“Among those freedoms is the right to worship according to our own beliefs. That is why, I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution. I will do that,” President Trump said during his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. The Johnson Amendment exempts churches from funding political parties and endorsing or opposing politicians. If churches violate this law, they are liable to lose their tax-exempt status.
Trump wants to get rid of the Amendment using the argument of “religious liberty” by claiming churches and religious organizations should be free to endorse or oppose the party or candidate of their choice.
This is a direct threat to secularism and religious liberty in the United States of America because Trump is going to demolish one of the biggest barriers that prevent religious organizations and churches from influencing the Government and lawmakers.
We all know Trump, although a Christian, does not seem to be religious at all (as can be shown with his favorite Bible verse, “2 Corinthians“) so it’s obvious that he just wants to give a candy to the Evangelical crowd since he has big unfavorable ratings with them.
Trump has also been appeasing the Christian far-right by pledging to ban porn, by banning groups which perform abortions overseas from receiving federal funding, and, probably the most dangerous of all, choosing a Christian Supremacist like Former Governor Mike Pence as his Vice President.
Trump knows that without the conservative Christians, he wouldn’t have gotten the presidency. So destroying the Secular Estate was a “thanks for the job” to the Christian fundamentalists that voted for him. It is a shame that Donald Trump claims he wants to “Make America Great Again” while he is open to getting rid of one of the things which make America great: the separation of Church and State.
If the Amendment is destroyed, Churches could impose their political ideology in their religious services. This will radicalize church attendees and by doing so, the Christian fundamentalist dream would be achieved. This dream consists of destroying the separation of Church and State, creating a society which is run by right-wing Christian dogma consisting of banning abortion, same-sex marriages, and contraception as well as implementing creationism and religious teachings at school. This would lead to the U.S. to become a theocratic and authoritarian country, by prohibiting their population from marrying who they want, doing with their body what they wish to do, consuming whatever they want, and even having their sexual life like they want; all this while the Government is indoctrinating children with right-wing religious dogma in public schools, thus giving a scary and regressive future to the country.
This would allow churches to buy politicians as easily as corporations do now. This means politicians will not just legislate in favor of corporations, but also in favor of churches. More likely than not the right-wing fundamentalist variety.
I don’t care if some churches use this measure to impose leftist ideals in their Sunday services because the separation of Church and State is a crucial thing for freedom of religion to exist. Religion and the State should be separated. A mix between the two can become a dangerous thing, like dogmatism and authoritarianism.
We need to fight for our freedom. Leftist Christians, secularists, atheists, and anyone who doesn’t want the United States to become a theocracy should unite to fight Trump and the Christian Right on this issue.
Now, Progressives don’t have to only be aware of Corporatocracy but have to be aware of the U.S. turning into a Theocracy as well.