Republican candidate Donald Trump is looking to secure the votes of evangelical Christians by getting an old section of the federal tax code repealed. Friday, Trump will speak to “values voters” at a convention put together by the Family Research Council, a conservative values-oriented organization. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Republican presidential nominee is expected to discuss the Johnson Amendment, a section of the tax code that bans tax-exempt organizations, like churches, from making political endorsements.
“You’ve been totally silenced, silenced like a child,” Trump told a group of pastors meeting last month in Orlando, Florida.
He also voiced his intent on the issue in addressing the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July.
“I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and to protect free speech for all Americans,” he said during his convention speech.
Some worry that without the Johnson Amendment, some churches and charities could become intermediaries to pass tax-deductible money to political organizations.
“It would be one more giant loophole in an already troubled campaign-finance system,” the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told the Journal.
“It’s also a perversion of the very idea of what churches and charities are supposed to be about. They’re not supposed to be political-action committees where you can smell the cigar smoke in the basement.”