors from endorsing him from the pulpit.
“We’re going to get rid of the Johnson Amendment,” Trump promised. “Because they are stopping you and our great people from talking.”
Event moderator Tony Perkins noted that he recently sent one of his political sermons to the IRS “because it would be good for them to hear the gospel.”
“That is a terrible situation,” Trump replied. “They can say, ‘We don’t like the way you’re speaking about Christianity or about God. We don’t like what you just said and we’re going to take away your tax-exempt status.'”
“It’s a very sad thing,” he concluded.
Watch the video below from Fox News, broadcast Oct. 3, 2016.